Beginnings: Vegetation

Mmm sweet summer fruit. My mouth’s already watering thinking about the fresh fruit that will begin to grow soon. It can be fun picking berries and apples. Think of all the wonderful fruit and desserts that will yield from spring, summer and fall. 

Have you ever been fascinated by the fact that a tiny little seed can turn into multiple apples? Then, by taking the seeds from the inside and planting those, that it can produce even more fruit?

“Then God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land “earth,” and He called the gathering of the water “seas.” And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let the earth produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds.” And it was so. The earth produced vegetation: seed-bearing plants according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. Evening came and then morning: the third day.” – Genesis 1:9-13

It is incredible how the Lord could design SO many different kids of “seed-bearing plants”. I think He had fun thinking up all the different flavours of foods we would come to enjoy.

Let’s think about trees for a moment. God is eternal and He had everything planned out since before the beginning of time. He knew all of the trees He would make, how tall they would stand, and what purposes they would serve. 

When He created vegetation and trees, He knew that the cedar tree would help to build His majestic temple. 

When Solomon finished building the temple, he paneled the interior temple walls with cedar boards; from the temple floor to the surface of the ceiling he overlaid the interior with wood. He also overlaid the floor with cypress boards. Then he lined 30 feet of the rear of the temple with cedar boards from the floor to the surface of the ceiling, and he built the interior as an inner sanctuary, the most holy place.” – 1 Kings 6:14-16

Can you imagine standing in the temple and smelling all the cedar wood? It would be such an amazing aroma in there. The Lord wanted the best of the best for His great temple and He got it! A place where He could dwell as both Priest and King. 

What about wheat? As Jesus walked in the wheat field on the Sabbath, I bet He was praising the Father for the great work they had done.

I wonder who the first person was that the Lord taught to make bread from wheat. As that person discovered how to make it, he or she would have never known the significance that bread would hold:

“As they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take and eat it; this is My body.” – Matthew 26:26

Jesus knew that by creating wheat and then bread, that He would use it for this pivotal moment before His crucifixion. He created this symbol for us to humble ourselves and remember the power and sacrifice of Christ’s death and resurrection. How gracious of Him to give us bread and wine to remember. He didn’t give us something painful, though the fact of His death is painful enough. He gave us a symbol that we could come together as a body of Christ to remember together. A reminder that we are one in Him and to stand united in fellowship.

People tainted the value and beauty of trees when they used it to make a cross. The worst part is that it was used to hang our Saviour. But, if we didn’t have the cross and His death, we wouldn’t have salvation or a Saviour. Sure, God has always been gracious and forgiving. But we needed something to bring us from the Law that we could never measure up to, to the New Covenant of Grace. Without Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, we would not have the opportunity for freedom or the Spirit residing within us today.  

“Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” – John 19:19

Thankfully, He did endure the cross. He did defeat death and the grave. We do have life and freedom. Though the beautiful physical temple was destroyed, a new temple was created within ourselves. One where He can reside with us all. 

Not only did He returned beauty in salvation, He restored value to the trees too. He is creating a “tree of life”. One that offers life and healing to “the nations”.

“…Also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” – Revelation 22:1b

Trees, bushes, and vines are used in pivotal moments throughout Scripture. They are used literally and metaphorically from the creation of time until the New Kingdom to come.

In Psalm One, God calls a faithful servant to be like a strong tree:

“He is like a tree planted beside streams of water
that bears its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.” – Psalm 1:3

God calls us to stand firm and have faith in Him. He desires for us to be “rooted and grounded in love” (Ephesians 3:17).

He does perfectly awesome work. The Lord knew the powerful creation He was crafting in trees to be used for profound moments in time: From the trees in the Garden of Eden, the wood to build the ark, a burning bush, the beautiful temple, olive trees to pray under and anoint, to carry our Saviour, then to build our homes, and eventually bring “healing to the nations”. 

I pray that this message allows you to take some time to sit in awe of the wonder of God. I encourage you to go on a walk today, look at the trees, and praise the Creator of them.

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