about writing and life and God

All kinds of trees

on March 9, 2013

I like trees. A favourite walk is through a beech wood, kicking softly through the beech mast at my feet. But this morning, I was brought up short by a verse in my morning Old Testament reading:

“They will be called oaks of righteousness” Isaiah 61:3

It’s a great image. Oaks are strong and big, and grow tall and broad and stately. Oaks of righteousness,yes!

But if I’m completely honest, I  do not see myself as an oak, now or ever. I want the righteousness bit, of course, but what kind of biblical tree might I be?

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Checking my concordance, I discover lots of trees with lots of connotations. After all, Genesis 2:9 describes how “God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground [in His garden in Eden] – trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food.” So it’s not surprising to find a wide variety of types.

There are willow trees planted by the living waters and flourishing. Fig trees and olive trees that bear good fruit and witness to the lavish generosity and provision of the Lord. Almond trees and apple trees, cedars and pine trees, pomegranates and mulberries.

Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Genesis 21:33. I’ve always loved these frondy pink beauties and have much enjoyed having one in my front garden these past half-dozen years.

And in Isaiah 55:13 the Lord promises: ‘Instead of the thorn bush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow’. Thorns and briers and nettles do not get a good press in Scripture nor do trees which should be fruitful but aren’t.

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My own favourite tree is one of the northern climes so does not turn up in the Bible. It’s the silver birch. I love the way it’s pale bark gleams even on the dullest, darkest day. It lends grace and beauty to mixed woodlands and seems able to withstand the rigours of the worst winters.

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If you were to choose a tree to symbolise you, today, I wonder what would it be?





4 responses to “All kinds of trees

  1. Amy says:

    I’m a little nut tree. God wants me to grow a few nuts, but I have not been very fruitful for Him, because I’m too busy trying to grow a silver nutmeg and a golden pear…

  2. 20angel13 says:

    I think I would be a Horse Chestnut as I’ve always wanted big hands (mine are rather pathetic) and I love the autumn colours…

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