By Pastor Roy Mohon
It is recorded of Solomon that “he spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five. And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall.” (1 Kings 4.32-33) There is a lot that we can learn from creation and especially trees. In the beginning man’s first lessons came from the trees in the Garden of Eden. There was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil which was to teach Adam that we must be obedient to God and not seek to be wise without him. There was the tree of life to teach Adam that God as the giver of life gives eternal life to those who seek it in his way. It is particularly mentioned that Solomon spoke of the cedar. I discovered that in the gardens of Kilravock Castle at Croy near Inverness there is an aged cedar of Lebanon and I had to think about what lessons we might learn from it. The cedar of Lebanon, which has been in the British Isles for over 350 years, teaches us about God as the one who gives life, is great in power and who is gracious to sinners. As you read on you will see what I mean.
God the Giver of Life
In Psalm 104 we read: “The trees of the Lord are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted.” (Verse 16) It is reported that the oldest known cedars are 2000 years old! That is nearly 30 times the human lifespan of 70 years! Such cedars would be growing at the time that the Lord Jesus Christ was living upon earth. Some Canadian pines are even older and are thought to have been continuously growing since Noah’s flood. Growth for such a length of time shows that God is really able to support life and it encourages us to look to him as the giver of life. Our lives are so short in comparison with the cedar. How we need the life that the Lord Jesus Christ gives.
God is Great in Power
In Psalm 29 David writes: “The voice of the Lord breaketh the cedars: yea, the Lord breaketh the cedars of Lebanon.” (Verse 5) Cedars are very large. One in Petworth Park, Sussex reached 132 feet high. Another in Blenheim Park, Woodstock reached 27-foot circumference. You can see that David wants us to understand how great God is. We look at great trees and it seems that they cannot be moved but in a storm in the South of England in the 1980s millions of trees were broken down or uprooted. We are to admire the strength of the things that God has created but we must never put our trust in them. We might feel safe from the elephant when we are high up in the boughs of the cedar but it is by the mighty power of God that the boughs are supported. Our trust must be in God. He gives the growth and he breaks down.
God is Gracious to Believers
Believers are sinners like everyone else but there is a big difference when a man or woman or boy or girl turns from sin and trusts the Lord Jesus Christ. God’s kindness is known in Christ and even we sinners who do not deserve that kindness find it in the Lord Jesus. In Psalm 92 we read about believers in the following words: “The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.” (Verse 12) The psalm writer goes on to say: “Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of out God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; To shew that the Lord is upright: he is my rock …” (Verses 13-15) You can see how wonderful it is to believe in God and to belong to God. The believer is like a great and beautiful tree bearing fruit. His or her life is so full of the beauty and life of the Lord Jesus Christ the Saviour.
You probably know some of the words of the first Psalm. It also speaks of the believer as being like a tree.
“He shall be like a tree that grows
near planted by a river,
Which in his season yields his fruit,
And his leaf fadeth never.” (Verse 3)
Fruitfulness forever is not to be missed so let us believe on the Lord Jesus Christ today!