I always like to start with something personal, so please bear it with me!
As a kid, I grew up spending a good amount of time in the presence of plants, flowers and trees on a weekly basis with my father in our garden. He loved gardening as much as he loved us and gardening, for him, represented that simple aspect of giving back to that which gives us life.
Back then, we had a garden filled with flowers, especially lilacs and the Lisianthus used to look so soft to me. However, I was never really a fan of flowers. It’s true that the popping colors and shapes of flowers are really captivating and I’m sure there are plenty of reasons why most people love flowers, yet I cannot relate to any of them. However, I’ve always loved trees. When I pass them, I can’t help savoring their beauty. I love their shade, the sound of the rustle of their leaves and the twirl of their branches. Trees are really soothing to the eyes. Be it the magnificent branches of a large tree or the small leaves of a simple tree, watching them can give you a sense of fulfillment.
I read somewhere that when you plant a tree, you leave more than a tree behind; you are also planting hope, inspiration and leaving a wonderful legacy of working harmoniously with nature towards a better world.
A few years ago, when I was visiting a church, I heard the pastor talking about the “theology of trees.” Before that, I didn’t even know that trees had any importance in the Bible. So, when I heard about this “theology”, I’ve turned to Biblical scriptures to find out more.
Trees in the Bible
Did you know that other than God and human beings, trees are the most mentioned living things in the Bible?
That came out as a surprise to me too!
If you read the Bible thoroughly, you’ll find that trees are mentioned nearly everywhere in the Bible, from the first chapter of Genesis to the first Psalm and even on the last page of the Book of Revelation. If you want to know more about all the interesting trees and plants that were mentioned in the Bible, click here.
Every Biblical Character and Event Has a Tree Associated With It
There are several major characters and main events in the Bible. And, I must say I was astonished when I found that many of these characters and events had an associated tree.
We can start by how Adam and Eve, the very first creatures of God, ate the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge. In Genesis 49, 22, we read how God says, “Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine near a spring, whose branches climb over a wall.” Furthermore, in the Book of Jeremiah (17: 7-8), the prophet urges all Christians to be like a tree.
As per Isaiah 53:2, the description of Jesus Christ is linked with a tree. “Want to recognize the Messiah when he arrives?” Isaiah asks. “Look for the man who resembles a little tree growing out of barren ground”
In Mark 11: 12-25, Jesus cursed a fig tree. “Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!”
I’m sure you remember Zacchaeus, the notorious chief tax collector. Well, do you remember that as per Biblical scriptures, he climbed a sycamore tree to see Jesus?
Now, moving on to Romans 11: 17-18, we can find Paul saying that Christians are like branches grafted into Israel’s tree trunk, with roots that help us stand fast and firm no matter what troubles come our way.