GOD’S WORD REVELED THROUGH THE BOOK OF NATURE
Fr Stephen Young
“SO HE DROVE OUT THE MAN, AND HE PLACED CHERUBIMS AT THE EAST OF THE GARDEN OF EDEN, AND A FLAMING SWORD WHICH TURNED EVERY WAY, TO GUARD THE WAY TO THE TREE OF LIFE….” Genesis 3:24
“WHO HIMSELF BORE OUR SINS IN HIS OWN BODY ON THE TREE….” 1 Peter 2:24
Why is the tree so important in God’s Book of Nature? What is He trying to reveal that helps us to grasp the written Word given in the Bible?
In my years as a professional conservationist, I found myself involved in many environmental battles over the protection of trees. Whether it was the Redwoods of California, the Sitka Spruce of Alaska or the rainforests of South America, there was something about trees that drew people to cherish and want to be their good stewards and guardians.
As a Christian I have spent many wonderful hours of time with the Lord resting among the trees and forests, just looking to be taught about the Beauty and promises of our Creator.
Scientists declare that the world’s forests and especially the rain forests are “the earth’s lungs” and are critical to the future of the planet. I was always fascinated by the intricate connection between trees and humans, a real co-dependency of sorts. We, humans, need oxygen to breath and to have life and we give off carbon dioxide as a waste product that we have come to discover can become a danger to the very existence of humans. The tree, on the other hand, requires the intake or breathing in of carbon dioxide and then exhales oxygen as a byproduct of its metabolism. How utterly amazing.
God spoke. His breath came forth and the visible world was born, the visible expression of the invisible world. Two trees made visible, portraying the deep spiritual battle between two mighty Kingdoms. One tree representing eternal life in God’s Kingdom, the other, eternal regret in the Kingdom of death. Man’s choice in a word picture, to choose the tree that provides life or the tree that provides death; the tree that gives oxygen or the tree that gives carbon dioxide.
Adam and Eve chose the tree of death, the tree of disobedience through which they would cease breathing in life and would breathe in death. The Tree of Life in the garden would be sealed off from mankind until the coming of the Promised One.
Jesus died on a tree. He restored access to the tree of life. He would take in the carbon dioxide of our sin and breath out the life-giving oxygen to all who would receive it. Repent and believe and you will receive life!! He would restore the oxygen for our spiritual lungs lost in the garden. The balance was brought back to God’s Kingdom.
AS Jesus affected the very spiritual atmosphere of this world and brought healing, life, and reconciliation back to humanity so too we who have been grafted into that tree can also affect the atmosphere around us. We too can give forth the oxygen, the breath of life by speaking and living the Word of God. In Loving God with our whole being and loving others as He has loved us, we have the ability to breathe in the spiritual carbon dioxide of this world and breathe out the life-giving oxygen of God’s Kingdom.
The next time you look upon a tree, pause for a moment and slowly breathe in and out and ponder the promise of the tree. You are created in the image and likeness of God who is the tree of life and we are called to live in a world with ever rising levels of spiritual carbon dioxide and through the word respond by breathing out the needed oxygen, spiritual life. There is a climate change crisis in the world and we are the spiritual trees who can affect the outcome.
MORETOWN BIBLE STUDY WITH THE CHURCH OF THE CRUCIFIED ONE
The Church of the Crucified One, is a Non-denominational, Faith Community, of born again, Spirit Filled Christians, located in beautiful Moretown, Vermont bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Moretown, Waterbury, Waitsfield, Warren, Montpelier, Burlington & The Madriver Valley.