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Trees, Glorious Trees!

Hi, it's Alyssa, Reasons for Hope's Social Media Influencer! Join me today as we look at another topic close to the heart of God, a special "branch" of the plant world—trees! 
Alrighty class, today we are talking about trees! 
You know ‘em. 
You love ‘em. 
You hate raking their leaves…
(Rhyming is my Achilles heel; please forgive me. I will refrain for the remainder of this blog.)
Trees! Did you know that in the New International Version of Scripture, the word "tree" appears 293 times? Not just that, but the word "fruit" appears 212 times; the word "branch," 107; "root," 57; "forest," 51; "vine," 72; and "leaf," 19—that’s 800 appearances of trees and tree related things in the Bible!
And those examples don't even include the hundreds of times that specific species of trees are mentioned: palms, acacia trees, oak trees, terebinth, willow, sycamore, fig, olive, and  pomegranate, for example. I mean, we're up to over a thousand different texts where trees and tree-related things are mentioned. Not only are they given mention, but often in context, trees play an important role within Scripture and in our present daily lives. Does this make me a tree hugger? (... I'm cool with it.)
(I’d like to give a huge shout-out to the Bible Project for doing the research on these stats. Please go check out their study of trees—it's what has inspired me to write this blog today! bibleproject.com/podcast/humans-are-trees/)
Trees are the third most mentioned living being in the Bible, and you can find them from the first chapter of Genesis to the last page of the Revelation! I could talk about this study at length, but I don’t think that our talented and fearless Editor/Blog Master, Holly, would enjoy me rambling on and on for endless pages. There is so much depth to this study, but let me give you a sample of how God led me to appreciate His creation, just a bit more.

Right after Adam takes in God’s breath, he is given the very thing that he needs in order to continue breathing.

I love to boast that man was made by the hand and breath of God. It sets us apart from things spoken into creation and makes us unique to God! But did you know that in Genesis chapter 2, God made two things with His hands?
Directly after breathing the breath of life into Adam, God then uses His hands to plant a garden that shoots up beautiful and bountiful trees! Now, let’s not gloss over that. Right after Adam takes in God’s breath, he is given the very thing that he needs in order to continue breathing. Did you know that a mature, leafy tree produces as much oxygen in a season as 10 people inhale in a year? And the stats get wilder the bigger the tree. Isn't God incredible?
When reading the creation account in Genesis, I couldn't help but notice that trees are given their role simultaneously with Adam when he is delegated the task of tending and watching the Garden.

Genesis 1:29 ESV
And God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food."

The charge that the trees were given was to provide for man. We need trees to breathe, for shelter, and for food, but we also can use them as tools to better understand God. Trees are versatile in their use, and God created them to be so.
Trees are present or mentioned in most major theological events throughout Scripture, also giving them a deeper significance. We have to always remember how intentional God is with His design.
  • Trees were used to build the ark to save Noah's family through God’s instruction. 
  • Isaiah prophesied the Messiah using a tree: “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse” (Isaiah 11:1).
  • The first Psalm is a description of what godly women and men look like. They are like “trees planted by rivers of water” and they “meditate” on God’s Law day and night (Psalm 1).
  • When Abraham was about to sacrifice his son but was then told to stop, he was provided a ram caught in a thicket (AKA tree).
  • The ultimate example, however, was the cross on which Jesus died for me—also referred to as a tree.

1 Peter 2:24 ESV
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.

I hope and pray that my brief introduction to this topic piqued your interest enough to provide a new, fun study for you in your walk with God. Maybe next time we can talk about the science behind trees and the effect of trees on the human body and mind!
Author Bio:
My name is Alyssa Glander! I have been walking with the Lord since I was about 17, and He has shouldered me all the way!! I am a content and social media manager at Reasons For Hope and the youngest member of the team! I've been happily married to my amazing husband Marc for about four years now, and we reside in Georgia with our certifiably insane (but sweet) Boston Terrier, Axel!

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