Saturday, January 26, 2013

Tu B'shevat: Happy New Year, Trees!

Celebrate, Ents everywhere!

You know how it is--you just get all settled in, snug under the covers, sound asleep then the next thing you know, the alarm clock goes off. Just five more minutes. Just five more minutes. Just five more minutes, etc. The past few weeks have been unseasonably warm here and I can’t help but wonder if the trees have been thinking, “Really? Already? Just five more weeks.” Trees don’t have snooze alarms. Or do they . . .  ?

Today marks the new year for trees, so if Ents celebrate, they do it slowly today. Actually, Tu B’shevat is the Jewish observance of this kind of new year, recognizing that trees begin waking from their winter naps and start blooming for fruit-bearing. Produce growers in the Holy Land separate out tithes from everything grown and the day is observed by eating fruit, specifically of the “seven kinds” described in the Torah (wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates).

Four thoughts and one question from God's unchanging Word concerning trees: 

  1. God originally intended that man be nourished from the fruit of the ground and of trees (Genesis 2:9);
  2. Man’s relationship with God was broken after deceived man disobeyed God by eating from the one tree disallowed by God among all those that were available (Genesis 2:16-17; 3:1-7);
  3. When you besiege a city a long time, to make war against it in order to capture it, you shall not destroy its trees by swinging an axe against them; for you may eat from them, and you shall not cut them down. For is the tree of the field a man, that it should be besieged by you?” (Deuteronomy 20:19) What is the mind of God here concerning humanity? 
  4. Man’s redemption from the penalty of sin was purchased by our Lord and Savior who being nailed to a cross, dying, then rising from the dead three days later to ascend to heaven.
  5. The throne of God and the Lamb is called the Tree of Life from which flows a river and bears twelve kinds of fruit for the healing of the nations (Revelation 22:1-2).

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