The Palm and the Cedar of Lebanon

Steven Bouma-Prediger

Read: Psalm 92 The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. (v. 12) When was the last time you ate a date? What do you recall about the taste, smell, and texture? Do you know where that delicacy came from? The palm tree mentioned in this psalm is the date palm, one of the most important trees in ancient Israel, for its fruit was high in sugar and very nutritious, its leaves were used …

Trees Planted by Streams of Water

Steven Bouma-Prediger

Read: Psalm 1 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. (v. 3) I have never forgotten this tree. Many years ago, while hiking in the mountains of Sequoia National Park, at the end of a long day I stopped near the tree line, above which no trees are able to survive because of the high altitude. I spied a group of four or five …

Solomon’s Wisdom

Steven Bouma-Prediger

Read: 1 Kings 4:29-34 He spoke of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of the wall. (v. 33). The rainforest was abuzz with birds. This early morning I and some friends were bird watching in a rainforest in Belize. I, the novice birder, was just barely finding one bird in my binoculars, while my friend Joe was already identifying three others. I was amazed and humbled and inspired to learn more. Solomon …

Tree of Peace

Steven Bouma-Prediger

Read: Genesis 8:1-12 And the dove came back to him in the evening, and behold, in her mouth was a freshly plucked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth. (v. 11) A freshly plucked olive leaf. Noah knew that the waters of the flood had receded, and that life on earth again was possible, because the messenger dove returned with a freshly plucked olive leaf. A plant was alive. At least one of the …

The Tale of Two Trees

Steven Bouma-Prediger

Read: Genesis 2:4-25 And out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (v. 9) In the middle of this garden are two unique trees: the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. What are we to make of …

Trees of Every Kind

Steven Bouma-Prediger

Read: Genesis 1:9-13 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. (v. 12) They are invisible. All too often they are just part of the background, the scenery, the landscape. Rarely do we seem to pay close attention to them. And yet we are, most of us most of the time, in the company …