Way of Life Literature
Publisher of Bible Study Materials
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
Trees are one of the beautiful things that the compassionate God put in the Garden of Eden for man’s food, utility, and pleasure.
God’s bountiful mercy is evident in that there are an estimated 100,000 kinds of trees in the world today, different in size, habit, leaf, flower, fruit, and function.
In Bible prophecy, we learn about trees in Christ’s coming kingdom.
TREES FOR BEAUTY
“I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. I will put in the wilderness the cedar, the acacia, and the myrtle, and the oil-tree; I will set in the desert the fir-tree, the pine, and the box-tree together” (Isa. 41:18-19).
Many types of trees will beautify the landscape in Christ’s kingdom.
The climate will be changed so that Israel has sufficient rain, and drip irrigation will be a thing of the past.
Trees will adorn both sides of the river of life that flows from Christ’s throne and heals the land.
“Afterward he brought me again unto the door of the house; and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward: for the forefront of the house stood toward the east, and the waters came down from under from the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar. 2 Then brought he me out of the way of the gate northward, and led me about the way without unto the utter gate by the way that looketh eastward; and, behold, there ran out waters on the right side. 3 And when the man that had the line in his hand went forth eastward, he measured a thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the waters were to the ancles. 4 Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through the waters; the waters were to the knees. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through; the waters were to the loins. 5 Afterward he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over. 6 And he said unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen this? Then he brought me, and caused me to return to the brink of the river. 7 Now when I had returned, behold, at the bank of the river were very many TREES on the one side and on the other. 8 Then said he unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed. 9 And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh. 10 And it shall come to pass, that the fishers shall stand upon it from Engedi even unto Eneglaim; they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many. 11 But the miry places thereof and the marshes thereof shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt. And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all TREES for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine” (Ezekiel 47:1-12).
On the banks of this crystal-clear river will grow groves of lovely trees whose leaves will be for healing and whose delicious fruit will be for food. The trees will bear fruit continually.
The whole world will be glorified as a suitable dwelling place for the Creator. It will exceed Eden. The waste places will become paradise.
“The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing; the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon: they shall see the glory of Jehovah, the excellency of our God” (Isa. 35:1-2).
The glories of this present world, which are great, will seem as nothing. I have visited every state of America and 37 other countries and have seen beautiful things wherever I have traveled. I grew up in Florida where the sunsets are breathtaking. I have lived in the Pacific Northwest, which is a paradise of oceans and rivers and snow-covered mountains. I have traveled the Rocky Mountains from Banff to the Spanish Peaks. I have seen the northern lights and lived in Nepal with its majestic Himalayan Mountains, 200 of them over 20,000 feet high. I have seen the glories of nearly every Asian country, of Australia and Fiji and Great Britain and Europe and the Middle East and Asia Minor. But the glories of this present world, sitting as it does under God’s curse, will seem as nothing in the day when Christ reigns.
Daniel was accustomed to the glory of two of the greatest kingdoms that have ever existed: Babylon and Medo-Persia. These were the gold and silver kingdoms of Nebuchadnezzar’s vision in Daniel 2, and they would make any nation today look like weak, pathetic, poverty-stricken things. We live in the age of plastic, not of gold. Daniel was accustomed to living in the most glorious of this world’s palaces, in Babylon and Shushan, and yet he collapsed when he saw just one angel (Dan. 10:5-9)! In Christ’s kingdom angels in their glory will be everyday sights.
“For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works” (Mat. 16:27).
“And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels” (2 Th. 1:7).
The glory of Christ’s kingdom was fore-viewed by Solomon’s kingdom. Jesus spoke of “Solomon in all his glory” (Mat. 6:29). That kingdom was the wisest and richest that has existed on earth. Silver was counted as nothing (1 Kings 10:21). Even the shields were made of gold (1 Kings 10:16-20). From far-flung places, gold and all sorts of desirable goods were brought to Solomon, which he used to glorify his kingdom (1 Kings 10:10-12, 14-21). When the Queen of Sheba came to see Solomon’s kingdom she was amazed and said, “Behold, the half was not told me.” She was so shaken by what she witnessed that “there was no more spirit in her” (1 Kings 10:1-7), and she herself was a very wealthy queen who was accustomed to living in the lap of luxury. She was the queen of the renowned spice kingdom in southern Arabia.
The glory of Solomon’s kingdom and of every kingdom that has ever existed on this earth will pale in comparison to Christ’s kingdom.
TREES FOR CONSTRUCTION
“The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir-tree, the pine, and the box-tree together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious” (Isa. 60:13).
Lebanon has always been a place of abundant rain and magnificent trees. The cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani) was prized by nations as far flung as Rome. It is an evergreen coniferous tree that grows to 130 feet high and 8 feet in diameter and is widely used as an ornamental. The wood has a beautiful color, is resistant to rot and insects, and is solid and free from knots. It also has a pleasant odor. “The bark of the Cedar of Lebanon is dark gray and exudes a gum of balsam which makes the wound so fragrant that to walk in a grove of cedars is an utmost delight” (“Cedars of Lebanon,” habeeb,com). Cedar is strong but easily worked. It was used in palaces and temples across the Mediterranean. Houses of the wealthy were roofed with cedar (Jer. 22:14). Because of its strength, durability, minimal shrinkage, and resistance to decay in salt water, cedar was used to construct ships. The Egyptians, Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, and Persians sailed in cedar ships. Cedar was used for masts (Eze. 27:5), as well as for planking. The Phoenicians sold exquisite cedar chests (Eze. 27:24).
David used cedar in the construction of his palace (2 Sam. 5:11), and Solomon used it in the temple and his palace (2 Ch. 2:3-8). Solomon also used fir and algum trees (2 Ch. 2:8). Solomon grew cedar trees in plenteous numbers to beautify his kingdom (2 Ch. 1:15). Cedar was also used in the construction of the Second Temple (Ezra 3:7).
Likewise, wood will be used to beautify Christ’s capital. Each type of tree produces a different type of wood: different grains, different colors, different hardness, different smells, different texture. Christ grew up in a carpenter’s home and worked with wood. In His kingdom, master carpenters and woodworkers will fashion lovely things to beautify the temple, the palaces, the homes, and the public buildings. We can imagine Christ walking among the carpenters and master wood carvers, commenting on the work and teaching as He continually did when He was on earth.
TREES FOR MEDICINE
“Now when I had returned, behold, at the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and on the other. ... And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, AND THE LEAF THEREOF FOR MEDICINE” (Eze. 47:7, 12).
There will be healing power in the leaves of the trees that will grow along the banks of the river that flows from Christ’s throne.
The perfect health that is sought by the citizens of this present world, and that is vainly promised by many charismatic “faith healers” and alternative health practitioners, will not be found as long as the world remains in rebellion to the Creator and under the power of Satan, no more than peace on earth will be created by New Age dreamers.
TREES FOR LEARNING
The mention of the various types of trees that will be used to adorn Christ’s kingdom reminds us that the creation is a revelation of God and God intended that it be studied as such.
See Job 12:7-9; 39-41; Psa. 8:3; 19:1; Prov. 6:6; Isa. 40:26; Rom. 1:20.
Solomon studied God’s creation and had knowledge of everything from the largest trees to the smallest herb, and of animals, birds, insects, and fish, and the people and kings of the nations came to Israel in that day to hear Solomon’s amazing teaching (1 Ki. 4:33-34). This points to Christ’s kingdom when the greater than Solomon and His appointed teachers will expound on God’s Word and bring lessons from the created things. The saints will study the creation and delight in learning about God’s wisdom and ways from the works of His hands. We can do this today, and it is something that I personally enjoy immensely, but how much more in the liberty and blessing of Christ’s eternal kingdom!
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