The middle of October is one of my very favorite times of year. The heat of summer has subsided as the days grow shorter and the angle of the sun changes to bring about the fall season with its cool, crisp mornings and the trees reach their peak of color, with the many shades of red, orange and yellow displayed against a deep blue sky—awesome!
We have friends, Ivan and Linda Varner, visiting here, having driven all the way from Pennsylvania to spend the month of October in the Libby area where they used to reside many years ago. We once had Bible study in their home and I hunted deer and elk with Ivan—lots of special memories. Knowing how much they enjoy the trees, we took them yesterday after church to a local cross country ski area that is right on the edge of the Cabinet Mountain Wilderness. It was a beautiful autumn afternoon and we just wandered on the ski trails enjoying the smell of the cedar, white fir, spruce, and Douglas fir trees and the colors of the deciduous trees and bushes and the Western Larch whose needles are just starting to turn from their summer green to yellow-orange before falling to provide a soft blanket on the forest floor. There are few things more beautiful and soothing than walking through a forest or grove of trees.
Scripture has much to say about these majestic woody perennials, from the “fruit trees bearing fruit after their kind” (Gen. 1:11) to “the tree of life” that will be freely accessible to all believers in the renewed earth one day (Rev. 22:2). A number of tree varieties are mentioned in the Bible. Can you name them? The list includes: gopher (Gen. 6:14…the Hebrew word is a root of the word gophrith, which is translated elsewhere in the OT as “brimstone” and would refer to a form of plant material with sulfur-bearing lignin which is true of hardwoods), oak (Gen. 12:6; 35: 8; Josh. 24:26), acacia (Ex. 25:10…for the Ark of the Covenant and table for bread in the Tabernacle), palm (Judges 4:5), tamarisk (I Sam. 22:6), cedar (I Kgs. 5:6…from Lebanon for construction of the Temple), olive (Ro. 11:17..a symbol of the national life of Israel and the Abrahamic covenant), fig (Mt. 21:19).
Trees were part of God’s creation, made on the third day of “creation week” (Gen. 1:12,13). They undoubtedly had the appearance of age, probably with growth rings and all. Whatever God spoke into existence or made from the elements He created, started out as mature plants and animals with the ability to reproduce “after their kind” (Gen. 1:12) so naturally had built into each the appearance of age, though just made. Trees have always been trees in all of their majestic beauty and design. Evolutionists, who reject the biblical authority of origins, have no explanation for the origin of the at least 60,000 identified tree species in the world. Evolutionist Elizabeth Stacy of the University of Hawaii Hilo says, “We know next to nothing about how they (trees) got here” (Trees: An Engineering Wonder…Acts and Facts, September 2015).
The design of trees and their ability to reproduce “after their kind” is clear indication of their having been created, and did not evolve (Ro. 1:20). The whirling winged seeds of conifers or maples, and the flying cotton from the Cotton Wood and the berries from the Mountain Ash which birds spread everywhere are an engineering wonder which required a brilliant engineer!
”Not only are the varieties of seed dispersal evidence of design, but the construction of basic tree structure that enables them to reach hundreds of feet into the air reflects God’s creative hand. Trees are without an internal or external skeleton to provide their rigidity and support but each plant cell has a robust cell wall composed of cellulose (the most abundant biomolecule on Earth) that we appreciate every time we bite into a celery stalk. Together, these trillions of cell walls make up the wood of the tree. Where did wood come from? Evolutionists don’t know!” (Acts and Facts, September 2015). The Bible says, “And out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food…” (Gen. 2:9).
Poet Joyce Kilmer understood that only God could make a tree as he reflected in “Trees” published in 1914:
“I think that I shall never see
A poem as 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.”
Amen!! As you view God’s spectacular fall display of colors, pause and thank God who “richly supplies us with all things (including trees) to enjoy” (I Tim. 6:17).