Feeling Fruity!

Genesis 1

I’ve planted two fruit trees in my life time. The first was a cherry tree that had two varieties of cherries grafted together so that they could help pollinate each other. Sadly, I moved away from that home before I could appreciate more than a handful of cherries from the tree. My next fruit tree endeavor was a miniature peach tree in a large pot on my patio when living in Oklahoma. The harvest from this tree was also small but incredibly delicious before the tree died due to an attack of fungus. If my current dwelling had more sun and space I’d probably be planning some new adventure with a fruit tree.

Have you ever wondered why God created trees? The first mention of trees in Genesis specifically highlights fruit trees.

And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. 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 is was good. Genesis 1:11-12 ESV

Then after mankind is created God says, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.” Genesis 1:29 ESV

It is clear from these verses that God intended fruit trees and other seed-bearing plants to be a means of sustaining us physically. The phrase “each according to its kind” in the verses means God created variety in our food supply. I’m very thankful for this as I get bored easily if I’m having to eat the same thing day after day. Just ask my husband!

I was curious to learn how many kinds of fruit or edible plants exist. Reference.com had this answer: The total number of plant species in the world is estimated at 390,900 by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Approximately 1,000 to 2,000 species of plants are edible by humans. About 100 to 200 species of plants play an important role in world commerce, and about 15 species provide the majority of food crops. These include soybeans, peanuts, rice, wheat and bananas.

Do you think about this abundant provision when you eat a piece of fruit or other seeded plant today? I have grown very fond of a prayer of thanks and blessing for the food we eat that I learned from my husband. Most of the time when he offers a prayer before a meal he will include something along the lines of asking a blessing on all the hands who have prepared the food that is before us. This simple prayer of thanks and blessing makes me think of the farmers who planted the seeds all the way to the workers in the grocery or market where we purchased our food before we served it to ourselves.

Today before you eat your vegetables, grains, and fruits, pause and give thanks to the Lord for the amazing variety, color, and textures He created for our sustenance. Ask Him to bless all those who had a hand in bringing you this food you are about to enjoy. These seed-bearing plants and fruits are the foods God provided for our continued physical nourishment from the very beginning.

Blessings,

Barbara Lynn

In the Beginning

Genesis 1-3

What do you think is around the bend on the forest path depicted in the header of my site? Do you find yourself wanting to quicken your pace so you can see what’s next? Or would you rather linger on the path and take in all the details of the forest before moving forward? Perhaps you’re afraid to see what’s around the bend?

Today, as I write my first ever blog post, I relate to all these questions!   I chose that picture intentionally. Not simply because I love taking strolls in nature but because the first book of both the Hebrew and the Christian Bible, Genesis, describes the creation of our natural world.

And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. 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 is was good. Genesis 1:11-12 ESV

Then after mankind is created God says, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.” Genesis 1:29 ESV

Chapter 1 of Genesis is a broad strokes description of the creation of the earth and everything in it. Turning to chapter 2, we receive a more detailed view.

And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. 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. Genesis 2: 8-9 ESV

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”. Genesis 2:15-17 ESV

Did you notice in God’s command that there is no restriction from eating from the tree of life at this point in the text? The only forbidden fruit is from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It isn’t until after Adam and Eve disobey God’s command that we learn they had not yet eaten fruit from the tree of life.

Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever–” therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life. Genesis 3:22-24 ESV

Part of God’s response to their disobedience is to place a restriction on access to the tree of life. This restriction fulfills God’s word of warning in his command that they would die if they ate the forbidden fruit. But in God’s grace they don’t die immediately. Instead it appears that the first substitutionary atonement for sin is enacted by God to properly clothe the man and woman.

And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them. Genesis 3:21 ESV

Previously everything God made was simply spoken into being. Here we are told God made the clothing out of skins.  I believe we are being told here that an animal was slaughtered to provide the skins. This then is a foreshadowing of the animal sacrifices the people of Israel are later instructed to practice for their sins and ultimately God’s sacrifice of Jesus for all mankind.

Can you see even in these few verses taken from the opening chapters of Genesis that God delights in his creation and is already beginning His plan of restoration at a time that He is heartbroken over their sin?

I’m convinced if you read the chapters in full you will find even more evidence to support that God is in the business of restoration. I’d love to hear what you find as you spend time reading and meditating on these three chapters.

Blessings,

Barbara Lynn