Genesis 21:33 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called upon the name of the LORD, the Eternal God.
I have some trees in my back yard, or are they shrubs? All I know is that this one variety has three different names. Pyramidalis, thuja, and something else I can’t think of. All I know is that when I bought them I was told they are low maintenance. They have proven to live up to that promise, so I quite enjoy them. I think permadalis is a strange name for a tree. But there are trees with even weirder names. Names like: elderberry, bladdernut, harlequin glorybower (it’s real, I promise), devil’s stick, and tree of heaven.
Then there’s the tree that Abraham planted. It was a tamarisk tree. Exciting isn’t it? I mean this is big time biblical stuff! Abraham planted a tree everyone – woohoo! I’m off to read some more genealogies! Now before you think I’m crazy for blogging about a tree, stick with me for a minute. The tamarisk tree took a really long time to grow… like several generations. For hundreds of years, it isn’t any good to anyone. But when it is good and old, it gets really big and provides shade. That may not sound like much to you, but in the desert, that is a big deal. So Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in a desert that didn’t belong to him. What’s the point?
That seedling was a statement of faith. You see, someday hundreds of years later, Abraham’s descendants would own that land. How did he know that? Because God promised Him. And all those years later his great, great, great grandchildren would find refuge under a tree that someone from a previous generation had planted. I wonder sometimes if we only plant spiritual trees that will give us shade for today. Like Abraham, we are invited by God to plant trees that we will never see fully grow. We are invited to plant trees that will be a legacy for future generations. Abraham planted a tamarisk tree. Will you?
*Are you planting any tamarisk trees in your own life?