Trees in Scripture

By Kurt Selles

March 31, 2021

Have you ever noticed the important role of trees in the Bible?

Throughout the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, many major characters and events have trees associated with them. The story of Adam and Eve includes references to the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Abraham lives near the great trees of Mamre and plants a tamarisk tree. Moses meets the Lord at a burning bush. Psalm 1 compares the life of a wise person to a tree beside a stream. Jesus calls Zacchaeus to come down from a sycamore tree. Paul writes that we are like a branch grafted into the tree of Israel, and in the Bible’s closing imagery about the eternal city of God—the new Jerusalem—we find a magnificent vision of the tree of life.

April’s author is Julia Prins Vanderveen. She works and lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, with her husband, Trevor, and their three sons. Julia has served as a co-pastor with Trevor at a church in Vancouver. She is a campus pastor and a humanities teacher at the Vancouver Christian School. Her upbringing on a farm and her deep love of creation has prompted her to notice the many ways the Bible teaches about God’s love and purposes through the imagery of trees.

As we leaf through the pages of Scripture to ponder how trees connect us with many experiences and promises in our life with God, may we grow in our awareness of God’s vast love, may we be solidly rooted in grace and truth, and may our lives bear good fruit for sharing the good news of God’s salvation throughout this world.

Throughout this month, may you be refreshed, refocused, and renewed in God’s Word!

Begin with day one of Trees in Scripture here or download the full PDF.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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