TREES. The magnificent creation of the tree occurred on Day 3, as referenced in Genesis 1:11. Think of it: the kinds of trees, their seed, their fruit, their characteristics, their incredible variety, small ones, big ones, those needing water, those needing almost none, their changes over the seasons, their wood grains, and their various kinds were created and defined from the beginning. The Lord speaks of them in Scripture. Jesus uses them in parables. They get used to construct the Ark by a Godly man to save one family from a worldwide flood. Other people have used pieces to shape false gods, which the Lord also addresses in the Bible.
The oldest one on earth is the Bristlecone Pine (an example is shown above), which we observed at 12000 feet in the California mountain desert. The oldest one that has been dated is around 4500 years old, which is about right, considering the Genesis flood was not long before, when the earth was moved around. Fossils of pieces of young tree trunks are sitting in my living room, as reminders of the certainty of God’s judgements and the thoroughness of his hand in the flood.
Trees are painted and photographed in Autumn in the Eastern US because of the colors that erupt during a three week period near the Blue Ridge mountains. The little painting shows the two flaming maples with another tree turned golden under a clear fall sky. For a brief period the mountains turn orange, red, and gold before losing their leaves. In a forest, one can hike paths in yelow-orange glow that is produced from a late afternoon sun shining through the colorful tree canopy that is overhead. The sight makes manmade attempts at splendor seem inconsequential.
In Africa trees are in videos, photographs, or sketched. The little sketch below shows one of the giants of the continent, where birds, animals, and even humans find its great umbrella canopy a familiar site in many rural areas of several nations.
The marsh areas of the south and east coast of the US have cyprus trees that are constantly bathed in water. They produce the most interesting root structures that poke above the water line. The little “family” of trees shown below was along one of the many brackish water canals near Backwater Bay in Virginia. The types and varieties of trees, like those that have been shown in this article, when considered together, show the handiwork of our Creator God.
The code for trees was written on that third day of creation by the command of God, and trees have produced after their kind since that time. Seeds and probably some shoots in large vegetarian mats, of course, survived the flood of Genesis. They were were distributed across the globe during and after the catastrophe. Climate change and the forces of water eventually yielded the distribution of dominant trees in most of the forests and their ecosystems that we see today. While the world has lost many of its forests in the last few centuries, pictures or written records show or describe how great they were.
Many trees that were buried in sediment during the flood were rapidly fossilized and provide that astounding physical evidence of forests that existed before the flood. Many places on earth, like the Petrified Forest National Park in the US, show the resulting beauty of the rapid fossilization process as silicates rapidly filled the regions where tree trunks had been. One can find beautiful arrays of colors in fossilized tree rings. As the water catastrophically drained off the continents and the post-Flood period of unsettled weather continued, large scale erosion commenced in some regions that caused areas to be littered with fossilized tree trunks, like what is observed in the Painted Desert and Petrified National Forest parks. Even today’s occasional flash floods in desert areas continue to unbury more fossilized wood as softer sediments are washed away. Fossilized wood is so common in some areas of private and public lands that it is used to anchor soil in drainage ditches along some public highways.
Whether one considers fossilized trees or those trees that are alive today, the tree is an example of the creative hand of our Master. Trees are full of lessons and show detail that can be appreciated by old and the young alike. They are the subject of poetry and prose but they also provide the largest building material for residences and structures throughout the world. They are God’s doing. They did not happen on their own at the beginning.
When you have an opportunity, observe trees, walk in a forest, and give thanks to the One Who created them.
For more information on trees in a Biblical context, search the subject on www.creation.com. For more information on the Biblical view of creation, which can impassion observation and sound observable sciences, download the Creation Study on this site.