Bible Society of South Africa
Xanthe Hancox

The role of trees in the Bible – Day 8

The cedar tree (Part 1) — Give God your best

Bible text(s)

Nathan's Message to David

1King David was settled in his palace, and the LORD kept him safe from all his enemies.

2 Samuel 7:1GNBOpen in Bible reader

The wood of the Lebanon cedars was strong, straight and wonderfully scented and therefore highly prized in ancient times. It was always the first choice for any temple or palace, and top value in trade was paid for it. These trees helped give the Phoenicians a high place among other nations, and became the symbol by which they and their descendants were known. Today the cedar is still found on Lebanon’s flag.

The value of the cedar tree is evident in the Bible — it’s mentioned no less than 75 times. If people had anything of very great value, they had a chest made up out of cedar. In that cedar chest, they would place their most valuable items. Houses in David’s time were made out of stone which was durable, but they had a bad habit of seeping moisture all of the time. Poor people lived in houses like that and endured the dampness, but rich people insulated their houses with cedar wood so that they had as perfect an insulation as some of our modern houses today.

That is the reason David, in the midst of his prosperity, sat down one day and said, “Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent.” He was referring to his house being sealed with cedar. What he was essentially saying was, “God’s house isn’t even as good as my house. I am not interested in giving God as good as what I have myself.”

Think about your own life. Are you giving God your best?

Bible Society of South Africav.4.18.8
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