Planting tamarisk trees

December 16, 2019

“Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called on the name of the LORD, the Eternal God” (Genesis 21:33, NIV).

Abraham lived an extraordinary life. Oftentimes, the simple words of Genesis 21:33 get lost between the captivating narrative of Abraham’s oath with Philistine leaders in Genesis 21 and the greatest test any father could endure in Genesis 22.

What seems out of place — Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in the harsh, dry conditions of the Negev desert — is actually an exclamation point in the text. This act is Abraham’s declaration to future generations that he is making an investment in their lives.

As we prepare to move into the new year, what seeds are you intentionally planting for generations to come?

Why a tamarisk tree? Despite severe desert conditions, the tamarisk tree survives with minimal water. It grows slowly, taking decades to mature. Over time, the tree is able to produce shade, the most precious commodity in any hot, sun-drenched land.

So why did this 100-year-old man plant a tree that takes so long to become useful? Simple. He was not planting it for himself. Abraham planted the tamarisk tree for generations to come.

As we prepare to move into the new year, what seeds are you intentionally planting for generations to come?


by Mark Smith  /  
Family Evangelism and Discipleship  /  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

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