“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
shall break forth into singing,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” Isaiah 55:12
Have you noticed how many references there are to trees in the Bible? The Tree of Life begins and ends the Bible. From Genesis to Revelation, we walk under trees, sit under them, and enjoy their shade, their fruits, and their beauty.
Dr. Matthew Sleeth wrote Reforesting Faith “first, to begin a conversation and, second, to inspire people toward action” (p. 199). Action to plant trees and start conversations about stewardship of the earth and its resources. In fact, he founded Blessed Earth, a nonprofit organization with a mission of “inspiring faithful stewardship of all creation.”
I was amazed by the number of references to trees that there are in the Bible and how they played an important part in the lives of God’s people.
Dr. Sleeth includes many Scripture references and facts. As with any book, the reader needs to read the Scripture as it is referred to in the book, reading it within the context of the whole counsel of God. For example, on page 34, Sleeth states that “while in the garden, Adam and Eve ate freely from the tree of life.” This is incorrect. Perhaps it was an overlooked error.
After they ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, God expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden to prevent them from eating from the Tree of Life, Genesis 3:22.
Sleeth introduces Romans 11 by describing Paul’s conversion as depicted by Carvaggio below.
He digs deeply into the roots of Christianity as Paul did in Romans 11. Judaism is the root of the domesticated olive tree, while Christians are the wild olive branches grafted into the domesticated olive tree, with Christ being “the deepest root of the tree and also the highest branch on its crown” (p. 179).
Dr. Sleeth shares interesting insights into trees and their significance in Scripture. He also has some interesting interpretations of Scripture that I am going to think about.
Some biblical scenarios have been fictionalized or imagined.
Name calling almost caused me to stop reading the book. On page 39, Sleeth writes, “Only a dullard begins a story by interrupting the narrator.”
I love trees, and I am glad that Dr. Sleeth wrote a book about trees in the Bible. We arranged for a tree to be planted in Israel in memory of my father. Trees play an important role in my life, and because of this book, I will pay much greater attention to the trees mentioned in the Bible.
I recommend this book only if the reader is committed to looking up the Scriptures as they are mentioned in the book and considering what the Bible has to say about Sleeth’s claims.
I received a complimentary Advance Reader Copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Our Father in heaven, thank You for trees. They have blessed the earth and all its inhabitants greatly. Thank You for Dr. Sleeth and his work in responsible stewardship of the earth. Bless him and keep him in Your truth and wisdom. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Please share in the Comments Section how trees have played a role in your life.