Thursday, June 8, 2017

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

        Come Holy Spirit Renew the Creation

                            Psalm 29

                         Amy Chacko

           St. Gregorios Orthodox Church,

                   Edmonton, Canada


“The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon” –Psalms 29: 5

 The cedars of Lebanon (Cedrus libani) are mentioned frequently throughout the Old Testament (see Ezekiel 31:3, Psalm 104:16, Amos 2:9). These coniferous trees are well known for their height (up to 130 feet) and massive trunk (up to 8 feet in diameter). In Biblical times, these trees were highly valuable due to their superior building quality----even King Solomon found it worthy enough to build his temple in Jerusalem with (1 Kings 5:6). The psalmist is well aware of its features when referring to the cedars to describe the power and strength of the Lord.  

 When considering the cedars of Lebanon, we can find that many of its characteristics are in line with how we should live our own lives:

Useful- Not only do these trees provide an excellent source of timber, they also provide shelter to birds and other living things. We should lead a life where we are of use to those around us. Consider: How useful have we been this week to others in our life?

Rooted- For every ten feet that these cedars are above ground, the roots below go down 30 feet! Being deeply rooted is what allows these timbers to stand upright through many storms and other natural disasters. If we are to grow in Christ, we must first be rooted in Him. When we stand firm in God’s love for us, we are better able to withstand the storms of grief, disappointment, and pain. Consider: Are we deeply rooted in Christ? Do the roots go beyond what others can see?

Cooperative- When there are neighboring trees around, cedars will often intertwine and grow together as one. If one tree becomes weak, its limbs will be sustained by merging with the healthy tree. We are expected to carry the weak amongst us and also allow others to carry us when we are weary. Consider: Have we been able to bear the burden of those in need? Have we accepted help from others in times of struggle?

 As we read the entirety of Psalms 29, it seems that the psalmist is in the middle of a thunderstorm while hearing the voice of the Lord. Just how powerful is His voice? Powerful enough to break the cedars of Lebanon. Let us grow to be like the cedars of Lebanon (Psalms 92:12), while keeping in mind the awesome power of God who sits as King forever.

                            PRAYER

Heavenly Father, thank You for being the God of judgment, strength, and power over all the earth. We pray that we can be more like the cedars of Lebanon. Help us to be useful to those around us, deeply rooted in You, and cooperative with others. We love You for all that You do for us. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

                 THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:

It’s impossible even for the devil to cut down a tree that is so deeply rooted, so useful, and so cooperative.