“The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground, trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food.” Gen 2:9
The food part I get, trees that make great food, fruits and nuts of all types, but also lumber to build beautiful works of art. But it seems that God could have been more pragmatic, I mean the issue of these trees being pleasing to the eyes seems less important. (unless it is).
This beauty seems mostly like a gift to us, to be able to stand back and say…. wow. It’s not part of the basics of providing food, water, and shelter. I’m reminded of a quote from the movie Dead Poets Society…
“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.”
Tree made for food;noble, useful. Tree made for beauty; awe inspiring moments, a little different than whole grain cereal for breakfast.
God created in His image, therefore His creation is a reflection of who He is. The age of reason has allowed intellectualism regarding God to be the highest value to the disregard of to the beauty. While no one says it out loud, I think there is a complete disregard for these matters because we worry that this issue of beauty, romance, love and poetry will lead people astray… and they will… and so does rationalism. Anyone ever heard of balance!!
There is a book I’ve never read, but the title is priceless so many times; “Adventures in Missing the Point.” It’s a book where a conservative and liberal offer their point/counterpoint to various issues. I don’t know if I recommend it, but the title explains so much about our thoughts about many issues. We seem to miss the point more often than we make it. The tree is functional and beautiful.
Here’s what I know, God is practical. God made things for us that are part of sustaining us. God is also more than practical. He made vanilla and taste buds and mangos, cherries, cashews(not practical at all), he made these things as a function of caloric intake and expulsion, but he made their flavors so spectacular and our taste buds and sense of smell to distinguish all of these, dare I say, pleasurable opportunities, because our God is exceptional beyond the pragmatic.
Do issues rise when we chase the pleasurable instead of thanking the one, kind enough to give us a food choice beyond just oatmeal and scrubby looking ugly trees? Yes, absolutely. Thank you Lord for beauty, we recognize it was an added blessing to us, but also a simple representation of who you already are. Thank you for the beauty that surrounds me with every sunrise, and every flower waiting to burst forth and proclaim the glory of God. Thank you for every person and the beauty you’ve created in them. Help me recognize the beauty in each of your works of art, say thanks and pass the almonds please!!
“One thing I ask of the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple. ” Psalm 27:4