Lessons from the Tamarisk Tree

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning June 17th, 2018. The Church of Joy in Williamson, Georgia. www.TheChurchofJoy.org

These sermon notes are made available through the YouVersion free Bible app.

When you read the Bible you find that it has a great deal to say about fathers. You will find many teachings and many directions and many words of guidance. One particular action done by a father has recently struck me and has had a powerful effect on me.

Genesis 21:33-34 NIV
33 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called on the name of the Lord, the Eternal God. 34 And Abraham stayed in the land of the Philistines for a long time.

The back story and scene:

Genesis 12:1-9 NIV
1 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. 2 “I will make you into a great nation,and I will bless you;I will make your name great,and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you,and whoever curses you I will curse;and all peoples on earthwill be blessed through you.” 4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. 5 He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there. 6 Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7 The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him. 8 From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord. 9 Then Abram set out and continued toward the Negev.

Abram(ham) went to Egypt for a while during a great famine but later returned with Lot his nephew. The had to part because of how large their flocks were growing then:

Genesis 13:14-18 NIV
14 The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, “Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west. 15 All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. 16 I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. 17 Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.” 18 So Abram went to live near the great trees of Mamre at Hebron, where he pitched his tents. There he built an altar to the Lord.

This is the area where Abraham planted the Tamarisk tree.
So Abraham plant a tree, what’s the big deal?

It appears that Abraham did not simply plant any tree upon arriving in Beersheba. He planted special tree to bring comfort and relief to the one who would live in the harsh desert environment. To a Bedouin or a Jew of the Middle East, the saying is this, “you don’t plant a tamarisk tree for yourself, you plant it for generations to come”. SO what is Abraham saying in planting this tree? I believe He is saying: “Okay, I believe you God. This is my land and for generations to come, my family is going to be here.”

How much of what we do in life is done for just ourselves? Our comfort, our profit, our satisfaction?

Do we do anything to bless or plant a seed for the generations that are to come? Is there anything that you are currently involved in that will outlive you?

We need to plant seeds of faith. A Godly heritage of walking with God is greater than any earthly possession.

Again I encourage you to plant good seeds of faith, water it, work it…your family needs to:
>Hear you pray, see you pray
>See you and hear you worship God
>See you and hear you read the Bible.
>See you and hear you be compassionate and share God’s love with others
>Be part of your walk with God. They need to see you walking “in step” with the Bible.
>Be with you are you come to church. Being part of the Body of Christ, encouraging, equipping and walking out life together is a gift that God has blessed us with in the Church.

Abraham knew the harshness of the desert climate. He knew that other generations would have to face the same heat, trials and desert challenges. So he planted the Tamarisk tree to bring the relief and comfort. He cared about their future

What are you planting, growing and working on that will help and bless your family for generations to come?