Family trees are fascinating. One could easily become absorbed in the history of our predecessors. My wife and I were recently in the United Kingdom speaking at family seminars. We had a one-day break while in Scotland and decided to visit CASTLE CAMPBELL, originally owned by Colin Campbell, my namesake. I have always loved castles. Their grandeur, largeness and strength intrigue me. I find myself contemplating the wealth, dignity, pride and creativity that belonged to my ancestors of that era. I guess it must still be in the DNA.
Here in Tennessee we live among beautiful hardwoods including oak, walnut and hickories etc. We are surrounded with logs and saw mills. Many of the hardwoods take years to mature yet the perpetuating of the forest continues. One wonders how the forests could possibly continue to yield such a vast amount of trees year after year, and yet, with God’s help they keep going. These forests are self-perpetuating generational forests. There are so many seeds in the ground and the top soil is continually enriched by the falling leaves. As soon as a tree is cut down and removed, dozens of little trees pop up through the soil to compete for its replacement. From the beginning God planned it this way. All those who make a living out of harvesting these forests would be devastated if our natural trees only yielded what our family trees currently yield. Isn’t it appalling that we are intent on saving our national forests but oblivious to the fact that our family trees are being destroyed?
I wonder why so-called Christian nations are antagonistic to God’s original mandate to be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth. God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them and it was so. And the earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind, and God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:11-12 NASB) We whole-heartedly agree with our Almighty Creator that this creation of vegetation and trees was, and still is, very good. What would we do without them? How boring it would be to live in a treeless world. How unhealthy it would be for us to be without green vegetables or fruitful trees that provide us with all the life-sustaining enzymes and nutrients to live and perpetuate our own human family trees.
How can we have such a big disconnect between Genesis 1:11-12 and Genesis 1:26-28? Man was made for sacred purposes; trees were not. Of all the myriad of creatures that God created it was only man that was given the sacred and priceless privilege to bear the likeness and image of God. This should never be underestimated. After creating the vegetation and trees, God said that “it was good” but it was the family tree that God blessed and gave the divine commandment to “Be fruitful and multiply.” This commandment has never been revoked and is as important today as in the beginning. Time has not changed this generational mandate.
It would be understandable, if after the fall in the Garden of Eden, God had decided to give up His original mandate to be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth with His likeness and image. But this was not the case. In Genesis 9:1-7 God repeats His first mandate, not once, but twice! Oh the mercy and grace of God toward His rebellious and sinful creation. Man still remains the only privileged creation to bear His likeness and image (God’s character and His ways of justice truth, love, joy, peace and holiness and so on). The trees of the woods reveal His creative glory but they cannot reveal His nature and character.
We all want out natural trees to be fruitful. Why not our family trees? In John 15:6 Jesus says that He will cut off the branches that do not bear fruit. We all agree that this passage primarily talks about spiritual fruit. However, there is a parallel here. Christ uses a natural vine to illustrate a spiritual point. God is glorified by fruitfulness, and more so, by “much fruit”. It is not for us to cut off branches, hindering fruitfulness. Yet this is exactly what we do when we refuse to have children. To the natural man, it is not spiritual to have children. On the contrary, to the spiritual man, having children is not only for natural fruitfulness, but it also increases spiritual influence. Why? Because every child born and raised in God's ways has the potential to be fruitful in the things of God. No one in their right mind would go around lopping off fruitful branches from trees. Why do we want to lop off fruit from our family trees?
Isaiah 61:1-11 foretells the anointing that will be upon the Messiah “to preach good tidings to the poor; to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning.” Why? “That they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
With the Messiah’s anointing, let us be co-laborers with Him to raise up family trees of righteousness who will accomplish all the purposes of Isaiah 61. Verse 9 says, “Their offspring will be known among the nations and their descendants in the midst of the people. All who see them will recognize them that they are the offspring whom the Lord has blessed.”
Along with natural Israel, as the new Israel of God in Christ Jesus, we can also claim family trees of righteousness through whom the Lord will be glorified. Be encouraged. You are ordained by God to raise trees of righteousness that will bless the nations.
Primm Springs, Tennessee USA
Check out the following YouTube which reveals the current demographics in Europe: