Plants and Seeds

We are continuing reading Genesis 1, because Genesis doesn’t just teach us about creation, it teaches us about God.

Last week we learned that:

  • He is omnipresent/eternal
  • He is a creator
  • He is considerate planner, thinker
  • He has a form; He is capable of movement
  • He is the source of light
  • He works in opposites
  • He names and renames
  • He works over time
  • He is orderly
  • He is decisive
  • He builds in support

Genesis 1:11-13 11 And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants[e] yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.

Again, God works in an orderly fashion. Plants must exist before animals, not only because animals need them for food, but because plants provide the carbon dioxide to oxygen exchange needed to maintain the atmosphere. So, of course plants had to come next. But it is more than that. Plants are important symbolically as well; they are used throughout the Bible to explain or describe God to man, as ornaments in the tabernacle and temple. The seed is symbolic too, of course.

Today, we use plants for many medicinal and cleansing purposes. That wouldn’t have been necessary before sin entered the world, because God’s original design did not include sickness. And yet, He created those plants “each according to its kind”, having those properties from the beginning. Why? Because He is ominpresent, existing in all places and times, so He knew that disease would enter the world. And He builds in support, so even as He knew what sin would do to our world, He had created our world with everything we needed to survive. in fact, the seed itself is evidence that God knew that death would enter the world. If His creation were to remain perfect, He could have put all the plants in the world exactly where they needed to be, forever providing and never dying, therefore never needing to have seeds. (Because you only need to plant more plants when the first plants are gone.) It is bittersweet to realize that God foresaw all that would happen, and yet chose to create our world and everything in it anyways.  So, again, God creates the living tree, and also the seed to replace the dying tree, because God works in opposites, He works over time, He plans, and He builds in support.

But there’s another phrase in there that we can’t miss. We can’t miss it because it is repeated 3 times! That phrase is “according to its kind”. This tells us God supplies diversity, reproduction, and constancy. Does that seem like a lot to get out of that small phrase? God created all the kinds of plants (diversity). He created them with seeds, to product new plants (reproduction) , but those new plants would be of the same kind (constancy). 

Appropriately, one of the most poignant verses in the Bible which also shows diversity, reproduction, and constancy comes from Revelation. (And it also includes plants.)

Revelation 7:9-10 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

We see both reproduction in the fact that we’ve gone from Adam and Eve to a multitude, diversity in the people being from every nation, tribe, people, and language, and constancy in God still sitting on the throne from Genesis through to Revelation.

How can you show God your appreciation for the diversity of His creation today? (Not necessarily just diversity in kinds of people, but in plants and animals, in experiences, in giftings and talents.)

How has God displayed His constancy in your life?

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