Why did God make plants?

I'm not someone who normally gets excited about plants.  But they are an important part of the world God has made for us to live in...

Genesis 1:11-12... Then God said, ‘Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.’ And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 

Plants are also God's GIFT to us and we get a lot of our FOOD from plants...

Genesis 1:29... Then God said, ‘I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.

We can learn about the science behind how plants grow, which is great, and the Bible teaches that God is the one who is behind it all.  He designed and created things to work the way they do.  Even grass couldn't grow without him...

Psalm 104:14... He makes grass grow for the cattle,
    and plants for people to cultivate –
    bringing forth food from the earth: 

Again and again the Bible uses plants to teach us things...

For example, it says plants growing in a garden are like people GROWING in relationship with God...

Isaiah 61:11... For as the soil makes the young plant come up
    and a garden causes seeds to grow,
so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness
    and praise spring up before all nations.

The Bible uses flowers to show how not everything lasts forever...

Isaiah 40:8... The grass withers and the flowers fall,
    but the word of our God endures for ever.’

And Jesus uses flowers to show how God looks after us...

Matthew 6:28-30... ‘And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you – you of little faith?

In the psalms people who know God and are ROOTED in him, are compared to a TREE that's planted near a stream of water...

Psalm 1:1-3... Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither –
    whatever they do prospers.

Jesus often told stories about seeds, crops and harvest.  He also said God is like a Gardener and that he himself was like a grapevine growing in a vineyard, and that people are like branches that need to be joined to him...

John 15:1-5... “I am the true vine. My Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch joined to me that does not bear fruit. He trims every branch that does bear fruit. Then it will bear even more fruit. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain joined to me, just as I also remain joined to you. No branch can bear fruit by itself. It must remain joined to the vine. In the same way, you can’t bear fruit unless you remain joined to me.

“I am the vine. You are the branches. If you remain joined to me, and I to you, you will bear a lot of fruit. You can’t do anything without me.

Followers of Jesus, growing more and more like Jesus by the power of God's Holy Spirit living in them is described as the FRUIT of the Spirit...

Galatians 5:22-23... But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

And right at the end of the Bible's story, when it's telling us about heaven and how things will be in the end for those who've trusted Jesus to make them friends with God forever - it uses the picture of a TREE with some very special LEAVES to describe how God will bring healing and peace forever to his world...

Revelation 22:1-6... Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life. It was as clear as crystal. It flowed from the throne of God and of the Lamb. It flowed down the middle of the city’s main street. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing 12 crops of fruit. Its fruit was ripe every month. The leaves of the tree bring healing to the nations. There will no longer be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city. God’s servants will serve him. They will see his face. His name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun. The Lord God will give them light. They will rule for ever and ever.

So plants are... 

created by God and they are 

his gift to us, 

they are food for us, 

they depend on him, 

and they show us... 

how to grow, 

how not everything lasts forever, 

how God looks after us, 

how we need to be rooted in God, 

joined to Jesus, 

becoming more like Jesus,

and how God will bring healing and peace one day forever.

Pretty cool!  And that's just a FEW things we can learn from plants! 

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