18 Mar 2013 The blessings of green
by Marilyn Mathis
The word “green” is found in many expressions of speech. A person with a special talent or skill for gardening is said to have a “green thumb.” To be “green with envy” is to want what someone else has and to not want them to have it.
Permission to proceed with an undertaking is to “get the green light.” Jealousy is described as the “green-eyed monster.” “As sure as God made little green apples” is an expression of confidence. An inexperienced person is a “green horn.”
Green isn’t just a word we use in conversations. To the ancient Celtics, green was the color of fertility, so green was the color of choice for wedding dresses as a symbol of their desire to bear children. The Egyptians saw green as hopeful. Modern studies have shown that if your environment is saturated with green you will have fewer stomachaches. (Take note those of you who struggle with your cooking skills. Paint your kitchen green!)
This is all interesting, but what does the Bible have to say about “green?”
Genesis 1:29-30 is the first time the word green is used in the Bible. “Then God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food,’ and it was so.”
On the sixth day of creation, God took care of the need for food. He is Jehovah-jireh, the God who provides.
Revelation 9:4 is the last reference to the word green in scripture. “They (locusts) were told not to hurt the grass of the earth, nor any ‘green’ thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.”
In context, God is speaking about the period known as the seven years of tribulation. He is still caring and providing for His creation. Not only is He our Provider, but He is Sovereign. The locusts were limited in their destruction to “only” what God allowed.
From these two passages using the word “green,” we can know with confidence that heaven rules — God is in control! King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon saw himself as the one who ruled and reigned, but was told that he would suffer “until you recognize that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever He wishes . . . Your kingdom will be assured to you after you recognize that it is Heaven that rules” (Daniel 4:25-26). Like this ancient king, we must recognize that God rules and our lives are in His control.
The Lord will provide! God’s provision for His people includes far more than just physical necessities. “My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). God’s greatest provision for us is His Son, Jesus. In Him, we have redemption and the forgiveness of our sins. “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:2). We deserved to die for our sins, but God provided Jesus, “who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:2).
Cesare Borgia, the son of Pope Alexander VI, lived a life of rebellion and treachery. When he came face to face with death, he cried, “When I lived, I provided for everything but death; now I must die, and I am unprovided to die.” What provision has been made for your sins? By faith accept the provision of Christ for eternity and for your day-to-day needs.
“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy . . . be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen” (Jude 24-25). Praise Him! HE IS ABLE!
A Conway resident, Marilyn Mathis is a wife, mother, Nana and teaching leader for First Wednesday Lunch Break. Readers can reach her at [email protected].