Northern California is the location of the giant sequoia trees. According to information from The Sequoia National Park website, the tallest of them tops out at somewhere around 300 feet with a base circumference of 40 feet. Their branches can be up to 8 feet in diameter and their bark is three feet thick. They weigh up to 2.7 million pounds and the oldest ones have been around since Solomon’s time.
Not far from them are the giant redwood trees. The tallest of these is almost 400 feet with a base circumference of 22 feet. Their branches can be up to 5 feet in diameter and their bark is 12 inches thick. They weigh up to 1.6 million pounds and the oldest have been around since the time of Christ.
Anyone, with a good pair of binoculars, can see the seeds in these trees—or actually the cones containing the seeds. (The seeds themselves are quite small). The bigger challenge is to see the trees in the seeds. Although they grow quickly (as high as 30 feet in ten years and 100 feet in 50 years), if you planted them today it would take them somewhere between 500 and 750 years to reach their full height. That’s something you’d never live to see so it would require some faith to visualize it.
God took Abraham outside one starry night and had him gaze up at the sky. He told him his descendants would be as innumerable as the stars. Genesis 15:6 says that “Abraham believed God.” Some people believe in God in the way that you believe in the Grand Canyon—they acknowledge His existence but it doesn’t really affect their life in one way or the other. The text doesn’t say Abraham believed in God, it says he believed God. He trusted in His power, believed in His character, and put his life at God’s disposal. And because of that he saw the trees in the seeds.
That’s the kind of thing that can happen when we allow God to change our thinking. Before this, Abraham could only see the seeds in the tree and was convinced his servant would inherit everything (v. 2-3). But he was willing to exchange his view of the future for God’s (something the people of Babel weren’t willing to do 9:1 with 11:3-4).
We’re often under the impression that the greatest move we can make is to a bigger house, better part of town, a nicer job, etc. It’s not. The greatest move we can make is when we move from what we can see and understand to what God can do.
God saw his faith and said, “This is a man I can build a nation around. This is a man I can bless the world through.” And He did just that.
I wonder what God says about us?