The Abundance of the Trees
Psalm 104:16-17
The trees of the LORD are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which he has planted;…

In A.V. the words "of sap" are added by the translator; in R.V. the translation is, "The trees of the Lord are satisfied." I think that the true meaning is indicated by A.V. without the addition of the words "of sap," which the translators added. It is not contentment which the trees suggest to the writer; it is not merely abundance of moisture or sap in their veins; vegetation suggests fulness, abundance. The trees of the Lord are full of everything — full of sap, full of leaves, full of blossoms, full of fruit, full of shade, full of singing-birds, full of seeds for new trees. It is very strange that men should not understand the message which the abundant provision of God in nature has for them. If this teeming earth were cultivated, and all that she offers in her palm were freely distributed, there would be no hungry men in all this globe of ours. But if God thus provides for the body which to-day is and to-morrow is not, does He make only niggardly provision for the soul? No, no. The trees of the Lord are full — always full (2 Corinthians 9:8).

1. The grace of God is like the vegetation of the earth, in all places. Climb the Alp, and far up on its side you pluck the edelweiss. God was here before you. Go out upon the desert, and far out in that sterile plain you find the waving palm growing beside the spring. God was there before you. Go with your message of cheer to some down-town ward where men are crowded together thicker than corpses in a cemetery, and between the chinks in the pavement are seen blades of grass. God was there before you. As in nature, so in grace. God's prophets are not all confined to Judaism; God's grace is not all confined to Christendom. Wherever a man has been found bowing the knee and lifting up the heart, there God's grace has been responding; for God's grace reaches unto all them that call upon Him, by whatever name, through whatever form, in whatever service.

2. As God's grace is everywhere, like the trees, God's grace is freely offered unto all, as the forest offers its shade alike to the wild beast and to the domestic animal, and its shelter for nests alike to the large and the little, and drops its fruit alike into the hands of the good and the evil.

3. The grace of God, like the trees of God, is everywhere, and for every one; and it is clothed with a great, great power. Ask the child what is the greatest manifestation of force in the world. Perhaps he will summon you to the battlefield. "Listen," he will say, "to all these cannon belching out their thunderous tones; what power there is." Perhaps he will carry you to the factory. "See," he will say, "this ponderous engine driving its great wheels, and stirring all thin factory with its vibrating life." But when he is wiser he will go to the forest, where there is no sound of hammer or of saw, no buzz or bustle of wheel, no bang as of cannon; but in one great forest more power is wrought, it is said, than in all the factories in the world put together. The power of God is the power of a silent love. The still, small voice is more than the fire, the tempest, or the earthquake. Not in Sinai, but in Calvary; not in deluge of water or destroying flame, but in the manger and the cross, is the power of God witnessed.

4. "My God shall supply all your need." There is scarce any physical need of man which the carpeted and sheltering earth does not provide. And this is what the abundant trees whisper, bending their leaves to you, to repeat the message: "God is able to make all grace, abound toward you, that you at all times, having all sufficiency in all things, may abound unto all good works." We need not wait for the great transition, but here and now we may walk by the river of the water of life, we may walk under the shade of those trees whose leaves are for the healing of the nations, and we may pluck the fruit of that only tree that bears its fruit every month. Other trees lie bare and sere through the long winter; other trees drop their fruit only in the autumn time; but this tree of life, of which they are, after all, but a poor symbol, gives forth its fruit in every month, and every manner of fruit for every manner of need; and here and now we may harvest them, fed on food more life-giving and sheltered by shade more comforting than the Garden of Eden ever knew.

(Lyman Abbot, D.D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: The trees of the LORD are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted;

WEB: Yahweh's trees are well watered, the cedars of Lebanon, which he has planted;

Little Birds and Cedars
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