Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called upon the name of the Lord, the Eternal God.
I had intended today’s blog to be on names, but during my morning devotions I came across the word tamarisk. Due to my curious nature, I couldn’t allow the word to pass by without a quick google. What I found quite surprised me. I had expected something exotic, maybe a palm tree, or a large flowering hibiscus.
Yes, a large flowering hibiscus is definitely what my mind’s eye conjured. Imagine lounging beneath the beauty of such a plant. Although not typically scented, the bright green leaves and delicate colored blooms would be enough to entice any weary to stop and rest in the heat of the day. Cut me a hole in a coconut and I’m in paradise.
Ha! My imaginings were far from reality.
There are so many different kinds of tamarisks that it is hard to pinpoint which one Abraham might have planted at Beersheba, although I’d like to think it looked something like this.
*photo came from here.
If you’re curious you can google tamarisk or eshel trees. Most of the visual images are no different than wayward dry looking shrubs that have a tendency to dot farm lands. They aren’t the prettiest site. Definitely not some place a weary traveler would seek to find shelter from the heat of the day. So, I’ll continue on with my belief that Abraham planted one like what you see here. It’s still a little ferny looking, and you don’t see any blooms. The gnarly branches add character. It also looks like it provides decent shade.
But there is so much more to the tamarisk. Check out the following links. They are well worth the read. The first delves into some Hebrew giving some awesome insight into this God-given tree.
The Hebrew word for tamarisk is eshel, whose three letters (aleph, shin, and lamed) stand for food (ochel), drink (shtiyah), and lodging or escort (lina or levaya). The ultimate host not only satisfies guests� physical needs but also personally escorts them until they are safely on their way.
The author paints a picture of God meeting the needs of traveler in the middle of the desert. How awesome is God! Please, take a moment to read Propagating Kindness.
This second link comes from Jewish Heritage Online Magazine and pretty much reiterates the first article. It’s well worth the reading time. http://jhom.com/topics/trees/eshel.htm
Isn’t it absolutely amazing how God gives us something as insignificant looking as the tamerisk to provide our needs? But I’ve come to learn that nothing mentioned in God’s word is insignificant.