The Cedars of Lebanon

The Cedars of Lebanon

The Cedars of Lebanon.

“The righteous shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.” (Psalm 92:12).

The magnificent cedar trees in Lebanon were the most honored of all the trees in early Scripture. They are mentioned over 100 times in the Hebrew Bible, and were known in biblical times as the “king of trees.” There were good reasons people esteemed them so highly. They had a natural resistance to decay. Their oil repelled snakes and bugs. They were deliciously aromatic. They grew to majestic heights while their enormous trunks made them a picture of stability. These cedars were evergreens, beautiful in their appearance, and the cedar forests in Lebanon were breathtaking. The wood of these cedars were known around that part of the world as the very best for shipbuilding and toolmaking, and were always the wood of choice in construction of palaces. The first Temple was built with the cedars of Lebanon, as was the second Temple. So down through ancient history, the Cedars of Lebanon were a symbol of strength, beauty, durability, and majesty. Only the wealthiest could afford to use these cedars, so they became a symbol of prosperity as well.

If the righteous are to grow and flourish like a cedar of Lebanon, we have our work cut out for us:

(1.) Believers will be majestic in their influence. These cedar trees have been known to grow up to 120′ feet tall, as high as a 12-story building. Believers are to tower over the wicked in spiritual wisdom and honor;

(2.) Believers are to spread wide in their influence in the world, in their loving awareness of those around them. The cedars have branches that grow straight out horizontally, as much as 30′-50′ from the trunk. They leave a wide mark on their territory and take up a lot of space.

(3.) Believers will need to grow their roots deeply into God and His Word if they are to flourish like a cedar of Lebanon. The cedar trees grow their roots very deeply underground, the better to support the huge tree above ground. The roots usually grow as many feet under the ground as the tree grows above the ground. God’s followers will only grow as tall in their maturity as they grow deep spiritually.

(4.) Believers will thrive even when experiencing the inevitable ups and downs of daily life. Cedars do not depend on temperate climate conditions to thrive. They remain healthy year-round, from the intense heat of summer to the freezing temperatures of winter, through the drenches and the droughts. Like the cedars, the righteous thrive in all conditions.

(5.) Believers will remain stable and sturdy and pretty much immovable during difficult times. Cedars are built to withstand powerful winds and storms, growing a circumference of at least 30′. It will not sway, it will not snap in two, it will not be vulnerable to high winds and intense storms. Believers will have significant spiritual girth as they face up to life’s high winds and pressures and withstand them with a sturdy spirit.

(6.) Believers will have the capacity to “bear fruit in old age, and they shall be fresh and flourishing.” (Ps. 92:14). The cedars of Lebanon were famous for their longevity, for the long lives and endurance these trees were able to lead. Like the cedars, older believers, if the Lord wills, are given to chance to live a long life of usefulness and good health, full of sap, flourishing until the Lord calls him or her home.

Because of deforestation through the centuries, the cedars of Lebanon are unfortunately sparse in modern times. They were victims of their own usefulness and beauty, and were liberally harvested without being replaced. But when the Lord returns and creates his New Earth, guess which trees He will plant first? Yes, the cedars are mentioned first to be planted by God. (Isaiah 41:19).