Clapping Trees

Last week I traveled to Los Angeles with my husband. He had work obligations and I toured around in traffic. We had the great privilege of visiting some friends of ours living in Visalia, just a couple of hours north of LA. On Sunday they took us up to the mountains to see the giant sequoia trees.  They were so huge and the visual experience was complimented by the wonderful scented air.

These huge trees reminded me of the verse that says that the trees of the field will clap their hands so I looked it up when we got home.

For you will go out with joy and be led forth with peace; The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, And all the trees of the field will clap their hands.  Isaiah 55:12

Let me tell you – when these trees start clapping we will hear it!

Isaiah 55 is a psalm that tells us that God is in control particularly when we are not. We are the thirsty, impoverished, and dying. He is merciful to the nations and calling the wandering soul home. He satisfies every good desire.  This song contains the famous passage, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways.” (8) The grounded fruitfulness of the created earth is used to illustrate the power of God’s words. “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” (10-11)

This brings us to verse 12, the trees clapping verse. Why are the mountains and hills shouting for joy?  Why do the trees clap their hands?

For you will go out with joy and be led forth with peace.” The captives are leaving their captivity. They are free; they are at peace! They are pardoned and given new life. “Instead of the thorn bush the cypress will come up, and instead of the nettle the myrtle will come up, and it will be a memorial to the LORD, for an everlasting sign which will not be cut off.” (13)

God’s deliverance will not be forgotten; it is an eternal deliverance, it is a producing deliverance. The trees are clapping. Can you hear them? Will you join them?

Giant sequioas

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