April 4th, 2022 – Later Monday Evening
“Abraham planted a tamarisk tree at Beersheba, and there he called on the name of the LORD, the Everlasting God.” ~Genesis 21:33
An interesting thing happens in this verse; it may not seem abnormal in our contemporary, “civilized”, and “green” culture, but it would have made a statement then (and, in a way, it still does now). What is this interesting thing? It is the fact that Abraham planted a tamarisk tree (“tamarisk” could also mean a grove of trees) at Beersheba. Beersheba was the location where Abimelech, Phicol, and Abraham had made a pact together; they had sworn an oath by God and then had settled an issue over a water well. In planting a tree or a grove of trees, Abraham was in essence – figuratively and literally – putting down roots; he was affirming the reality that he was planning to stay in that location for a while. [“Beersheba” means “well of the sevenfold oath” (see Genesis 21:25-32 for more background); Beersheba was often used, later in Israel’s history, to refer to the southernmost area of the land of Israel. This was, of course, many hundreds of years later after the Israelites occupied the Promised Land.]
What makes Abraham’s planting of a tree or trees amazing is the fact that he called on the name of the LORD, the Everlasting God, at that same location (and seemingly in connection with the planting). Abraham put down roots after many, many years of sojourning; he was never forsaken, never forgotten, and never abandoned by the LORD. In fact, look at how the LORD had kept His promises to him over those many years (see Genesis 12:1-4 for more background)!!! Not only did the LORD bless Abraham with abundance, peace, safety, and honor, but He also gave him two sons. The irony of planting a tree (which takes many years to mature and grow) and calling on the Everlasting God (meaning He is timeless, continuous, from antiquity, etc.) is amazing; it is as though Abraham is setting up a monument of trust to the God who has been and always will be his Guide and Stay.
God does not change. That fact is clear in this passage as He is delineated as the “Everlasting” God, but there are many other references throughout His Word that reveal His unchanging, immutable nature as well. He was the Everlasting God for Abraham and He is the Eternal Father for those of us who know Him in Christ. Forever and ever and ever, He has always existed and will always exist; the God who created time was God before time began, and He will be God after time runs out. The question for us is: Will we recognize His preeminence, His authority, His faithfulness, and His trustworthiness [like Abraham did]?
My beloved friends, let us rejoice in the Everlasting God! Let us praise His holy name with our every breath; let our day(s) be filled with His praise and glory. He is the Eternal Father and the Everlasting God who always keeps His promises, who is always sovereign over us, and who is always worthy to be praised! Remember His faithfulness to Abraham, remember His faithfulness to every generation, and remember His faithfulness to you. When we choose to feast our minds on Him, we will naturally be filled with His praise and thanksgiving.