The Splendor of Jehovah’s Creation
“The Trees of Jehovah Are Satisfied”
HAVE you ever stood in a forest as rays of sunlight streamed between towering trees? Could you hear a rustling as a breeze passed through the leaves?—Isaiah 7:2.
In some areas of the earth during part of the year, the leaves of various trees virtually blaze with shades of red, orange, yellow, and other colors. Why, it is as though the woods are set aflame! How well this fits the exclamation: “Become cheerful, you mountains, with joyful outcry, you forest and all you trees in it!”—Isaiah 44:23. *
Almost one third of the land area of planet Earth is covered by forest. In a magnificent way, the forest and the abundant life in it glorify their Designer and Creator, Jehovah God. “Praise Jehovah,” sang the inspired psalmist, “you fruit trees and all you cedars.”—Psalm 148:7-9.
“Trees are vital to man’s existence both materially and aesthetically,” states the book The Trees Around Us. Forests protect, sustain, and improve mankind’s supplies of fresh water. Trees also purify the air. By means of the marvelous process of photosynthesis, leaf cells convert carbon dioxide, water, minerals, and sunlight into nutrients and oxygen.
The forest is a masterpiece of beauty and design. Massive trees are usually the most impressive members of the forest. Growing among them are countless ferns, mosses, vines, shrubs, and herbs. Such plants depend on the environment the trees create, growing in their shade and absorbing moisture that the forest provides.
In some deciduous forests, up to ten million leaves may fall on a single acre [25 million leaves per ha] of forest floor in the latter part of the year. What happens to them? Insects, fungi, worms, and other organisms ultimately convert all this organic material into humus, a vital ingredient of fertile soil. Yes, nothing is wasted as these silent workers prepare the soil for new growth.
Beneath the dead leaves, the soil of a forest teems with life. According to the book The Forest, “as many as 1,350 creatures . . . may be found in an area a foot [30 cm] square and an inch [2.5 cm] deep, and that does not include the billions of microscopic organisms in every handful of earth.” Furthermore, the forest teems with reptiles, birds, insects, and mammals. Who should receive the credit for this beauty and variety? Appropriately, their Creator declares: “To me belongs every wild animal of the forest, the beasts upon a thousand mountains.”—Psalm 50:10.
Some animals have been created with a remarkable ability to hibernate and survive the harshness of a cold winter and extended periods of food shortage. Not all animals hibernate, however. Even in the middle of winter, you may see a herd of deer bounding across a field. Deer neither hibernate nor store food, but they forage, nibbling at tender twigs and buds, as you can see in the accompanying picture from Germany.
Plant life is featured prominently in the Scriptures. According to one count, the Bible mentions close to 130 distinctive plants, including some 30 kinds of trees. Commenting on the significance of such references, botanist Michael Zohary notes: “Even in ordinary non-professional secular literature, one does not find so high a proportion of reference to plants related to various aspects of life as that which appears in the Bible.”
Trees and forests are exquisite gifts from a loving Creator. If we have spent time in the woods, surely we agree with the psalmist’s words: “The trees of Jehovah are satisfied, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted, where the birds themselves make nests.”—Psalm 104:16, 17.
^ par. 4 See the 2004 Calendar of Jehovah’s Witnesses, January/February.
[Box/Pictures on page 9]
One of the most impressive fruit trees of the Middle East is the almond tree. Early in the year—well before most other trees—it awakens from its sleep. The ancient Hebrews called the almond tree the awakening one, alluding to its early flowering. The tree virtually wakes up with its mantle of delicate pink or white blossoms.—Ecclesiastes 12:5.
Of the some 9,000 known species of birds, about 5,000 are classed as songbirds. Their songs break the silence of the deep forest. (Psalm 104:12) For instance, the song sparrow has a cheerful repertoire. Mourning warblers, like the one pictured here, are little songsters adorned in dramatic combinations of gray, yellow, and olive green.—Psalm 148:1, 10.
[Picture on page 9]
Forest in Normandy, France