Monday August 29, 2022 – The Old Testament & the Southern Magnolia tree

Psalm 119:130  The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.

An interesting insight occurred to me recently.  It connects the Old Testament to Southern Magnolia trees.  In this insight, the attributes of the tree are reflective of the view that a person has of the Old Testament.  I realize that many of you might not be aware of what a Southern Magnolia looks like, but we’ll get to that.

If the Old Testament is something that we don’t read much, except for some of the Psalms or Proverbs, than the tree that is reflected by our actions is very small with few flowers on it – if any.  We have a misperception of what it is and what the Lord has there for us.  But here is where the other side of the coin comes in to play.  What is the true reality of what Southern Magnolia are?

I thought they were at most trees that could grow to 20’-25’ high and I had never seen one loaded with flowers.  I still remember how stunned I was to see how big these trees can be and to see them in full bloom!  They can grow to 80’– 90’ tall.  In the spring and early summer they are covered with huge flowers that can be over a foot in diameter.  The beauty of these flowers is amazing and their fragrance is incredible.  I never cease to be amazed by seeing the buds grow and turn white and then open into such spectacular flowers.  The Old Testament and what God has there for us is even more stunning!

The Old Testament is not a small flowerless tree.  It is a very large tree, filled with flowers that are open and buds that are about to be.  The Lord is beckoning us to come and look for them.  It is a treasure to be studied just as the New Testament is.  Once we recognize what the Lord has for us there, we spend more time in it – and our perception and appreciation for it grows.

The insights that the Lord gives us are like the flowers that open on the Southern Magnolia.  We can be reading a passage of Scripture and the Lord just unfolds an amazing truth or insight to us, just like the Magnolia blossom opening.  I think of time-lapse photography that shows in seconds what might take hours or days to happen.  We are captured by the beauty and blessing of what we are seeing.

I was so blessed when we lived in Tennessee because these trees were everywhere.  Thinking of them, I am reminded of all the treasure the Lord has in the Old Testament that He wants to bless us with.  Every time we see things in His Word, it is just another magnificent, fragrant flower opening up on this magnificent ‘tree’.


About Don Schmidt

Beginning in the fall of 2009, Don was VP of Operations & Director of Student Life for 2 years at Williamson Christian College in Franklin, TN - a wonderful, accredited 4 year college for adult learners. That is where he started writing the devotionals. The passion of his heart is to love God and to help others learn to love God more and more. He grew up in St. Joseph, MI - Class of '66. Graduated from Michigan State in '70 and Wheaton Grad School in '78. Thunderous conversion October 11, 1968. He and Donna were engaged 2 hrs & 15 minutes after they met August 25, 1969 at a Christian camp in Georgia. They married in '70 and have 4 wonderful sons. Most of his adult career has been in business in NE Ohio. They lived for 20 years in Peninsula, OH. They attended St. Luke's Ministries (Anglican) in Copley, OH for many years. Six years ago they were reassigned by the Lord to attend River of Life Community Church in Hudson, OH. St. Luke's prayerfully sent them off on this new adventure with much love.
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