This meditation is related to a type of tree that Abraham found in the thicket on Mount Moriah.
The Word of the Lord: Genesis 22.9-14: And the two of them went on together. When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham! “Here I am,” he replied. Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”
Meditation: Experienced hikers rarely attempt to hike through a thicket. They know that thick and irregular spaced trees, shrubs, and vines in the thicket can obscure the direction they want to travel. Generally, hikers travel around a thicket.
Thickets, similar to the one in which Abraham saw the ram on Mount Moriah, often contain chaste trees. Chaste trees grow as bushy, thick shrubs many with attractive white or lavender flowers.
The name “chaste” occurred because berries and leaves of the tree were believed to stop desire. A middle-ages tradition was that monks ate berries to keep themselves free from sexual desires, thus, kept themselves pure.
In twenty-first century United States, chastity is no longer valued. Often, the opposite is true in some, if not most, segments of society. Yet, when I was a girl, female chastity and purity were important.
In contrast to girls and women, male chastity wasn’t necessarily valued. In fact, men were expected to have sexual experiences prior to marriage so they could satisfy their wives.
Think about God’s expectations for chastity in humankind. Are God’s expectations different for males and females? Has God changed his mind about chaste behavior as society changed its expectations? J. Vernon McGee sums it up this way: what was once done in the back yard is now done in the front yard.
Reflection: Have you heard the words “sexual revolution?” What is it? Is it from God?
Copyright 6/23/2020:Carolyn Adams Roth