Down Nature's Paths



GRASS is an odd subject for December reading. Yet life on the whole globe in December is dependent on it. Grass was the first organic life God created. Thus food was provided before the animals and man were created.

So grass feeds the world. Wheat, corn, oats, barley, rice, and rye are grasses. Another group of grasses furnish sugar and all its by-products. Still other grasses furnish all manner of mechanical products, also medicines, oils, and clothing. Grasses are the source of "... man's bread and meat, Many things good, and most things sweet."

Among all the products of grass I am thinking of bread in December. A friend has just brought me a gift loaf of her homemade bread, warm from the oven; and its fragrance fills the room. The warmth, the gladness, the joy of summer fields are in that aroma. In memory rise the beautiful hills whose ridges God watered abundantly, whose furrows He settled, whose soil He made soft by His showers, whose springing He blessed. The little hills rejoice on every side. "The valleys also are covered over with corn; they shout for joy, they also sing." Psalm 65:9-13.

This singing of the grass is no figment of the poet's fancy. The rustling of the corn is musical. It is instinct with life. Hardheaded farmers in the "corn belt" insist that on still, hot nights there is a murmur of life in their fields; one can hear the corn grow. What hymns of praise we might hear if our ears now had the range of audition of our sinless first parents!

God's love is written on every springing blade of grass. But through no grasses does He manifest His love more than through the cereal grasses-the source of bread. Man's lawlessness is fast obliterating the image of God in the human soul; modern society is swiftly becoming paganized. Men worship science; but they selfishly and ignorantly destroy the natural resources of the soil until today they are literally destroying the earth, and ultimately God must destroy them. (Revelation 11:18.) But until the day of doom arrives, God still promises grass. "While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease." Genesis 8:22.

On every hand the omens increase that the day of reckoning is approaching. One of them is modern commercial baking. My fragrant gift would not be so unusual if all men had lived on the land as God planned. And if those who are on the land had managed the soil as God taught ancient Israel, it would not now be so depleted of vitamins that malnutrition is prevalent in the midst of abundant eating. The course of the Israelites, described in Leviticus 26, is symbolic of the course of the world hastening to its end. Verse twenty-six suggests modern commercial baking of devitalized bread: "And when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver you your bread again by weight: and ye shall eat, and not be satisfied."

Come, Lord Jesus, and bring the new earth.