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Friday, May 20, 2005

Green Plants

We are absolutely dependent on green plants. Without them, we would have almost nothing to eat, because either we eat them directly, or we eat animals that eat them, or we eat the products (milk and eggs) of animals that eat them.

There is a common misconception that we depend on green plants for Oxygen. It is true that they give off Oxygen, and that we breathe it, but there is enough Oxygen in the atmosphere already to supply our needs for centuries. We would starve to death in much less time, if there were no plants.

But it's not just food. They provide us with fabrics and paper, and with chemicals like turpentine, building materials, fuel, medicines, shade, and, of course, beauty. That list is not exhaustive.

Here's what a psalmist had to say about plants:

Psalm 104:14 He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, And herb for the service of man; That he may bring forth food out of the earth, 15 And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, [And] oil to make his face to shine, And bread that strengtheneth man's heart. 16 The trees of Jehovah are filled [with moisture], The cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted; 17 Where the birds make their nests: As for the stork, the fir-trees are her house. (ASV)

They do a lot of things.

The same writer also said, of all of God's creations: Psalm 104:24 O Jehovah, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast thou made them all: The earth is full of thy riches. (ASV)

We don't often recognize the "riches" that plants make available to us.

In previous posts, which were on flowers currently on display, in their quiet way, in upstate South Carolina, I have highlighted three families of plants. There are many more flowering plants that could have been mentioned--plants that provide us with rubber, with coffee and tea, with melons and peppers, with flour and pasta, with cranberries and carrots, with mustard, ketchup and potatoes. There are many with leaves, roots, stems and flowers that enrich us and delight us. There are "manifold," no doubt, that are just as remarkable, but are unfamiliar to us.

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