God's Bountiful Country (Rainforests)

Daily Devotions

Average reading time is about 5 and a half minutes
AN AMAZING FACT: The most densely concentrated area of life on the planet is the tropical rainforest. In fact, researchers found that just a 4-mile-square patch of rainforest contains as many as 1,500 species of flowering plants, 750 species of trees, 125 mammal species, 400 species of birds, 100 species of reptiles, 60 species of amphibians, and 150 different species of butterflies. A single pond in Brazil is home to more fish species than can be found in all of Europe’s rivers, while the fish species in the Amazon River outnumber those in the Atlantic Ocean! But of the estimated 5 million species in the rainforest, only a small percentage has been named, much less studied.
The rainforest is also a cornucopia of produce, with over 3,000 varieties of fruit. Fruits like avocados, coconuts, figs, oranges, lemons, grapefruit, bananas, guavas, pineapples, mangoes, and tomatoes all originated in tropical rainforests. Even so, the rainforest’s bounty is largely undiscovered by the Western world: of the 3,000 varieties, Westerners only use around 200.

In addition, the rainforest contains a pharmaceutical gold mine. Nearly half of our medicinal compounds come from the plant life in the tropical rainforest, including drugs for childhood leukemia and heart disease. Yet these riches are largely unmined, as less than 1 percent of tropical plants and trees have been tested by scientists.

Rainforests are a living dynamo of animals, plants, and medicines, but instead of discovering and enjoying its bounty, man is destroying it at the rate of 1 acre every minute. While rainforests used to cover fifteen percent of the Earth’s land area, today they cover less than seven percent. In the book of Jeremiah, God expresses His displeasure over how Israel treated the Promised Land: “I brought you into a bountiful country, to eat its fruit and its goodness. But when you entered, you defiled My land And made My heritage an abomination” (Jeremiah 2:7). The book of Revelation makes it plain that God will eventually “destroy those who destroy the earth” (Revelation 11:18). As the Earth’s caretakers, shouldn’t we do our best to preserve His bountiful country?

And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. Revelation 11:18

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