Cypress and Myrtle loved to sing. Since they were trees, this may seem strange to us, but in God’s early world it wasn’t strange at all. Trees were a special part of God’s plan for man and the garden was full all kinds of trees, many of which were good to eat. Eden trees had fruit with juicy, mouth-watering flavors that makes me hungry just thinking of them. Some of the trees were unique only to the Garden of Eden. Two trees were extra special: the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. If you want to know more about these two trees, there is a story about them in the book of Genesis in the Bible. This story I am telling you today is about two other trees planted by God, Cypress, and Myrtle. Let’s imagine they were placed in the Garden of Eden. (Who knows, maybe they were.)
God had planted Cypress and Myrtle so close together that their branches touched in the gentle breezes, which blew softly in the garden. Myrtle was not a very large tree and was dwarfed by Cypress’ overhead canopy and 25 foot diameter. Myrtle’s delicate, light green leaves contrasted the dark green branches of Cypress. Cypress, or Cy, as he liked to be called had a deep bass voice, which resonated throughout the wood creating music more filling than the chords of a pipe organ. Myrtle had a high, clear voice, pure and clean. When she sang her voice blended in perfect harmony with Cy’s. Only your imagination can attempt to hear this music. God had created the woods perfectly to make living, musical instruments, allowing overtures and symphonic poems to be played by all the trees of the garden. Their concerts made orchestras of today sound like music from an old tin box. Consider how musical instruments in today’s orchestras are made of wood and played by talented people. Yet, they haven’t been fashioned by the Creator. Therefore, when played, they only capture in part the wood’s musical quality. How can bass viols made by man compare with the rich musical notes of mighty oaks, vibrating chords from their roots deep in the earth? Maybe, this comparison will help you understand a little the wonder of this first musical ensemble.
Branches of trees make great places for birds to build nests. Cy had an eagle’s nest up in his crown. Down below in a thick part of his trunk was a special gnarled burl, hollowed out for a pair of owls. Myrtle had a pair of canaries, which had chosen her for their home. Sometimes, the canaries joined in with the trees’ musical concerts, and other times, they would entertain the trees with a duet of their own. Cy and Myrtle were a bustle of activity. Often the canaries would fly up to visit their friends, the owls, and sometimes higher to fly with the eagles. Birds all ate fruit and plants in these early days and canaries were as safe in the owls’ burl as they were in their own nest. Myrtle loved listening to their cheerful little songs and Cy liked to look up and see the larger birds soaring in the sky above him. Down below on the ground were families of mice who had chosen special homes in a tangled passageway of roots. They spent a lot of their time gathering nuts and seeds, which the kind trees intentionally, dropped for them to harvest. All animals lived in harmony in this early, perfect world. Myrtle and Cy were very happy. They had friends living in their branches and friends living in their roots. Minerals in the ground satisfied nutritional needs, while daily drenching of dew quenched their thirst.
For Cy and Myrtle, life had been like this for several years, and not a spot of decay was in them. They lived in a perfect world glorifying their Creator. Every evening since their creation, God would come and walk in the garden in the cool of the evening to visit with man, who lived there as well. Recently, man had been given a companion by God, and man had called her woman. The trees loved these evening visits. Each day their music would climax at the time of their Creator’s walk. Sometimes angels would come and join the trees in the singing. The arrival of God triggered the finale, when Myrtle and Cy sang their saps out.
Then it happened! One day, they were singing as usual while the morning mist was still lifting and releasing its watery refreshment, when suddenly…their voices were stopped up in their throats. The song had stopped, their voices had no sound, and there was no music! What had happened? What could have stopped the music?
Myrtle was scared. “Cy! Cy! What’s happened? Why can’t we sing?”
Luckily, she could still talk, but her voice had changed. It was no longer clear and clean, but soft and wispy. She now sounded like rustling leaves in a light breeze. Cy understood her words, but was surprised at the change. Cy’s voice had changed as well and when he answered, he creaked and groaned like large limbs rubbing in the wind.
Cy answered, “The music’s no longer inside me. Let’s call for the Creator and ask Him what has happened.”
God! God! Please help us!” they cried.
Immediately God heard their cry and swiftly sent one of the angels. Flying down, the angel landed in front of Cy and Myrtle. This angel, whom they knew from past sing-a-longs, had always looked so joyous, but now gazed at them with a sad face. He began, “God had put man in charge of this earth, but today, man gave up his right to be in charge and someone else has become the ruler. You would not like singing in a world ruled by this other prince. So, God has stopped your voices and they will not return to you or your seed, until He has redeemed that which man gave away. Don’t be afraid, God’s plan is still at work in you and everything He created. When all is fulfilled, ‘Then shall all the trees of the woods rejoice before the LORD’ (Psalm 96:12 KJV). This is God’s promise to you and your seed.”
Cypress and Myrtle did not understand all the angel had explained, but they were content with God’s answer. Trees aren’t like humans, who choose what they should do and shouldn’t do. God had created all trees to glorify Himself and trusting Him was all they were designed to do.
After that day the world was different for Cy and Myrtle. The animals, which had been their friends, had changed. The canaries no longer visited the owls. They began to mistrust one another and sometimes the owls got a strange look in their eye when they spotted the canaries nestled safely in Myrtle’s thick branches below. The owls also made the mice on the ground fearful to come out from under their root-covered homes. Even the mice had changed. They used to be appreciative of the dropped seeds and cones, but lately, Cypress could feel them gnawing at his roots and burrowing tunnels which weakened his hold on the earth. Myrtle’s bark began to peel and scale off, and sometimes her branches would snap and break. Many new bugs and insects had moved into the neighborhood and began burrowing unpleasant homes deep in their trunks. The perfect world was no longer perfect. And yet, with all of these changes, the change they disliked the most was the absence of God coming for His evening walks with man. They each sensed His presence watching over them, but it wasn’t like it had been when He had walked and laughed with man underneath their branches. And man never came by any more at all. In fact they hadn’t seen man or woman, since the day they lost their voices.
As time went on, Cy and Myrtle both realized that God had been right. This wasn’t the kind of world they wanted to sing in. The years went by and the Tree of Life, which had been not far away from them, died and disappeared in a pile of decay. It had been used by God to sustain the life of man and woman, and now its use had come to an end. Other trees became diseased and died where they were standing, becoming bleached reminders of the changed world. Still others had their roots eaten away and fell over.
After several hundred years, Cy and Myrtle were two of the oldest living inhabitants on the earth. There were lots of descendants from the Eden trees, except the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. They had become extinct and so had no descendants. But Cy and Myrtle were numbered with very few trees remaining from God’s original planting. Animals had begun killing each other. Life now depended on death. It was a strange cruel world compared to what used to be so joyous.
Cy and Myrtle hadn’t seen any people since man walked in the garden with God. Then one day to their surprise a group of men came through the forest and stopped at their base. The trees were both now over 1500 years old. Cypress was the largest tree that ever grew upon this earth and had a diameter of 35 feet. Myrtle had become interlocked with him, so that their trunks were laced together, and his towering top shaded her almost completely. The trees were excited! Maybe since these men had come, God would come as well and they would be able to sing like they had in the perfect world. But much to their shock, the men began bowing down to them, worshipping, and praising them as gods of wonder and strength. Cypress and Myrtle protested as loudly as they could, but the men only heard rustling leaves and the creak of limbs.
Later, the men returned, bringing many more people with them. The people worked hard on building an altar and temple in front of the trees and offered sacrifices to them. This was more than Cy could take. He was pointing these people to God with his whole being, and they were not paying attention! His whole created purpose for glorifying God was being ignored. Whoever the new prince of the world was, he was teaching people terrible lies. At this minute Cy and Myrtle didn’t feel like singing any more, or even living for that matter.
Remember what I told you earlier in this story about trees being created to glorify God? God doesn’t change His plan, and He had foreseen this event. Over hundreds of years God had been working out His plan. The mice in their underground tunnels and root chewing activities had allowed holes for more and more insects to come in and make homes. The work God had created for them to do was now finished. For, right in the middle of a sacrifice, Cy creaked and groaned and fell to the earth with a mighty crash, completely crushing the altar and the temple the men had made. The worshippers heard the giant falling, screamed in fright, and ran like mice, never to return again. Myrtle, her trunk interlocked with Cy, had fallen with him. The two ancient trees, which had sung so beautifully for God, now lay silent upon the forest floor.
Well, that could be the end of this story, but it wouldn’t be very happy, would it? God has created us to live in hope, and so a useful plan for Cy and Myrtle was built into His divine vision.
Shortly thereafter, another man came with his three sons and discovered Cypress and Myrtle, stretched out upon the forest floor. He wasn’t like the wicked men who had worshipped the trees. He knew who the true God was and understood God’s love and the love His creation had for Him. So, he thanked God for Cypress, the tree of gopher wood, as he called it, and cut Cy into boards and planks. From this he built a large boat, called an ark. Myrtle, because her mottled, aromatic wood was so fragrant, was made into chests to store clothes for the man’s family. Noah, for that was who this man was, also made bowls and plates from Myrtle and even today, men use myrtle wood for wooden objects of beauty. So, you see, God used Cypress and Myrtle, even in death to save all of the things he had created, and thereby, glorify the Creator they loved. Descendants of Cypress and Myrtle live today and wait for a GREAT day in the future, when they will be free once again to sing to the Lord.
“For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir (cypress1) tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”
Isaiah 55:12-13 (KJV)
Have you ever stopped to think that God in the original garden used a tree to keep man living? Even today He still uses trees in the same way. God has given us trees to build our homes with. He also gave us trees, from which man makes wooden instruments, giving a reflection of the music, which came from trees originally. Trees of the earth produce the oxygen for our planet, which sustains our lives. God breathed into us the breath of life and trees maintain that breath for Him. If trees had been allowed to live forever, man would have worshipped them, rather than the Creator. Instead, He made them live a span of time and then decay, returning to the earth from which they came. They are not to be worshipped, but along with the rest of nature, point heavenward towards the Creator, glorifying Him. It will be an exciting day when the Creator, Jesus, returns and the trees sing again for joy, even as they did in the days of old. We also know that when Jesus returns to set up His kingdom, He will once again plant the Tree of Life. But this time he will plant not just one but many bordering a wide river, which will flow out from Jerusalem where He will be reigning as King. If you would like to read about this, it is in Revelation 22:3. The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil will not be replanted for we will only be thinking about good things for the rest of time. Jesus will have set us free from evil just like he is going to set the trees and all of His creation free.
1 Strongs (01265) other translation into English