"But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree; and he requested for himself that he might die, and said, "It is enough; now, O LORD, take my life, for I am not better than my fathers."
I Kings 19:4 (New American Standard Bible)
He sat down under a juniper tree -- of what importance was the type of tree anyway that the author of I Kings was inspired to include this tidbit in his writing. That question jumped out at me as I studied I Kings 18 & 19 in preparation to lead the women's Sunday School class this week. The author's focus is "The Faith Test." (You may wish to read the account to refresh your memory on the details. The NIV calls it a broom tree, by the way. King James and New American Standard refer to a Juniper tree.)
Elijah's faith is certainly being put to the test here. He has just asked God to call down fire on the very wet offering in the showdown with Baal's followers. WOW! Has he ever seen some incredible proof of The Living God! So did all the Baal followers; and now Elijah's life is threatened. In just a few short verses we find him sitting under a tree bemoaning his condition to The Living God -- the same ONE. Eventually, Elijah did hear God in the midst of his life seemingly gone awry. . . but why under the Juniper tree?
Here comes the aromatherapist part of me seeking some insight. It's just no mere incidental that the author of I Kings was divinely inspired to include the make & model of the tree. Juniper has historically been used for physical and spiritual purification. It's aromatic influence is noted today for evoking feelings of health, love, and peace and may help to elevate one's spiritual awareness. Sounds like exactly the Rx Elijah needed. Isn't God's Word just full of amazing details!?!?!
Photo above, "Beautiful Tree at Echo Lake" is by Jessica Merz from the Every Stock Photo website.
If you would like to experience the benefits of juniper just as Elijah did, pure therapeutic grade Juniper Essential Oil and essential oils diffuser are available today from Young Living Essential Oils.