Elijah at the brook Cherith

 

What should we learn from this episode in the fiery prophet’s life? One thing Rev. Bleyenberg makes clear is that Israel (Northern Kingdom) has grievously apostatised from true religion and as a result God withdraws his word (Amos 8:11). When churches like the Church of Scotland AND Church of England apostatise, which they have as denominations Christ withdraws his presence and grace and it is the calling of his elect people to come out, be separate and raise their voices against the wicked compromises with the world. For Elijah it meant safety, separation and provision. Following Christ faithfully will never leave us needy (Romans 8:32).

Almug trees

Algum Trees and Wood

The use of algum wood when Solomon built the Temple is recorded in two places: 1 Kings 10:11-12; and 2 Chronicles 9:10-11.

During Solomon’s reign, more algum wood was imported than ever seen previously in Israel.  Algum wood was used to make stairs and banisters for the Temple and royal palace complex.  It was used extensively in the stringed instrument section of the Temple, e.g., in harps and lyres. The musical instruments were so beautiful that they were a marvel in Judah.  The almug tree yields heavy, fine-grained wood that is notably black on the surfaces yet polishes to a rich ruby or garnet color.  In addition to being strong, it is antiseptic which makes it impervious to most insects, e.g., termites, as no insects will live inside the wood.

The algum tree of the Bible was from the Pterocarpus santalinus known as red sandalwood, Red Saunders and Red Sanders.  Sandalwood is native to southern India and does not naturally grow in Israel.  The algum is a deciduous tree between 33-65 feet tall.  The red sandalwood is considered endangered because its natural habitat in India is subjected to human encroachment. The algum tree has a number of useful products.  The hard, heavy heart wood can be used for carpentry and for fence posts.  Bark and stems are made into a red dye which gives a deep ruby red color to silken and woolen clothes.  Currently, the dye is used as a brightening substance in tea mixtures and a coloring agent in toothpaste.