Union Ridge Church

September 24, 2020

by Reverend Dan on September 24, 2020

“The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, "If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost - also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!"

                                                          Numbers 11:4-6


Who knew watermelon was in the Bible? (I know, it could be cantaloupe or honeydew or some other type of melon, but they wouldn’t fit the devotional. Work with me here, folks.)


The reason I noticed this was because for some reason, I have really enjoyed watermelon this summer. I remember it as a child – outside only - with seed spitting contests not only allowed but encouraged. Then as I became an adult, my fascination with it weaned for some reason. Then I heard about seedless watermelons – easier to eat but in my opinion, not as flavorful as those with seeds so I still didn’t eat it very much. But this summer – man, oh, man, as fast as Maria can cut them up, I’m standing there like a five-year-old eating away.


I did a little research on watermelons. Back during biblical times, the “meat” of the watermelon was white. Then with a little genetic farming (before it was called genetic farming), the meat began to turn red while the inside of the rind remained white. After that, the agricultural geneticist began to develop the seedless watermelon, and with that change watermelons became smaller and smaller. And recently, over in Japan, they have begun to use metal “frames” to grow watermelons that are square and easier to store and handle.


It was during my research that I came across something William Jennings Bryant said that really got me to thinking about a watermelon. Bryant was a congressman from Nebraska in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, was Secretary of State under Woodrow Wilson, and lost three presidential elections as the Democratic nominee. He is probably best remembered, however, for attacking the teaching of evolution in the Scopes Trial in 1925.


Bryant said, “I have observed the power of the watermelon seed. It has the power of drawing from the ground and through itself 200,000 times its weight. When you can tell me how it takes this material and out of it colors an outside surface beyond the imitation of art, and then forms inside of it a white rind and within that again a red heart, thickly inlaid with black seeds, each one of which in turn is capable of drawing through itself 200,000 times its weight – when you can explain to me the mystery of a watermelon, you can ask me to explain the mystery of God.”


Wow. I thought I was doing pretty good with my pitiful little ruminations about watermelons until I read that. It seems Mr. Bryant realizes that in even something as seemingly innocuous as the watermelon, God is still creating.


"Father, Thank you for Your creating Hand which never leaves Your creation.  In Jesus' name, AMEN."