Thyine wood

When I’m reading the Bible I sometimes find a word or phrase that catches my attention and sticks with me. This week I was studying Revelation 18 and read: “things made of fragrant thyine wood” in verse 12 (NLT). I’m a country boy. I took wood shop in high school. However, I’ve never heard of thyine wood… so I did my research (which means I typed thyine wood into my Internet search engine).

Thyine wood is a 15th-century English name for a wood from the tree known botanically as Tetraclinis articulata (syn. Callitris quadrivalvis, Thuja articulata). The name is derived from the Greek word thuon, “fragrant wood,” or possibly thuein, “to sacrifice”, and it was so called because it was burnt in sacrifices, on account of its fragrance. [1]

That’s interesting because chapter 18 is about the future destruction of the city of Babylon. Why would citizens of this epicenter for evil behavior purchase wood for sacrifices to God? The short answer is “they didn’t”. What they purchased was “things made of fragrant thyine wood”. This means that we can misuse what is good and turn it toward what is evil, outside God’s desire for His children to live a life free from the tyranny of sin (Romans 6:12).

Let’s take inventory. Is there anything you’re using inappropriately? Sex outside marriage? Run the other direction. Wealth without generosity? Give it away. Pride in self? Offer credit and gratitude to your Creator. Have you made a good thing the ultimate thing? When any “good” is elevated to “god”, it has become an idol. God won’t leave you there. He’s a jealous God (Exodus 34:14).

Let’s spend this week looking for the thyine wood in our lives. Let’s make sure it’s being used for its intended purpose: to honor our God, our Savior, our King. Let our worship be a fragrant sacrifice!




About Tony Schmitz

Tony Schmitz received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Temple University in 1993, his MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1996, and his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1999. He is a mechanical engineering professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
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