In a journal article in Nature Materials, MIT researchers explained how they have helped turn spinach plants into “bomb sniffing machines.” The plants were embedded with tiny carbon tubes to help them detect “nitroaromatics” (chemical compounds used in explosives). Once the plant detects the compound in the air, it emits a fluorescent signal that is picked up by an infrared camera and wirelessly notifies a smartphone.
You see, plants have impressive skills when monitoring the chemistry of their environment. And they often react quickly – so quickly that they are able to “speak” in real-time. It will be years before bomb-sniffing dogs are out of a job; nevertheless, it is nice to know that scientists are listening to the plants.
As it turns out, Job suggested listening to the earth a long time ago. “But now ask the beasts, and let them teach you; and the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you. Or speak to the earth, and let it teach you; and let the fish of the sea declare to you” (Job 12:7-8). And what would they say? “Who among all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this…” (9).
If plants can warn us about bombs, I wonder what else they could declare? What if the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil could have warned Adam & Eve? If we could hear the groaning of the earth, stained by Abel’s blood, would there be fewer murders?
Job says that the world is screaming, “God made us!” And if it could, the earth would warn us to follow God’s way. Will you hear today?
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God” (Revelation 2:7).