Israel–God’s Eternal Evergreen…
Merry Christmas Lovers of Israel,
Long before the dawn of Christianity, plants and trees that remained green all year had a special meaning for people during the dark days of the winter solstice. Did you know that Germany started the Christmas tree tradition which we know today during the 16th century? By the 19th century, Christmas trees stood in one out of every five homes and today there are millions of Christmas trees decorated throughout the world in celebration of Christ’s birth.
Did you know that the olive tree is an evergreen tree that has been cultivated for over 8000 years? The olive oil that comes from the fruit of the olive tree yields itself under extreme pressure. Huge millstones extract, through the process of pressure, the olive oil that contains many benefits as it presses the olive berries. The first press produces extra virgin olive oil–sanctified it becomes anointing oil; the second press produces oil used for medicine; and, the third and final press produces oil used for soap.
Over thousands of years, the olive oil from these evergreen trees has provided fuel to light lamps. In scripture, we find where the people of Israel were commanded to bring pure oil of beaten (pounded) olives (not pressed olives) for the lamp in the tabernacle and they were told to keep it burning continually from evening until morning before the Lord and this was to be a permanent regulation through all generations of the people of Israel. (Exodus 27:20-21)
We find the olive tree throughout scripture to be a description of both Israel the people and Israel the land. This symbolism draws the covenant connection between the land and the people of Israel.
In Deuteronomy 6, the Lord promises to give the land He swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to His people. The place where olive trees grow that Israel did not plant.
In Jeremiah 11, the Lord calls Israel, His people, by the name ‘Green Olive Tree,’ which is lovely, full of leaves and good fruit, and a people that He planted in their promised land.
In Zechariah 4, the prophet sees a vision of a golden Menorah and two olive trees standing on either side. The Lord reveals to the prophet that the two olive branches discharging oil through the two gold spouts are two men who have been anointed with oil; they are standing with the Lord of all the land.
In Hosea 14, the Lord says that He will heal His people’s backsliding, will love His people freely and will be like the dew to them and their beauty shall be like an olive tree.
In Amos 9, the Lord promises restoration to Israel, His natural olive tree, He promises to plant them in their land, and no longer will they be pulled up from the land He has given them.
In Romans 11, Paul’s revelation reveals the cultivated olive tree is God’s own olive tree and declares God’s ability to graft wild branches into His olive tree so they too can become partakers of the root and the fatness of the olive tree. God will graft wild branches-in and will graft natural broken branches back into His original olive tree. Paul warns the branches not to boast, but they are to remember the branches do not support the root, but the root supports the branches.
Jesus pressed into the perfect will of the Father through prayer in the olive grove of Gethsemane (in Hebrew ‘Gat Shemanim’ means ‘a press of oils’ aka ‘oil press’). Hidden in these divine events we can draw a perfect image of the olive tree in God’s Plans. Just like the pressing of olive berries produces anointing oil, medicine and soap; Jesus was pressed and the Fruit of His Body produced God’s Anointing, God’s healing–resurrection power and God’s cleansing power that removes sin. He was pure yet He was beaten (pounded) confirming His Words, ‘I am the Light of the World.’ The olive tree is a natural reminder that speaks of the Truth that all that is GOOD comes through the process of pressing. (Philippians 3:12)
As winter settles in, let us remember God’s eternal evergreen–Israel God’s olive tree nurtured by His Loving-Kindness and Faithfulness for thousands upon thousands of years. Israel and the Jewish people chosen by God to be His ‘witnesses’ and ‘servant’ to know, to believe and to understand that He alone is God and there is none after Him. (Isaiah 43:10)
Christmas trees only stand for a short season but the eternal evergreen of God stands growing year-after-year. This Christmas plant an olive tree in remembrance of God’s eternal Love and Faithfulness to His Word and to His people. When you plant your olive tree in the Holy Land of Israel, you become a part of God’s sustaining force of Love that continually lifts Israel, ‘the Apple of His Eye.’ Let your seed be a supernatural connection that draws-out and lifts-up your deep love toward Israel and the Jewish people. Our prayer is, ‘may God’s eternal olive tree prosper and grow where the Father has planted it and that He blesses those that bless Israel.’ (Genesis 12:3)
Blessings to you, your family and friends this Christmas, may each one be like a green olive tree in the house of God, trusting in the Mercies of God forever and ever. (Psalms 52:8)
Moshe Bar Zvi