Sunday, October 8, 2017

Daily Bible Reading - October 8, 2017

Today's Reading:

Revelation 9

Nehemiah 12

Psalm 104:1-23

Listen to the Bible







Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading   

Today is the third day of the Feast of Tabernacles.
Today, we will be studying Lessons in the Trees (part 1 of 2). Our focus will be on the significance of the trees we find in the Tabernacles festival. Today we will be looking into the spiritual message and meaning of the Myrtle and Palm trees.

Trees, in the Bible, are a symbol of people. (Read Judges 9:8-14). Each type of tree symbolizes a different aspect of character in people. Lush and valuable trees represent godly characteristics, while brambles represent ungodly characteristics.

Tabernacles primarily points to the End of Time (being God will forever Tabernacle with man), thus, the primary significance of the trees at Tabernacles is End-time as well. In fact, the trees used in the Sukkah all point to characteristics of Yahweh’s end-time people.

The prophet Zechariah sheds a great deal of light on the spiritual significance of myrtle trees. In his last vision, the four colors of horses we find in the seals of Revelation 6 are racing throughout the earth. 

But in Zechariah’s first vision, the red horse and rider are seen standing among the myrtle trees. I shared the spiritual significance of this in my blog on August 15

Myrtle trees were used to construct the Sukkahs at Tabernacles, as it says in, Nehemiah 8.

Nehemiah 8:15-16   “…Go forth unto the mount, and fetch olive branches, and pine branches, and myrtle branches, and palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to make booths, as it is written.  So the people went forth, and brought them, and made themselves booths, every one upon the roof of his house, and in their courts, and in the courts of the house of God, and in the street of the water gate, and in the street of the gate of Ephraim.”
In Leviticus 23:40, we see that we are to use the myrtle trees as part of our Tabernacle Feast rejoicing.  Many have taken this verse and translated it into a hand-held lulav that is waved in a sort of dance ceremony throughout the feast. We don’t do this as we can’t see where that is what the Scriptures meant, at least at this point. We’re always open to learning. 

But, definitely, the myrtle was part of rejoicing at Tabernacles. And the myrtle was specifically to be present in the Sukkah branches.

In Isaiah 55:13 we find an interesting promise to the myrtle tree people.
Isaiah 55:13 - "Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to Yahweh for a Name, for an everlasting Sign that shall not be cut off."

The word Name here is from the Hebrew word Shem, meaning mark of character and authority. Yahweh’s character mark is His seal. The Bible also says that Yahweh’s End-time people will be sealed in His Name (Revelation 14:1).

This group who have the Father’s Name written in their foreheads are the 144,000!  This is the special group that Yahweh will display before the universe as evidence of what sinful man could become through His power and grace.
Thus we find that the myrtle trees are the End-time people who perfectly display God’s character and are without fault before His Throne, as it says in Revelation.

What is special about the myrtle tree to cause it to be chosen to represent the 144,000?

Myrtle trees grow in the valleys around Jerusalem, and are characterized by their dark, green, glossy leaves. They are adorned with flowers and during Zechariah's time were often used as wedding decorations and at the Feast of the Tabernacles.

Perfume also was made from myrtle trees. The green leaves point to spiritual Israel's hope and future. Yahweh’s people will not fade. They will bloom before Yahweh forever, and the lovely fragrance of their fully submitted lives perfumes the air impacting the lives around them.

Their white flowers are a reminder of purity (see picture above).

The second Tabernacle tree we will study today is the palm tree. What is the spiritual significance of the palm that has caused it to be chosen as a Sukkah tree?

As we have already seen, trees represent people with certain characteristics.

In Psalm 92:12 the Bible says,The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree…”

The word “flourish”  is pârach (paw-rakh‘) in Hebrew. It means: to break forth as a bud, … to spread; specifically to fly (as extending the wings); figuratively to flourish abundantly.”

So the palm is a picture of God’s people prospering. Now this in itself is significant.

Merchants and camel drivers of middle east have long known that water was present if a place had palm trees.

The sight of palm trees in the distance brought hope to parched and weary travelers. For the palm trees promised oasis in the desert.

Since water represents the refreshing power and influence of the Holy Spirit, a land without water represents a world lacking the Holy Spirit’s Presence. In Psalm 63:1, we read, “…O God, Thou art my God; early will I seek Thee: my soul thirsteth for Thee, my flesh longeth for Thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.”

And yet, in this world where the Presence of God is so little sought for that it has become a spiritual wasteland, there is a group of people who will be filled with living water. They will spiritually flourish, as the palm.

But the palm tree doesn’t just flourish for it’s own pleasure. As its roots tap the living water, the palm grows tall as a testimony that it has found the source of life. And all who come to it for oasis find the living water and may drink.

And how do we continue to flourish in order to be blessed ourselves and to bless others with a spiritual oasis? By being rooted and grounded in the Word. By hearing the Word of Yahweh morning by morning.  And by communing with Him throughout the day. This is the Source of spiritual Life which Yahweh’s palm trees have found.
Isaiah 50:4  "Yahweh GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: He wakeneth morning by morning, He wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned."  
The reason Yahweh has chosen these specific trees to be a part of the shelter at Tabernacles is that they show us what He’s calling us to be like, as His end-time people.

The first is the myrtle tree. And the Scripture is Isaiah 55:13.

Next is the palm tree. The Scripture for this one is Psalm 92:12.

Now summarize the characteristics Yahweh is calling you and I to display, through His Grace. For remember, both trees point to aspects of Yahweh’s saved children in the Last Days.

 Spiritual Characteristics of the Myrtle Tree:

1) First, the myrtle tree represents Yahweh’s Name or Seal being upon us. He is calling us to be among those who are sealed. This is what it means to be a spiritual myrtle tree.

2) Next, the myrtle tree represents Yahweh’s lovely Character being reproduced in us.

3) Finally, the myrtle tree represents the sweet influence Yahweh’s people are to have on others. Like the fragrance of the myrtle. We are to exude the sweetness that can only come from a Christ-like spirit.

Now let’s turn our attention to palm tree. 

Spiritual Characteristics of the Palm Tree:

1) The palm is connected to the living water.

2) The palm flourishes in a spiritual desert. This is accomplished by daily spending time with Yahweh and His Word. 

3) Finally, the palm provides a spiritual oasis for others. The testimony of our changed lives is like the sight of an oasis from a distance. The words of truth and exhortation which we share to bring repentance and healing in the lives of others and our intercessory prayers are how we connect thirsty souls to the Source – the Living Water. 

In the Tabernacles trees (the first half of them which we've looked at so far) we see the character qualities which Yahweh is working to develop in His people. Let's bow our heads and seek Him, surrendering to His plan to accomplish these qualities in us - the qualities foreshadowed in the Sukkot Trees.