The Cypress And The Myrtle: Tree Series Part 5

Isaiah 55:10-13

10 “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,
And do not return there,
But water the earth,
And make it bring forth and bud,
That it may give seed to the sower
And bread to the eater,
11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

12 “For you shall go out with joy,
And be led out with peace;
The mountains and the hills
Shall break forth into singing before you,
And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree,
And instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree;
And it shall be to the Lord for a name,
For an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”

(Quiet stretch along the Jordan River, Israel)
Throughout the Bible are mentioned several kinds of trees. Remember when God said, “Study to show thyself approved….?”  Well, He wasn’t kidding.  In order to understand many things in your study of God’s word, you really do have to learn about a wide range of topics, including the botany of Israel, her geography, and the forces that affect it.  Even the land and customs teach us about Jesus.  Amazing!
(For more on that topic, you may follow the link below:
New Year Of Trees.
In the beginning of each year, sometime in February, Israelis celebrate the “New Year of trees: Tu B’Shvat.”  It starts at sunset on the first day and continues to sunset on the second day of the holiday. The traditions attached to most holidays are deeply rooted in Jewish history, but one of the newer ones is planting trees.  Throughout Israel, people are outside planting saplings — students, families, employees, soldiers, and even new olim, which is Hebrew for “Immigrants.”
Minor Holiday.
This is a very minor holiday on the Jewish calendar.  It is called the “New Year for Trees” because it marks the the beginning of the agricultural cycle for the purpose of biblical tithes related to fruits. The name of the holiday is simply the date:  “Tu” is spelled “tet-vav (טו).”  In case you were unaware, Hebrew is a language of pictures, like Chinese and reads from right to left.  Each letter is a picture of something as well as a letter, a color, and a musical note.  Each letter has a numerical value. So you see, they use letters of their alphabet for numbers.
The letter tet (ט) has the value of 9 (it is the 9th letter in the Hebrew alphabet) and vav (ו) has the value of 6. Together they equal 15. The “B” prefix means “In” so Tu Bishvat literally means, “15 in Shvat.”  Note also that 15 is not written “yod-hei (יה),” even though Yod (י) is the number “10” and “Hei (ה)” has a value of “5.”  This is because “yod-hei:Ya,” is a shortened form of YHWH, one of God’s Hebrew names.  The Jewish people are VERY careful not to mention this particular Name for fear of blaspheming it.

Almond Trees Have Great Significance.

In early spring it’s so peaceful to get out in nature and enjoy God’s creation when everything is beginning to bloom.  In Israel, the almond is among the very first to flower.  Its blossoms both speak of resurrection and new life but also remind us of the miracles that the Lord has in store for us.  

Just as the coldest, darkest winters always end and the earth brings forth fruit, so it is in our lives.  Even the darkest of days end and God has something fresh in store for us.

Well Watered.

The opening passage begins with a reference to rain and snow. When they touch the ground, it becomes watered and brings forth fruit.  That is so like God’s word, isn’t it?  Wherever it goes, what and whoever it touches is watered and bears fruit. The one who sows will have plenty of seed to plant.  “Seed” is a typology of the word of God, which will grow and bud into mature wheat, producing bread to nourish those who are hungry.

Like the rain that gently falls and waters the earth, so God imparts truths from His word in gentle droplets so we can understand.  Were He to download all revelation and understanding at once, we would be crushed under its weight as just as surely as a giant tidal wave would destroy all life!  Isn’t God good?! 💖


The Bread Of Life.
Bread is a picture of Jesus, the Bread of Life.  Feeding on Him and on His word causes us to “go out {into the world} with joy,” and to be “lead forth with peace.”
He was born in Bethlehem, which means “House of Bread,” wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a carved stone manger…..and what is a manger?  A feeding trough!  When you feed on Him and your hunger is satisfied, you are full of joy and peace. You are restful, not stressed.  Then, and only then, when you are in this restful state, can the Holy Spirit lead you as you go through life.
A  Blessing Everywhere You Go. 

“…The mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands…”

First and foremost, all these are pictures of how lovely Jesus is!  As He is, so are we in this world.  Just like Him, you and I are a blessing everywhere we go. Without even knowing why, other people are attracted to us.  They want to be near us because Jesus lives in us. Even the environment around us changes because of Jesus. People even feel like singing when we are around!

Trees are made of wood.  Wood in the Bible typifies humanity. Tree branches are most often curved upward toward heaven as if in praise the Lord! You and I, like the trees, need always and everywhere to “Lift up holy hands” in praise to the Lord.  The trouble is, we’re the only “wood” that often has our “branches” hanging down at our sides. Instead of looking up toward heaven we are often looking down at the ground, dejected and depressed.
We can take a lesson from the trees and look up to praise the Lord!
“Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree,”
(Crucifix Thorn)
The thorn tree is a picture of Jesus, Who wore the crown of thorns that we deserved to wear so we would be blessed instead of cursed.  Thorns are actually leaves that are wrapped so tightly they form a thorn for lack of water. The leaf does this to conserve moisture in dry, desert places.
What makes those “thorns” become “leaves” again is the “water” of the word of God.  If there are thorns, thistles and briers in your life, the answer is to drench yourself in God’s word!
Those prickly people who are a thorn in your side, that’s what they need:  A deep drought of the water of the word of God.  They don’t know how much they are loved by God!

The Cypress Tree.

“Cypress tree” is actually referring to the “fir tree,” the kind of tree you see everywhere in December.  You and I know it as the Christmas tree.  It was one of the chief trees of Lebanon (Isa. 60:13); it’s boughs were wide and great… (Exek 31:8); and it was evergreen (Hos. 14:8).

(Cypress or Fir Tree.)

In 2 Samuel 6:5 it says, “David and all the house of Israel played before Yahweh with all manner of instruments made of fir wood.”
“Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress {fir} tree.”

The wood of the fir tree is very “sonorous,” as they say in the music trade, making it perfect for fashioning musical instruments.  That’s what you and I are:  Musical instruments on which Jesus plays beautiful music for all the world to hear.  Because of Him, we go around with a song in our hearts!  In fact, we are a song going somewhere to happen.

Whenever we get out of sorts or “Out of tune,” we can come back to Jesus and be tuned up again. This is a perfect portrayal of the verse that says “WE ARE TRANSFORMED BY BEHOLDING JESUS.”
That does NOT mean going to Him to confess our sins in order to get cleansed again. No. That was done once for all time the day we accepted Him as our Savior. Now we confess because we already are forgiven of all to ask for help in those areas where we struggle with our flesh.
Green Color.
This tree is evergreen, a picture of everlasting life.  Jesus lives after the power of an endless life; and because of Him, so do we.  Christians don’t die:  WE JUST RELOCATE!  Like Him, we are “Evergreen,” ever fresh and full of His life.  That’s what the color green signifies:  Life and freshness!  Green depicts the New Covenant!
Once For All Time.
 1 John 1:9, a verse about which many pastors seem confused, is in the “perfect tense,” in Greek.  That means it is a ONE-TIME, NEVER-TO-BE-REPEATED act or event.
Wash The “Dust” Off.

As we walk through the muck and mire of this increasingly evil world, it’s easy take our eyes off Jesus, turn toward the “desert,” and become distracted by our problems.  When we focus on them, they seem way too big to handle.  Like Peter, we begin to sink beneath the waves.

But then, as we turn our gaze back to The Problem Solver, we find salvation!  You and I, Church, continually need to wash the dust of this world off our feet with the water of His word.  That settles our hearts!

The fir tree, being an evergreen,is also a picture of the eternal life we have in Jesus.  As you read earlier, Christians don’t die; we just relocate!

The Myrtle Tree.

“And instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree;”

Myrtle is a beautiful, fragrant tree. Believers–you and I–like Jesus, are beautiful and fragrant.  The myrtle’s lovely white flower has 5 delicate petals, the number of grace!  White speaks of righteousness and purity, of our gift of righteousness by grace which we received when we asked Jesus into our hearts!

(Myrtle tree)

As you know, Queen Esther, after whom the book in the Bible is named, was not given that name by her parents.  They named her, “Hadassah,” which means “Myrtle tree,” in Hebrew.  It was a tree of blessing used in the tabernacle as well as in the construction of most Sukkot, or temporary shelters, used during the Feast of Tabernacles.  Mary most likely gave birth to Jesus on the first day of this feast.

For more on this topic, follow the link below and read about the Real Story in the Stars:
Esther certainly was a blessing to her people when she saved them from total annihilation by the evil Haman. She is a picture of the church.  Know what that says about us today?  We are myrtle trees to the world today!
(For more on the story of Esther, you may follow the link below to a series about her:
(Myrtle blossom)
What beautiful word pictures the Holy Spirit has once again painted for us!  We, the company of the blood-bought congregation, are truly special to Him.

We are like the cypress and the myrtle!

You may follow the link below to Part 6 to continue this series:

Why Did Jesus Curse The Fig Tree?: Tree Series Part 6

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