A Lesson from the Myrtle Tree

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood  by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead…

Romans 1:20

It’s funny how we can fly through life, surrounded by the awesomeness of creation, but unaffected by the powerful message it conveys.  Personally, I find this true, especially when a particular aspect of creation has been around as a backdrop for my entire life.

I grew up in a city that is nestled at the base of a massive mountain range.  People visiting from out of town would always comment on the grandeur, majesty and imposing presence of them, often gazing in amazement and wonder.  From childhood, I was always puzzled by this, because since I came into the world, those mountains were always there.  They were in the backgrounds of pictures taken in the yard, and served as landmarks on the horizon when I was trying to get my bearings and determine which way was north.  Silently, they occupy a huge portion of the sky, but I never really gave much thought to them. I pretty much took them for granted.  I think the first time I really took notice of their intricate beauty and massive greatness was when I moved a couple of hours away to college and drove through a mountain pass to get home from school each weekend.  Being alone in silence and seeing great cliffs and protrusions, along with the splendor of all of the colors displayed in the rocks, made me suddenly feel like I was very close to God.  I would sing worship songs and talk to him like I never done before.  I would also call out to him like never before when I found myself driving the twisting and turning road in a mountain snowstorm.

Similarly, all of nature testifies without ever speaking a word of the awesome glory of God.   It is a grand demonstration of how great he is, and how wonderful a craftsman he is, forming each and every specimen of earth right down to the smallest detail, with amazing precision and purpose.  Then, as if that weren’t awe-inspiring enough, he puts each individual creation together with the others in a way that the whole system functions in order by his design, with every created thing serving its purpose and fulfilling its responsibility, contributing to supporting the continual function of the rest of creation.  Except that wild card creation known as “man”, everything abides in its purpose.

And one cried to another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.

Isaiah 6:3

So today, I stopped to once again take a closer look at nature to learn one of the many lessons it teaches.  This time my instructor was the myrtle tree.  The myrtle tree is only mentioned about six times in the bible, but seeing it mentioned got me thinking about exactly what kind of tree it is, so I did a little research.

The myrtle tree that grows in Oregon and Northern California is not the same tree as mentioned in the bible that grows in and around the holy land, but they are related and have very similar properties.  It’s even speculated that the early settlers of the west coast may have picked up some myrtle nuts in Southern Europe and planted them here.  At any rate, the mention of the myrtle in the bible led me to study the myrtle tree that is a little closer to home.

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 the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

Isaiah 55:13

The prophet Isaiah uses the myrtle to illustrate life and fertility, as he prophesies it growing instead of a plant that symbolizes dearth and drought.   The myrtle tree is an evergreen characterized by leaves clustered so densely that the branches can’t even be seen.  It reminds me of the descriptive words of the Psalmist:

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that bringeth forth his fruit in his season, his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Psalm 1:3

Also the prophet Jeremiah:

Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.  For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and that shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

Jeremiah 17:7, 8

The imagery of those metaphors is strikingly similar to the myrtle tree.  It is always green and has a strong root system that keeps it going even during dire times.  Even when cut down to a stump, its roots cause it to sprout again.

For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease.  Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground; yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant.

Job 14:7-9

The myrtle tree grows slowly, and starts out as just a small shrub, only adding to its stature about twelve inches each year.  This means that it takes over a hundred years for this tree to finish growing, but when it matures it is great in size and nothing like the shrub it was when it started.  The massive trunk of the full grown myrtle tree is actually several stocks that have grown together over time to make one great tree.

The comparisons abound between a Christian and this remarkable tree.  It becomes strong by joining with other trees and becoming one, much like we become a part of the body of Christ—one body with many members (Romans 12:5).  Sometimes the Christian is cut down to what looks like nothing, and it can appear to be the end of his/her story because of the tragedy or misfortune that has befallen them, but because those roots run deep, eventually signs of life will begin to emerge and again the child of God will resume growth and vitality (2 Corinthians 4:7-11).

Those roots are what led me to the most important lesson this myrtle tree conveyed to me.  In my reading about the myrtle tree, I found out that the wood of this tree is used to make a variety of beautiful pieces of furniture and decorations carved by craftsmen of the northwest.  The beauty of myrtle wood is that it varies in color and design because of where it grows.  As the roots draw minerals from the soil, those minerals color the wood giving it its beautiful variety of colors.  This variety enables it to be used in all kinds of settings because its versatility lends to it being able to work well with other pieces that may already be in someone’s home.

When I read this, I pictured God’s people as myrtle trees, who are planted in rich soil, saturated with the word of God, drawing from an unending source of strength and wisdom for every situation.  This believer is equipped with everything needed for every purpose for which God intends to use them.  The versatility of the Spirit of God is shown in the numerous gifts that he has given to the church by one Spirit.  We draw from the same spirit, but we are as diverse in gifting and uses as our great and diverse God.

Roots that run deep speak of being entrenched and having a firm foundation so that nothing sways or moves us.  When the water on the surface has dried up, the tree that is rooted will still draw water from deep within the earth that will sustain it.   When situations around us appear to be hopeless with no sign of getting better, we can draw from the Spirit of God within us, who is able to sustain us with the assurance that we are his, reminding us of his word and that what he has spoken will come to pass.

He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

John 7:38

Lastly, the myrtle tree has a myriad of grain patterns.  I read that each tree’s pattern is developed by the things that occur in its surroundings.  So each storm, and each draught, every adverse condition and every pleasurable season, contributes to the beautiful design displayed in the wood of the myrtle tree.  When it is molded in the hands of the craftsman, after some cutting away; sanding here, and shaping there, the myrtle wood becomes a beautiful creation.  Pieces made from this wood often become treasured heirlooms because of the years of growth that took place to get the wood to maturity, before it even began the process of being molded into what it was to become.

Likewise, we go through a process before we reach the finished product that God had in mind before we were ever born.  We grow through various storms and adverse conditions in our lives, and sometimes things happen that cut us down and it feels like we are starting over again.  But all of our trials and tribulations, and the good times that we experience, contribute to the raw beauty of who we are.  Before we are ever brought into the body of Christ, we come from a place that has shaped who we are thus far.  Our experiences have shaped us, and given us a different perspective than anyone else.  They make us material with which God can shape and mold a vessel that serves his purpose.  I believe that God’s hand was as much involved in the making of us before we yielded to him as it is now, our eyes were just not open to the fact that he was at work.  Since no two purposes are alike, it makes sense that the circumstances and conditions that we come through to get to our place of purpose are also as different as each of us.   We can’t really compare ourselves to one another, because each of us is unique and created for a unique purpose.  Where we are planted, and the environment in which we grow were all planned out by God, contributing to the finished product we will become.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28

Yep, that myrtle tree is quite the instructor…

 

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37 Comments on “A Lesson from the Myrtle Tree”

  1. Sandy Mauck Says:

    I came across this as I too was studying out the Myrtle. What a blessing. Those scriptures have been special to me for years as a promise. The trees by the river are rooted. Did you know that the roots grow in the winter when all seems dead? But the myrtle stays green still working for God even in the wilderness times. Thank you Sister, I love your writings. A blessing!
    Sandy
    p.s. Esther’s real name was Hadassa (myrtle) She saved her people from annihilation. A tree planted at a perfect time.

  2. Othabeleng Molelekeng Says:

    I always regard myself as an ever green tree.Today as i was studying the book of Esther, I realise that her other name is Hadassah.and research about the tree i found the facts you wrote about this tree.We bless the Lord for the revelation

  3. Eve M. Says:

    Amen. Thanks to you my fellow believers for sharing these. To God be all the glory!


  4. I as completely blessed by all your postings. I was reading my bible and came to Isaiah 41:19, where 7 different trees are mentioned. Thought to do a little research on each one to better understand what the Lord is sharing… He is totally amazing!
    Barbara


  5. i read the book of Isaiah 55 this morning and really wanted to understand the mrytle tree in relation to the words in the bible. i googled and decided to check your blog post. God is awesome. Thank you for these words. i will be sharing your post on my facebook page this morning. God bless you.

  6. Scott Fraser Says:

    Thanks so much for your beautiful and thoughtful reflections on the myrtle tree. I had “googled” hoping to find something like this; yours was the first thing I found. The reason for my search was my interest in the wonderful book names for the truly remarkable Queen Esther. For, as you may know, her Jewish name, Hadassah, means “myrtle” (Esther was her Persian name, which means “star”). I figured that God must have had a special reason for giving her this name, Myrtle, and so I wanted to learn its meaning and significance, which you laid out beautifully.

    “And he brought up Hadassah, that [is], Esther, his uncle’s daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid [was] fair and beautiful; whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter” (Esther 2:7).

    I won’t take the time now to go into all the details, but, to make a long story short, it is abundantly clear that God used Hadassah (Esther) to typify His Church, the Bride of Christ, whom He will marry, and who will rule all nations with Him, as His queen.

    Consider briefly how she was specially, miraculously chosen, out of many thousands perhaps, a Jewish girl (true Christians are spiritual Jews: Rom. 2:28-29; Rev. 2:9; Gal. 6:16) in an empire of many, many ethnicities, then specially prepared over 12 months (12 is a number of beginnings, for both the O.T. and N.T. Churches; 12 tribes of Israel, 12 apostles), and then how she puts her life on the line (Esther 4:16) to save her people (no greater love has a man than this . . .).

    There are more detlails, but I will leave it at there for now.

    That the meaning of Hadassah’s name should have the significance, which you have so nicely outlined, is further proof that God had in mine to use her in this amazing and powerful way, to point us to the great plan and purpose that He is working out here below.

    Thanks again.

  7. Scott Fraser Says:

    Please excuse, and correct, my typos. I was rushing a bit: “names” should read “named”, “in mine” should read “in mind”, and “at there” was going to be “at that”, and a “detlails”, of course, was meant to be “details”. Thanks.

  8. Scott Fraser Says:

    To add another correction to my text: “That the meaning of Hadassah’s name should have the significance which you have so nicely outlined . . .”

    Sorry to be nuisance. Thanks.

  9. Pauline Magari Says:

    What an exciting summary of the Myrtle tree. Thank you so much for this insight. I was just reading Isaiah 55 vs.13 and was curious about the Myrtle (and Cypress trees), so decided to look it up and came accross this page.
    Previously I was talking to my friend about God even before reading this and its just amazing that some of the things we shared were covered in your writing. Truly, that Christ is a silent listener to every conversation and in his own special way replys to what was being mentioned. Its amazing and wonderful to know that we have a great God who created all things so perfectly, all for him and for his glory!


  10. Praise the Lord. i got studying this morning and encountered Ish 55:13. it caught my attention. i decided to do a research and create a keep a note of it. I thank God i found your post. it answered everything. God what a revelation. i thank God. God bless you.

  11. taiwo onafowokan Says:

    This is very interesting & educative both spiritually & physically. I got interested when I was reading Zechariah. I would have turned the page but it hit me why named a tree except it is purposive. This information is awesome. In fact you have given me a name I am going to give a department in my organisation. God bless you wonderfully

  12. Taiwo folashade Says:

    Th Ankara for your research on myrtle tree was going through isa 41:19 and my attention was out to myrtle tree and decided to google it, then came across your blog. Thanks

  13. Taiwo folashade Says:

    Sorry for typing errors. Was going through the scriptures in isa 41: 19 and the word myrtle caught my attention so decided to make some research about it and then came across your website. Thanks am really blessed for the revelation about myrtle tree. God bless you

  14. G.Sweet Says:

    I was searching for a Bible name for my great grandaughter due 12/12/2013. Hadassah is such a beautiful name with a powerful meaning. Both of the baby’s parent’s are Ministers and so am I. It just so happens my given name is GRACE!

  15. Mary warren Says:

    I can’t help but see how the myrtle tree is a type and shadow of the church of God. We stand strong, we will never be destroyed and the gates of hell will never prevail against us!

  16. Maria Sharp Says:

    I was studying the Myrtle tree in the Bible and your post covers every scripture I was researching. This post also put my whole life and family tree to me into God’s design involved my family’s life. I have always loved the book of Esther as I am the oldest Women ( 48 years old ) and youngest and only living daughter of my Mother’s children. I am the Matriarch of my family ( And we are many. ) and it has been one success story of God’s after another that describes my even existing to tell this testimony as I too almost did not live. I always felt there was a reason I survived and I relate to Esther ” I was born for such a time as this. ” My Mother’s Mother, My Grandmother’s name was Myrtle and she had 3 daughters and a son that died at birth. She had a huge family tree with many descendents. They called her ” Great Myrtle ” She was a strong woman and raised her children alone as my Grandfather died when my Mother ( The youngest also ) was 10 years old. She raised them in the Lord and the roots run very deep and strong in this family. Although my Mother faced many challenges and struggles and it seemed as though our family was almost extinct , we now have many members and the strength of the Lord and the Faith in the Lord just continues to multiply, grow and magnify ! Praise God !!! My life is finally starting to make sense and His purpose from before I was ever born is coming to light ! God is amazing and He does work in mysterious ways ! Thank for this post that just adds to my understanding and Revelation of God’s purpose for it ! God bless and keep you Always in Jesus name I pray !

  17. Esther Says:

    Two years ago I went to visit the people who would become my church elders. I was going through a very difficult time and was seeking spiritual counselling. When I got there, I was meeting them for the first time, the husband of the couple told me that as he was praying to God about my situation, that God called me His Esther. That sent me on a study of Esther, but for some reason I never delved into her true name, Hadassah, until recently. Having read this, it speaks to my soul on what God has in store and who He is forging me to be. Bless you for sharing this.

  18. matka10 Says:

    Like several others who have written here, I read Isaiah 55 this morning. I too “googled” myrtle trees because I wanted to know more and found your excellent article. God has been teaching me much lately through trees mentioned in the Bible and I have had the privilege of sharing those lessons with many others.

    What a blessing your post was to me! And all the more because I have a daughter named Esther who, through the storms and adverse conditions in her life, has become a shining star.

    I thank God for using you to bless me today.

  19. Tomilola Says:

    God bless,i was studying d book of Isiah 55vs13 and decided 2 do a reasearch on d names of d trees mentioned there.tanx a lot 4 d detailed explaination on d myrtle tree.it rily blessed my life.God bless u


  20. You are a gifted writer. Keep writing. Your words are a blessing. Thank you for sharing

  21. Regina Says:

    Very happy to have your information about myrtle. God bless you. Keep posting such Bible study materials

  22. Lynne Says:

    Your words spoke to me this morning. I am going through difficult times, and you gave me such comfort and hope. I am in a Bible study and this week we are studying Zechariah. What a joy it will be for me to share this with them. Thank you, and God bless you!

  23. Lourdes Says:

    Dear Writer,

    The Lord has spoken through you to remind us that when we feel lost, we can se Him in His creations. Not only in the plants, trees and living creatures, but in Jesus whom he created for us. Like He revealed the myrtle tree to you, he once revealed the beluga whale to me and it’s meaning. Although the beluga whale is white, it does not start out that way, it was born dark gray. Only as it matures does it become white. How gracious was He to reveal that His will is to purify and sanctify us through his Son and through His word. May you continue to follow Him.

    Have a blessed day.

  24. Marilyn Says:

    How very very BLESSED am I to have read what the Holy Spirit
    inspired your heart to write concerning the Myrtle tree. I, as with
    the many ”Branches” of our LORD ”THE VINE”, who have read
    and who have so gratefully responded to you in writing what you have, thank you for following the leading of the HOLY SPIRIT!!!

    I was directed to search for the meaning of the Myrtle tree after
    coming back from a doctor appointment this morning…in which
    the nurse who was assisting me was wearing a little wooden cross.
    When I asked her about it, she said that it was made of Myrtle
    wood that a friend brought back to her from Jerusalem.

    Knowing when our LORD is wanting me to ”take note” of something,
    I knew that there was a ”Secret” hidden in the meaning of the word
    Myrtle that He was wanting me to know, Then to click on to what
    He inspired to write BLESSED me ”beyond words” !!!

    Thank you again and again !!!

    • Marilyn Says:

      I’m sorry if my above comment was in any way in need of
      ”moderation”. If you like, please delete and Thank you.

      • nessalynn77 Says:

        Sorry about that, I don’t log on as often as I should. I send all comments to moderation first, because it prevents spammers and other inappropriate comments from getting through. Your comment was wonderful, and thank you for sharing! God bless!

  25. Ada uche Says:

    I was blessed and inspired by your write up. Was doing a research on the meaning of esther’s Jewish name hadassah(myrtle tree). Right now i want to research on my name too. If it is not Godly, I’m going to change it. Tnx

  26. John Harrison Says:

    Thank you for your insights and encouragement today, I have been blessed by them so much. It is just what I needed today at this specific time in my life. GOD Bless, John

  27. Larissa Says:

    I was reading Isaiah 55 and started to research the myrtle tree. This very much blessed me and my current situation. Thanks for sharing :)

  28. Phoebe Says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your research and ideas about the myrtle

  29. Irene Says:

    I was captivated by verse 13 when I was reading Isaiah 55. I have never seen a myrtle tree in my life :) But the promise of myrtle trees growing in place of thorns kept tugging at my heart. So I googled it and reached here. Thank you so much for your article and God bless your writing! :)

  30. Hadassah Says:

    This is so powerful. I was studying the myrtle tree as well, n came across this. Thank you for sharing this. I am a myrtle tree.

  31. Susan Milley Says:

    Thank you for sharing your research! I was also styudying Isaiah 55. As a side note, my mothrer-in-law was named Myrtle. What a rich meaning there is to her name.


  32. Reblogged this on Annalyn Beus Osborn and commented:
    Thank you.


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