Friday, July 15, 2011

The Cedar, the Lily and the Olive

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The Cedar, the Lily 
and the Olive
A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

 Hosea 14:5-6 (NIV1984)
 I will be like the dew to Israel; he will blossom like a lily. Like a cedar of Lebanon he will send down his roots; his young shoots will grow. 
His splendor will be like an olive tree,
his fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon.

I found myself considering the similarities of the lily, the cedar and the olive tree. Why are these specific plants mentioned in conjunction with God being like dew?  How is God like dew?
It seems to me like a passage that is rich if one bothers to take time to consider and reflect upon it.
Dew forms in the evening and early morning when the temperature cools to the dew point. It comes so gently that it does not even damage the delicate strands of a spiders web. When God becomes to us like dew He comes rests upon us. I have found in my own life that it is in the early morning or late evening that the pace of life slows down and I am able settle and abide with the Lord. Like the dew He comes and waters my life. He covers us with His cleansing and healing presence. He provides nourishment we need to grow.  Its a work of His Spirit and presence that produces roots and shoots in our lives.

The Cedar: Cedars that get sufficient water grow rapidly and can reach 120 feet tall.  Historically the demand for cedar wood and cedar oil was so great the Cedar forests of Lebanon were used up. The cones of the cedar take three years to mature. The wood contains so much oil and was used over oak and other woods because it burned better. The wood is fragrant and resist decay and insects so it has a preserving quality.  It often is considered a symbol of eternal life. It is a symbol of restoration, strength and permanence. The smell of opening a cedar trunk sticks with you it is a fragrance that is not forgotten.

The Lily: The Lily is tall and stately in its beauty. Is often used to symbolize the purity Christ. I am always struck by the fragrance of the lilies at Easter time. Brides would often adorn their heads with lilies as a symbol of purity and innocence. It is often used as a fragrance in essential oils. 

The Olive:  It’s fruit is delicate and bruises easily and must be picked by hand if one wants superior oil. In addition to just eating the fruit a rich oil can be produced. It takes 10 pounds of olives to make 4 cups of olive oil. The olives must be crushed to release the oil. Psalm 52:8; and Jeremiah says, “The Lord called thy name a green olive tree, fair and of goodly fruit”

All three of these plants are fragrant and oily. The Lord comes and cleanses us and the Holy Spirit Fills us. The symbol often used for the Holy Spirit is oil. I am reminded of Ephesians 5:1-2 Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Our lives should also be fragrant and full of the Holy Spirit. Spend some time thinking about these things and how they relate to your walk with the Lord. I've just scratched the surface and I would love to hear your comments of what the Lord shows you in regards to dew, and lilies, olives and cedars.
Dear Lord,
Come rest upon me like the dew. Make me like the lily, the cedar and the olive oily with the presence of the Holy Spirt and the fragrance of my life rise to you as a pleasing offering.

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