Why do grape vines hold biblical importance, and what do they have to do with Jesus? What benefits can be found in planting grape vines in the desert? Join us below as we uncover the answers to these and other questions, and see what promises God has been sending to us through the fruit of the vine!
References to grape vines, olive trees, and a variety of other fruiting plants are found throughout God’s Word. At times these references appear to be simply that, references found within a story, but not vital to it. Yet, if we look a bit closer, we are able to discover that not only do they actually serve as teaching tools within these tales, but that God’s promises echo through them.
Take the story of the fig tree, where Jesus cursed it for not producing fruit when called upon. While the fig tree represents us, and the fruit we produce or fail to, Jesus used the physical tree as a way to teach. A reminder to always bear good fruit, and to believe that all things are possible in Him (see Mark 11:12-14, 20-24).
Remember when Noah sent the dove out, and how he knew the waters were receding when it brought back an olive leaf. Not only was God making good on His promises to Noah, but through the olive leaf, those promises and the fullness of life to come were echoed in that tiny portion of an olive tree.
On and on, plants within the Word echo promises from God, serve as teaching tools, and of course, serve their God-given purpose for us. At My Olive Tree we understand not only this importance, but also the importance of prophetic fulfillment and blessing Israel. One of the ways this pushes us to action is tied to the biblical significance of grape vines, which, when planted within the Negev, brings blessing to Israel and her people, while simultaneously fulfilling biblical prophecy and bringing the Promised Land back to life!
Fruit of the Vine:
Of all the plants found in the Word, grape vines, or fruit of the vine, are one of the most common. Part of the reason for this may indeed rest in the fact that grapes were an important crop in the Promised Land and surrounding areas where the majority of biblical stories take place. However, the importance goes beyond that. For grapes, and the wine produced from them, are mentioned from Genesis, on through nearly every book to follow, all the way to Revelation. Not only that, but the terms, grape, grapes, wine, and fruit of the vine, collectively exceed 300 unique uses!
A few of these uses include:
- The cup-bearer’s dream which Joseph interpreted (see Genesis 40)
- The wedding where Jesus turned water to wine, which is traditionally held as the first miracle Jesus performed (see John 2)
- The drink offering given to God on untold occasions (see example, Leviticus 23:13)
- Part of the blessing for God’s chosen people (see Deuteronomy 7)
- One of the things brought back from the Promised Land to Moses and the people (see Numbers 13:23)
- Part of the Passover ceremony, consisting of four cups, each with a unique purpose to remember four promises of God (see Exodus 6:6-7)
- The taking of the communion cup—many say this is the third cup of Passover—which Jesus said was the new covenant of His Blood (see Luke 22:20)
While there are many other instances where grapes, wine, and the fruit of the vine are used, even these few display a pattern. One where God uses them to reveal promise, to seal covenants, and to display the splendor of His Majesty.
Still, of these examples, Passover and communion perhaps hold the greatest connections between God and man. Because they each are connected with covenant, and the blessings which come with covenant.
Passover consists of many parts, and no matter what your views on Passover are, the connection to God is undeniable. God ordained Passover as an everlasting ordinance, one which among Believers, has largely been ignored. This is unfortunate in many respects as it denies us covenant connection, blessings, and a divine meeting with God where we can put our feet under our Father’s table. Additionally, it denies us the deeper understanding of communion that comes through the roots of our faith.
Many prayers are spoken at Passover, but the one which is connected to the wine of Passover and communion is: Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam, borei p’ri hagafen.
A typical English translation reads: Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.
This prayer is quite simple and is often combined with other prayers. However, it also holds key truths of the power of God… that it is He who creates not only the covenant of Passover and communion, but the very grapes needed for it.
When we consider the various uses of grapes, wine, and the fruit of the vine in the Word, it is easy to see that they are important. Particularly within covenant acts and prophetic truths.
Yet, why would we plant grape vines in the Negev desert in Israel?
Well, one of the first reasons behind My Olive Tree’s work is biblical prophecy. Many prophetic words within the Word speak of the Gentiles helping the seed of Abraham rebuild the nation of Israel. Further, one prophecy in particular speaks of the desert, and how it will bloom like a rose, with the parched land having streams flowing through it (see Isaiah 35).
Another reason is tied to Genesis 12, which speaks of God’s promises to Abraham—then known as Abram—and his descendants. Not only do we find that God made a covenant of promise with Abraham in Genesis 12, but we also discover a promise of blessing for those who bless them (see Genesis 12:3). Further, there are other promises of blessings which come from blessing Israel, such as the call to pray for the peace of Jerusalem found in Psalm 122:6-9, which add additional weight to an already weighty promise of blessing.
Beyond these reasons are many more… tied to people who need help, but desire work, not handouts… to a country that God loves, and wants us to build up… to a land those who love Jesus long to see flourish… to God’s call for us to take care of widows and orphans…
On and on are beautiful reasons to help, and to bring life to the desert in particular. Yet, one portion of the question remains… Why grape vines?
While this answer is tied to many of the examples of grapes, wine, and fruit of the vine we explored, and even to prophecies and blessings spoken of in the Word, one beautiful reason is found in a single verse, Numbers 13:23.
In it, the twelve spies were gathering produce to bring to Moses and the Children of Israel. They gathered a cluster of grapes, which many believe to have been enormous due to the fact that the spies carried it on a pole between two of them. This demonstrated the bounty of what God had promised to them, yet, what is important here is where they were. They were in the Promised Land. Only two of those spies would ever see the land again, because those two believed in the promises and power of God, while the others believed the lies of the enemy. Only two would see the bounty of grapes, and everything that God promised.
Centuries upon centuries have passed since that moment. In that time the Children of Israel lived in the Promised Land, were driven away, returned to it, and were driven away again… but now they are back! God’s promises are springing forth, and as the land teems with life, God’s Words prove their truth!
Biblical prophecy proclaims that the Promised Land will be restored. The Children of Israel have returned, and indeed, much of the land has been restored to a state of prosperity and life not seen for thousands of years. However, there is still more to do. The land has not fully bloomed like a rose…
This is why My Olive Tree, with the support of people like YOU, are planting grape vines in the desert. Long ago twelve spies returned with a cluster of grapes from the Promised Land, today we are returning those grapes to the land by planting grape vines in the Negev desert of Israel. An echo of promise once told to Abraham and his children, and to Moses, and to the children to follow... An echo of faith found in two spies out of twelve.
If YOU would like to learn about the biblical importance of olive trees, then click HERE!
If YOU would like to sponsor a grape vine in the Negev desert of Israel, then click HERE!
If YOU would like to sponsor an olive tree in Israel, then click HERE!