Is planting an olive tree more than an action that brings beauty, helps the environment, or provides jobs?
Join us as we discover how planting olive trees is more than an act of beautification or gardening. It is an act of love, echoing for many generations to come.
What Does the Word Say About Olive Trees?
At first glance, planting an olive tree might not appear to be life changing, or an act of great love. After all, what is being done? Simply growing a seed until it becomes a strong juvenile and then planting the tree sapling in a new place. Right?
Well, if we look at it through man’s eyes, then yes, we could say it is simply a matter of growing and then replanting a tree; a useful way to better the area and cause the landscape to become pleasing. Yet, by witnessing it through God’s eyes, by listening to the will of God, His Words, and seeing how one action can impact many… it becomes more. Because to God, it is an act of love.
So what does the Word say about olive trees?
After the earth flooded and God allowed the waters to recede, Noah sent a raven that flew back and forth until the earth dried up, but when the raven did not return, Noah sent out a dove. At first, this dove did not return with anything, but Noah trusted God and sent the dove out again, until at last the dove returned with proof of the earth becoming dry. An olive leaf…
“When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth.”—Genesis 8:11 (NIV)
Yes, the first plant God returned to man after He began afresh was an olive tree. Of the thousands upon thousands of plants God could have chosen, He specifically chose an olive tree, because to Him they hold special significance. God’s Word confirms this over and over again…
God had man use the oil produced by olive trees as part of the holy anointing oil to be made for use in the Temple. To sanctify, set apart, and make holy, articles for the Lord. Yet God also had man anoint themselves with that very same anointing oil when they were to become priests or kings. Again, causing the anointed to be sanctified, set apart, and made holy to the Lord—aligning them with God.
This anointing oil, made with olive oil and the appropriate spices is said to be a pleasing aroma to God. But it was also a part of God’s covenant relationship with man—allowing select people to not only utilize it to honor God, but to seal the priests and kings appointed by God.
“You shall anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may serve as priests to Me.”—Exodus 30:30 (AMP)
“Then Nathan said to David, ‘You are that man! The Lord, the God of Israel, says: I anointed you king of Israel and saved you from the power of Saul.’”—2 Samuel 12:7 (NLT)
“There let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him king over Israel; and blow the horn, and say, ‘Long live King Solomon!’”—1 Kings 1:34
This provides a special importance to olive trees and their produce, yet within the Word of God their significance does not stop there. Olive oil is found in many stories of blessing in the Word, such as when one biblical widow from the company of prophets was going to have her two sons taken from her if she could not pay her late husband’s debts…
At that apparent moment of lost hope, God sent a prophet to launch her into her blessing and promise. This prophet, Elisha, told her to gather all of the empty vessels she could, go into her house, latch the door, and pour and pour and pour out the oil. She had just a tiny portion of olive oil, but God used it and her faith to bring her provision!
“The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, ‘Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the Lord. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.’
“Elisha replied to her, ‘How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?’
“‘Your servant has nothing there at all,’ she said, ‘except a small jar of olive oil.’
“Elisha said, ‘Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side.’
“She left him and shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. When all the jars were full, she said to her son, ‘Bring me another one.’
“But he replied, ‘There is not a jar left.’ Then the oil stopped flowing.
“She went and told the man of God, and he said, ‘Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left.’”—2 Kings 4:1-7 (NIV)
This is a beautiful example, yet olive trees produce more than food, they are a sign of God’s love, provision, peace, and covenant.
If this was all that God displayed in His Word, that surely would be enough to make olive trees stand out, but there is more…
We read in God’s Word that olive oil is also used to light lamps—from holy, such as in the great menorah in the Temple, to mundane—and therefore serves as a reminder of the light God provides not only to bless us, but to serve as a beacon of hope and love to others.
Dozens of stories in the Word speak of oil being used to light lamps, but one of the best known of these is the parable Jesus gave of the wise and foolish virgins. The five wise virgins each brought enough oil and trimmed their wicks before they set out… they were prepared for their encounter with the bridegroom. However, the five foolish virgins brought almost no oil with them and had not prepared their wicks.
The foolish virgins had no excuse. They did not lack the time to trim their wicks; for even if they had not prepared before, much time was spent waiting for the bridegroom when they could have trimmed them. Further, they had the resources to purchase the olive oil, as can be seen near the end of the parable… they simply had not thought the bridegroom would come so late. They thought they did not need to be ready to be a light in the darkness, but the wise virgins knew better. They knew their bridegroom and that his time is his own. They knew better than to accept one possible time, and because of their readiness, with wicks trimmed and oil overflowing, the bridegroom brought them inside. He accepted and knew them. And they were able to be as lights in the darkness (see Matthew 25).
Yeshua’s parable of the virgins speaks of the light God places within each of us—of being prepared, ready and holy.
How is Planting Olive Trees an Act of Love?
There is a saying in Jewish tradition that likely arises from biblical times. Basically it says this, “You plant a vineyard for your children and an olive grove for your children’s children.”
Through these two plantings of a vineyard and an olive grove, an inheritance is passed…
To the children goes a vineyard, because the vines not only take less time to produce a full harvest, but because their ultimate lifespan is limited. Yet, to the grandchildren, an olive grove, because olive trees take longer to reach their prime harvest, and their lifespans can reach into thousands of years.
This kind of inheritance fits deeply into God’s Word and ways, because it reminds those to come who they are… as well as that they are loved. Because while olive trees speak largely of biblical inheritance, they also speak of love.
Love to provide a long-term inheritance. Love to provide light and food. Love to provide promise, holiness, sanctification, and even promotion…
An olive tree is more than a tree. It is even more than a tree that produces fruit. Over and over again it gives, lasting beyond even earthly grandchildren.
At My Olive Tree we are blessed to be a part of this biblical gift. To not only bring to life biblical prophecy, but to offer hope and love to God’s people. To bring God’s provision and promises to all who share in the bounty of the olive trees… even to all those who see the trees and recognize the message God is sending.
It is an inheritance. One which may last beyond the return of Yeshua our Messiah—Jesus our Christ—and into His thousand-year reign in Jerusalem.
While an olive tree is often just a sapling when planted, God can use it to change hearts. He can bless those who receive AND those who give. He can bring His Word to life in and through us! On behalf of all those who have been touched by God’s love poured out through the planting of olive trees, we at My Olive Tree, would like to say, ‘toda raba!’ Thank you so very much!