Biblical Importance of Flowers…
Yes, flowers… but, why flowers you may ask? Well, throughout the Old and New Testaments they are used in parables, song, and even art and architecture.
From the lilies of the field to the glory of man as the flower, or even to the rose of Sharon, repeatedly, flowers are used to tell us stories of God and who we are in Him.
Yet, additionally, we see that the design of various flowers had a place within the very plans God gave for the Tabernacle and the Temple, as well as the instruments and furnishings to be placed within.
Over and over, flowers found in and around Israel are mentioned in the Word… and that which is found in the Word resides there for a purpose—even something as simple as a flower.
“Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”—Luke 12:27
In the Parables:
Jesus—our Messiah—used flowers to convey His Message in parables to us. Parables that few could fail to remember, such as with the lilies of the field.
His Words, though made simple for us, convey more truth than we could ever hope to understand… and more power, should we choose to listen.
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life… Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? …Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” —Matthew 6:25, 28-29
Jesus repeatedly told us not to worry, reminding us that our lives and earthly glory are fleeting. When He spoke this, He did not do so to hurt us, but instead to show us the wonder of who He is and how He supplies all our needs.
He also warns us not to place our treasure on earth, but in heaven. For it is not wealth that brings disobedience, it is the worship of it—setting it up as a treasure and allowing our hearts to follow.
“Let the lowly brother glory in his exaltation, but the rich in his humiliation, because as a flower of the field he will pass away. For no sooner has the sun risen with a burning heat than it withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beautiful appearance perishes. So the rich man also will fade away…”
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” —James 1:9-11 & Luke 12:34
Finally, Jesus and His disciples reminded us that while our earthly glory is fleeting, God’s Word remains fast and sure, a reference point in the storm to lead us to Him—a Godly compass.
“…All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the word of the Lord endures forever…”—1 Peter 1:24-25
In the Songs:
Solomon—the king who asked God for wisdom to guide His people—is known not only for the wisdom to lead, but also for his wisdom in verse, prose, and song. For, “…God gave Solomon wisdom and exceedingly great understanding, and largeness of heart like the sand on the seashore… He spoke three thousand proverbs, and his songs were one thousand and five” (1 Kings 4:29, 32).
Because of his wisdom and love for music which was passed down by his father David, Solomon wrote many songs, only a few of which are to be found in the book of Song of Songs (or Song of Solomon). Yet, because of his love of not only music, but of plants and trees, many of the love songs found within his writings include flowers.
“While the king is at his table,
my spikenard sends forth its fragrance.
A bundle of myrrh is my beloved to me,
that lies all night between my breasts.
My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blooms
in the vineyards of En Gedi.”—Song of Solomon 1:12-14
Solomon’s love songs, despite perhaps being inspired by his own loves, display to us God’s love. The love of Jesus toward us being that of a bridegroom toward his bride! As a result, these songs display the passion of the Lord for His beloved. His creation.
“My beloved spoke, and said to me:
‘Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.
For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.
The fig tree puts forth her green figs,
and the vines with the tender grapes give a good smell.
Rise up, my love, my fair one,
and come away!’”—Song of Solomon 2:10-13
In the Temple:
In the plans God gave for the Tabernacle articles, the Temple in Jerusalem, and the articles inside, many of His designs included flowers and flowering things. From the gold lampstand burning with holy oil, to the cedar carved walls of the Temple, flowers were used as God ordained—showing His glory in His creation.
“…make a lampstand… Its shaft, its branches, its bowls, its ornamental knobs, and flowers shall be of one piece. And… bowls shall be made like almond blossoms… with an ornamental knob and a flower… Their knobs and their branches shall be of one piece; all of it shall be one hammered piece of pure gold.”—Exodus 25:31-33, 36
“The inside of the temple was cedar, carved with ornamental buds and open flowers. All was cedar; there was no stone to be seen… Then he carved all the walls of the temple all around, both the inner and outer sanctuaries, with carved figures of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers… The two doors were of olive wood; and he carved on them figures of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers, and overlaid them with gold…”—1 Kings 6:18, 29, 32
While there are many more examples than those shown in each of these sections, it is easy to see that God often used flowers to send us messages—teaching us His ways. One miraculous example was the blooming of Aaron’s rod! The people of Israel had rebelled against Aaron and Moses, feeling that they all were called to lead the people, not just Aaron and Moses. So, the Lord gave a sign that Moses and Aaron were indeed called to lead the people.
“And it shall be that the rod of the man whom I choose will blossom… Now it came to pass on the next day that Moses went into the tabernacle of witness, and behold, the rod of Aaron, of the house of Levi, had sprouted and put forth buds, had produced blossoms and yielded ripe almonds.”—Numbers 17:5 & 8
Isaiah 35 contains perhaps one of the most important and beautiful prophecies regarding the return and restoration of Zion. It speaks of how not only the people would be restored with health and relationship with God, but of how the desert lands of Zion would become full of God’s glory and love made manifest… that it would bloom like a rose!
“The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them,
and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose;
it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice,
even with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
the excellence of Carmel and Sharon.
they shall see the glory of the Lord,
the excellency of our God.”—Isaiah 35:1-2
At My Olive Tree, we are working tirelessly to bring the Word of God to life, fulfilling biblical prophecies such as Isaiah 35.
We are, through sponsors like YOU, bringing the desert back to life, making Israel’s desert bloom like a rose! Yet, not only that, we are doing so in the Negev—Israel’s harshest desert region—where we are not merely planting olive trees… we are also planting grapevines!
These plantings do not merely bring the land itself to life, they restore the people—bringing hope, jobs, and beauty for generations to come… making manifest the Word of God to Israel, reminding her that God’s love and promises laid out in His Word are real!
“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.”—Isaiah 40:8