The Israelites had a unique relationship with God and the land. Because they were farmers and shepherds, wealth and prosperity were associated with their crops and herds. When it came to offerings and sacrifices, the produce from the land is what they gave.
Did you know that many of the holidays we celebrate today began as agricultural festivals? Many festivals correspond with blooming and harvests of crops. People of both the Jewish and Christian faiths today can trace their cultural roots back through the rich history of Israel.
“For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey…”—Deuteronomy 8:7-8
Wheat, barley, grape, fig, pomegranate, olive, and date; these are the seven species or sheva minim.
The Israelites viewed these crops as evidence of the Promise Land’s abundant potential and God’s love and covenant with them.
The holy and unique quality and character of the land is related to these seven species mentioned in Deuteronomy. God promised to bring the Israelites into this land, “flowing with milk and honey.” This promise was fulfilled, and in Deuteronomy 26 He then instructed them to take these seven species and offer them as tithes and as firstfruit offerings.
Looking at these fruits to focus on God
God’s perfect design has no accidents. When you are standing in front of one of these marvelous fruit trees where do you look? You look up! Your eyes are physically fixed on things above. This perspective allows our focus to transcend the created… to the Creator. Let us not forget where the goodness of the land comes from and His vision to restore and bless Israel, and you, through His creation.
Seven is perfection
From the beginning of creation, the number seven has been a symbol of completeness and perfection. It is no coincidence that God placed seven species in the Holy Land.
As we are preparing for the return of the Messiah the number seven should not be ignored. It emerges throughout the Bible, and shows up in significant ways in the book of Revelation. Because seven is a symbol of completeness, hope is on the horizon as the seven species are being restored in the Holy Land.
God made an unforgettable promise to restore Israel. His promise made in Jeremiah and Amos still holds true.
“This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you. The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will bring my people Israel and Judah back from captivity and restore them to the land I gave their ancestors to possess,’ says the Lord.”—Jeremiah 30:2-3
This is the vision and passion of My Olive Tree. We want to display God’s continued love and covenant with His people and the promise of restoration to the nation. It’s about helping Israel become a country that prospers through economic independence.
“‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord… The mountains shall drip with sweet wine, and all the hills shall flow with it’… ‘ I will bring back the captives of My people Israel; They shall build the waste cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them;
they shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them.’”—Amos 9:13-14
We want to partner with God in His restorative plan. We understand that when seeds are sown into good soil, the return is thirty, sixty and one hundred fold. This is exactly what is happening with our humanitarian aid efforts.
Today, through the help of thousands of people around the world, we have planted over 20,000 partner sponsored olive trees throughout the land of Israel. This planting provides avenues for the people of Israel to partake in growing and harvesting their own plants, bringing economic growth to the area. We have a goal of one million, and though we have yet to reach that goal, we are persevering and moving closer!
Though time has passed, and many of these plentiful crops were forgotten, there has been a rebirth. Restoration is upon us in the land. Because legacy and memory are important to the Jewish people and to God, He has begun a restoration of these fruits and crops. Won’t you be a part of this revival in the Holy Land?