AMONG THE MYRTLE TREES
Zechariah 1:7 Upon the four and twentieth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Sebat, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying, 8 I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom; and behind him were there red horses, speckled, and white. 9 Then said I, O my lord, what are these? And the angel that talked with me said unto me, I will shew thee what these be. 10 And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These are they whom the LORD hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth. 11 And they answered the angel of the LORD that stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest. 12 Then the angel of the LORD answered and said, O LORD of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years? 13 And the LORD answered the angel that talked with me with good words and comfortable words. 14 So the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy. 15 And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction. 16 Therefore thus saith the LORD; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, saith the LORD of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem. 17 Cry yet, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the LORD shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem.
Just as in the New Covenant we find Christ standing amidst the seven golden lamp stands as recorded in Revelation 1:13, so here we find him in the midst of his people under the shadow of the law, Among The Myrtle Trees! He has told us that from before the foundation of the world, my delights were with the sons of men. (Prov. 8:31). And he has also instructed us, For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (Matt. 18:20). For the Lord God has sworn, And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart. Jeremiah 24:7. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. Rev. 21:3.
These myrtle trees Reveal God’s Glory as his planting in the wilderness!
Isaiah 41:19 I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together: 20 That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the LORD hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it. The church, represented by these myrtle trees was planted by God in the wilderness of this world. And his keeping them in the world, but not of the world is a mighty work of his sovereign power.
He went to the cross to prepare a place for her (John 14:2). And at that same cross he defeated Satan and his forces and evicted him from his stolen place! John 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. 32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. 33 This he said, signifying what death he should die.
Listen also to a portion of Revelation chapter twelve: 6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. 8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. 14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
We must understand that the Son of man who went forth to sow was not, in that parable, sowing the word! He was sowing the children of the kingdom! Matt. 14:24, 37, 38. Therefore he alone determines the bounds of their habitation (where they will live), and the times before appointed (when then would live)! Acts 17:26. And his purpose for doing so is listed in the next verse – That they should seek the Lord! Every single elect soul was sovereignly placed when they lived and where they lived as the very best time and place for them to come to know the Lord in redeeming grace!
These myrtle trees also Reveal God’s Grace in replacing the briers of the curse with them and their joy!
Isaiah 55:12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. 13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.
The briers and thorns were part of the curse that came upon us at the fall of Adam. But the Lord Jesus Christ has become a curse for us that we might be made free! Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. 13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: 14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
Also, in the Feast of Tabernacles, all of Israel, in every city came out of their houses, went out into the moist bottom land where the myrtle trees grew in abundance and with thick boughs, harvested their limbs, came home and made outdoor booths to live under for seven days! Nehemiah 8:13 And on the second day were gathered together the chief of the fathers of all the people, the priests, and the Levites, unto Ezra the scribe, even to understand the words of the law. 14 And they found written in the law which the LORD had commanded by Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month: 15 And that they should publish and proclaim in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying, Go forth unto the mount, and fetch olive branches, and pine branches, and myrtle branches, and palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to make booths, as it is written. 16 So the people went forth, and brought them, and made themselves booths, every one upon the roof of his house, and in their courts, and in the courts of the house of God, and in the street of the water gate, and in the street of the gate of Ephraim. 17 And all the congregation of them that were come again out of the captivity made booths, and sat under the booths: for since the days of Jeshua the son of Nun unto that day had not the children of Israel done so. And there was very great gladness.
This was to be done to refresh them concerning the benefits of their birth, especially in their deliverance from Egypt! Lev. 23:42 Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: 43 That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
And is this not our great rejoicing? Luke 10:20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven. And is this not the heavenly, spiritual song, acceptable unto our glorified Lord? Rev. 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
The myrtle tree must have moisture to “attain a considerable height.” (ISBE).
We notice in verse eight of our text that they were in the bottom. That is, they were growing in the moist bottom land. Bottom land is lower land, usually near a water way. This is where the church thrives! Song 4:15 A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon. Isaiah 58:11 And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
And each individual “tree” has it’s own watering source – the Holy Spirit! John 7:37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
For the blessed man is said to be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Psalm 1:3.
These are they whom the LORD hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth. It is most interesting to see that the Sovereign Lord, angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him (1 Pet. 3:22), has so irreversibly set the duties of his mighty angels that even though the greatest angel fell and became Satan, he still can’t break this command! He may not be doing it for the original purpose, but it nevertheless works together for the good of those called of God! For in both Job 1:7 and 2:2 we find these words: And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. Satan still pounds the same beat, and must still give account of himself in doing so.
But we also read of these angels duty being but a picture of our God’s omnipresence and omniscience! For in Zechariah 4:10 we read: For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth. And also in 2 Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.
And as soon as the angel of the Lord (a prefiguring of Christ) receives this report the very next word is THEN! From that exact moment the Lord intercedes for those in bondage! And He is immediately answered with words of comfort, whereupon the prophet is given his next message to preach! And that message is, God is very jealous for his people! And as He sees that their captors are at rest, that is, totally satisfied with keeping the Lord’s people in bondage, and seeing also that the land of Israel is at rest from it’s Sabbath violators, (Leviticus 26:34, 35, 43, 44), for those who did so have been in captivity for 70 years, He raises up to deliver Israel and punish their captors!
Isaiah 10:12 Wherefore it shall come to pass, that when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks.
Pastor Gene Breed, November 26, 2010