How God Planted the 7 Species in My Heart
I love when God confirms His Word to me. Perhaps I need more encouragement than most Bible teachers because in all my years of preparing Bible studies, I have sensed His leading and inspiration strongly with every series I have taught. I believe we are to seek God daily for “fresh manna” from the Scriptures. Like stale manna, yesterday’s message may not be sufficient for today’s needs. We must be in the timing of the Lord in all that we do, including our topics of research and study.
Some time ago I was asked to produce a four-part DVD series for BibleInteract on the olive tree to promote my book, Promises from the Olive Tree, but my efforts were fruitless (no pun intended), no matter how much effort I extended. The subject matter that had poured from my heart like rich, golden olive oil while writing the original manuscript had ceased to flow. Obviously there was a hindrance. What could it be? I went before the Lord with my dilemma, which He graciously resolved for me.
When I heard the two simple words, Four Trees, spoken to my heart by the Holy Spirit, I immediately knew my next research topic was to be the four trees of the Seven Species, Shivat Haminim in Hebrew, seven types of food that God provided for His people when they entered the Promised Land (Deut 8:7-8). I was to research all four trees, not just the olive tree! My heart leaped with joy! I felt led to begin my study with the fig tree, Israel’s prophetic indicator, and continue with the pomegranate and palm trees before discussing the amazing olive tree.
I thought my task was complete when the Holy Spirit called me once again, this time to research the other foods of the Seven Species, wheat, barley, and grapes, but I needed another topic to complete the eight-part DVD television presentation. Suddenly, the light bulb turned on again, and I knew how to conclude the series. The final session, The Bread of His Presence, would join the grains and the grapes of the Seven Species in a Eucharistic celebration. What joy! I had heard from the Lord once again, and He confirmed His Word to me repeatedly in the months ahead. I soon learned that the seven fruits and grains are not only powerhouses of nutrition; they are beacons of spiritual insight as they point prophetically to some aspect of Yeshua’s redemptive work.
While touring Israel shortly after completing the DVD series, long before the workbook became a reality, I noticed the name of the dining room where our group had been enjoying a hearty Israeli breakfast for the past few mornings. The sign on the door read “Rimmon Room.” Rimmon is the Hebrew term for “pomegranate!” Wow, more confirmation! And there was even more confirmation to come! On the final night of my hotel visit, I noticed the sign on the door of the dinner room…Shivat Haminim, the Seven Species! Needless to say, I was in awe of God during these confirming moments that I shared with Him. I felt as though I had been dining with the Lord in those special rooms all week.
For some reason God has chosen to communicate with me in confirming words for which I am most grateful. It would be a waste of time and energy to research, teach, or write without the leading of the Holy Spirit. Listening to the Lord not only brought forth the DVD series, but also a companion Bible study, The Prophetic Symbolism of the Seven Species. This topic discusses the seven special foods that God gave to His people when they entered the Promised Land. They were a great blessing to the weary wanderers, and they can be a great blessing in your life too, both physically and spiritually. Check out my eight-part DVD series and my hot-off-the press workbook at bibleinteract.com. Bon Appetit!