Posts Tagged ‘one hundred fold’

Lessons in giving from the pomegranate

November 3, 2017
pomegranate-seeds-2

Pomegranates are not only a source of nutrition and refreshment, but the currently popular fruit has spiritual significance as well.

November is National Pomegranate Month in the United States, offering a great time to learn about the nutritional benefits of pomegranates in the form of fresh fruit or pomegranate juice. The nutritional and health benefits of pomegranates are well known, but the spiritual implications and applications associated with this ancient fruit are sometimes overlooked.

Once considered obscure, exotic fruit, pomegranates have now become increasingly popular over the past twenty years. Rich in antioxidants, this “super fruit” reportedly prevents cancer and strokes, and provides additional nutritional benefits. The popularity of pomegranate juice has skyrocketed, being used internally and externally in a hundreds of products across the globe.

Indigenous to Middle Eastern and Mediterrean areas, pomegranates are now grown in subtropical climates all over the world, especially in California and Arizona where farmers cannot keep up with the demands.

It was one of the fruit brought back by the spies when the Children of Israel inspected the Promised Land. The fruit grows on trees which produces bright red-orange blossoms which are bell shaped. “Bells and pomegranates” were embroidered on the hem of the priests’ garments in the Old Testament. Solomon is said to have maintained orchards of pomegranate trees.

Within the pomegranate you find several chambers of seeds, surrounded by transparent pulp from which the nutrient-rich red juice is extracted.  Grenadine, a sweet syrup, is produced from the seeds, while the blossoms also have medicinal use. The leathery skin or rind is used in dye for leather. Symbolically pomegranates represent abundant, luxuriant fertility and life in all its fullness, eternal life.

Spiritual Applications from Pomegranates

According to folklore, pomegranates contain 613 seeds, representing the 613 commandments found in the five books of the Law in the Old Testament. The pomegranate is also used to illustrate some of the spiritual principles of “giving and receiving,” “sowing and reaping,” and “seedtime and harvest.”

God’s ratio is never 1:1, not 1:10, not 1:50, nor 1:100, but just for purposes of rounding off, let’s say, 1:500 as an example of the ratio of return. From planting one seed, if you get one tree which eventually produce 100 pomegranates that would be a ratio of 1/50,000 in one year.  What if you planted an orchard from just one pomegranate and eventually had a 100 trees with hundreds of pomegranates with hundreds of seeds produced every year, you couldn’t calculate total number of seeds produced from one seed. The essence of magnitude of this spiritual principle is expressed poetically in this way:

A Hundredfold

But others fell on good ground, sprang up,

and yielded a crop a hundredfold. . . .

Luke 8:8a

 

Orchards of pomegranate trees

stem from fruit of a single seed

whose life is found within itself,

sown in the fertile soil of the heart.

During this period called harvest time we are especially aware of the application of spiritual principles expressed in the Bible in a number of ways: “Giving and Receiving,” found in Philippians 4:15;   “Sowing and Reaping,” mentioned in 2 Corinthians 9:6-14 and Galatians 6:7-9 or “Seedtime and Harvest (Genesis 8:22),” or simply that “The same degree to which you give, it’s going to be given back to you.” Such principles are especially evident when looking at pomegranates which are so abundant at this time of the year.

We conclude our discussion, as Ron Kenoly offers “Give to the Lord,”  a musical rendition of the same principle expressed in Luke 6:38: “The same degree to which you give, it’s going to be given back to you.”