Posts Tagged ‘pomegranates’

Giving and receiving –taking another look

February 26, 2020

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

It has been a while since I posted a blog entry inspired by the Verse of the Day, so I thought I would share comments based on a recent experience while waiting for my appointment with my oncologist at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Washington, DC. My wife and I have relocated from North Carolina to Northern Virginia, and this was my first appointment with the VA Hospital in DC where I formerly worked as a pharmacist more than 45 years ago. Oh, the Providence of God. . . As I sat in the waiting room, a chaplain came in spreading “some good news for the day.” He handed strips of paper with Bible verses to those who wanted to receive them. I smiled and accepted the “Verse of the Day” he gave me, a verse that you could apply that day and every day for that matter:

Luke 6:38 (New King James)

Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”

This verse relates an immutable principle expressed in Scripture in a number of ways. In Genesis, after the flood, we find a reference to “seed-time and harvest.” Malachi mentions the principle of “tithing,” a specific form of giving. In Philippians, Paul speaks of “giving and receiving” while he mentions “sowing and reaping” in Corinthians and Galatians.

In a previous blog post on the subject of “giving and receiving,” I offered an illustration of the principle by discussing “Spiritual Implications and Applications of Pomegranates” in this excerpt :

According to folklore, pomegranates contain 613 seeds, representing the 613 commandments found in the five books of the Law in the Old Testament. Since the fruit abounds with seeds, the pomegranate is also used to illustrate some of the spiritual principles of “giving and receiving,” “sowing and reaping,” and “seed-time and harvest.” Here we note that God’s ratio is never 1:1, not 1:10, not 1:50, not 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 produced 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 100 trees with hundreds of pomegranates with hundreds of seeds produced every year, you could not calculate the total number of seeds produced from one seed. The essence of the 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 fertile soil of the heart.

While reflecting on the “Verse of the Day” the chaplain gave me, I also thought of a song by Ron Kenoly who captures the essence of the promise given by the Lord Jesus Christ, as we will close with “Give and it will come back to you” [ Luke 6:38 ]

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.”