31 Jan Blessed for a Purpose
For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. 13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress 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.
God’s heart for us is to be a joy and blessing wherever we go. But for us to go out with joy and peace, He first needs to do a work in us. The opposite of joy is depression and oppression. The opposite of peace is fear and anxiety. God doesn’t want us to go about under the burden or depression and fear.
In this text it says that the plants mentioned here are a sign that says something about the Lord. So let’s take a look at them. Thorn bush we understand. Shepherds would use thorn bushes to build a kraal for their sheep. A brier is a plant with prickly hairs that cause skin irritation upon contact. For example stinging nettles. Thorn bushes and briers represent limitations and obstacles in our lives. They hedge us in and hinder our progress.
The promise here is that the Lord will cause the cypress and the myrtle to take their place. Noah’s ark was made of cypress wood. So we see that the cypress tree is a picture of salvation and preservation. And the ark points to Jesus. So when we hear cypress tree we can be encouraged that instead of hindrances, the Lord will give us salvation.
Also, Myrtle is not just a woman’s name! It is an evergreen shrub that produces fragrant oil with healing properties. The Hebrew Word for this tree is ‘Hadassah’ and Hadassah was the Hebrew name of the woman in the Bible we get to know as Queen Esther. The whole story of Esther is one of redemption, divine intervention and promotion. It illustrates how the impossible is made possible.
Because of Jesus Christ in your life, your year can be like the story of Esther. God can bring confusion to your enemies and promote you in a time that it seems impossible. Just as God blessed and promoted Esther for a purpose, so He does for us. God didn’t bless Esther with beauty and favour so that she can have thousands of followers on Instagram! Her beauty carried itself with dignity and it was part of a divine setup by which the Lord saved the Jews from genocide.
It is the same for us: When God blesses you it is always for a bigger reason. In 2019 your Breakout miracle will be for a purpose larger than your own life. So you can be encouraged by the promise that instead of the brier will come up the myrtle tree. Instead of hindrances and limitations in your life, you will experience God’s deliverance, redemption, promotion and divine intervention. When we are blessed He is glorified!