Meditation number 86

Eshcol's grapes

Numbers 13:24-25 tells us of the fruit brought back from the land of promise, the land of Canaan where the children of Israel were to enter and take possession. We know they could not enter because of unbelief. Joshua and Caleb, having been the only ones to affirm that they were able to go up and take the land, will be there some 40 years later to enter in with the people of God, all the unbelievers having perished in the desert. The same fruits as those brought back on their first reconnaissance will still be there.

The land of Canaan is a figure of the heavenly places where the child of God is now seen as seated in Christ (Ep. 2:6) and where he must stand fast and resist the wicked spirits that are there (Ep. 6:12). We are called to bear fruit for God; the three fruits brought out of Canaan, the cluster of grapes, the pomegranates and the figs, bring before us three aspects of the fruit God produces in us and by us.

The cluster of grapes well represent the fruit of the Spirit as recorded in Galatians 5:22. This cluster fruit with multiple grapes speaks of the reproduction in us of the character of Christ Himself.

The pomegranate, a fruit which lined the hem of the high priest's garment (Ex. 28:33), is appreciated for its juice which gives aroma to wine (S. of S. 8:2). It represents what is produced, by the Spirit, towards God in our lives, for instance, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His Name (He. 13:15). The cheeks (temples A.V.) of the Shulamite (S. of S. 4:3, 6:7), like pieces of pomegranates, give anticipation as to what will come out of the mouth, exquisite juice! How the Father's ear must rejoice at what comes out of the true worshippers mouth when we overflow because of His love.

The figs were missing when the Lord Jesus came to pick some (Mt. 21:19). The fig tree existed to produce figs, as with Israel who was to make known the true God; but how they failed. There was much profession but no fruit! Rather, the Name of God was blasphemed among the nations because of them (Ro. 2:24). The fig represents the action of the Spirit of God by us towards others; either towards our brothers and sisters or towards the lost souls around us. The fig is a basic staple food, essential in biblical lands. Does not the Lord say to everyone of us: "give ye them to eat" (Mk 6:37)? May our activity, our distribution of literature, books and tracts or whatever means, cause souls around us to grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

The fruits of Canaan were carried or born on a staff, a piece of wood, hanging between heaven and earth. This staff reminds us of the cross of Christ and the fruit hanging from it, that we are crucified with Him. It is only in the measure that we apply this practically in our lives that we will bear the fruit of God, in us, towards Him, and towards others.

The wooden staff could not be carried alone; you had to be two to carry it. The Lord Jesus tells us that without Him we can do nothing (Jn 15:5). So, in order for the fruit of God to be manifested in our lives, we must be in communion with the Lord Himself for, without this, it will be impossible for the true fruit of Canaan to be produced in our lives. So then, "let us go up at once and possess it" (No. 13:30)!

NOTE: All Bible references are from the King James Version unless otherwise specified. All unsigned material is in the spirit of Ecc. 12:11. Send all correspondence, comments, suggestions to:

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