Fruit Trees, Forbidden Fruit and Maturity

Shevet is an interesting month to me. Well, all of the heavenly seasons speak at depths we must stop to analyze. This month is about pleasure. That’s a word that sounds nice to our ears and appeals to our eyes. Pleasure in and of itself is not a bad thing. It’s when we allow pleasure to become our desire, to rule over us. As with all things in creation, balance is what’s needed. Desire is not a bad word either, but it needs to be kept in check. But what is pleasure, and how does it differ from desire? Collins dictionary defines pleasure as “if something gives you pleasure, you get a feeling of happiness, satisfaction, or enjoyment from it” That sounds lovely. Desire is “a strong wish, to do or have something.” As children of Adonai, we all have a full range of feelings, emotions, and desires. It is a natural and beautiful part of the image of Elohim. What gets us in trouble is when we would rather act like the beasts we share our creation day with instead uphold the Echad image of our Father. Now that we understand pleasure and desire better, I would like to shift our attention to this month. In Hebraic thinking, there is a theme, a tribe, a constellation for each month, along with many other topics. This may sound rather strange to some of my readers but bear with me here. This is not a form of witchcraft, nor is it modern astronomy. It is wisdom from Adonai Himself. 

“Then God said, “Let lights in the expanse of the sky be for separating the day from the night. They will be for signs and for seasons and for days and years” Genesis 1:14,

 “He makes the Bear, Orion and Pleiades, and the constellations of the south;” Job 9:9 

“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;” Psalm 8:3

Shevet, which correlates to January, a winter month, is centered around the theme of pleasure, and the sense is what we eat, taste. The tribe for this month is Ashur, and both the blessings this tribe received were about pleasure and eating. It is believed that as believers, we can tap into each tribe’s blessings and strengths, and weaknesses. We need balance in all things at all times. It wouldn’t be proper training for Adonai’s children if it didn’t get set up that way.  

preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and exhort, with great patience and instruction. 2 Timothy 4:2

What exactly does the theme for the month have to do with us? Much. The theme is literally what we will be tested in, physically and spiritually. What we eat and how we partake of pleasure will define what pop quizzes and chapter exams we will be handed.

“The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual” 1 Corinthians 15:46  

This chapter in Corinthians discusses resurrection. Each night we sleep, each month and year that passes, we are dying and resurrecting in both realms, hopefully. As with everything, each month is connected to the next and simultaneously cross-connected. Shevet cross-connects with Tammuz. Both are months of extreme weather; one starts winter the other starts the summer. Extremes in the physical usually mean extreme testing of our flesh. Tammuz is generally June/July, the theme is might/awe, and the sense is sight. When we look further at these two months, we see that in Tammuz, the might of our sight; what we were being refined in during the hot summer months will help or deter our refining during Shevet, our pleasure, and eating.

We’ve all heard the phrase “you are what you eat” I must ask myself what do I eat, and from where is it served? Fast food delivers quickly, usually lacks nutrients, and has fillers to make up for poor quality; this means our taste buds are fooled. Entry-level fry cooks provide fast food, and I’m left feeling sluggish, tired, and have an upset tummy. I usually feel silly for wasting my money on such poor quality food, like Esau, my flesh desired food now! Quality food takes time to make, and there’s usually a long wait due to the care and bounty of flavors. The cooks are upgraded to chef level, and they know what it takes to make good, healthy, and tasteful food. I am left feeling satiated, content, and more inclined to be grateful for the bounty of flavors carefully created. Although it costs more, it is well worth it. How about when we make our food? In my opinion, this is the best way to eat. Yet, we still need quality ingredients and a time-tested recipe if we’re unfamiliar with the menu.

Let’s ponder this spiritually. Shevet is dubbed the month of trees. Tu’BShvat is a holiday that the Jews commemorate this month. Scripture says men are like trees. Galatians 5 mentions the fruit of the spirit. From what type of trees are we eating? Is the fruit ripe and ready? More importantly, what type of tree am I? Is my fruit ready to be eaten? I find this all so fascinating; I’m more intrigued by the fact our Heavenly Father laid down the answers to such questions. As always, on point and in the clutch!

23 “‘When you enter the land and plant any kind of fruit tree, regard its fruit as forbidden.[For three years you are to consider it forbidden; it must not be eaten. 24 In the fourth year all its fruit will be holy, an offering of praise to the Lord. 25 But in the fifth year you may eat its fruit. In this way your harvest will be increased. I am the Lord your God. Leviticus 19:23-25

Lots to ponder here. I wonder what it means to enter the land for us in the diaspora? Is this obsolete because we don’t live in Israel? I doubt it. Once we know the truth, we can never unknow it, un-hear it, and un-taste the goodness of Adonai. When we enter the land, spiritually speaking, we start our journey in becoming a whole bible believer. Our fruit is forbidden. Mainly because you don’t learn to walk without some form of crawling, you can’t become a humble leader without following a humble leader. Watch the fruit! As a gardener, I have learned that I don’t eat the fruit when planting the seed. It takes a period of nurturing, growth and maturity before I and others can share in the bounty. Following the protocols outlined in Leviticus 19, which discusses the various laws of Adonai, not Judaism, shows the proper timeline for one who has been fully engaged and active in their learning and maturing in the body of Yeshua. Keywords-fully engaged and involved; without this, we prolong our growth. In the orlah-forbidden years, we are to be learning to 

“Make every effort to present yourself before God as tried and true, as an unashamed worker cutting a straight path with the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15

When our fruit is tasted in the fourth year, it is pleasing, an offering of praise to Adonai! Wow, so much to unravel in these little gems. This makes me stop and inspect my limbs—blossoms with choice fruit or dead, unwatered buds. Abba, let your words be the lamp that shines a light on my path! That fifth year is what we should desire- finally, the fruit is ready to eat. After enduring many different seasons and prunings, the fruit is delicious and ripe; as an added perk, the harvest is increased and prepared to share its bounty—what a beautiful picture of a mature believer.

What we see is what we desire. Without the seasons of maturity, we can harm others. Our sight helps in our tasting. What we taste will ultimately lead to our other senses.  

“You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the Lord, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by chasing after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes.” Numbers 15:39

The heart and the eyes are the “spies” of the body — they act as its agents for sinning: the eye sees, the heart covets, and the body commits the sin- Rashi on Numbers 15:39 Hebraic thought is very different than our Western thinking. The heart and desire are usually described as the seat of emotion, but Biblically speaking, it’s the mind and kidneys. Our minds are intellect and inner thoughts, while our kidneys are the actual seat of emotions. Going back to fruit trees, we all know Eve’s desire wasn’t necessarily evil, but because it was off-balance, there were consequences for all her children afterward. Adonai is so unique that He weaves together all creation to and for all His creation. We can learn from the harsh heat of Tammuz how to traverse the frigid temperatures of Shevet. The sight of our might can help tame the pleasures of eating this month. We must watch what we eat and who is serving it. Is our fruit ready to be harvested, or do we need some more seasons of pruning? It’s vital to the body of Yeshua we follow the Elohim of order. His protocols, not ours. I pray this blog has blessed you, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts. May we endure the forbidden years and progress to the time where our fruit is holy and an offering of praise to our Elohim, may we prepare our fruit, to be ready after our pruning’s and seasons of extreme tempting’s, may the bounty in our fifth year of being awakened in Torah increase because You are Adonai our Elohim! Shalom, and be blessed.

23 “‘When you enter the land and plant any kind of fruit tree, regard its fruit as forbidden.[For three years you are to consider it forbidden; it must not be eaten. 24 In the fourth year all its fruit will be holy, an offering of praise to the Lord. 25 But in the fifth year you may eat its fruit. In this way your harvest will be increased. I am the Lord your God. Leviticus 19:23-25

 If you are interested in reading more about anatomy from a Hebraic perspective, here’s an excellent place to start https://www.torahapologetics.com/language–word-studies/hebrew-anatomy-part-1-the-heart 

Works Cited:

https://www.collinsdictionary.com/us/dictionary/english/pleasure

https://www.collinsdictionary.com/us/dictionary/english/desire

https://www.inner.org/hebrew_calendar/index

 https://www.sefaria.org/Rashi_on_Numbers.15.39.2?lang=bi&p2=Numbers.13.25&lang2=bi&aliyot2=0

https://www.torahapologetics.com/language–word-studies/hebrew-anatomy-part-2-the-kidneys

https://www.torahapologetics.com/language–word-studies/hebrew-anatomy-part-1-the-heart