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

Words in the Dirt

I want to dedicate this short writing and poem to all of God’s children who are hurting and feeling broken; due to the authoritative figures in their lives, whether parents, spouses, family members, religious figures, or government officials. God sees you. 

But Yeshua went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn, He came again into the Temple. All the people were coming to Him, and He sat down and began to teach them.

The Torah scholars and Pharisees bring in a woman who had been caught in adultery. After putting her in the middle, they say to Yeshua, “Teacher, this Woman has been caught in the act of committing adultery. In the Torah, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do You say?” Now they were saying this to trap Him, so that they would have grounds to accuse Him.

But Yeshua knelt down and started writing in the dirt with His finger. When they kept asking Him, He stood up and said, “The sinless one among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Then He knelt down again and continued writing on the ground.

Now when they heard, they began to leave, one by one, the oldest ones first, until Yeshua was left alone with the Woman in the middle. 10 Straightening up, Yeshua said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?”

11 “No one, Sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Yeshua said. “Go, and sin no more.”

As you read John 8:1-11, I want you to place yourself in this Woman’s shoes. For a moment, let’s take the gender away and focus on grief and shame. In God’s kingdom, men and women are spoken of as the bride. I am not condoning transgenderism here. I am simply trying to share something hidden in this verse. The authorities place this “sinful woman” in the middle of a large group over the congregation. When I read this, I teared up because I have been in this situation. Aren’t we all this Woman? 

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18

Yeshua was showing these authorities, and they are no different from the Woman. What grieved my soul was verse 6- they wanted to trap Yeshua. They wanted to stone, behead, crucify him. We don’t need sharpened rocks aimed at our broken-down souls; we need Torah and mercy together. Don’t you find it interesting that the authorities immediately knew that they couldn’t cast a stone from the oldest to the least, they all left. Didn’t Moses say they could? Ah, the deeper things in Torah shine through because Yeshua was the light. Please don’t let men’s words cause you to stumble and fall more; we all sin—even those behind podiums and microphones. If you are still struggling with your sin, let Yeshua show you the way out because guilt and shame don’t belong among God’s children. May the poem below refresh your soul. Thank you for reading; your support means much to me.

I count the stones that have been tossed at you.

Each one doesn’t change the way I see you.

One by one, they eventually flee.

Leaving you alone, hurting, and looking for me.

When these days come for you.

Beloved one, remember my love is true.

Hidden words written in the dirt.

Come to me, i will heal all your hurt.

These words I write for you.

Don’t change because my love is true.

~Crystal Sedillo~

A Gift from the Tomb

Do you struggle with identity issues or knowing your worth? For the longest time, I wrestled with Adonai. I wanted to know who I was and what I was supposed to be doing. Many times I was confused by organized religions philosophies, the role of women, and the structure of “church” I would lament with ear-piercing cries, Abba, who am I? Little did I know He had been shaping and molding me since birth. As I struggled with my identity, I stumbled upon a compelling verse in Luke 8. Yeshua visits a man at a tomb. This man had lost his identity to a legion of spirits. Each spirit told him who he was and leaving him feeling bound and without worth. Spirits aren’t always entities. They can be false doctrines, hateful speech, and unloving actions- religious beliefs. I find it interesting that Yeshua doesn’t banish this legion to the abyss but sends them into a herd of swine to drown themselves. I wonder where legion went after this? I felt that i should do a quick search on the word legion. The Latin root for legion is Legere which means choose, levy. Now let’s ponder this: choosing is to approve, seek out, and accept. Levy has a deeper meaning than I expected. Levy means to raise or lift. However, the root word of levy is levis, and it means light! Did you read that? It’s funny that it’s the root word, and we are to always get to the root of the problem. Light always finds a way through. Going back to the Scripture

38 The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with Yeshua. But Yeshua sent him away, saying, 39 “Return to your home, and describe all that God has done for you.” So he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole town all that Yeshua had done for him. ~Luke 8:38-39~

This man recently set free from all the bondages of the legion is begging to go with Yeshua, yet Yeshua says something extraordinary. “Return to your home, and describe all that God has done for you.” Yeshua didn’t offer him ordination or tell him he had to attend school before speaking. No, Yeshua says something many in our culture don’t. He tells the man to go and share all that God has done for him! What if we are already equipped to do what Adonai has called you to do? Who are we to argue with Yeshua’s understanding of readiness? When God delivers a package, it doesn’t look like expected. It doesn’t even closely resemble anything that we have been taught, and I love this! As I meditated on this verse, I heard the woman at the well. I pondered her and all her life’s choices. I then thought about the man at the tomb. What was his childhood like? Did he have parents that taught him the way of Adonai? What happened to him and the Samaritan woman that would make them ostracized from society? Then I thought about myself. I feel for these two because I can relate to them. I am not packaged as many would like, yet Adonai is the God that births- El Chawl. 

John 4 Yeshua is conversing with the Samaritan woman. She’s probably confused because the Jews in that time did not speak to the Samaritans. Not to mention she was a woman. Yet here Yeshua is breaking all the status quo of the day. Packaged differently, my friends. As the disciples approached:

28 So the woman left her water jar and went back to the town. She tells the people, 29 “Come see a man who told me everything I ever did! He couldn’t be the Messiah, could He?” 30 The people left the town and began coming to Him. John 4:28-30

The Samaritan woman was so filled with wonder and awe that the townspeople believed her words and left their town to see for themselves. I’m not sure what you have been taught about this woman, but I have heard she wasn’t the most loved in the town. Oh, the things we hear about others. Yet If we skip a few verses down, we read:

39 Many of the Samaritans from that town put their trust in Him because of the word of the woman testifying, “He told me everything I ever did!” 40 So when the Samaritans came to Him, they kept asking Him to stay with them. He stayed there two days, 41 and many more believed because of His word. 42 They kept telling the woman, “It’s no longer because of your words that we believe. We’ve heard for ourselves! Now we know that this really is the Savior of the world!” John 4:39-42

Would we have the excitement of this woman if Yeshua told us everything we ever did? I pray so. What do the man at the tomb and the woman at the well have in common? They didn’t fit the religious standards of the day. But that doesn’t matter to the King of Kings, now does it? Now I ask again, what if we are already equipped to do what we are called to do? There is no need for buildings or vast numbers to minister to the sick and broken. Ministry isn’t an address; it is wherever you put your feet. Ordination comes from heavenly hands. I pray we arise and do what we are called to do with tears in my eyes. Regardless of the packaging. Because many depend on us to do what Adonai has called us to do. We hold keys over death and the grave; Yeshua shows us how to use them.

Works cited:

legion:https://www.google.com/search?q=legion+word+meaning&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS945US945&oq=legion+word+meaning&aqs=chrome..69i57j0i22i30j0i10i22i30j0i22i30l3j0i390.3126j1j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Levy: https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=levy

Levy:https://www.google.com/search?q=levy+definition&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS945US945&oq=levy&aqs=chrome.2.69i57j46i199i433i465i512j0i433i512l2j46i433i512j0i512j46i175i199i433j69i60.3713j0j9&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8