Shadows of Messiah – Azaleas

Shadows of Messiah - Azaleas

The azalea is yet another flower which displays “Shadows of Messiah.”Azaleas get their name from the Greek word ἀζαλέος ‘azaleos’ which means to “dry up” or “ashes”.  The beauty of azaleas in connection with ashes is interesting in light of the promise of the Messiah.

Isa 61:3  To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty {פּאר ‘pe`er’} for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

The word פּאר ‘pe`er’ comes from the root word פר ‘par’ which means fruit.  Fruit and flowers are connected as fruit as all fruit comes forth from flowers.

Interestingly, the Hebrew word for ash {אפר ‘epher’} also comes from this root word פר ‘par.’  פר ‘par’ literally pictures oxen treading out the grain in order to gather the fruit.  Ashes are seen in this same imagery (Malachi 4:3).

The word ash comes from the Old English ‘æsce’ which means the “powdery remains of fire” tracing back to the Hebrew word for fire, אש ‘esh.’  In the Scripture, the connection between bushes and fire is seen in Exodus 3 when God appeared to Moses.

Exo 3:2  And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.

It is in this portion of Scripture that the LORD declares His name.

Exo 3:13  And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?
Exo 3:14  And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
Exo 3:15  And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.

Further connecting the azalea with the burning bush is in the Chinese culture the azalea is known as the “thinking of home bush” (sixiang shu).  Moses was called to bring Israel “home” (Exodus 3:8; 6:6-8).

Like the azalea, His name is beautiful.

Psa 135:3  Praise the LORD; for the LORD is good: sing praises unto his name; for it is pleasant
{נעים ‘naiym’ – beautiful}.

נעים ‘naiym’ means sweet, pleasant or beautiful. נעים  ‘naiym’  is used in reference to the name of God in Psalm 135:3.  Scripture equates His Name with His Word (Revelation 19:13).   God (and His Word which reveals His character) is love (1 John 4:8, 16).  Creation is a reflection of God’s Word and His love.  The beauty found in nature points to His Word/love.

God is the Great Artist, the Maker of all things.  The English word ‘artist’ comes form the Hebrew word יצר ‘yatsar’ which means to create or form, as a potter molding clay.  God is the former of all things (Jeremiah 10:16; 51:19).  He is the source of all beauty (Psalm 27:4; 90:17; 45:2; Zechariah 9:17).

Psa 27:4  One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.
Psa 90:17  And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.

Psa 45:2  Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever.

Zec 9:17  For how great is his goodness, and how great is his beauty! corn shall make the young men cheerful, and new wine the maids.

Related Studies:

Biology

Geology

Shadows of Messiah – Flowers

Hebrew Origins of English – Beauty

 

Shadows of Messiah book 3

blessing 4

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