Dearly beloved Bride, here is your Bridal Word for the day. Continuing on from our look at Esther, yesterday I mentioned that her name was recorded in Scripture. Her name is very significant in helping us to understand more about being the Bride. In fact before she was ever known as Esther the name given to her at birth was the name Hadassah. This was her Hebrew name, and means “myrtle”.
The meaning of the myrtle tree is very significant in Israel.
The myrtle is a flowering plant that is basically a shrub and is evergreen. It is aromatic as the leaves produce very fragrant essential oil. The leaves are thick and totally cover the woody branches, they are leathery and stiff to touch, covered by a waxy coating that protects the leaves from water loss through evaporation. This gives the myrtle a dense, vibrant appearance, which is green, refreshing, and aromatic all year round. It has white flowers shaped like a star with five petals. It also bears fruit which are round berries containing the seeds for reproduction.
It is widely accepted that a special meaning of the myrtle is as an emblem of everlasting love, fidelity and marriage. It is royal tradition to carry a sprig of myrtle in the wedding bouquet. In Judaism, the myrtle has many additional uses, including weddings, births, deaths and the feast of tabernacles. It represents the idea of survival and renewal of the Jewish People.
Here are five lessons we can learn:
1. Though others may give you a different name (as in the case of Hadassah being called Esther), the name given to you by God is the one that endures. God has called you by name, there is a destiny upon your life as the Bride, that will bring you before those in authority for “such a time as this”
2. Hadassah had no idea that she would become the Royal Bride. So also today, the church is on a journey of discovering her highest identity as the Bride of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul understood it well, and wrote to the church in Corinth “That I might present you as a pure virgin to Christ”
3. The myrtle is extremely fragrant with oil from the leaves. So also the Bride is extremely fragrant in her love and worship of the Lord. Ps 45:11 So the King will greatly desire your beauty; Because He is your Lord, worship Him. Jesus is totally in love with His Bride. His love is so great that He would even give His own life for her. Be fragrant and extravagant in your love and devotion.
4. The myrtle is evergreen, so also the beauty of the bride is eternal, and like the tree planted by the rivers of water, her leaves will not wither, and whatsoever she does will prosper.
5. The myrtle symbolises the survival and renewal of the Jewish people, so also the Bride symbolises the survival and renewal of the Jewish people. Or put another way, it is by being the Bride that the Jewish people will survive and be renewed. His covenant is a marriage covenant, the promises given to Israel are Bridal.
There are prayers that only the Bride can pray, and a position that only the Bride can fulfil, because it is only to His Bride, the Royal Sceptre is extended.