Saturday, 9 January 2010

Terebinth Tree

A year ago, my mom shared with me that God impressed upon her heart that I have found my ‘terebinth tree’ – a place where I belong, a place where God is, a place where I have met with God, a place where I would not have found if I had remained in Malaysia, and it’s my hiding place in Him. In line with this, I did some study on the ‘terebinth tree’ as mentioned in the Bible. Here’s what I got:

Of all the trees God could have chosen to represent Israel in Isaiah 61:3, why did He choose the oak? Maybe the best–known oaks in the Bible are the “oaks of Mamre,” where Abraham settled in Hebron (Gen. 13:18). Today there is an oak referred to as Abram’s Oak near Hebron. It is 23 feet (7 meters) around, and its foliage reaches a diameter of around 90 feet (27 meters). A few, however, have reached a girth of 70 to 90 feet (21 to 27 meters). The slow-growing tree produces a hard, tough wood that is almost indestructible. After checking 11 different translations of Isaiah 61:3, I found five that simply say “trees of righteousness,” five say “oaks,” and one says “terebinth.” There are six Hebrew words in Scripture rendered “oak.” The word used in Isaiah 61:3 is ayil, which is most often translated “ram.” Its root word refers to strength and power. It can also mean “pillar” and refers to a strong leader. Pistacia (terebinth) develops a very deep and extensive root system and therefore remains green even in years of drought. It often sprouts from the stump after being cut, as noted in Isaiah 6:13. Because of its large size and great age, pistacia trees were well-known landmarks and were used as memorials for the dead. Absalom, great in his own eyes, was trapped in a large pistacia. As often in Scripture, great trees are associated with great men. Gideon was by a large pistacia when he was called by God (Judges 6:11). David faced Goliath in the Valley of the Pistacias (I Samuel 17:2) (elah in Hebrew).

From this, I realized that this secret place is a place I meet God face to face, a place that I encounter God and His love, a place of security and a fulfilling of God’s promise and will. It is also a place associated with greatness and a significant place in my life for such a time and such a season. More so, it’s a place to dig my roots deep into Christ, extend and expand from here. What reminded me of my ‘terebinth tree’ was today’s reading from Gen.28:10-22. 

Meanwhile, Jacob left Beersheba and traveled toward Haran. At sundown he arrived at a good place to set up camp and stopped there for the night. Jacob found a stone to rest his head against and lay down to sleep. As he slept, he dreamed of a stairway that reached from the earth up to heaven. And he saw the angels of God going up and down the stairway. At the top of the stairway stood the Lord, and he said, “I am the Lord, the God of your grandfather Abraham, and the God of your father, Isaac. The ground you are lying on belongs to you. I am giving it to you and your descendants. Your descendants will be as numerous as the dust of the earth! They will spread out in all directions—to the west and the east, to the north and the south. And all the families of the earth will be blessed through you and your descendants. What’s more, I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. One day I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you.”

Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I wasn’t even aware of it!” But he was also afraid and said, “What an awesome place this is! It is none other than the house of God, the very gateway to heaven!” The next morning Jacob got up very early. He took the stone he had rested his head against, and he set it upright as a memorial pillar. Then he poured olive oil over it. He named that place Bethel (which means “house of God”), although the name of the nearby village was Luz. Then Jacob made this vow: “If God will indeed be with me and protect me on this journey, and if he will provide me with food and clothing, and if I return safely to my father’s home, then the Lord will certainly be my God. And this memorial pillar I have set up will become a place for worshiping God, and I will present to God a tenth of everything he gives me.”

Verse 15 struck me most: “...What’s more, I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. One day I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you.” These words seemed so familiar. I heard it before I left for England. But now, these words are taking me on a new journey. I see them partly fulfilled and partly in progress. This is my assurance – God will not leave me until He has finished giving me EVERYTHING He has promised me. Bethel is as significant as a ‘terebinth tree’. Every one of us should have our own “Bethel” and “terebinth tree”. These are places and encounters which keep a person focused on the promises, and gives strength at the lowest points of life. It is a remarkable and memorable place simply because heaven came down on earth and opened a stairway to heaven. Moments like these calls for a divine engagement with God; a meeting of hearts, where deep calls to deep... Our gateway to heaven only gets better by developing a deep and extensive root in Christ. Only then will we be able to “Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities.” (For a full picture, read Isaiah 54:1-5) Such is God’s covenant with those whom He loves. 

62 comments:

::Michi:: said...

great post chingu! and really encourging to me even at this time.. glad u've found your terebinth tree.. =)

Charissa said...

Hi love,

Thank u for leaving a comment. Glad that it left a mark in your heart! Terebinth trees are everywhere. You just have to make it yours when God appears ;)

Bob said...

What a wonderful post Charissa. I was just sitting here listening to a sermon from J Vernon MeGee and wanted to Google Terebinth tree for information. I just stumbled on your site. May you keep pressing into our Lord and find your perfect purpose that he has planned for you. God Bless you!

Anonymous said...

Inspiring!

Anonymous said...

Excellent commentary... I am studying Isaiah 1 and this was the most insightful and helpful commentary I could find. You have a gift!

Norman said...

Hi Charissa
That is some really great insight the Lord has opened up for you. I was reading in Genesis 12 and pondering the whole thing about God asking Abraham to leave his country,and family so He could "make Abraham" a great nation. I think He 'makes you' at places like the Terebinth tree. I love what your mom said about finding hers. It is really a destination we all desperately need to find. This blog is a real blessing and really is a roadsign that points to Him. Thanks again!
Norman

go2judith said...

Funny, I was doing a study on Isaiah 1 too, and found this study. You just never know how far your roots will go, do you? Much love,

Judith

Kim Z said...

Thanks for your words of encouragement. I was just reading Genesis when I read the word "terebinth" and didn't know what the tree was or looked liked. I googled it and came across your post. No accident either! Please keep sharing.
In our Lord's Mighty Care,

Gary (AKA Palinman) said...

For some time now, I have been feeling the sense of being 'called out', as in leaving a place of comfort and have been studying Gen 12. I Googled terebinth tree and came upon your site and your words on this tree. It was very good insight for me. Thank you for taking the time to put it together for those of us who would read it. Interestingly, my business is named Charisma...sound familiar?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this, it was really releavnt to me, as I friend saw me as a terebinth tree, veery intersting, thank you and bless you , may you find precious times in God as you go into that secret place with God !

ADH said...

i know you don't know me, but i am a fellow sister in Christ. i was googling about the terebinth tree to find scripture referring to it. the Lord invited me to sit under the tree in our back yard to start my devotions with Him and immediately i thought of the "terebinth tree"! thank you so much for your insight! blessings!

Amy said...

I happened upon your post on the terebinth tree and it revealed what the Lord was telling me in a dream I had over a year ago... Thanks for sharing. I know it wasn't a coincidence that I read your post.

Patti said...

I was reading Isaiah 1 also, and found your web site. Thank you for sharing- I believe that God will use what I learned from reading your post to share with my own daughter. God bless,
Patti

Anonymous said...

just to let you know a terebinth tree was a site of pagan worship isaiah 1:29-31

Charissa said...

Thank you all for leaving words of encouragement!

The place of worship is what we make of it. At times it does not depend on where or who are around us or what previous history that place has, it's our hearts connecting with God's heart that matters most.

Don said...

Charissa, A few years ago, while reading in the Bible, I kept being drawn to the Terebinth Tree and it seemed to keep popping up. We purchased a building on a city square, in fact it's the county seat, and moved in upstairs and eventually moved our church downstairs. We named the building Terebinth Tree. Since last November, through a "set-up" of the Lord, we've been having some tremendous prayer/ministry times on Saturday nights lasting for several hours. People from various and different churches are attending. During these times, we have witnessed astounding miracles of healing and life changes. We spend deep times in worship. We believe the Lord is calling individuals and groups of people all over the world to Terebinth Trees. Thanks for posting this Holy-Spirit inspired blog. God bless you!

Anonymous said...

Wow! How the Holy Spirit moves! The deep roots of the Terebinth are still producing fruit April of 2011, God is good and Holy, and your post gave me insight as I sought the Lord about a move and a change in my life, and He spoke "Terebinth" to me today, so I am searching for insight, all of you have blessed me! Godspeed Cindy

Jessica R. Patch said...

This post is amazing! I googled terebinth tree to study it for something I am writing and this blog popped up. I needed it. Thank you for writing it. :) Blessings.

candypb said...

Love this. I was googling the terebinth tree and came apon your blog just like 90% of these comments. I love it how God works. Thanks for sharing a little of your mind. Inspiring!

Elena said...

Amazing! Why have so many of us been studying Isaiah and the terebinth tree, and all wind up here? WOW! Total strangers, united with that One Mind.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your superior, thorough explanation of terebinth. As is often God's way, all we have to do is follow and He leads us where we need to go. Peace be with you.

Anonymous said...

What a blessing! Thanks for sharing your studies on the "oak/ terebinth tree.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Charissa said...

Thank you for your insight on this matter.

Certainly, it's not about the tree that matters, or its name, or the place of worship and the people who worshipped there; rather, the 'terebinth tree' in my post simply signifies my 'encounter' with God. I truly believe that no matter where I am, as long as my heart reaches out to God, I will find Him. For example, if I am in a idolatrous land and I sat by a tree with a shrine beneath it, and I cry out to God for His presence. When God comes, it does not matter whether I found God at a place of idol worship or if it was indeed beneath a terebinth tree - because what matters most is that I found God and God came through for me.

As I've mentioned before, the place of worship or the place of encounter is what we make of it. Indeed like you said, too much facts and trying to dissect them in order to feed our logical mind is not going to help. The truth lies in the One who loves us and gave His Son for us. Only truths that are born out of the light of His salvation will save us.

janet said...

Like for so many others your blog on the terebinth tree helped describe my current situation. I know as I reach out to God and call on Him, He will reveal his plan, direction for my life. My family is waiting on God for direction to relocate to another country. Somehow, reading about Abraham and how God lead him from one destination to another, and your insight on the terebinth tree, I know it is time for change and it will be a significant one in our lives. The exciting part is in listening to God and taking those steps of faith and move forward with Him. Thanks for your sharing your insight on the terebinth tree.

Anonymous said...

This is my first time reading your writing. Love it. God was really speaking to me this morning to read in Genesis and I wasn't sure why. I felt the need to read about Terebinth trees, still wasn't quite there. Then your words just hit my heart. I understand now what He was trying to tell me. Thanks so much.

Anonymous said...

i found my terebinth tree. thank you.

Noonie B. said...

The women in our church are studying the book of 1 Samuel and when I came across 1 Samuel 10:3, I was interested in the meaning behind the terebinth tree. I'm very glad I came across your post on the internet. I shared your information with some of the women in our church.

dedie byrd said...

Just wanted you to know, we are presently doing the Beth Moore study on David: Seeking A Heart Like His. This study is awesome, but this morning I was reading the scripture in II Samuel 18 and just wondered what terebinth tree was. I really enjoyed your post and it really put the explanation on my level of understanding the signifince of the tree.
Thanks

Anonymous said...

awesome and great revelation i pray God continues to take you on the journey in a deeper and richer way.

Monde said...

what a wonderful passage especially that i want to name a family company and the word "terebinth" came up. I love the words power and strength. And it been able to be green in drought.

Anonymous said...

Even now, Dec 2012, your post is making a difference in the lives of believers. Be blessed and at peace!

Anonymous said...

Ms. M said: This brought a smile to my face and peace to my heart. Talking about fitting and perfect timing...Wow!

Anonymous said...

WOW Thank u for ur blog. Long ago i dreamed i was under a tree and that a chair (white0 came down from heaven beaming with light and that the Lord opened up my deaf ears i sent in aprayer request about my hearing and prayer to be healed and the lord gaVE me this word "terebinth" I came accross ur blog and i feel that he's telling me that my dream of being healed will soon come to pass..the place i dream about is somewhere i frequent to get away and pray and there are lots of oak trees there it is where like ur mom, i meet with God ..thank u for sharing this it has blessed me greatly millie

Brian said...

Praise the Lord for your study Chassima I was away up country on some land the Lord blessed me with last Friday afternoon 25 Jan and had working hard all day and felt I needed to sit down and rest under abig tree Ive been told a pear went to sleep and woke up with this thought I beleive was from the Lord something about someone asleep under a Teribith tree I found you sight confirmed what I had cleaned myself. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

You planted a seed 3 years ago when you shared your insight, your Hope and Blessing. The date happens to be my birthday. I didn't know the meaning and like others simply Googled today after being curious for quite awhile.

God is calling me to be still so that I can hear Him...encounter Him. He is waiting on me by the terebinth of His choosing. But, I must walk, seek, and be open to the Encounter. Thank you for sharing...for taking the time to bless others across time and distance

Drema Hearn said...

I was in search for a study on "the Terebinth trees of Mamre, your blog came up...I was truly in awe of how Holy Spirit led me here..God has spoken a word to me about this..and I wanted to learn and understand as much as i could..What a blessing..Thank you for posting..and than You, Holy Spirit for leading me here..
Drema Hearn

Anonymous said...

A lot more than interesting. I, too, must be still. TO listen

Anonymous said...

I couldn't have found a better interpretation than this. So inspiring and I felt your heart for God. Simply Beautiful! May God continue to use you.

Anonymous said...

I was just reading Judges, chapter 6, that phrase came up, I could not dismiss it; what a good interpretation. Thank you so much. May Gpd continue to bless an use you for His glory.

March, 29, 2013.

Anonymous said...

Your story was very encouraging
I was having my quite time with the Lord last night and he showed me that this is the terebinth tree that Prophetess Debra sat under when she governed Israel ...the tree is also known by it's sap to possess and release Prophetic Revelation ......Prophets Dictionary by Paula A. Price

Ester le Roux said...

Hi Charissa,

Thank you for this post. I also was looking up about the Terebinth and what it means, while writing abour the Cedar-tree. I remember the words in the Bible and wonder if it was from a Cedar-tree. You enlightened me pleasantly! God bless!

Mary said...

Thank you for responding about the terebinth tree--it spoke to me as I was searching about info on it for a story of mine. Our roots must reach down deep as well as reach upward to the sky toward Abba in order to flourish.

Olanike said...

Thank you so much for sharing that, God bless u

Taavi said...

thank you upsettingbroca.blogspot.com

Taavi said...

thank you I searched for Terebinth as I was reading about Absolam and found your blog. I have a blog name that is very similar to yours and content that might be of interest to you and your readers...the road not taken.

Timothy Satterfield said...

Thank you for your writing about "the terebinth trees of Mamre" (Genesis 17). You have helped me to know the meaning/significance of this phrase. Thank you also for sharing the personal blessing it provided for you.

Anonymous said...

I too am studying Isaiah. The Lord has put it on my heart to read Isaiah all the way through and like a lot of people on here I didn't know what terebinth meant and stumbled across your beautiful message here! thank you for posting and sharing Gods word with us!

lisa king said...

I woke@ 1a w/ Isa 6:11 on my heart after praying. It cross references Ezekiel 36:26-37. 10 yrs ago while driving, God showed me a house I'd never seen before. It was going to be my house. I named it Glory House, for God's glory. Do not have it yet & hopes have been low but steady. Tonight He had me focus on, "terebinth tree" Isaiah 6:13. In researching this, I saw your blog. It made me feel this is where I was supposed to find answers. I believe this house, Glory House, is to rise from the ashes to be as the garden of Eden to the marvel of men and the glory of God. All are welcome to experience the intimacy with GOD for themselves. A retreat amongst the shared trees, if you will. GOD will be found there.
Thank you and may The Lord. continue to bless you and all.

Margaret Steinacker said...

As I read I Samuel 10:3, I googled terebinth tree and your post came up. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

May your roots run forever deep. God Bless You

AmericanEquineResearch said...

Dear Charissa,

A few days ago as I prayed, Yavashua (Jesus Christ) spoke to me and told me of some things I could use to make a spice. I recognized all the ingredients as those familiar to Texas, USA except one I did not know at all- terebinth. I recalled it from the Bible, but had no other clue. As it turns out, my husband bought some McCormick's pepper medley and one ingredient is pink peppercorns, of which one species (terebinthus) grows wild in South America, Texas, Florida and California. The tree has medicinal properties and other uses. I am going to try to plant some and see if they grow here in central Texas.

Having just looked up terebinth the second time on the net, your blog came up. I think it is beautiful what you write and am going to folow it!

Many blessings, Katy Behr

Anonymous said...

This post was exactly what I was looking for! Dealing with a family situation similar to Lot and Abram, God led me to Genesis 13, and I was deeply curious about verse 18. So I began several hours of research on the terebinth trees of Mamre. My research took me to several landmark areas of the Bible where God had reminded me of promise. Your post brought together my research, much of what God has been dealing with me about over the past 10 months, PLUS a very specific promise from Isaiah 54 shared with me in 2010!! God bless you my sister in Christ for letting God use you to bring clarity to what He desires to speak to so many through the revelation of the Terebinth Tree! PRAISE GOD!

Mary said...

You were a breath of fresh air for me today! I came across the word terebinth at least 3 times while reading Micah, Nahum, and Hosea. Each time the Lord drew my attention to that word until I looked it up in Strong's; found nothing; then finally googled it. I STILL didn't get it until I read your post! It is absolutely beautiful and a refreshing drink for the weary. It truly amazes me that the Creator and King of the entire universe longs for us to just come; rest, spend time with Him, and enjoy His Presence!

PRIMA SULTRA said...

I stumbled on too this post as I am looking up the Terebinth Tree and found your post, very encouraging! Thank you some 4 years later!

Steven said...

The Terebinth Tree reminds me of Psalm 1, "a tree planted by the rivers of living water" also spoken of in Jerm. So rest, promise, prophesy, provision and open access to a heavenly portal. Only Abba can pack one word with so much meaning. HE IS AWESOME and I bless you for your research and post. Also encouraged by other comments. Much love to all.

Steven said...

The Terebinth Tree reminds me of Psalm 1, "a tree planted by the rivers of living water" also spoken of in Jerm. So rest, promise, prophesy, provision and open access to a heavenly portal. Only Abba can pack one word with so much meaning. HE IS AWESOME and I bless you for your research and post. Also encouraged by other comments. Much love to all.

Sue said...

During my time with Jesus yesterday, I was reading many chapters in Genesis and noticed how many times the Terebinth trees were mentioned. God was speaking to me about spending more close time with Him. I searched the net for what a Terebinth tree was and found your blog. How happy I am to find it! Thank you for your blog and those who post a comment too. I believe God is calling us all closer to Himself to truly know Him and be ready for any crisis in our world as we shine as lights for Him.

Anonymous said...

I am writing a sermon Isaiah 6 where the terebinth tree is mentioned. Your site came up when I googled the name. Thank you for sharing your beautiful testimony - it's really wonderful what God can do to make us "oaks of righteousness". May God bless and prosper your witness and work for Him!

Anonymous said...

I too googled the Terebinth Tree while studying Isaiah 1. Your blog was truly a blessing and I am even more encouraged that your post was 4 years ago and continues to bless others in their search. Thankful that God can use this means of communication for His glory.

Lori said...

Charissa thank you for sharing this beautiful story with us! I too was reading about Abraham and the Terebinth and Tamarisk Trees and I love how Holy Spirit just highlights little things like this just to get my attention so He can show me something I haven't seen before!Papa God always does things with purpose and significance! These little nuggets like Abraham's trees and your post adds richness and depth to our lives in Him! Blessings and peace over you!

Anonymous said...

Lovely commentary, keep shining your light! I too was reading the 2nd book of Samuel and was investigating what a Terebinth tree was and stumbled across your insightful post. May the Lord shine His face upon you.

-