Morning, September 26, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“The myrtle trees which were in the ravine.” — Zechariah 1:8
The vision in this chapter describes the condition of Israel in Zechariah’s day; but being interpreted in its application towards us, it describes the Church of God as we find it now in the world. The Church is compared to a myrtle grove flourishing in a valley. It is hidden, unobserved, unknown; courting no honor and attracting no observation from the careless onlooker. The Church, like her head, has a glory, but it is concealed from worldly eyes, for the time for her to break forth in all her splendor is not yet come. The idea of tranquil security is also suggested to us: for the myrtle grove in the valley is still and calm, while the storm sweeps over the mountain summits. Thunderstorms spend their force upon the craggy peaks of the Alps, but down and distant where the stream flows which makes glad the city of our God, the myrtles flourish by the still waters, all unshaken by the turbulent wind. How great is the inward tranquility of God’s Church! Even when opposed and persecuted, she has a peace which the world doesn’t give, and which, therefore, it cannot take away: the peace of God which passes all understanding keeps the hearts and minds of God’s people. Does not the metaphor powerfully picture the peaceful, perpetual growth of the saints? The myrtle doesn’t shed her leaves, she is always green; and the Church in her worst time still has a blessed lushness of grace about her; indeed, she has sometimes exhibited the most greenery when her winter has been sharpest. She has prospered most when her adversities have been most harsh. Hence the text hints at victory. The myrtle is the emblem of peace, and a significant token of triumph. The brows of conquerors were bound with myrtle and with laurel; and is not the Church ever victorious? Is not every Christian more than a conqueror through him that loved him? Living in peace, don’t the saints eventually fall asleep in the arms of victory?