It’s been some time since I read The Harbringer by Messianic Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, and I’m looking forward to reading The Harbringer II. In the first book, he explains how America is following in the footsteps of Ancient Israel, describing how in the aftermath of 9-11 we even pronounced repeatedly the same verse: “Bricks have fallen, but we will rebuild with hand-cut stones. Fig trees have been cut down, but we will replace them with cedars.” (Is 9:10)
In our case, an old sycamore tree perished at Ground Zero, and the Tree of Hope was planted, a cedar tree. Cedars are a known to be a hardy plant and should have thrived, but instead the tree withered and died since the tree symbolized America's self-sufficent defiance rather than a renewed dependency upon Him. Isaiah 9:10 was repeated by statesmen and even written on the cornerstone as they rebuilt after 9-11, but as pointed out by Rabbi Cahn, this verse in context is an arrogant statement by ancient Israel that would prompt God to stir up the nation’s enemies.
Similarly, the cedar tree was a metaphor used by the prophet Ezekiel to represent Pharaoh. The prophet predicted Assyria’s impending conquest over Egypt. (see Ezekiel 31) It was Pharaoh’s pride that brought him down just as Ancient Israel was brought down by her pride, and America's emerging decline from superpower status flows from our pride and presumptive illusions that it is by our own strength America rose in power and favor. It is only God’s grace and provision, His blessing, that has prospered America, and when we turned from Him, we started in our decline.
So as the Tree of Hope withered and died, rather than turning back to God as our only Hope, the city of New York looked to another tree as symbol of hope: The Survivor Tree. Growing at Ground Zero the Survivor Tree is “ a living reminder of resilience, survival, and rebirth.” You can what the 911 Memorial has to say about this tree, but they don’t understand what it represents prophetically. The hope they have placed in this tree is like the hope some have placed in socialism. What they fail to realize is that the Callery Pear is an invasive plant that originates from China. It represents how they have placed their trust in an enemy who would overpower them, and in looking to this tree for hope and inspiration, they have further tempted the wrath of God upon their city.
But I fear the time of wrath is rapidly approaching for New York City as symbolized by yet another tree. The city boasts of being the greatest city in the world. The prideful boasts of NYC are repeated in the festivities throughout the Christmas Season, starting with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and the New Year’s Eve broadcast. This year, there has been a lot of gossip about the Norway spruce selected for Rockefeller Center: it’s roughed up appearance as well as the story of the owl found in it’s branches.
I am reminded of the times that the Lord has said He will bring His wrath upon New York City and wonder… could this tree be a warning of His imminent judgement? I don’t have a clear answer, and I have not heard God speak clearly on this. However, I do know that He will judge it at some point, and I have a continued concern that this Christmas Season in NYC will be marked by tragedy. We often associate owls with wisdom, coming from their ties to the Greek goddess Athena and representing the wisdom of western civilization, the prevailing wisdom of this world, but owls in the Bible symbolize destruction and desolation. In many cultures, including some native American, they are a harbinger of death. The tree, the owl, they portend something in my mind. God has not spoken to me explicitly about this season, but I wonder if He is speaking through these circumstances.
I don’t know if this tree is a warning of impending wrath, but I feel compelled to post this blog and my impressions before the NYC festivities start, encouraging others to seek God and His direction… all the more as we see the Day approaching!
Finally, I'm reminded of what God has spoken to me in visions about trees and fallen leaves, so much of which has come true as we approach the next step in that vision that I've yet to share in it's entirety.
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