Downloadable Book

Divine Reflections in Times and SeasonsThis blog contains sample chapters from my book Divine Reflections in Times and Seasons. If you have enjoyed these, you may like to read the whole book and its companion volumes.

A  free PDF version of this book can be downloaded from my website or can be purchased from Amazon and other outlets.

Feel welcome to download and enjoy the book — and leave a review on Amazon if you are so inclined. Thanks in advance.

Advertisements
Posted in Downloadable book | Tagged ,

Paradise – Old and New

Paradise gloryWritten in a metaphorical style, the first three chapters of the book of Genesis describe an ideal setting and conditions for earth’s first humans. They were placed in a paradise, named the Garden of Eden with the tree of life, a symbol of immortality, freely available. However, after the first couple chose to go contrary to God’s instructions, they brought upon themselves and their descendants the penalty of death. Their disobedience to the Creator resulted in curses on humankind and the whole creation.[1]

At the end of the Bible, the book of Revelation describes paradise restored. The tree of life is again freely available, and curses, pain, suffering and death are gone forever. A river of the water of life, lined with trees of life in multiple varieties, flows through the Holy City. The perpetual glorious light of God makes the sun, moon and lamps unnecessary. There are no more nights and no more seasons. However, harvests never cease as the trees provide different life-giving fruit every month. While the sun, moon and seasons have their beauty and even inspire awe, something better could yet be in store for humanity and the whole universe. Like the best wine brought forth toward the end of the wedding feast in Cana, God may have kept the best for last.[2] 

[1] Genesis 2:8-9, 15-17; 3:14-19; Romans 8:19-23

[2] Revelation 21:1-8, 23-27; 22:1-5; John 2:9-10

From: Divine Reflections in Times and Seasons by Eva Peck

Posted in All in a Year, Seasonless Paradise | Tagged ,

Seasonal Celebrations in Ancient Israel

Harvest at SunsetA large part of the Old Testament is a story of Israel, the descendants of the patriarch Jacob, later renamed Israel. The nation’s worship is tied to the annual seasons and can be instructive even to us living in the 21st century.

Under their covenant with God, ancient Israelites were required to observe three Holy Day seasons – falling in spring/early summer and in the autumn. These seasons corresponded to two harvests – an early small harvest (firstfruits), and a later large har-vest. Two rainy seasons occurred that helped to bring the harvests to fruition.[1]

Biblically speaking, harvests are symbolic of con-versions, ministering to the saved, and bringing peo-ple into God’s kingdom. Timely rain is one of God’s blessings and a vital agent in producing a good har-vest. In the Scriptures, rain may be analogous to God’s teachings and the Holy Spirit, the means of conversion and salvation.[2]

The first festival period, in the spring, was the Passover followed by seven Days of Unleavened Bread. On the Sunday during this festival time, a sheaf of the first fruits of the harvest was presented to God. This ceremony typified and looked forward to Jesus Christ, who later became the first of the first- fruits. He was the first to be resurrected, glorified, and accepted by the Father on the Sunday after his crucifixion.[3]

Seven weeks after the firstfruits offering came the Feast of Weeks – referred to in the New Testament as Pentecost – during which two leavened bread loaves were offered to God. On the first New Testament Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended, writing God’s law on fleshly hearts (in contrast to tables of stone as occurred on Mount Sinai). On that day, 3000 were converted in a dramatic way – the first members, or firstfruits, of the church founded on the apostles and the prophets with Jesus Christ being the chief corner stone.[4]

The last major festival in ancient Israel was the Feast of Tabernacles, celebrated after the ingathering of the main autumn harvest. Based on the harvest typology, together with other indications in Scripture, it can be postulated that there is yet a large future harvest of the saved.[5]

[1] Deuteronomy 16:16; Exodus 23:14-16; Joel 2:23-24

[2] Matthew 9:35-38; 13:37-43; Luke 10:1-2; John 4:34-38; Revelation 14:15; Leviticus 26:4; Isaiah 44:3-5; 55:10-11

[3] Leviticus 23:4-11; John 20:1-17; 1 Corinthians 15:20-23; Acts 26:23; Colossians 1:18

[4] Leviticus 23:15-17; Acts 2:1-41; 2 Corinthians 3:3-18; Ephesians 2:19-22

[5] John 6:44, 65; Romans 8:22-23, 28-30; Revelation 20:1-6; 12-15; Ezekiel 37:1-14; Romans 11:25-32

From: Divine Reflections in Times and Seasons by Eva Peck

Posted in All in a Year, Seasonal Celebration in OT Israel | Tagged

Winter

Thornlands-22Jun12 018Late autumn and early winter portray old age and death. As with the unstoppable process of dead leaves falling from trees, so in human life family members and friends inevitably pass away. Aging can be a difficult time of loss, sorrow, health problems, and the awareness of one’s own approaching death. However, both nature and God’s Word give hope that this is not the end. Spring always follows winter – there is always a more encouraging time to look forward to.

In nature, some animals survive the winter in hibernation. This can be paralleled with the biblical metaphor of sleep used to refer to human death.[1] The Scriptures then point to a time of resurrection and new life. As the spring with its warm sun starts a new cycle of life, so Jesus Christ, the “Sun of righteousness”, will return to bring new life to those who have died.[2]

[1] Matthew 9:23-25; John 11:11-15; Acts 7:60; 13:36; 1 Corinthians 11:30; 15:20

[2] Malachi 4:2; Daniel 12:2-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51-54; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17

 

 

From: Divine Reflections in Times and Seasons by Eva Peck

Posted in All in a Year, Winter | Tagged

Autumn

Seasons-Changing SeasonsAutumn is associated with welcome cooling from the summer heat and a season when in dry areas the earth receives rain. In temperate regions, it is the time of year that is visually past its best. Signs of aging are everywhere. The beauty of new life has disappeared, and adorable young animals have grown up and lost their special cuteness. Nonetheless, this season has its own beauty – such as in the changing colours of deciduous trees ranging from yellow to orange to red to brown. The autumn is also time to harvest ripe, delicious fruit and express gratitude with rejoicing over God’s goodness.

The autumn of human life is likewise a time past one’s physical best. The reproductive capacity ceases, strength and energy diminish, and wrinkles and gray hair become unmistakable evidence of getting older. To compensate however, “a harvest” of children and grandchildren may be a blessing from God. Fur-thermore, the fruit of the Holy Spirit is often more evident than before – love, peace, joy, patience, goodness – accompanied by godly wisdom gained through the years of walking with God.[1]

[1] Psalm 127:3-5; 128:3-6; Proverbs 2:6; 16:31; 17:6; Galatians 5:22-25; James 1:5

From: Divine Reflections in Times and Seasons by Eva Peck

Posted in All in a Year, Autumn | Tagged

Summer

8-Thornlands-11Nov09 106Summer is typically a pleasant time – a season with bright sunshine and warm temperatures. With its long days, early sunrises, late sunsets, and extra energy, it is also a productive time. Nevertheless, continuous hot and humid or very hot and dry days can be enervating and tiring. In some areas, summer can also be a time of violent weather, such as hurricanes, typhoons, excessive rains and flooding. In summer time, crops ripen and become ready for harvest. Trees are forming fruit – attractive to behold and eagerly anticipated for its flavourful nutrition. Young animals are growing up and being taught survival skills.

In human life, summer can picture early adulthood to middle age – a time of marriage, child bearing, bringing up children, and engaging in a productive career. Spiritually, it can be seen as a season for maturing – enjoying the new life in the Spirit, but also being disciplined and purified through tests and trials. Difficulties can include marriage problems, the challenging teenage years of growing children, unexpected illness, job loss, and financial losses.

From: Divine Reflections in Times and Seasons by Eva Peck

Posted in All in a Year, Summer | Tagged

Spring

Thornlands-19Nov10 036aSpring is a time of new beginnings – indeed a time of rebirth or resurrection in nature. What seemed dead suddenly shows signs of life. With the sun’s warming rays, growth and a flurry of activities resume after the cold deadness of winter. Shoots and buds appear, soon turning into leaves and flowers. Animals produce offspring and start nurturing the young. With its newness of life, this may be the loveliest time of the year.

In physical life, spring reflects birth and youth. It is a time of rapid growth – the change from a tiny bud to a leaf or flower, for example, seems phenomenal and takes place almost overnight. Likewise, a new-born baby grows, develops, and learns faster in its first year than at any other time in life.

Similarly in the spiritual life, spring pictures a new birth and life – the change that takes place in conversion. New Testament texts show that before con-version, non-believers are “dead in sins” and separated from God. With the new birth they receive new life and are now empowered to live for God.[1] A thus transformed individual who has been “born of the Spirit” excitedly learns about God, hungers for the divine way of life, and obeys God no matter what the cost. The Scriptures caution against losing this excitement, growth, and “first love”. [2]

The winter to spring transition can be seen as the change to take place in the resurrection – a glorious metamorphosis from death to eternal life, from cor-ruption to incorruption, from mortality to immortality. As trees shed their dry leaves, appear dead for a time, and then return to life in the spring, so too the human body ages and dies, but will yet come back to life in a resurrection as a spirit being.[3] Or, as some see it, at death, we leave behind the physical body and continue life in a spirit body which is free of the earthly encumbrances.

Spring is also a time when nature clothes itself with greenery. Lush meadows replace seemingly dead winter grass, and deciduous trees become attired with new bright green foliage. Clothes in the Bible symbolize virtue, while rags or nakedness portray unrighteousness.[4] As God clothes the grass, flowers and trees without any effort of their own, so he attires his people in righteousness – by grace, since salvation cannot be earned by human effort.[5]

Late spring (and early summer) is a period of maturing and bearing fruit. The small early harvest at this time of year depicts a young person growing into adulthood and beginning to contribute to the lives of others. In biblical metaphor, the virtuous are compared to fruitful trees, whereas the unrighteous are likened to fruitless, dead, or uprooted trees. The people of ancient Israel were to be a fruitful vineyard for God, but history shows they failed. Similarly, the people of God today are called to produce good fruit through Jesus Christ, the vine that they are a part of. Spiritual fruit such as love, peace, kindness and self-control is evidence of the Holy Spirit working in a person’s life.[6]

[1] John 3:3-8; 1 Peter 1:23; Ephesians 2:1, 4-7, 11-13; 4:20-21; Romans 6:1-14; 2 Corinthians 5:17-19

[2] Acts 2:44-47; 4:32-37; Matthew 24:12-13; Galatians 6:9-10; Philippians 2:12-13; Hebrews 12:3-4; Revelation 2:4-5

[3] 1 Corinthians 15:35-54

[4] Job 29:14; Isaiah 64:6; Zechariah 3:3-5; Revelation 3:4-5, 17-18; 6:9-11; 16:15; 19:8-9, 14

[5] Matthew 6:28-30; 22:9-11; Luke 24:49; Romans 13:14; Ephesians 2:8-10

[6] Psalm 1:1-6; 52:8; 92:12; Isaiah 5:1-7; Jude 1:10-12; Matthew 7:15-20; John 15:1-8; Galatians 5:22-25

From: Divine Reflections in Times and Seasons by Eva Peck

Posted in All in a Year, Spring | Tagged ,