It wasn’t a dream, because I was awake. I don’t really know what I’d call it. And maybe that’s for the better? Make of it what you will.
I was almost sleeping; it had been maybe ten minutes after laying my head down and my brain turned off easily and I wasn’t thinking a single thing. Out of the blue my eyes jolted open and I looked up.
Honestly? I don’t really want to write this.
…. Because you might think I’m weird.
…. Because you might think I’m making this up.
…. Because you might think I’m weird.
But those reasons are selfish and short-sighted.
So I’m going to tell you about my strange night last week. And if after hearing about my strange night, you see me as strange, I am okay that. If maybe this blesses even just one, it is worth it. If even this affects no one, I still come away affected, and it is worth it. Ok, continuing on.
So I was jolted awake and looking up. Suddenly in the air above me I saw a worm on the flesh of a person. It wasn’t anything I could reach out and grab; it didn’t have color or look like things look in real life, but it was there in misty form and my heart knew exactly what it was when I saw it. It lasted only a moment and then it changed into a pomegranate. Again misty form, but as soon as it appeared I knew right what it was. After the pomegranate, there was smoke and almost simultaneously, an eye (that might sound freaky but it wasn’t- there wasn’t any fear; I knew it was from the Lord). Then it all went away and I went back to sleep, knowing that I would have some studying to do.
The next day I started with the first picture: worm.
“All your pomp has been brought down to the grave, along with the noise of your harps; maggots are spread out beneath you and worms cover you.” Isaiah 14:11
“And they will go out and look on the dead bodies of those who rebelled against me; the worms that eat them will not die, the fire that burns them will not be quenched..” Isaiah 66:24
“If the only home I hope for is the grave, if I spread out my bed in the realm of darkness, if I say to corruption, ‘You are my father,’ and to the worm, ‘You are my mother’ or ‘My sister,’ where then is my hope- who can see any hope for me?” Job 17:13-15
Worm has a negative connotation not only in the Bible, but in general understanding as well. It is symbolic of corruption, erosion, decay, death, and even a death that will not die.
Pomegranate on the other hand, was life and holiness.
“The bells and pomegranates alternated around the hem of the robe to be worn for ministering, as the Lord commanded Moses.” Exodus 39:26
“When they reached the Valley of Eshkol, they cut off a branch bearing a single cluster of grapes. Two of them carried it on a pole between them, along with some pomegranates and figs.” Numbers 13:23
“He made pomegranates in two rows encircling each network to decorate the capitals on top of the pillars.” 1 Kings 7:18
“Let us go early to the vineyards to see if the vines have budded, if their blossoms have opened, and if the pomegranates are in bloom- there I will give you my love.” Song of Songs 7:12
Pomegranates are God-designed fruit. They bring life and have hundreds of seeds inside of them that when planted reproduce the fruit. And isn’t the fruit of the Spirit the same? Pomegranates are an exotic fruit, and expensive, and virtually non-existent inside this Dutch home, but I can see the correlation to holiness here. Is that why God chose pomegranates instead of apples to be sewn along the hem of the robe to be worn into the Holy of Holies? Holiness is set-apartness. It is not something common to be disregarded.
It was fascinating to study these two words in the Bible, and the death versus life theme was taking shape but things really started to come together after getting into the Hebrew.
In Hebrew, the word for worm is “rimmah” (ree-mah).
The Hebrew word for pomegranate is “rimmon” (ree-mone). I was shocked! These two words, so different in meaning, yet so similar phonetically. Rimmah is spelled: resh, mem, hey. As I’ve shared before, each letter in the Hebrew alphabet has a meaning all its own, so if you ever would like to go deeper into a word, look into each letter.
Mem: water, chaos, massive (like the ocean)
Hey: behold, to reveal, and when written at the end of the word, it means “what comes from.”
So looking into worm- “Behold! What comes from a person in the chaos.” And that is what happens isn’t it? Corruption, decay, death, isn’t that where we end up when we refuse God’s highway, His straight path among the many crooked? We end up full of worms. We rebel and allow corruption. We “spread out our bed in the realm of darkness and call corruption our father and the worm our mother.” We forget that the grave isn’t the end of things and forget to live for the eternal things.
And now rimmon.
Mem: water, chaos, massive (like the ocean)
Vav: peg, nail, secure, join together, to bind, and to covenant
Nun: seed, life, and when written at the end of the word, it means “perpetual.”
The beginnings are the same- a person amidst the chaos. While the worm ends there, the pomegranate continues on. The pomegranate has the vav: “Nail, peg, to bind in covenant.” The work of the cross here! And then with the nun coming after it: to be bound to life through His seed, to be in covenant, and the life that results.
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” –Yeshua, Luke 22:20
“For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring Word of God.” 1 Peter 1:23
The nun at the close of the word adds the “perpetual” to the meaning. It means both never ending or changing and occurring repeatedly, so frequent so as to seem endless and uninterrupted.
Wow! In this study of worm and pomegranate, after a night so strange, the message just kept getting stronger. For while the work of salvation has been done once and for all, upon receiving that salvation, there is still action required on our part.
“But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?” James 2:20-22
This binding to life needs to happen repeatedly. It needs to happen with our actions. We need to live out the faith that we claim to believe. If we claim to have faith in Yeshua but then reject living according to the Spirit, and reject His Word, and walk away from His paths and return to our own chaos, our faith is dead. We are full of worms.
But if we grab hold of His covenant, and delight in living according to His word and Holy Spirit, and approach His throne of grace perpetually in an active relationship, our faith is made perfect. Our faith is revealed as real faith. When we “hear and do”, shema, the seed of the word and of the Kingdom of Heaven can take root and affect our lives and others.
“But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” Matthew 13:23
The pomegranate hem of the robe is not holy because of innate holiness. Rather, it was ordered by God to be used in the design of the garments, which were simple garments until they became the garments that ministered before a very Holy God. Then they became the holy garments.
The pomegranate tree does not grow and reproduce delicious fruit because of its own brilliant design. Rather, it is a creation designed by a brilliant Creator, who then grows the tree and makes the fruit come forth.
In these same ways, we are a holy people who bear fruit. Is any of this our doing? No. It’s His!
“Be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:16
We are holy because we serve an extremely holy God. We can’t take this lightly!
In exchange for our chaotic, corrupted life-styles, God offers us a holy, fruitful life.
When Abraham was willing to offer up his son Isaac on the altar, he believed in resurrection from the dead. As the story unfolds, the Lord provides the burnt offering and as the smoke is rising up to heaven Abraham names the place “Adonai Yireh” meaning “The Lord Sees/ The Lord Provides.” This reminded me of the smoke and the eye pictures that occurred after the worm and pomegranate. As we journey through our day to days and that voice in our head says “No. You can’t. You aren’t. You’re a worm.” we don’t have to listen to it. Because He has. He is. He will. Salvation. Holiness. Fruit. The Lord has already provided in the largest way, and not only that, but He still provides in every single way we have need, including the strength to fight our flesh nature and the forgiveness and grace to get up again after we fail.
We don’t need to fear laying ourselves down before Him (and all of the ways we like to self-protect and control) because what He gives us far exceeds that which we have on our own, and His ways are actually really truly wonderful ways. In a culture full of chaos, He is the Rock upon which we must stand. In a world dark, He is light.
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet.” Ps. 119
“For you have been born again, through the living and enduring word of God.” 1 Peter 1
“The Word was with God and the Word was God… the Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.” John 1
“…someone who hears the word and understands it, this is the one who produces a crop…” Mat. 13
We must know the Word. Our thoughts and actions will drift downstream unless we are anchored and continually renewing our mind in His truth. Because, let’s not be naïve, there is one who prowls who would love for you to accept his “truth” for you and the many empty promises he offers.
These two paths are like the difference between a worm and a pomegranate.
Death versus life.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God- this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:1-2