The Olive Harvest

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Fall is olive harvesting season in Israel.  And in the West Bank, still today, olives are harvested in the ancient way with harvesters all over the countryside taking up rods and sticks, beating the trees to knock the olives from their branches as you will see in this video short.  But, why is it important for us to visualize this picture?

The prophet Isaiah uses the olive harvest as a metaphor to describe coming judgment.  In his description, the tree is the earth, the beating with rods is God’s wrath and the falling olives are people. While Biblical metaphors of judgment are often not our favorites, they are extremely numerous and important because without seeing and accepting the reality of the problem we can’t be protected by the solution.

Isaiah’s message is two-fold, to give strong warning of judgment, but also to bring hope…there will be a remnant…a few olives will remain!  The important question then is how can we be part of the remnant? In chapter 53, Isaiah reveals that salvation will come through the coming of a person — one who will take God’s wrath and punishment for sin upon himself.

When I see an olive tree being beaten, I see Jesus being beaten before his accusers. With each blow, I see my many sins fall like olives, and because of Him…I am saved!  But what of others?  Isaiah’s message was powerful and urgent…judgment IS coming…listen and return to God to be saved.  May our hearts and words to this world be the same…judgment IS coming…but salvation has come…BELIEVE in Jesus and be saved!





  1. anne hughes on November 2, 2012 at 5:21 AM

    Truly captivating Joel. Compelling. The Lord has been speaking to my heart clearly of late the need to get the message to the people, that it is more urgent than ever, that the harvest is ripe. Bless you son for the work you’re doing in Israel. I spoke to your mom the other day – will be praying for her safe travel over and time in country for all of you – and we continue to lift all of you up in prayer for the work you’re doing for the glory of God. Shalom. anne

  2. Brenda Gifford on November 2, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    A picture truly is worth a thousand words….you always leave me looking forward to the next installment…
    Love you dearly,
    Continuing to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and our elections…..

  3. bill on December 27, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    thank you for your faithfulness.

  4. Ruth Dutton on July 17, 2014 at 7:27 PM

    Joel, thank you for this visual and your words. I read the narrative first and it was so intriguing, I almost left this site without clicking on the video. I thank our Father for the gift He has given you to take simple elements and use them to show us profound truths.
    my prayers are for you and your family, ruth

    • SourceFlix on July 17, 2014 at 7:33 PM

      Thank you, Ruth!

  5. Lucille on June 27, 2022 at 3:15 AM

    Thank you. So the olive has a two fold message, one of peace and one of coming judgment. Never knew that. Truly I can see Jesus in the olive harvest. I assume that it was the Roman soldiers that did buffet him, “Saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee?”

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