C. H. Spurgeon
This Morning’s Meditation
“The myrtle trees that were in the valley.” Zechariah 1:8
The vision in this chapter describes the condition of Israel in Zechariah’s day; but being interpreted in its aspect 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, secreted; courting no honor and attracting no observation from the careless gazer. The Church, like her head, has a glory—but it is concealed from carnal eyes, for the time of her breaking forth in all her splendor has 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. Tempests spend their force upon the craggy peaks of the Alps—but down yonder where the stream flows which makes glad the city of our God—the myrtle trees flourish by the still waters, all unshaken by the impetuous wind. How great is the inward tranquility of God’s Church! Even when opposed and persecuted, she has a peace which the world gives not, 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 forcibly picture the peaceful, perpetual growth of the saints? The myrtle tree does not shed her leaves—she is always green. Just so, the Church in her worst time—still has a blessed verdure of grace about her; nay, she has sometimes exhibited most verdure when her winter has been sharpest. She has prospered most, when her adversities have been most severe.
Hence the text hints at victory. The myrtle is the emblem of peace, and a significant token of triumph. The wreaths 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 who loved him? Living in peace—all the saints fall asleep in the arms of victory!