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visions of almond trees...

Little was known of almond trees when I first began my study in Jeremiah some time ago. But as I sat watching the sun slowly set, I realized that I had missed something so precious and so beautiful in more stories than just Jeremiah’s – Jesus’.

Jeremiah was called by God to be his messenger, His prophet, to a people who were rebellious and hardened. It was a monumental task and one that he felt unfit to do – being young and inexperienced. But in the midst of his protests, two visions would alter the course of protests into passion for the people that God was about to awaken.

The first vision consisted of Jeremiah seeing a branch of an almond tree and the Lord replying that He would watch over His word to accomplish it. So why an almond tree - was my first question. A quick google search will display beautiful white flowers that seem to envelop the branch. They first start to bud in January – signaling the awakening of Spring…He is the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End…Revelation 22:13. The Hebrew word for the almond tree comes from shakeid, which means to “watch” or “wake”…the Protector of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps…Psalm 121:4. Before any other tree has a chance to start blooming, the almond tree begins to ripen. It goes from a branch in the winter to ripened fruit in a few months. Swiftly….swiftly His word runs…Psalm 147:15.

But the almond tree as a symbol begins well before Jeremiah’s time. In the tabernacle, the almond tree branches were a part of the lampstand design that burned throughout the night. These lampstands reassured the people of God’s watchfulness over them and the need for Israel to be alert to His commands…the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore…Psalm 121:8.

And what is even more beautiful is that the King would grow from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots would bear fruit…Isaiah 11:1. This “Branch of Righteousness” would grow from David (Jeremiah 33:15). Jesus reaffirmed this prophecy by identifying himself in one of the last verses of the Bible that He is the “…Root and the Offspring of David…” (Revelation 22:16). It is no coincidence that the almond tree was a symbol used to foreshadow the complete story of God watching over His chosen, foreshadow the coming King – His crucifixion and resurrection – and to foreshadow salvation that would forever change the lives of those who believe.

When life seems to heavy to bear, when panic is all that seems normal, when doubts creep in and you’re not sure which way to turn…Jesus…The One who watches and who is awake, watches over His chosen in all things. He holds the universe…and He holds each one of us.


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