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Almonds of Promise

Jerusalem Mornings

And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Jeremiah, what do you see? And I said, I see an almond branch. Then the LORD said to me, You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.

Jeremiah 1:11- 12

Early every spring, the hills of Israel are adorned with blossoms. Here and there will be an almond tree, resplendent in delicate blossoms, ranging from pale to darker pink. We sing songs about them "Shkedia porachat..."

When God showed Jeremiah an almond branch, it probably had identifying blossoms, or almonds attached to the limb. The non-Hebrew reader would raise one eyebrow and wonder what the connection is between "almond" and "watching over", but in fact they are the same root word in Hebrew, "sheked" (שקד). Only the vowels vary.

God loves to give us picture reminders of His promises. I used to sing as a child, "Every promise in the book is mine, every chapter, every verse, every line..." Well, I think it would be more accurate to say, "Every promise in the book is true", but that doesn't rhyme with "line." Through Jeremiah alone, the promise came to raise up a righteous branch (Yeshua) in chapter 23. It happened! In chapter 25 it was promised that after 70 years, the exiles would return from Babylon. Later Daniel read it, prayed earnestly for the fulfillment, and it happened! A new covenant is promised to the house of Israel and the house of Judah, in which He would "put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people." This new covenant in chapter 31, verse 31, is referenced in Hebrew by "לא לא", both the numeric reference to the chapter and verse, and the words, "no, no" (an erie reminder that Israel and Judah for the most part did not want this new covenant).

And yet, God is watching over His word to perform it! He will do it in due time. In the meantime, this promise is for me and for you as well, but don't forget it is by default, "…salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous." By God's grace, we all can lay claim to hundreds of promises in the Bible, and pray, as Daniel did, for God's purposes to be fulfilled, as He has promised. Just as He has already fulfilled many of His promises to Israel, and continues to do so, He will watch over His word to perform it, in your life and in mine.

God is not a man, that He should lie, or son of man, that He should change His mind. Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not fulfill it?

Numbers 23:19

Father, I take You at Your word, today, and I say "yes, yes" to Your promises. I picture the almond, and remember that You are watching over Your word to do it, for me, for Israel, for the world You have created. Nothing is more certain than Your words, that they will come to pass, as many have already. Thank You for Your promise of salvation, and for writing Your word on my heart. Today I will live by it, and trust You absolutely.

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