Sunday, August 3, 2008
The Trees are Watching
The Word of the Lord came to me: “What do you see, Jeremiah?”
“I see the branch of an almond tree,” I replied. The Lord said to me “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.” (NIV)
This passage never made sense to me, in fact I often skimmed past it in my readings focusing on the pot tilted north and the message of impending troubles in the next verses. Then I learned that the Hebrew word for watching “shôkêd” sounds like the Hebrew word for almond tree “shâkêd.” It’s a pun. Evidently, the Lord appreciates a good play on words. The almond branch told Jeremiah that God observed all the events of his life. God watches to see that His word is fulfilled in our lives too.
In the Middle East, the almond tree blooms around mid-January or February and is the earliest tree to blossom. The pale pink-white flowers appear even before the tree leafs out. Because of its early blooms the almond tree was considered a divine symbol of the Lord accomplishing His promises quickly. This symbolism adds yet another layer of meaning to the message: Not only is God watching to see that we follow His Word, He watches to see how quickly He can fulfill His promises for our lives.
Are we following His will for our lives? A friend of mine recounted a story to me about a warehouse in heaven filled with unclaimed blessings – blessings that would have gone to the saints had we persevered in what the Lord asked of us. What a sad thought. How much sadder to know that there must be hundreds of occasions when Lord watches, waiting to fulfill His promises, as we hesitate to do as His word instructs.