When Jeremiah was
called to be a prophet, God said to him, ‘What do you see?’ Jeremiah
replied, ‘I see a rod of an almond tree.’ Then the Lord said to him, “You
have seen well, for I hasten to fulfill My Word” (Jer. 1:11,12).
The Stone’s edition has
a footnote: The almond tree symbolizes swift, efficient action because it
blossoms well before other trees in the spring.
The Hebrew letters for
“almond” and “hasten” are the same, except for different vowel markings.
In our cover picture
(taken by Eli File), a mother bird finds a secure place to build her nest in
the fork of an almond tree in the orchard Bible Light established in memory
of Elmer Josephson.
This brings to mind
Deuteronomy 33:27, “The eternal God is thy refuge [fortress] and
underneath are the everlasting arms….”
The name for “eternal
God” in this case is [Elohay
Kedem]. Elohay means “The God of” and “Kedem” is the word for “East” but
carries a fuller meaning of “to proceed; go forward, meet, welcome, greet.”
Do you see the link
here to the hastening to fulfill God’s Word?
The Cradle of Redemption
Ever since the time of
Abraham, God’s plan of worldwide redemption and restoration has been
unfolding. God cut a contract with Abraham that is not only a foundational
covenant but is the framework for every covenant since that time. All other
covenants since then are within the Everlasting Abrahamic Covenant.
Much can be said about
this covenant and it’s far reaching promises. It is the platform upon which
the truth of the two families of Israel is built. Concise, yet world
inclusive, GOD’S promises reach beyond the ones to whom He gives them.
Replacement theology is deeply ingrained in both Roman and Protestant
interpretation of Scriptures, but understanding the everlasting Abrahamic
Covenant, upsets that apple cart.
God began to deal with
and use a certain family tree. Abraham had several other family trees
through his wives, Keturah and Hagar (Some scholars believe Keturah was
Hagar. Hagar means “Flight”; Keturah means “Incense”.) but God made a choice
and declared to Abraham: “In Isaac shall thy seed be called.” When
He asked Abraham to offer up Isaac, He said, “Take now your son, your
only son Isaac.” In the Book of Romans the Apostle Paul repeated this
and said, “The children of the promise are counted for the seed. For
this is the word of promise, ‘At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have
a son” (Romans 9:8-9).
Then when Isaac’s wife,
Rebekah, was pregnant with twins, they struggled within her womb. She
inquired of the LORD what this meant and the LORD told her there were two
nations within her and the younger would serve the older. These were not
identical twins in any sense of the word. Esau was a hunter. Jacob was his
mama’s boy and liked to cook. Some find fault with Jacob and with Rebekah
for deceiving Isaac to get the blessing, but the Scriptures strongly
indicate Rebekah had more spiritual discernment than Isaac. (Read where God
spoke directly to her in Genesis 25:22-23.)
Esau made the choice of
marrying a Canaanite woman. Seeing his parents’ disapproval, he then married
Ishmael’s daughter. So the family line of Esau became integrated with other
family trees of Abraham. The Apostle Paul reiterates God’s choice of the
twins in Romans 9:10-13.
“Chosen”? for what? As
we go into The BOOK, we find the answers – and they are foundations to
Sites to Behold
During a recent stay in
Israel (January – March 21, 2005), I was privileged to see many excavations,
some going down to “bed rock” – foundation stones.
Described as the best
text-book example found, this Roman calidarium (hot bath) has been excavated
at Biblical Tamar Park.
At Sinai the Torah
(teaching) of God was codified in stone. Only a beam of fire could blast
those words into the stone’s hard surface.
Similar to our hearts?
But when He writes it there, it is strong, foundational and enduring.
Numbers 23:19, “God is not a man that He should lie; neither the son of
man that He should repent: has He said and shall He not do it? Or has He
spoken and shall He not make it good?”
Out in the open the
wind and rain can fade the words. Moses was told to put them inside the Ark
of the Covenant, sealed there beneath the mercy seat. Above them two
cherubim kept watch.
This symbolized the
secure and firmly established Word of God. Why shouldn’t we build our lives
on its Truths that were given for our happiness and prosperity? Any other
substitute for this “good life” is a bad counterfeit.