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.

Cover Picture:

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 life-building.

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.  -