The word of the Lord came to me: “What do you see, Jeremiah?” “I see the branch of an almond tree,” I replied. Jeremiah 1:11
“Learn that simple lesson well, O you who try to speak for God! You must be seers before you can be speakers.” Charles Spurgeon
It’s the first rule of communication: know what you want to say before you start saying it. Few things are more frustrating than trying to listen to someone who is trampling on this rule…their mouth is moving and the words are flowing and they have no idea where they are trying to go. That, I believe, is where the prophets of the ancient days set themselves apart. They were called “seers”…because they could see what was unseen by all the rest of us. It was not so much a gift of SPEAKING, as much as it was a gift of SEEING and then simply speaking the truth about what they saw. That calling was made so very clear in Jeremiah’s case.
I do not study scripture in the original Hebrew. But Charles Spurgeon did. And he notes that the Hebrew word for “almond” actually comes from a root word that means “awake” or, more specifically, “wakeful”. That is because the almond tree started to blossom very early in the Spring (even late Winter), while all the other trees were still sleeping. So, in the Hebrew language, this tree was known as the “wakeful tree”.
The imagery would have been clear to Jeremiah. His assignment was to see, first and foremost. If Jeremiah will remain wakeful to see, God will remain wakeful to perform His word just as Jeremiah sees it. God’s assignment came with a promise. It always does, doesn’t it?
And isn’t that the church’s assignment as well? Are we …