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ALMOND TREE
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ALMOND TREE

Jeremiah 1:11”The word of the LORD came to me saying, "What do you see, Jeremiah?" And I said, "I see a rod of an almond tree."

12 Then the LORD said to me, "You have seen well, for I am watching over My word to perform it."

Following is the sermon preached by Sis Bala Samson, Shiloh Revival Church, at Abide in Christ (AIC) fire camp, making soldiers for Christ camp , May 6-8, 2021.

Introduction:

Who was Jeremiah? Verse 1 - The words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, one of the priests at Anathoth(A) in the territory of Benjamin.

He was of the priests in Anathoth, a city of priests, which lay about three miles from Jerusalem. He was a prophet, not to the Jews only, but to the neighbouring nations as well.

  1. Jeremiah Spoke nonstop! God appointed Teacher for the nation:
  2. SPIRITUAL VISION:
  3. ALMOND TREE:
  4.  I am watching over My word to perform it."

 

Jeremiah 1:1-3

  1. Jeremiah Spoke nonstop! God appointed Teacher for the nation:

Jeremiah 1:2 The word of the Lord came(B) to him in the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah(C) son of Amon king of Judah, 3 and through the reign of Jehoiakim(D) son of Josiah king of Judah, down to the fifth month of the eleventh year of Zedekiah(E) son of Josiah king of Judah, when the people of Jerusalem went into exile.(F)

He continued to prophesy through the reigns of Jehoiakim and Zedekiah, each of whom reigned eleven years. He prophesied to the carrying away of Jerusalem captive (v. 3), that great event which he had so often prophesied of. He continued to prophesy even after that, ch. 40:1 Like Moses who was a teacher in the wilderness, till they entered into their own land, Jeremiah was a teacher, before they went into the wilderness of the heathen.  The consistent and persistent preaching of Jeremiah is also mentioned in Jeremiah 25:3” "From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, even to this day, these twenty-three years the word of the LORD has come to me, and I have spoken to you again and again, but you have not listened.

 

Imagine the book of Jeremiah starting with saying that Prophet Jeremiah kept on speaking until they went into captivity, which means the ‘end’ is already stated.  Some people are so curious that they would read the last page before they start the book, here the Holy Spirit gave the end, in order to instruct us that we should not stop teaching or talking to the people immaterial of their response, anybody listening?  Oppositions, criticisms and attacks may arise against us but we should with burden for the soul continue to teach, instruct and advice people.  The latest book of Bishop T.D.Jakes ‘Don’t drop the mic’ is awesome and he talks about not quitting in the midst of crisis. 

During one of my train journey, I saw a man on the upper berth start talking to someone the moment the train started, he went on to talk for the next several hours, I repeat almost upto dinner time.  I then realized he had paid for this conversation. Today we have people who pay and listen which most often would be gibberish.  God said, Proverbs 1:5” 5                A wise man will hear and increase in learning, And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel,”

 

Teacher

 Isaiah 30: 20”Although the Lord has given you bread of privation and water of oppression, He, your Teacher will no longer hide Himself, but your eyes will behold your Teacher. 21 Your ears will hear a word behind you, "This is the way, walk in it," whenever you turn to the right or to the left.”

 

In the above chapter, Prophet Isaiah sends a strict warning to the people of God about the danger and trials that would come upon the nation and cautioned them not to turn to the world for help but trust God, read: “the safety of Pharaoh will be your shame.”  Anybody listening to me?

 

With this pandemic attack on the globe and as we grope through these days of uncertainty, the above chapter speaks volumes to us.  For many out there, things are normal, but you cannot close your eyes like a cat and say, ‘no corona’ until it knocks your door.  Be warned today!   Now today, we are going to just concentrate on the above verse which says, “your Teacher will no longer hide Himself, but your eyes will behold your Teacher.” Wow, I love this!

 

Hey friend, God can only talk to someone who has a teachable spirit, who is ready to hear and absorb, how about you? When I was admitted in the hospital in the year 1999, with multiple fibroids in my uterus, my condition was almost near death bed, during that time, as I was in pain and agony, one particular aunty entered my emergency room with a tape recorder and Bible, she made me hear the sermon on Christ’s second coming and also preached to me about repentance.  Imagine listening to Second coming when I was writhing in pain myself!  We need such strong, determined people today; slowly as that aunty was persistent in her visits to my room, I realized that I was a sinner in need of mercy and pardon from the Lord(being born in a Christian home does not make me holy).  I got saved eventually and entered full time ministry.

 

When 25 year old Hezekiah became king of Judah, he became a teacher for Judah which was drenched with darkness because of his father’s wickedness.  God did not abandon the nation though, God sent Hezekiah not only as a king but also as a reformer and teacher.  He taught the people the Bible and the ways of God and look what the people did when Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and seized them.   They obeyed the kind and uttered not a word against the enemy because their teacher and king told them not to answer back. (Isaiah 36:21) Obey the teachers sent by God into your life!

B ) SPIRITUAL VISION:

We need spiritual vision in order to see clearly the way ahead to victory in the present crisis ! A person who is glued to the world and the news report of the secular TV then he will miss out on the plans of God.  Though Jeremiah earlier said, “Alas, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, Because I am a youth" (verse 6) yet, the Lord saw the potential inside him.  True to God’s perception about him, he did see clearly even though he was scared by the God’s call.

Friend, spiritual vision is to see through the lens of God.  We hear umpteen statements about the present COVID crisis, but we as the Church and children of God need to know why this is happening, only if we know it clearly, we would be able to be the solution and also give solution in a gentle manner.  Though we know ‘it is the sins of the people that has driven God to anger; yet, we can tell the world that repentance, change of lifestyle and coming Jesus Christ is the solution.  You don’t need a pulpit for this, you can start with the house mail that is working in your house. 

When Jeremiah saw clearly, God appreciated him and said: You have seen well!  When we hunger for God then God would give us comprehension and understanding of His Word.  There would be no ambiguity (confusion).

We need to understand and read the Bible only then God will lead us to the next revelation, attending Bible study class or diligently reading good Bible Commentators also would help us a lot.  But we are lackadaisical (careless) in this then we would be spiritually blind, just reading the Bible or the sake of reading.  Immediately after my salvation, I ravenously started reading the Bible, looking at my hunger a family friend of ours gifted me with an expensive Mathew Henry commentary, which was a treasure for me.  God would definitely reward us.

C) ALMOND TREE:

It is called in the Hebrew, Shakedh, the hasty tree! Though it was the first vision he ever saw, he identified that it was a rod of an almond-tree, his mind was so composed that he was able to distinguish. We as children of God should have sharp eyes to look around and not be naïve and ignorant.  This almond tree is also called ‘hasty’ because it flourishes in January and by March it gives forth fruits – so fast.  Likewise God says I will quicken my Word.

D) I am watching over My word to perform it."

 

 

Years later, Daniel would pray: “Therefore has the Lord watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the Lord our God is righteous in all His works which He does:u for we obeyed not His voice.” (Daniel 9:14)

The lesson of the almond tree, therefore, is that God in heaven watches a sinful nation walking away from Him and declares it will have consequences. His message to humanity today is still the same: God is watching! He will watch over His word either for curse or for blessing. When sin and immorality engulf nations and even penetrate the Church, we should remember: God is watching!  How we react to the present situation is what God is watching, whether we change our life or still continue to persist in our sins determines how He will treat us.  Amen

Conclusion: God will again build us, Amen.  Jeremiah 31:28 "As I have watched over them to pluck up, to break down, to overthrow, to destroy and to bring disaster, so I will watch over them to build and to plant," declares the LORD.

God bless you!

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