11 Then the Lord said to me, “Look, Jeremiah! What do you see?”
And I replied, “I see a branch from an almond tree.”
12 And the Lord said, “That’s right, and it means that I am watching, and I will certainly carry out all my plans.” — Jeremiah 1:11, 12 NLT
The almond tree is particularly significiant in the Holy Scriptures. It is a sign of hope because it blossoms in the middle of the winter on a leafless tree. It reminds us that there is life even in our darkest hours. It is connected with charity in the book of Numbers becasue Aaron’s rod was from an almond tree and it blossomed and brought forth fruit overnight. Charity because the Levitical tribe lived on the gifts of the people, they had no earthly possessions. In the original KJV, the branch was called a “rod” which symbolizes power or leadership. In Old Testament times, the fruit of the almond tree was beleived to be the external expression of the goodness that is in all of us. Here in Jeremiah, the branch or “rod” of the almond tree is associated with God watching over HIs word and HIs people with power to perform. It means that He will carry out His plans and nothing nor anyone can stop Him from doing so. Our part is to spread His word among the people. Just as Moses told Aaron to take the incense and go between the dead and the living to stop the plague, we are to take the Word and stand in the gap to stop the advance of sin. We speak the Word and stand, God’s Word accomplishes and produces the fruit.
11 It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit.
It will accomplish all I want it to,
and it will prosper everywhere I send it. — Isaiah 55:11 NLT
13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. 17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them. — James 4:13-17 NIV
We can look at nature and realize that God is very organized. He established the seasons and the natural order of dormancy in the winter, birthing of the new in the spring with the winds in March that help to be sure every plant is pollinated, the showers in April to prepare the soil for the flowers of May. Then the summer for growth and the fall for maturity and harvesting. That plan remains the same year after year since plants can’t make their own plans. We need to have a plan for our lives but it needs to be flexible enough and held loosely enough to allow God to change us and our plans to fit His plan for our lives. As Proverbs tells us, we make our plans, but God directs our steps and makes them sure. Each of us is only one little piece of the whole jigsaw puzzle. Since we don’t have the boxtop, we can’t see the finished picture. So, we need to be sure that our plans fit into God’s big plan just as each piece of the puzzle must fit to complete the picture.
10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. — Eph. 2:10 NIV
So, if we know which good works God has prepared us to do, we need to do them with all our hearts, minds, and strength. Because of all He has done for us, we should consider anything less as unacceptable.