“Then the Lord said to me, “Look, Jeremiah! What do you see? “And I replied, “I see a branch from an almond tree.” 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
In the Holy Land, the almond tree blossoms in January and gives the first indication that spring is coming. The Hebrew word for almond tree is saqed; while the word for “watch” or “be awake” is soqed. The Lord used this play on words to impress Jeremiah with the fact that He is ever awake to watch over His Word and fulfill promises. He had promised to bless them if they obeyed and chasten them if they disobeyed, and He was “watching to see that His word was fulfilled.” God had spoken to the nation through the earlier prophets, but the rulers and people wouldn’t listen. God is giving His people another chance through Jeremiah to repent so that He can bless them. He was going to try to wake people up, but they didn’t want to be awakened. No one who is asleep likes to be wakened. An alarm clock is one of the most unpopular things in the world. Jeremiah is going to be a “waker” to the nation of Judah. The urgency was impressed upon Jeremiah that inasmuch as his call was given, the prophecies must begin because the time of fulfillment was at hand.
It is difficult to conceive any situation more painful than that of a great man, condemned to watch the country he loved fall apart and the judgment of God on the country. It burdens my heart to watch America going in the direction of leaving God, when God is our only hope.