Summary: A short devotional talk on Jeremiah chapter one. God is always watching and He’s always watching over us.
Jeremiah Chapter One
When I was a kid we had an almond tree in our back yard. I didn’t much care for almonds, they were much too hard to deal with. The walnut and pecan trees on the other hand were great. We could eat the pecans as soon as they fell and the black walnuts made great ammo for our many backyard “wars”.
Jeremiah must have had an almond tree in his back yard as well, because that’s the first thing the LORD pointed out to him when He called him into service. “Then the LORD said to me, ‘Look, Jeremiah! What do you see”?
Jeremiah’s response was, “I see a branch from an almond tree.” (Jeremiah 1:11-12)
“That’s right” replied the LORD, “and it means that I am watching.”
I’m told that in the Hebrew the word for ALMOND and the word for “WATCHING” sound a lot alike. I guess God likes puns as much as I do!
The LORD was using a common, everyday item, an almond tree, to convey to Jeremiah an eternal truth: HE IS WATCHING. And not just watching to catch Jeremiah “messing up”. God was watching over Jeremiah; He was protecting Jeremiah. Which was of vital importance to the young prophet considering the messages he was about to preach.
You see, Jeremiah is known as the “Weeping Prophet”. Jeremiah served during the reign of the final two kings of Israel before Israel was destroyed by invading armies. That invasion would be God’s judgment on the Israelites for turning their backs on God and His plan for them. The invasion and judgment were inevitable.
So God appeared to Jeremiah and called him into service as a prophet. Jeremiah would preach a message and most would not listen.
The LORD begins by telling Jeremiah “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my spokesman to the world.” (Jeremiah 1:4)
Jeremiah’s response: “I can’t…I’m too young.” Why is it we always put up excuses when God gives us something to do?
Of course God would have none of Jeremiah’s excuses: “Don’t say that…for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don’t be afraid…” (v.7)
That’s when God became personal to Jeremiah. The passage tells us that God touched Jeremiah’s mouth and reassured him that He (God) would literally put His words into Jeremiah’s mouth.
That’s when He pointed out the almond tree. Jeremiah, don’t worry. I’m watching. I’m watching over you. It’s not going to be easy. It’s not going to be comfortable all the time. But I will always be watching. I will always be watching over you.
The LORD ends His message to Jeremiah by telling him, “Get up and get dressed. Go…!”
So where is your almond tree? What common, everyday object or event is God using to speak to you today? He’s telling you that He’s watching. He’s telling you that’s He’s watching over you. He wants to use your mouth to share His message to your world. Before you were born God formed you. He decided before your birth day that your mission in this life was to carry His message.
You can’t give excuses. God doesn’t listen to excuses when He already knows what you are capable of accomplishing.