In today’s Bible reading, God gave Jeremiah a vision of an almond branch. This is not our first encounter with the almond branch. When God wanted to confirm that He had indeed chosen Aaron as His high priest, God caused Aaron’s rod to bud, bloom, and produce almonds. God also chose the almond flower as a model for molding the cups of the candlestick in the Tabernacle. God’s choice of the almond tree was no accident. The Hebrew word for almond has the same root as the Hebrew word meaning to watch or to awaken. God is making the statement that He is watching, and we in turn should be watching for His Word to be fulfilled.
The almond tree is the earliest tree to show any sign of life in the spring. It is the first tree to awaken and bloom, and it very quickly produces its fruit. In Judah, the almond tree can begin blooming as early as January and pro- duces fruit as early as March. When the almond tree begins its blooming, one can watch for the coming of spring. The same is true of God’s promises or warnings of judgment. God used many prophets to give His Word to His people. Just as the almond tree was a sign that spring was coming, the warnings the prophets gave were a sign of what God was going to do. God has never forgotten a single promise, and there has never been a promise God has not kept. When you read about a promise from God, you can be sure that it will happen. Just watch for it.
Memory Verse: Ezekiel 37:27: “My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people.”
Jeremiah was a priest called by God to be a prophet to Judah. He prophesied during the reigns of Josiah, Jehoiakim, and Zedekiah, right up to the time that the people of Judah were taken into captivity.
- When did God say that He set apart Jeremiah to be His prophet? Before Jeremiah was even born, God already had a plan for his life. Read Psalm 139:4, 16 and Jeremiah 29:11. What do these verses tell you about God’s knowledge of you and God’s plan for you? God knows what you are going to say even before you say it. God knows how many days you will live. God wants to prosper you, keep you from harm, and give you hope.
- How does Jeremiah respond when God tells him to prophesy? Jeremiah said that he was unable to do as God said, because he was too young and did not know how to speak well. How does God answer Jeremiah’s doubt? God told Jeremiah that he should not be afraid because God was going to be with Jeremiah and that He would protect Jeremiah. God touched Jeremiah’s mouth, putting words into Jeremiah’s mouth. God enabled Jeremiah to do the job.
- God gave Jeremiah two visions. What were the visions and what was the reason for each one of them? Jeremiah saw an almond tree—God said it was because He was watching to see His word fulfilled. Jeremiah saw a boiling pot tilting away from the north—God said it was because Judah’s enemy would come from the north. This was the message that Jeremiah was to prophesy to the people of Judah.
- In verses 17-19, God made it clear to Jeremiah that the job of prophesying against Judah was not going to be an easy one. God mentioned four groups of people that would fight against what Jeremiah was to tell them. Who were the four groups of people? Kings of Judah, its officials, its priests, and the people of the land. Those four groups of people pretty much covered everyone in Judah! The whole nation would defy God and His prophet.
- What does God promise Jeremiah? Although the people would fight against Jeremiah, they would not overcome him, because God was going to rescue him. Even with the entire nation against him, Jeremiah did not have to worry because God promised to be with him.
Adoration: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you . . . ” Give praise and worship to the all-knowing God who created you.
Confession: “I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.” Ask God to forgive the times when you did not trust Him to enable you to do the job that He asked you to do.
Thanksgiving: “They will fight against you, but they will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you.” Thank God that He is all-powerful, and that He promises to rescue you from evil. Thank God that He keeps His promises.
Supplication: “. . . do not be terrified by them . . .” Ask God to give you faith so that you will trust Him whenever He asks you to do a job, even if it is a hard one.
Supplies: salt, pepper, saucer, plastic spoon, fleece or other cloth
USING THE SUPPLIES ABOVE, PARENT SAYS:
Today, I will show you how we can always trust in our Lord to protect us, even when circumstances seem hope- less. This saucer represents the world, in which we all live. I am going to take some salt and place it on the world. This salt represents God’s people. Now, as we know, the world is full of evil. The devil is always trying to deceive God’s people. Let me take some of this pepper, and put it on top of the salt. This pepper represents the tricks and lies used by the devil, and they are right on top of God’s people.
How can we avoid these tricks and lies and remove them from God’s people?
It is impossible for us, but God can do miraculous things. Let me show you. This spoon represents our loving God. (Take the spoon and rub it against the cloth to create static electricity. Slowly wave the spoon over the pepper. The pepper should stick to the spoon.)
Sometimes we may have no clue of how to escape the grasp of the devil, but God is always there for us. He will always provide a way for us to escape any temptation the devil throws our way. Even when we are afraid, God will take care of us. (Read God’s promise from I Corinthians 10:13: “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”)
(Lesson June 14th)