All of a sudden, where milk used to sit in the refrigerator sections in the grocery stores, now is increasingly taken over by various types of almond milk. There is regular, light, chocolate, vanilla, and many more flavors (if you go into the health food stores). Almonds are suppose to be much more healthy than milk as we now know that cow milk has become increasingly tainted with chemicals. And, almond flour is on the rise as well with tons of new recipes using almond flour for cookies, breads, pancakes, and much more. Almonds, almonds everywhere! No where else in history have they ever been so popular.
In the Bible, God used popular trends and terminology in order to show points He was trying to make or remind us of some truths. He painted lots of examples through stories and through comparisons between popular items. Since almonds are now very popular, let’s look at some comparisons that God might have already made related to them.
God obviously loves almond blossoms as He wanted them in His temple, right in the holiest place, designed into the lampstand itself:
“33 three cups made like almond blossoms, each with calyx and flower, on one branch, and three cups made like almond blossoms, each with calyx and flower, on the other branch—so for the six branches going out of the lampstand. 34 And on the lampstand itself there shall be four cups made like almond blossoms, with their calyxes and flowers, 35 and a calyx of one piece with it under each pair of the six branches going out from the lampstand.” Exodus 25:33-35
We also see God using the almond blossoms in Numbers. The people of Israel were complaining about Moses and Aaron (as seemed to happen a lot) and were blaming them for God’s judgement on some people who had just died. God said that He would prove that He was with Moses & Aaron by gathering staffs from each household, marked with each of their names. The staffs would be placed in the tent of meeting and whomever the Lord had anointed, their staff would bloom & produce almonds. This would be their confirmation. (Numbers 17).
“8 On the next day Moses went into the tent of the testimony, and behold, the staff of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted and put forth buds and produced blossoms, and it bore ripe almonds. 9 Then Moses brought out all the staffs from before the Lord to all the people of Israel. And they looked, and each man took his staff. 10 And the Lord said to Moses, “Put back the staff of Aaron before the testimony, to be kept as a sign for the rebels, that you may make an end of their grumblings against me, lest they die.” 11 Thus did Moses; as the Lord commanded him, so he did.” Numbers 17: 8-11
Now, we will look in Jeremiah. Jeremiah was called “the weeping prophet.” He was given pretty strong messages to deliver to Israel. He preached for 40 years and never saw the repentance of his people to God.
“9 Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me,“Behold, I have put my words in your mouth. 10 See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.” 11 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see an almond[a] branch.” 12 Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.” Jeremiah 1:9-12
The Hebrew word for almond is shakeid, which means to “shake,” “waken,” or “wake.” The almond tree is the first tree to awaken from its winter sleep to produce blooms and fruit, and because of this, almonds are eaten at the spring feasts in Israel. Symbolically, as it is used in the Bible, it appears to represent God’s watchfulness. He is always present and always watching to make sure that His Word is being fulfilled, or put another way, that He is watching to make sure that others are following His Word. Secondly, where it was used for Aaron, it is said to represent the “resurrected priest of God.” Just as He chose Aaron as priest, so Jesus is chosen as our High Priest.
Father God, Thank you that you have used common things to show us pictures. Each of these items helps us to have reminders directly in our sight that remind us of you. Who would have thought almond milk could remind us of you, but as we see it next time in the grocery store, that we would remember you are truly watching in the world to make sure that we are trying the best we can to live righteously for you. And, you are watching for those to whom is no regard for your Word, who one day will receive their judgement for the wrong that they have done to others. Thank you for your complete fairness. In Jesus Name. Amen.