1.6.06

The Almond Blossoms

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. (Numbers 17:8)

The account of Aaron's stalf blossoming is a great illustration of God's validation of the men through whom he chooses to delegate his authority. God shows no favoritism, and loves all alike, but the people of Israel were mistaken on more than one occasion when they thought that this meant that all carried the same measure of delegated authority before the Lord and towards the people. To truly exercise authority we must be under authority and we cannot claim to be submitted to God unless we also submit to those whom he has chosen to exercise his delegated authority. We may not need priests to come before God on our behalf, but we certainly still need those men of double account who keep watch over us.

I saw something new in this passage though. I don't know if you ask questions of the Bible when you read it? I do all the time. This is very different from questioning the Bible, by the way — something I never do! When I read this verse, I thought, "Why Almonds?" It may seem like an irrelevant and trivial detail to most, which adds nothing to the main thrust of the message; nevertheless since all the Word is inspired by God and profitable, I'm of the opinion that it all communicates something, even if it is just a little shard of extra light in an already dazzling scene. These details intrigue me!

The best place to look for such answers is the Bible itself. It is its own best commentary. So I used a concordance (my most frequently used study tool) to look up almonds. Immediately I was struck by a possible connection.

And on the lampstand itself there shall be four cups made like almond blossoms, with their calyxes and flowers (Ex 25:34)

The lampstand with its main trunk and three branches either side which all ended in carved almond blossoms must have looked much like Aaron's stalf, or rather Aaron's stalf must have reminded Moses and the people of the lampstand before the presence of God!

This in turn speaks to me about Christ and the church — it's all about him after all. The branch that sprouts from the root and produces fruit is a prophetic picture of Christ.

There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. (Isa 11:1)

And the lampstand is a New Testament prophetic picture of the Church.

The seven lampstands are the seven churches. (Rev 1:20)

What is more both Aaron and almonds can represent Christ. Aaron was the high priest, the anointed one (Messiah). Almonds are the first to blossom in the year (January) and coming after the winter are the first signs of the new life of spring. Jesus is our high priest and the fist-born from among the dead. Jesus is the light of the world, just as the light on the lampstands shone from the almonds.

Being stirred, as I am lately, on the need for both Word and Spirit in the Church. I also spotted a connection here too. It's not unreasonable to think that the seven lampstands in Revelation that represent the church are like the seven pointed lampstand that stood before the presence in the tabernacle. This shone with light from the branches of almond blossoms.

We know from Revelation that the lamp on the lampstand corresponds to the Spirit of God (Rev 4:5), but we can also see in the prophetic writings of the Old Testament that branches of almond blossom represents the Word of God.

And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see an almond branch.” Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.” (Jer 1:11-12)

Thus Aaron's stalf that produced almonds communicates to us volumes about the nature of the Church. It is founded, joined and grows from Christ. It must be based on the ministries who carry God's delegated authority. It is to be a light to the world, and it does so by demonstrating the reality of the Word of God by a life led in the Spirit of God.

...not bad for an insignificant detail!

4 comments:

Kev C said...

This is wonderful Chris, as ever thank you for sharing it with us. As an avid reader of your blog I've learned if nothing else (and there is much more), that there is nothing insignificant about Gods every word nor your study of it. Keep it up brother!

mayesrus@yahoo said...

I agree that the almond branch is the shadow of the chosen people of God.and it was placed in the Ark along with the laws and the manna wich the manna is a shadow of the Word of God and the laws on stone are the laws written on our hearts.thus the Ark is the shadow of our Holy Bible. we know that everything that happened in the Exodus is a shadow of today.in the end only two people of that generation was allowed into the promise land.how many today will make it? and everything today is a shadow of what will be in the Eternal Kingdom.turn on a lamp and hold a book under the light and look at the shadow on the table and you will see a dark shadow and along the edge a lighter shadow making two shadows of a real book meaning there are two shadows of the real life we will live as in the old testament then the new testament then real life in heaven.

Hosea 8.12 said...

{Part 1 of 2}YES!!!!!…and the almond tree may hold more significance than what we are aware. It seems that the blossoming of the almond tree marks the beginning of the cycle of a year as the light of dawn marks the beginning of the cycle of a day. Everything in the Word of God revolves around agricultural cycles. The timing of the awakening or blossoming of the almond tree is towards the end of the winter season (the night season). The Bridegroom comes like a thief in the "night". Like the almond tree, we are to remain alert and watchful...which is what the word for almond means in the Hebrew. And the shape of our eyes gives us a hint as to what we are to be watching! Also consider that the Righteous Branch is called the Prince of Peace. As the white blossoms fall to the ground 5-14 days after awakening, it is as if they are laying down a white carpet for the coming of a Righteous King. (the season of winter is a season of peace.)

In the Word of God, people are compared to trees. Please read into the following parable: The almond tree is known as the watchful tree and is the first of the fruit trees to awaken from its winter slumber. Upon awakening, it clothes itself in white garments. Following pollination, firstfruits begin to emerge from the calyx and hastily grow over a course of weeks; in the Middle East a few of these firstfruits are handpicked (chosen) during this 1st harvest. The others remain on the tree to mature in the summer heat; the heat withers the flesh and exposes the seed inside. At the final harvest (2nd harvest), the tree is beaten causing the seed to fall to the ground. The almond tree is a humble tree; with the exception of the blossoming, it has no comeliness nor form nor greatness about it. There is nothing that makes this tree desirable except for what is gained at the final harvest - after it is beaten: a seed known as one of the world’s healthiest foods.

WHITE GARMENTS: We are to clothe ourselves in garments of righteousness.

FIRSTFRUITS: Firstfruits are extremely important in the word of God. There was a feast of centered around firstfruits. Jesus was the firstfruit of the resurrection. He chose a few to follow in His footsteps. Those who follow Him are also firstfruits.

HEAT: Through the heat of trials and tribulations, our flesh and our desires are to wither until – like the Righteous Branch – all that remains in us is His Seed…the Word of God.

Visualize Moses and Aaron holding onto a rod (branch). As long as they were holding on to the branch, they were able to perform signs and wonders (Aaron's branch is later revealed as a blossoming almond branch). As long as they were holding onto the branch, the waters obeyed them. Through the branch in their hand, salvation was brought to the children of Israel. They were brought to Mt. Sinai in Midian also known as Mountain of Almonds (Jabal al-Lawz). There are prophecies of a Righteous Branch who would come forth (Isa 11, Jer 23, 33, Zec 3, 6). When the Righteous Branch walked on the earth, He performed signs and wonders. The waters obeyed Him. He brought salvation. If we hold on to the Righteous Branch, then we receive salvation and shall also be able to perform signs and wonders.

Regarding the timing of the exodus…something we were to remember for generations to come forever: It is interesting to note that the time that the dead and the living (dead bones of Joseph and the living children of Israel) were brought out of Egypt was on the 1st Day of Unleavened Bread during the month of Abib. Abib may indeed correspond to the awakening & blossoming of the almond tree. There is mention of another time the dead and living will be brought up. (Remember that our Heavenly Father follows cycles and patterns.)

(continued)

Hosea 8.12 said...

{Part 2 of 2} Consider the menorah: a golden blossoming almond tree. However, instead of producing the fruit of an almond, the menorah produced the fruit of light. The Righteous Branch said that He is the light of the world. Like the center branch on the menorah, if we are a branch that is grafted into Him, then we shall also produce the fruit of light. (Thy Word is a lamp to my feet and a light unto my path.)

Consider Aaron's rod (branch): it budded, blossomed and yielded ripening almonds. This signified who the Most High chose to come near and serve Him. The almond tree can produce sweet or bitter almonds. Sweet almonds are known as one of the world's healthiest foods. Bitter almonds contain poison that may produce death if too many are ingested. In the Word of God, rebellion (unfaithfulness, disobedience) is associated with bitterness (see Strong's H4784, H4805). Faithfulness and obedience seems to be associated with sweetness as "Thy Word is sweet as honey". If the priesthood is sweet or faithful, they will lead the people to walk in faithfulness to the commands. If the priesthood is bitter, they will lead the people astray and cause spiritual death. As King & High Priest in the order of Melchizedek, the Righteous Branch will establish the kingdom of God on the earth…a government administered in justice and righteousness.

May each of us continue to grow in grace and knowledge of The Righteous Branch...remain watchful and alert…and produce the fruit of light!

Link to presentation detailing the cycle of the almond tree: http://www.righteousbranch.org/prodigy-of-the-almond-tree.html