I wrote last week about my day at Global and the strange dream I had the morning I went (of an almond branch growing out of my right leg and it was covered with pink flowers). That same friend who sent me the interpretation to the second dream read my post and then looked up almond tree (thank you thank you!) and I learned some more interesting things. But first, one of the things I didn’t mention that happened that Thursday (because I didn’t think it was significant) was a 2nd year student told me when she looked at me she kept seeing a menorah though she had no idea why, so I tucked that word away, just as puzzled as she was. Not until I read the information my friend sent was a connection made. Here it is:
The almond tree has special significance for Tu B’Shevat. The word for “almond” is shakeid(שָׁקֵד), which comes from a root that means to “watch” or “wake” (i.e., shakad: שָׁקַד). The almond tree is the among the first trees to “awaken” from its winter sleep… We therefore eat almonds (שְׁקֵדִים) on Tu B’Shevat to celebrate the return of spring. In the Scriptures there is a play on words regarding the use of “almond” and God’s “watchfulness” (i.e., faithfulness): “And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘Jeremiah, what do you see?’ And I said, ‘I see an almond branch (מַקֵּל שָׁקֵד אֲנִי ראֶה).’ Then the LORD said to me, ‘You have seen well, for I am watching (כִּי־שׁקֵד אֲנִי) over my word to perform it'” (Jer. 1:11-12).
The blooming branch of an almond tree is breathtakingly beautiful – so much so that the LORD decorated the Menorah (מְנוֹרָה) with oil cups (i.e., gevi’im: גְבִעִים) in the shape of almond blossoms (Exod. 25:33-34; 37:19-20). Indeed, the Menorah itself is a symbol of the “Tree of Life” (עֵץ־חַיִּים) and therefore it is fitting to consider it during Tu B’Shevat as well. For more information about this, click the image below:
Finally, some have said that Aaron’s rod (מַטֵּה־אַהֲרן) – the staff he used to perform signs and wonders during the Exodus – was made from a branch of an almond tree…. Recall that during the incident of Korach’s rebellion, Aaron’s rod budded, flowered and produced almonds overnight (Num. 17), which was symbolic of the power of the “resurrected priest of God” that was coming…
So what does all this mean? I’m still pondering it, but I can tell you it’s an incredible faith builder to have events line up like they did that Thursday followed by another awesome dream that has given me more hope than I think I’ve ever had that yes, indeed, He truly is “watching over His word to perform it!” What word is that? Well there is more than one, but the one I am anticipating is the one He spoke to me three years ago in Brazil when He said, “I will come to you” (John 14:18b). The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come!” :)