silhouette of woman
Friend of the Bridegroom, Isaiah 62 Fast, Watchmen on the Wall

Remember Your Promises: 21 Days of Intercession for Israel (Day 14 of the Isaiah 62 Fast)

The word of the LORD came to me: “What do you see, Jeremiah?” “I see the branch of an almond tree,” I replied. The LORD said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.” Jeremiah 1:11-2

“Make a lampstand of pure gold. Hammer out its base and shaft, and make its flower-like cups, buds and blossoms of one piece with them. 32 Six branches are to extend from the sides of the lampstand—three on one side and three on the other. 33 Three cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms are to be on one branch, three on the next branch, and the same for all six branches extending from the lampstand. 34 And on the lampstand there are to be four cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms. 35 One bud shall be under the first pair of branches extending from the lampstand, a second bud under the second pair, and a third bud under the third pair—six branches in all. 36 The buds and branches shall all be of one piece with the lampstand, hammered out of pure gold. 37 “Then make its seven lamps and set them up on it so that they light the space in front of it. Exodus 25:31-37

“Command the Israelites to bring you clear oil of pressed olives for the light so that the lamps may be kept burning. In the tent of meeting, outside the curtain that shields the ark of the covenant law, Aaron and his sons are to keep the lamps burning before the Lord from evening till morning. This is to be a lasting ordinance among the Israelites for the generations to come.” Exodus 27:20-21

blooming almond tree in spring garden

The word of the LORD came to me: “What do you see, Jeremiah?” “I see the branch of an almond tree,” I replied. The LORD said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.” Jeremiah 1:11-2

The Hebrew word for “almond” and “watch or wake” comes from the root “watch” or “wake” שָׁקַד (shaqad). So what we see here is a biblical play on words. As I mentioned on the first post for the fast, we are keepers of the spiritual lampstands in the temple of our hearts and congregations, and we remember the symbolism. The branches of the lampstand were crafted to resemble almond buds. Because the almond tree was the first tree to bud in spring, it was said to be “watching for spring.” As a Kingdom of Priests from Israel and also every tribe and nation (Revelation 1:5-6, Isaiah 61:6, Exodus 19:6; 1 Peter 2:9), we keep Him company in watching to see His word fulfilled (Jeremiah 1:12).

The Lampstand makes other appearances in scripture. It’s branches are often said to represent the 7 Spirits of God that encircle the throne, the seven eyes of the lamb (yes, I know that sounds strange), the seven churches, the books of the Bible, and the seven feasts. We know the number seven is completion or perfection.

We also see lamps and oil in the parable of the wise and foolish virgins. They all sleep/rest, but the wise virgins have bought oil for their lamps. Have you ever wondered what that means? Where does one buy this oil that is mentioned in the parable? The oil is the oil of readiness in the Spirit, bought in the presence of God. It is the oil of His presence that those who keep watch will get as they spend time in the presence of the Lord, remembering His promises to return and His promises for His people. You have to buy it. That means it is costly. Spending time in His presence, the deeper you go, it will cost more. May the Lord give understanding to that word for each of us individually. Be careful how you live, because the Lord’s return will be sudden. And you will be held accountable for how you lived and spoke (Romans 14:10-12, Matthew 12:36-37). The oil is the sap that comes from the vine to branch, the Spirit of Yeshua, the Holy Spirit. The oil is also the spirit of gladness (Psalm 45:7 which is why some people laugh when filled with the Spirit), and the anointing of authority (as when kings were anointed). All of these run out if we do not endure in righteous sobriety of watching for the Lord and spending time in the Holy of Holies. Though we can come back and buy them, will we have time at the end? Jesus says no. According to the parable, half of us will be caught without oil! Don’t let it be me Lord.

As we move into prayer, I want to emphasize that the lamp is the thing that brings light, that is the Spirit of God, the Word, the Light of the World. We even see how there will be no lamp in the final new Jerusalem because the lamb (Yeshua) will be the lamp. It is the truth that God will accomplish His word. His feasts are set up so that we will see His word confirmed over and over again as He reminds us of His love and confirms His word. For example, in Pentecost, we celebrate the giving of the law of Moses on Sinai, but the Holy Spirit filled the mouths of the 72 in the upper room on Pentecost…why? Because it was the NEW LAW of the Spirit Paul would later talk about. God is so symbolic. And have you ever wondered why Jesus died on Pesach or Passover? He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the whole world!

God times things on purpose. He is so symbolic BECAUSE He wants us to recognize when His word is being fulfilled in our midst. That’s why the timings and seasons of God are so beautifully rich to study. I truly believe as the end times come, those of us who understand His timings will not be surprised. We will know his “times,” His seasons. We may not know the day or the hour, but we will not be caught off guard if we keep watching with Him, reminding ourselves, and Him of His promises.

His Word has been given so that we will know the Lord has done it, “Not by might, not by power, but by His Spirit”:

And he said to me, “What do you see?” I said, “I see, and behold, a lampstand all of gold, with a bowl on the top of it, and seven lamps on it, with seven lips on each of the lamps that are on the top of it. And there are two olive trees by it, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left.” And I said to the angel who talked with me, “What are these, my lord?” Then the angel who talked with me answered and said to me, “Do you not know what these are?” I said, “No, my lord.” Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts. Zechariah 4:2-6

Now, and finally, look where it is located in the tabernacle. To me, this is the clearest picture of its meaning. The lamp is in the Holy Place, a place that we as a Kingdom of Priests are invited to go, because Yeshua made a way for us to enter through His flesh (Hebrews 10:19-20).

That is the deepest meaning of the lamp to me. It is simple. In His presence there is communion with the Spirit, in the light of the Word, there is communion with Yeshua (the table of showbread, and the altar of incense (prayer)) and because the veil is torn, we have an audience with the Almighty, our Father. And as keepers of the lamp on earth, we pay close attention. We buy the oil of His presence. We study the prophets. We watch with Him over His Word to see it come to pass. And when it does, it will come to let us know that winter has past and the time of singing has come. The testimony of Yeshua is the Spirit of Prophecy. We wait and we worship. We will know Him not because we have predicted the exact time and day or procedures of His coming. We will know Him because we have been keeping watch in our own hearts, watching how He moves symbolically and repetitively through history, cycling through these “times” of the Lord, these feasts that celebrate and confirm His Word to us.

Let’s Pray

Lord, we watch with you on this Shabbat day of Rest. You will accomplish your word. Remember your promises to Israel.

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