Word watching

Jeremiah 1:11

And the word of the I Am came to me, saying “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said “I see an almond branch.” Then the I Am said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over My word to perform it.”


There’s wordplay in this vision from Jeremiah. God asks the prophet what he sees, so there must’ve been an almond tree in front of him at the time. “Almond” sounds like “watching” in Hebrew. So technically that means that God is making a pun, which not only elevates the status of wordplay humor to the divine, but sets you on alert that He’s making a point. Jeremiah is looking at an almond tree, and there’s two reasons you look at a tree like that. To enjoy how pretty it is when it blooms and to see if there’s something getting ready to eat. The second reason is far more popular among almond farmers. Hear God say “that’s how I watch My word” – like a farmer working his crops.

But it’s actually a more jarring image than that – God is saying that stuff happens because He is paying attention to it. Think on that. If it’s written in His almanac, you can count on it as a personal guarantee. It’s not merely predicting something is going to happen and telling the future. His word is alive with power and His Person. It germinates with that much certainty. Our Father and God is a farmer watching over His prize crop, and that prize crop is your bible and every promise in it. He’s cultivating and attending to every syllable like it’s a prize winning flower. It isn’t merely data and He isn’t watching because He’s curious. We tend to abstract providence and sovereignty as doctrines impersonal and impenetrable. We worry over the kids, wonder if our career is stalled, and panic at night about our debts. We treat our faith like a patch over our unraveling lives, when we’ve been invited into so much living and expectant joy.

So get up and go get your bible. Go and see, go and read it, go and tell yourself what it says. All of the promises great and small are personal. There are no impersonal promises, because there is no impersonal God to make them. He plans all His Yes blossoms for you in love. Picture this God, attentively scrutinizing, checking each flower of His promise for fruit, watching every moment in your life to see it bud. Hear God ask, “What do you see?” Let’s tell Him we have seen the season and fruit of our forgiveness, our rescue in Jesus’ blood. And let’s ask for a new harvest of His promises! So He can say to this generation “see, I am watching over My word to perform it.” May a church be planted in San Francisco because of that promise! May revival spread in our time because of that promise! May Christ be praised because of that promise! Then we can say to this generation: just watch our great Father farmer, He watches, prunes, tends, and waters like a helicopter mom. He’s looking for a harvest of blessings and promises in us – to see His Word blooming with joy into our lives. Even so, let it be as You speak it in us, Lord Jesus. Amen!