Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Exodus 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40 The Significance of Almond Blossoms

Flowering (sweet) almond treeImage via Wikipedia

Whew! Yesterday, we took my daughter to college and today we are resting after the flurry of activities related to packing.  Even now, I am finding odds and ends that were forgotten, but mostly, it is fait accompli.  Already, I am walking at a slower pace and can think globally again.

So, I feel that it is God’s humor that today’s chapters begin with Sabbath, a day of rest.

However, during this reading, my attention was drawn to a description of the lamp in Exodus 37: 17 – 20.  It is very intriguing that the cups, in which the pressed olive oil was held, were made of gold in the shape of almond blossoms. I suddenly began to wonder why God stipulated that the cups be in the shape of almond blossoms. Why not rose buds?

 In  Strong’s Concordance I found that the Hebrew word for almonds shä·kad' שָׁקַד (shaqad) (Strong’s 8246) is a denominative form of the Hebrew word for almond  shä·kād'  שָׁקֵד (shaqed) (Strong’s 8247)  which is derived from the Hebrew  shä·kad' שָׁקַד (shaqad) (Strong’s 8245) which means to be watchful or to be on the look out.  Since the almond tree is the earliest in bloom, the almond blossom oil cups in the lamp visually illustrate Israel’s position as the first nation to know God and to be considered a holy nation, God’s treasured possession (Exodus 19: 5 -6). As a nation, they were the earliest to bloom.  With God’s covenant relationship, Israel gained the responsibility of maintaining the light in the lamp from evening until morning (Exodus 27: 20 -21). Again, the flame emanating from the shä·kad' שָׁקַד (shaqad)  during the night echoes God’s sleepless watch over Israel.

 Additionally, by following God’s commandments, Israel was aligned with God; declared God’s existence; proclaimed God’s presence; served as a spiritual light in a world of darkness.  As the nation of Israel toiled to construct the tabernacle according to God’s plans, they acquired a supernatural understanding of how to work with the materials God gave them  as well as a greater knowledge of God.   By following His plans, they could see through His eyes that He valued beauty, proportion, aesthetics, good craftsmanship, engineering skills, etc.  God’s logic and thought permeated all aspects of life.

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