The Call of Jeremiah
4 Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
6 Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” 7 But theLord said to me,
“Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’;
for to all to whom I send you, you shall go,
and whatever I command you, you shall speak.
8 Do not be afraid of them,
for I am with you to deliver you,
declares the Lord.”
9 Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me,
“Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.
10 See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms,
to pluck up and to break down,
to destroy and to overthrow,
to build and to plant.”
11 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see an almond[a] branch.” 12 Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.”
When Singapore comes to mind, many instinctively think of the food, the humidity, the seafood. Not many Christians even recognise this little red dot as the ‘Antioch of Asia’.
During the past 49 years, the Lord has watched over her, allowing her to strangle the rise of communism at its roots, boost the economy despite the lack of any natural resources, and allowing her to form diplomatic ties with so many countries such that this tiny island is a recognised first world society with a booming economy. It may be a commercial hub and legal hub, but it is also the spiritual hub of Asia.
Before Singapore was formed, God knew of her. Before she came into existence, He had set her apart for His purpose.
Please pray that Singapore will continue to reach out to her neighbours. May we remember that the Church should not be contained by four walls, but rather be recognised as a group of people with the same identity in Christ. Pray that we will turn away from spiritual arrogance and spiritual exclusivity; constantly reminded that we of our calling in Christ.
Singapore is only in her youth, but the Lord will watch over her just like an almond tree.
The hebrew word for almond tree originates from the word ‘awake’ because it is the first to ‘awaken’ after the winter. It also has the meaning of ‘watching’, where God is watching over us.
Moreover, the almond tree was also referred to in Numbers 5:8, where God turned Aaron’s ordinary lifeless rod into one that “not only sprouted but had budded, blossomed and produced almonds”. Sometimes, our society may seem dead, bleak, nothing good can come out of it now, but by God’s will and grace, he can give life to the city and cause it to bloom the most beautiful flowers. He can turn the lifeless into life.
God shows that it is never too late to pray for a nation no matter how bleak its (spiritual) future may be.