Shalom! Regarding your article about Tu B'Shevat...just wanted to add that the significance of Tu B’Shevat as it corresponds with the blossoming of the almond tree may have been concealed over the years.
Tu B’Shevat is known as the beginning of the agricultural cycle and everything in the Word of God revolves around an agricultural cycle. In studying the cycle of the almond tree, we have learned that the blossoming marks the beginning of the cycle of a year as the light of dawn marks the beginning of the cycle of a day.
click here www.righteousbranch.com to view a power point presentation.
This is fitting imagery considering that the menorah was the "light" in the holy place. Each time a priest entered into the holy place, they were reminded of the blossoming almond tree. Yet instead of this "tree" producing the fruit of an almond, the menorah produced the fruit of light. The Righteous Branch said that He is the light of the world. Like the center branch on the menorah, if we are a branch that is grafted into Him, then we shall also produce the fruit of light.
Consider that the almond tree blossoms towards the end of the winter season (night season) and that Bridegroom comes like a thief in the "night". Like the almond tree remaining watchful for the changes in the seasons, we are to remain alert and watchful...which is what the word for almond means in the Hebrew. And the shape of our eyes give us a hint as to what we are to be watching!
Also consider that the Righteous Branch is called the Prince of Peace. As the white blossoms fall to the ground 5-14 days after awakening, it is as if they are laying down a white carpet for the coming of a Righteous King. (It is also noteworthy that the season of winter is a season of peace.)
An interesting note is the timing of the example of the dead and the living being brought out of Egypt (the dead bones of Joseph and the living children of Israel): this event occurred on the 1st Day of Unleavened Bread during the month Abib (which very well may refer to the blossoming of the almond tree). There is mention of another time in the NT when the dead and living will be brought up. Remember that our Heavenly Father follows cycles and patterns.
Other interesting nuggets:
- In the Word of God, people are compared to trees. There is a great parable in the cycle of the almond tree as it compares to people. It is known as the watchful tree. It is a humble tree. With the exception of the few weeks of blossoming, the almond tree has no comeliness. At harvest time it is beaten to cause the seed to fall to the ground.
- The summer heat causes the flesh of the fruit to wither. The heat of trials and tribulations wither our flesh/sinful desires.
- At the final harvest, all that remains is a single seed that is known as one of the world's healthiest foods. The seed is the Word of God; "The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say 'and to seeds,' meaning many people, but 'and to your seed,' meaning one person, who is Christ.
Moses and Aaron performed signs and wonders as long as they were holding on to the branch. The waters obeyed. Through the branch in their hand, salvation was brought to the children of Israel. When the Righteous Branch walked on the earth, the waters obeyed Him. The Righteous Branch brought salvation. The Righteous Branch performed signs and wonders. If we hold on to the Righteous Branch, then we too shall be able to perform signs and wonders. The Righteous Branch became the High Priest in the order of Melchizedek. Remember Aaron's rod (branch) that budded, blossomed and yielded ripening almonds that signified who the LORD chose to come near Him and serve Him?
May each of us continue to grow in grace and knowledge of The Righteous Branch... and remain watchful and alert!
~servants of the Most High