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(Condensational Conclusions...)

Herding sheep with a stick. We all know what a shepherd does, but what does a "tree dresser" do? A dresser would pick the ideal spot for the tree, plant the tree, water the tree, protect the tree and prune the tree. Apparently sycamore trees needed some extra special attention. I am told that the fruit of this tree had to be beaten and bruised in order to ripen properly. Beating fruit with a stick. HMMM. With that in mind, I think the Lord chose the right man for the message that had to be delivered. A message that would beat and bruise Godís own dearly beloved and desperately wayward Israel would surely be delivered through one who possessed the heart of a shepherd. God is good all the time. All the time God is good. "Thus says the Lord: Woe to those who are at ease in Zion. Surely the Lord God does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants, the prophets. Hear this word! Seek Me, that you may live! Yet, you have not returned to Me. Behold, famine is coming on the land. Not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, but rather a famine for hearing the word of the Lord. For behold, He who forms mountains and creates the wind and declares to man what are His thoughts...He who makes dawn into darkness and treads on the high places of the earth: THE LORD GOD OF HOSTS IS HIS NAME. He who made Pleiades and Orion and changes deep darkness into morning...Who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out on the surface of the earth: THE LORD IS HIS NAME. The Lord God of hosts, the One who touches the land so that it melts and all those who dwell in it mourn and all of it rises and subsides like the Nile of Egypt...the One who builds His upper chambers in the heavens and has founded His vaulted dome over the earth...He who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out on the face of the earth: THE LORD IS HIS NAME."Those who REPENT and RETURN will REAP abundantly. God will RAISE them up and REBUILD them and RESTORE them and ROOT them again deeply into the soil of His love.

September 16, 1998