Tag Archives: Messiah

There’s Honey in the Rock, My Brother! by Mary C. Findley

Anyone who says that God is a big bully is picking and choosing what he reads in the Bible. Read the whole thing, cover to cover, over and over, to see the whole God. Yes, it’s hard work. Yes, you’ll see violence and misery and pain and suffering, but look at what else you’’ll see!

In that day the Lord will whistle for the fly that is in the remotest part of the rivers of Egypt and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria.  They will all come and settle on the steep ravines, on the ledges of the cliffs, on all the thorn bushes and on all the watering places.
In that day the Lord will shave with a razor, hired from regions beyond the Euphrates (that is, with the king of Assyria), the head and the hair of the legs; and it will also remove the beard.
Now in that day a man may keep alive a heifer and a pair of sheep; 22 and because of the abundance of the milk produced he will eat curds, for everyone that is left within the land will eat curds and honey.
(Isaiah 8: 18-21)

God promised judgment on Israel for sin. Over and over He sent prophets, humbled kings, removed evil influences, but the people continued to sin. So here in this passage in Isaiah God says invaders will come and a large portion of the land will be ruined. In other verses he talks about burning, about thorns choking the land, but here he talks about the bees that will settle everywhere. Rudyard Kipling describes swarms of bees that live in cliffs in his Jungle Books. They are deadly, terrifying. Normally everyone keeps away from them.

But look at what the remnant of God’s people can do! There might be destruction, burning, judgment. There might be so many thorns that they can only keep a few head of livestock. But those bees, those terrifying stinging killers God sent as part of the judgment? The people can get honey from them.

That’s how God is. He punishes the sin, but He loves the sinner. He judges wickedness, but he shows mercy and comfort. He sends enemies, trouble, and pain to the disobedient, but his heart grieves over the desolation and anguish and He sends curds and honey in the midst of the thorns and the burning.

This is a parallel passage to Matthew 23, where Jesus speaks about the coming judgment. Both passages talk about the judgment and what the Messiah will do. Here it is again – the love and the judgment.

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.  Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!  For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’”

God isn’t a bully. Man is a fool, fighting the outstretched hand of help, spitting in the face of the Messiah. But from the bees that drive in the enemy and cause desolation,  he still gives us the honey.

image from morguefile by ronnieb

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Love Does Not Rejoice in Iniquity

We are to speak the truth in love. At the same time, Jesus began his ministry by knotting together a whip of cords and driving animals out of the temple (John 2). He did the same thing the week before He was crucified. Though the Bible does not say this, I believe that Jesus probably cleansed the temple every time he came to Jerusalem. So what does God expect from us? How are we to handle open sin?

Jesus preached the same truth over and over again. Yet at the end of his life on earth, his disciples still did not understand. Paul commands Timothy to “preach the Word, be instant in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and doctrine.”

God loved Israel so much that he sent them prophet after prophet. The message of Isaiah was the same message of Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, etc. We are commanded to “preach the Word, be instant in season and out, reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and doctrine.”

There are Jews who believe just like I do in the OT, yet they reject the entire NT and do not trust in Jesus as the Messiah. Some of few of those Jews actually believe the NT to be good history. They just reject Jesus as the Messiah and believe the NT is not inspired.

Yet Jesus still says “I am the Way the Truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father, except through Me.” John 14:6

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All Glorious Within

Psalm 45 is a beautiful passage of Scripture. It describes a king which certainly seems to be the Messiah, Jesus Christ. In verse nine it begins to talk about women, and there are lessons for Christian women and their earthly relationships with men and others in the descriptions found here.

First, though, we witness the anointing of the king with “oil of gladness.” The scents from his garments are of “myrrh, aloes and cassia.” The mentions of these and the “ivory palaces” are stirring descriptions of beauty for multiple senses — touch, sight, smell, and a delight for the emotions as well. It’s easy to see why “they have made thee glad.” Woman, this man and his dwelling-place are being prepared for you, as if for you alone. Are you blessed, or what?

This Psalm is aiming toward a point, and I think that point is a “pre-echo,” if you will, of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Sure enough, verse nine states that “Kings’ daughters were among thy honorable women,” (attendants at a wedding) and the queen is on his right hand, in gold of Ophir.

Mention of Ophir goes all the way back to Genesis and it is an ancient source of the highest-quality gold. I think that could mean that Christ loved His Bride from ancient times and set aside ornaments for her wedding day just as God planned salvation “before the foundation of the world.”

Verse ten is another “pre-echo,” this time of the statement of Christ that if one does not love father and mother more than Him, or even hate them, he is not worthy to be a disciple. So the daughter, or bride, is urged to “forget thine own people, and thy father’s house.” Just after the creation of Eve, before there were mothers or fathers, or perhaps even houses, Adam says that a man will leave these things and “cleave” to his wife.

The passage says that by doing this, the bride will cause her king to “greatly desire thy beauty.” She will be irresistible to her man as she is wholly committed to Him alone. And verse twelve has a great by-product of being the king’s bride. She gets presents! Tyre is certainly not known historically or biblically for being a good or godly kingdom, but its princess will have to show respect for this bride. All the richest and most powerful kingdoms on Earth want to get on her good side.

Now we get to the really good part! Verses thirteen and fourteen say “The king’s daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold. She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework.” I’m told that “within” means within her chamber, that is, while she’s getting ready for the wedding. She gets to put on wrought gold and that magnificent tapestry brocade you see in ancient portraits. No sweatpants, no bluejeans, no sir! The king’s daughter, who is now also the wife of a king, shines like the sun in the most beautiful and best workmanship. She is glorious, mind you, not glitzy. No bling here. The virgins, young girls, follow her, and you can bet they follow her example of godly beauty, too because they are accompanying her to her Lord and theirs with “gladness and rejoicing.”

Like many Scriptures this is a “here and now” as well as prophetic passage. The godly earthly queen will have children who can take the place of her forefathers as princes, leaders of kingdoms. In our sinful world we too often see children fall away from following their parents’ example and teaching. Not so here. The influence of this godly queen is solid because she worships her Lord with her whole heart. The memory of a woman who can produce generations of godly children will always be praised.

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