What good are you?
Matt 12:20 “A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench, till He sends forth justice to victory.”
`Ever smell smoldering flax? Nasty. In Jesus’ day, it was often used for the wick of the oil lamps. If a lamp ran low on oil, the wick would start to smoke and smolder, an indication perhaps of negligence on the housekeeper’s part. An embarrassment, really. Fit only to be pulled out and thrown away and replaced.
What good is a bruised reed? All bent over, with rotten spots. Just sort of taking up space; not much value there.
Anybody relate? I can. I can recall times that I have felt like one or the other, or both at the same time. My fire was just not flaming. Oh, there has to be heat there, or there would be no smoke. But you had to dig so far to find it, it would take the perception of God to see it. Good people, from my earliest days, had put good things into me. But for whatever the reasons, I tried my best to quench that flame.
And a bruised reed? Which of us that has been walking with the Lord for over oh, say TWO DAYS, can’t relate to the word picture Isaiah draws for us? We bring flesh into our Kingdom walk, we stumble over our own weaknesses, or fall for a trap of the enemy. And then listen while that same enemy beats on us for being….human. As young Christians, we are weak, easily tempted, and need support. As more mature Christians, we tell ourselves we should have known better!
But among all the criticism we may be hearing, all the brow beating we may be heaping on ourselves or receiving from others, among all the flax-quenching and reed-breaking efforts of the enemy, you know the one voice that is not joining in the din? Our Savior’s. He is not even surprised, not the least bit disappointed. You see, He already knew about my shortcomings, and decided to just love me anyhow. He has already decided that as long as that smoke is there, no matter how unrecognizable the flame may be, He will keep patiently trimming that wick, adding oil, blowing on the coal, until I come back to Him. He will support me until those bruised, broken, rotting places heal and take on new life.
This is the patient and suffering Messiah; the Lamb we just finished reading so much about in the book of Revelation. But notice the last part of this verse-“till He sends forth justice to victory.” There is coming a time when He will manifest as the conquering King that He also is, and when all enemies won’t just be defeated, they’ll be vanquished! When we will rule and reign with Him over all creation in perfect justice, executing His will and reflecting His character with perfection!
So….in the mean time, if you are close to some broken reeds and smoking flaxes, be encouraged to know that the Savior is aware, and His eye is on them. Join us on Sunday as we continue our series called #Struggles2BREAL. We are focusing on how 2BREAL in world that commands filters. The service starts at 10am.
Have a wonderful week.
Pastor Andreas Basson
What good are you?