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Bruised Grass and a Smouldering Wick


  • Bruised Grass and a Smouldering Wick

    Isaiah 42:1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
    2 He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.
    3 A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.

    Eric wasn't a newborn but he was a very young believer in the Lord. Saved only a short while, Eric was seduced by a heretical sect that would no doubt have led the unsuspecting babe to spiritual ruin. It was a happy accident then, when Eric stumbled upon a home Bible Study where the truth was being taught by a fiery and zealous young preacher. Immediately the preacher began to educate Eric in all the ways that his spiritual family was wrong. When Eric objected that this was not the way he had been taught the preacher would often respond, "That's because they didn't teach you the truth. You think that's different? Let me show you this!" It was more than the tender young believer could bear. Despite the best intentions of the preacher, Eric was all but forced back into the safety of the cult from which he had so nearly escaped.

    Sarah, now in her late forties, had been saved as a young adult and served the Lord faithfully for many years. Over several months, however, her oldest and dearest friend had noticed that Sarah's devotion was not only slipping, but very quickly had all but disappeared. She was speaking in ways she had never spoken before, doing things her friend could never have imagined Sarah doing. Of course her friend tried to encourage her, inviting Sarah to pray, to read, to do personal devotions together, but nothing, it seemed, could rekindle Sarah's flame. Finally in desperation her friend admonished, "Look, Sarah, you've been a Christian for a lot of years now. There is no excuse for this behavior! You'd better pull yourself together, and fast!" Well, Sarah did pull herself together. She pulled herself together, walked out the door, and neither her friend nor the Lord has heard from her since.

    Isaiah says that when the chosen Servant would come He would be so gentle as not to break a bruised reed, nor quench a smoking flax.

    A reed is nothing more than a fragile stick of grass. A bruised reed is more fragile still. Eric was a bruised reed. Tender and vulnerable, he required the most gentle handling. And if that didn't work, then even more gentleness.

    Flax is the material from which lamp-wicks were made. A smoking flax is a wick that once bore a flame but is now snuffed and soon to grow cold. Sarah was a smoking flax, and again, harshness was not the Lord's prescription.

    Col.3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

    In the Isaiah passage God refers to the Lord Jesus Christ as "my elect". Above, Paul instructs us to be "as the elect of God". In both places the evidences are the same; mercy, kindness, humbleness, meekness, longsuffering.

    There is most definitely a type of person regarding whom Paul instructs that we should, "rebuke them sharply". But if the reader would take away something from the sad experience of Eric's preacher, or of Sarah's friend, (both of whom are the same, by the way, and writing this article) let it be that sharpness against a tender blade of grass can only cut it through, and that a dwindling flame is extinguished by a harsh wind, but only rekindled by the most gentle of breezes.

    • Brother Mark
      Brother Mark commented
      Editing a comment
      Your article reminds me of two scriptures. The kindness of the Lord leads us to repentance. And it's the fear of the Lord that keeps a man from evil. Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed your article and agree with your point.

    • Diggindeeper
      Diggindeeper commented
      Editing a comment
      Your article is so good! Since reading it I have been reminded how Jesus, over and over, had compassion. That's one attribute that is often not found any more. Thank you for reminding us how important it is to walk in gentleness and goodness.

    • bc3n1
      bc3n1 commented
      Editing a comment
      I continually returned to your article, reading it over numerous times, pondering its depths. The part that has stood out to me is, "...rekindled by the most gentle of breezes," the Holy Spirit is brought to mind. Thank you.
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