Friday, 21 August 2009

SUCKLED WITH ROCK HONEY

Deuteronomy 32:13 He made him ride on the high places of the land,
and he ate the produce of the field,
and he suckled him with honey out of the rock,
and oil out of the flinty rock.

Sharing an FW Boreham illustration in a Nursing Home todayI'm reading F.W. Boreham's, "The Uttermost Star", which he wrote shortly after he had been pastoring the Hobart Baptist church. He opens this classic book with an essay about Majorie. She was an elderly lady that FWB was asked to visit. Prior to meeting her he wondered how he would make conversation with her. But when he met her and introduced himself he soon found that the conversation flowed so naturally that he felt that he had nothing to do with it. Marjorie was now blind in her old age. Yet FWB found her witty, bright, and engaging. As she spoke, Boreham was struck by her breadth of vocabulary. (People who read widely invariably develop such a broad vocabulary.) He asked her about her conversion. Her answer soon enchanted him.

She described her conversion as finding "the sweetness of religion". Boreham had never heard anyone describe their conversion in this way. As he invited her to share about her life's journey with Christ Marjorie implied that the rest of her walk with Christ could not be described as "sweet". Boreham picked up on this. "Well" she explained, "life got hard." Marjorie described life after she got married and together she and her husband had children. There wasn't time for the sweetness of religion then, she offered. Especially, she went on, when in one week they buried one son on Tuesday and the other on Thursday and then her husband died shortly after! Life could indeed be hard. Boreham interjected, Did you lose the sweetness of religion during these times Marjorie? She replied that it was during this time that she experienced not the sweetness of religion, but the power of religion that sustained her through such heart-ache. Did you ever lose faith Marjorie? She put her face momentarily in her hands as the pain of the answer uneasily came forward.

Yes there was a time, she said. I despaired. I went to my usual place of prayer beside my bed and once again put my knees into the well-worn spots on the carpet, but I couldn't pray. I looked to heaven but there was too much disappointment in my heart toward God. It was then that I felt His hand. Literally. I felt an invisible hand on my shoulder and heard the comforting words of the Saviour telling me that He would never abandon me. This is the power of religion that Marjorie referred to earlier. From this point, Marjorie continued, I remained steadfast to the Lord in the security of His unfailing presence in my life.

FWB thanked Marjorie for her time and also for her inspiration. Inspiration? Yes, said Boreham, you've given me my sermon for Sunday! I shall preach on the Lord the Rock. I shall base this on Deuteronomy 32 where the Rock is described as guiding Israel to its Promised Land and then suckling them with honey. This is the sweetness that Marjorie had referred to. But it is also the power that Marjorie referred to- a Rock of immovable steadfastness and protective security.
Deuteronomy 32:13 He made him ride on the high places of the land,
and he ate the produce of the field,
and he suckled him with honey out of the rock,
and oil out of the flinty rock.

As I read this opening chapter in THE UTTERMOST STAR, I also pondered Marjorie's story and FWB's reflection upon it. Boreham explained to Marjorie that he had just read an article about Palestinian bees and how they often hive their honey in rocks- especially the rocks of cliffs. To retrieve their prized honey, the hunter would sometimes have to scale a cliff-face where he could literally suck the honey out of the rocks. Boreham's analogy made me think about the statement that if you want leaves you use a rake and just scratch the surface; but if you want gold you use a shovel and dig a little deeper. I also considered the most common description of the Promised Land as a land that flowed with "milk and honey". But it appears that although God had provided the honey, he sometimes expected people to climb cliffs to retrieve it! Yes Marjorie, life can be hard! I considered how lazy I sometimes am when it comes to enjoying the sweet things of Jesus. Sometimes the Word of God is like a cliff that requires time and effort to scale for its sweet treasures. But there are also other seasons of life, as Marjorie found, when you need a Rock underneath your feet, and cleft in that Rock to keep you safe. It's sometimes during those times when we are most worn down, and even worn out, that Jesus becomes our Rock from whom we can suckle honey and have oil proceed to soothe our injured souls.
Deuteronomy 32:13 He made him ride on the high places of the land,
and he ate the produce of the field,
and he suckled him with honey out of the rock,
and oil out of the flinty rock.

It is my pastoral prayer that we may enjoy the sweetness of the Lord Jesus, the security of the Lord Jesus' presence, and the oil of His Holy Spirit to soothe and heal our wounded hearts. If you have Jesus in your soul, you have Treasure incomparable, worth more than honey suckled from a rock.

Ps. Andrew

1 comment:

  1. Did u try to use external powers for studying? Like DigitalEssay.net ? They helped me a lot once.

    ReplyDelete