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The Bible and Cut Flowers

Have you ever wondered whether our knowledge of the Bible could be used like a handful of cut flowers? Is it possible that separated from their root and purpose, inspired proverbs, parables, predictions, stories, or letters could be used in ways that leave them unable to bear the fruit for which they were written?

Think for instance not only of the storyline of Jonah, but of what we remember about Joseph, the son of Jacob.

After comparing notes, my guess is that we’d agree that the most memorable moment happens when, in a surprise reunion with his brothers, Joseph tells them that what they intended for evil, God meant for good (Gen 50:20).

But what if we use this story only to remind ourselves that God can turn the awful experiences of our lives into an opportunity for our benefit? What if we even go so far as to see that the twists and turns of Joseph’s life reveal a God who knows the future; rules over circumstance; and cares for us far more than we ever imagined?

These are all important and valid points. But what if we stop here? Could a handful of cut flowers stop short of renewing our first love for the God who not only loves us, but our enemies as well?

Let’s take another look at Joseph in a way that links him closely to what we know about Christ. In the end, God uses Joseph to show compassion to his cruel brothers– even making them into patriarchs of the 12 tribes of Israel. Just as amazingly, in the end, the God of the Bible also useds Joseph to show compassion for the Egypt that would later enslave and torment the descendants of Joseph’s family– until their day of Exodus.

Has my imagination gotten the best of me? Or is the link real? All of a sudden it seems so important to see that just as God used the betrayal of Joseph to put him in a position to be the rescuer of his brothers and the whole land of Egypt (Gen 50:20), so the Father of heaven used the betrayal of Jesus to make him the Savior– not just of his chosen people– but of the whole world.

So I find myself praying this morning, Father in heaven, forgive me for using your Word like a handful of cut flowers, purchased at the price of your Son, for the sole comfort and good of myself and those I naturally love.

PS Just noticed sleet beginning to hit the windows. Sounds like the rain, ice, and snow predicted for today has begun. Funny how big benevolent thoughts suddenly morph into something like– guess  I’d better throw the sandbags back into the bed of my pickup before heading to work… But somehow, the dots still connect…


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85 Responses to “The Bible and Cut Flowers”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    Mart wee too have sleet and rain this morning except we are to warm up into rain as the morning moves along. I am thankful it isn’t snow.

    When I first read the opening topic comments about cut flowers, I had an entire clear concept as to how to respond then as the comment went through Joseph and Christ suddenly several various thoughts branched off. I think they call that “attention deficit disorder”….I don’t know I call it not being able to focus and letting my thoughts wander, often I get lost doing that and have a terrific time trying to circle back to my original thought. If I seem to wander now you know.

    I really like the analogy of cut flowers being unable to produce fruit. Much like a hollow chocolate Easter bunny they look good on the outside but there is nothing inside.

    The flowers setting in a vase cut off from their roots no longer are sustainable and are only a good looking corpse.

    We can (as I do) have the Word of God framed and hung all around our homes, or wear crosses about our necks; some may even be able to quote scripture and verse. But if it is all only for show like the vase of flowers, then there is no other usefulness to any of it.

    Jesus compared the religious rulers of His age to “white washed tombs”, once again looking nice and clean on the outside but being dead and corrupted on the inside and therefore of no use to anyone.

    Before I move along into the other thoughts I had concerning this topic I will rest on this one comment for now.

    Steve

  • rxman says:

    We find faith by not only believing what Jesus says, but, even more, by trusting Jesus Himself. If we only look at what He says, we will never believe. Oswald Chambers.

    Just was reading a devotional this morning and the quote above was in it. Thinking of the cut flowers and how nice they look in a vase, it struck me how often I want to know all about the bible and gain all the knowledge I can so I can impress people. I hope to make them believe how “spiritual” I am yet all this seems to get in the way of truly knowing Jesus.

    There must be some way to balance studying God’s word and allowing Him to speak supernaturally to me. God help me to not just know about you but truly KNOW you by having a real relationship with you.