The Reed and the Bruising (pt 2)

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

 How Christ Pursues His Calling

Here it says that it is done modestly, without making a noise, or raising up dust by a pompous arrival, as politicians are used to doing. “His voice shall not be heard.” His voice was indeed heard, but what voice? “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden” (Matt. 11:28). He cried, but how? “Ho, everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters” (Isa. 55:1). And as his coming was modest, it was also mild, which is set down in these words: “A bruised reed shall he not break, and a smoking flax shall he not quench.”

We see therefore, that the condition of those he was to deal with, was that they were bruised reeds and smoking flax.  Not trees, but reeds; and not whole, but bruised reeds.  The church is compared to weak things: to a dove amongst the fowls; to a vine amongst the plants; to sheep amongst the beasts; to a woman, which is the weaker vessel.

God’s children are bruised reeds before their conversion, and they often stay bruised reeds after.  Before conversion, all (except the ones that, being brought up in the church, God has delighted to show himself gracious to them from childhood), all are bruised reeds.  Yet in different degrees, as God sees fit.  And just as there are differences in temperament, gifts, and lifestyle, so there are differences in God’s intention to use men in the time to come. For he usually empties them of themselves and makes them nothing before he will use them for any great services.

In contrast to yesterday’s post, the 2006 New Attitude conference was very good. Especially beneficial has been the breakout sessions. Dave Harvey’s session on The Summons was very good. I found this poem he recited about an hour into the talk to be very… moving.

When God wants to drill a man
And thrill a man
And skill a man,
When God wants to mold a man
To play the noblest part;
When He yearns with all His heart
To create so great and bold a man
That all the world shall be amazed,
Watch His methods, watch His ways!

How He ruthlessly perfects
Whom He royally elects!
How He hammers him and hurts him,
And with mighty blows converts him
Into trial shapes of clay which
Only God understands;
While his tortured heart is crying
And he lifts beseeching hands!

How He bends but never breaks
When his good He undertakes;
How He uses whom He chooses
And with every purpose fuses him;
By every act induces him
To try His splendour out —
God knows what He’s about!

Author Unknown

I contacted his church and was told that the poem came from the book, Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders, p. 184