Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Honey from the Rock

"He's as hard as a rock!" is a well-known comparison and descriptive phrase. So is "between a rock and a hard place" as a way of saying that times are tough and options are very limited. Living as I do, on an island made of fabulous granite rocks, I am well aware of their enormous hardness and impervious make-up. Can anything good flow from a rock?

In the ancient hymnal of the Jewish people there is a song/psalm which suggests that rocks can be more than a good foundation - they can also be the source of sweetness and joy!  Psalm 81:16 portrays God speaking "with honey from the rock I would satisfy you". Each day I enjoy reading the daily devotion in the Psalms written by Timothy Keller and his wife Kathy called 'My Rock My Refuge' and this is the set Psalm for today the 19th July. New York pastor Timothy Keller is known for his ability to connect a deep understanding of the Bible with contemporary thought and the practical issues we all face in our lives. Mr Keller says that this idea that sweetness flows from hardness crops up several times in the Bible.  Samson experienced this when he killed an attacking lion and then, some time later, was able to eat honey from the carcass (Judges 14:18). For Christians, the significance of the cross is that out of the hardness of being crucified, as Jesus was, life and forgiveness flow to satisfy the needs of all who believe.

This concept of receiving honey from an impossibly hard place has sustained and helped me for a long time now. I am "between a rock and a hard place" in the circumstances of my long battle with serious illness. But, despite that, I feel the comfort of knowing that God is with me and wants daily to feed me with the spiritual nourishment of hope, peace and the joy of forgiveness, no matter how hard the rock gets.

Your rock will be very different to mine, because each of us is unique, but be assured today that God wants to slip you something really good even from the very thing that threatens to flatten you.