“A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.”
Isaiah 42:3 KJV
The shepherds in Bible days liked to pass their time with a little bit of music as entertainment. Unlike today in 2018 they couldn’t go to their local music store and purchase a new shiny clarinet or a polished wood guitar. The shepherds had to use what was available to them, and many times that included reeds that grew by small bodies of water. The shepherds would chisel little holes in the reeds, and make a hole at the end becoming a flute or pipe which they could blow on the end creating sounds.
I have to admit I wasn’t sure what a reed was so I did a little research which brought a beautiful light to this passage. The word “reed” literally means fragile, weak, or easily broken down. The passage above from Isaiah says a ” bruised reed,” the word ” bruised” means that which is broken or crushed, but not broken off.
I love how God’s Word is always inspired by things in the everyday lives of humanity, which explains why He would use the concept of a bruised reed. Often times due to the frailty of the reed or flute the shepherd could barely drop it which would lead to it being broken or damaged. Reeds was so easily assessable that the shepherd would throw the flute away and just create another one. The prophet is comparing us to a broken reed letting us know unlike the shepherds God doesn’t throw his people away. Just because you may be bruised meaning a little damaged, fragile, weak, or even broke down in your person God isn’t going to finish or break you off. God would rather mend you than start all over my dear friend.
Now let’s begin to take a look at the second part of this passage. A ” smoking flax” means an expiring wick of a lamp, when the oil is almost consumed, and when it shines with a feeble dying light. It’s representing a person who loves and is trying to hold on to God’s Word, but their faith is about to burn out. However, the passage says ” a smoking flax shall he not quench!”
As I was praying the other night God told me, ” I only have one weakness,” Tears filled my eyes barely able to speak I asked, ” What God is your only weakness,” He replied, ” You, you are my only weakness.” Jesus will break all the rules to save one person.
I’m reminded of King David’s story, which most of us know by heart. David committed many sins and we see the judgement of God walk into the room as the prophet Nathan declares David is the man in the wrong. We then find David fragile, broken down, and his oil being consumed as he laid on the floor mourning for seven days over the death to come to his son. However, because God doesn’t break the bruised reed or extinguish the smoking flax we see the truth about our God. David is to have another son whom they will call Solomon, but the prophet Nathan comes a second time. “Then David comforted his wife, Bathsheba, and went in to her and lay with her, and she bore a son, and he called his name Solomon. And the Lord loved him and sent a message by Nathan the prophet. So he called his name Jedidiah, because of the Lord.”
2 Samuel 12:24-25 ESV
In Hebrew Solomon’s name meant ” peace” but when God named him Jedidiah the literal meaning was ” beloved by the Lord.” It’s amazing to me after all of the sin, hurt, shame, and brokenness God would bring peace, and then bring love back into this very messed up situation.
Jesus really really loves us, and I think it’s time we as his children quit looking at God as some mean creature waiting to beat us up. He loves and cares for us more than we could ever fathom. His love is endless and he is so mindful of us. God doesn’t excuse sin, but when we fall and acknowledge our wrongs he is faithful to pick us back up again. When God sees your weak we doesn’t want to withhold strength from you, but yet he gently slowly restores you as a surgeon stitching up a wound.
You might be disappointed today, and maybe your faith has been damaged. Please hold on precious person he is going to restore peace and love back into your life again! For God invests in repairing broken things! Brokenness is a pathway to wholeness. He has seen your tears and he has heard your cries. I promise he has a beautiful life prepared and awaiting you! Love you all, God bless!