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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

"I Will Be As the Dew Unto Israel" # 2

Next you will notice that Hosea turns to the mountains of Lebanon in verses five through seven:

"I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon. His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon. They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon."

When God is disclosing His ideals for His people, He always turns us to a mountain. That is what the Lord would wish, that we should be a mountain-top peak.

In Judah, and in later days, the prophets turned to Zion - "in the city of our God, in the mountain of His holiness," - the house of the Lord, in the top of the mountain; "beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion," - beautiful in its elevation and its order (Psalm 48:1, 2). That is what God wants His people to be.

Then Hosea turns to another mountain, the most important one in the Lebanon range, Mount Hermon, fertile and fresh and full of the life. Hosea sees in that mountain a picture of what God's people ought to be. You will remember what it says in Psalm 133: "As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion"- even so, "I will be as the dew unto Israel."

Also, in Psalm 133, the picture given unto us is the picture of the fullness of life, for when we are thinking of the House on the mountain, we are thinking of corporate life.

When we look at this picture of Hermon, there is no contradiction of that fullness of life, for the emphasis is not now on the order, and the relatedness, but it is just upon the simple, fundamental, basic needs of life - fullness of life. And while spiritual order and corporate life may provide you with difficulties in your relatedness to others, here in Hosea is something which is purely, simply, wholly, a question of your own personal life with the Lord.

Nobody can keep us from having the dew, except ourselves. "I will be as the dew unto Israel." Now see what the dew produces in verse five: "... he shall blossom as the Lily" - beautiful, attractive expression of life, the lily of the field. Are we blooming for the Lord, or are we drooping? We shall blossom as the Lily. Remember what the Lord Jesus said in Matthew 6:28 and 29, "The lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin ... Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these." Why? Because Solomon's glory was artificial, but this glory is natural, beautiful, the lily of the field. No human artifice can produce what grows up so simply and so spontaneously all around the lower parts of the mountain. There is a lot of argument as to what the lily of the field was, whether it was anemones, irises, or another flower. Some feel, and I cannot but in my heart agree with this, the Lord was not pointing to any particular flower. So much is pointed out by the fact that here are flowers that grow spontaneously, producing a beauty which is wonderful to behold. These lilies are not flowers as we usually know them - chosen and arranged in the midst of others, part of a formal garden for show and for admiration. There is nothing formal about these. Perhaps they are seen, perhaps they are not seen; perhaps they are admired, perhaps they are ignored. They do not mind, they just go on blooming! Oh, for life that will just bloom with the beauty of the Lord, not for show, not for admiration, but simply as an expression of Christ in His beauty - "The Lily of all lilies."

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 3)

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