The Golden Reed (7)
This picture shows us
God’s desire to express
His divine nature through
our frail human nature
The New Jerusalem, the ultimate result of all God’s work throughout the Bible, indeed throughout all of human history (Rev. 21:9-27), must match God’s divine standard in every way. Thus, it is not measured by a merely human standard of judgment, such as right or wrong, good or evil. Rather, it is measured by God’s standard, the standard of the golden reed (Rev. 21:15-17).
As we have seen, because gold in the Bible signifies the divine nature (e.g., Exo. 25:10-11), and a reed signifies the human nature (Matt. 11:7), the “golden reed” signifies God’s desire for His divine nature to be expressed through our human nature. When we Christians live a human life that expresses God’s divine nature, we are living according to His standard. (See our most recent Note on the golden reed, “The Golden Reed” 6).
But what does it mean for us to experience such a living? We can see something of this by considering further what the golden reed is in itself.
First of all, gold is weighty; it is one of the heaviest of all the elements. And as we all know, gold is quite a precious metal; it has great value. Moreover, unlike so many other metals, it does not corrode or tarnish; this signifies God’s eternal, unchanging existence.
A reed is the opposite in every way. It is very fragile, it has basically no value in itself, and it quickly passes away.
It is truly wonderful that God would combine two such different things to compose His standard. This shows us that His intention is to uplift our fragile, common, and passing human nature with His divine nature. And as this happens, we will have a living which is so weighty, and one that is truly precious, with lasting, eternal value.
It is a great tragedy that so many people on the earth today really do live as nothing more than “reeds”; that is, they live common lives with no real value and then just pass away.
Praise the Lord, we do not have to live like that! How marvelous that, instead, our life can be uplifted to have real, eternal value and meaning, as we live by the divine nature, the precious “gold” we received though our new birth in Christ (2 Pet. 1:4; John 1:12-13).
May the Lord bring all of His children into the practical experience of such a living. It is this kind of living that will produce the church as God’s testimony in this dark age and, ultimately, bring His kingdom to the earth.
In our upcoming Notes we will consider further what it means to experience such a living.
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— 1 March 2022 —