The Golden Reed (10)
To live a life according
to God’s standard
we must deeply sense
our own weakness
The “golden reed” in Revelation 21:15 signifies God’s desire to impart His divine nature, signified by the gold, into our human nature, signified by the reed, so that our humanity is uplifted with His divine nature (cf. 2 Pet. 1:4). This is the standard by which He will measure the final result of all of His work throughout all of human history, namely, the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:15-17).
The picture of a reed shows us a secret of how we may enter into a living that is according to this standard. First of all, because the reed signifies our humanity, it shows us that, to have such a living, we should not seek to be spiritual in a religious kind of way; rather, the more human we are, the more we will experience God’s divine life and nature working within us.
But there is something else about the reed we need to see: it is not only a picture of our humanity, but more specifically, of our humanity in its weakness and frailty.
The Lord asked the crowds concerning John the Baptist:
“What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?”
— Matthew 11:20
And we are also told, of the Lord’s caring for the multitudes:
A bruised reed He will not break.
— Matthew 12:20
Thus, the “golden reed” shows us that, if we desire to live a life according to the divine nature, we must have a deep inward sense of our own weakness. We need to confess, both to God and to ourselves, our complete inability in ourselves to live a life according to this standard. Only then will God come to us and bring us into such a living.
This is a living of absolute dependence upon God. Even Jesus, as a man on the earth, said:
The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father doing.
— John 5:19
And He told the disciples:
Apart from Me you can do nothing.
— John 5:19
How we need the Lord to save us, through many difficult experiences, from our self-confidence, self-trust, and self-assurance—our “knowing”! Then, rather than living by these things, we will live by Him as our life within. We will be able to say, with Paul:
I can do all things in Christ who empowers me.
— Philippians 4:13
And with the hymn writer:
We go in faith,
our own great weakness feeling,
And needing more each day
Thy grace to know:
Yet from our hearts
a song of triumph pealing;
We rest on Thee,
and in Thy Name we go.
Moreover, this living according to the divine standard will result in the building up of the Body of Christ, for as we live in dependence on Christ, and as we pass through the trials that cause us to lean upon Him more and more, His life will be released from within us to those we care for (cf. John 7:39). Again we will say with Paul:
We who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So then death is working in us, but life in you.
— 2 Corinthians 4:11-12
In brief, we will be living in the reality of the New Jerusalem today, to prepare us for our dwelling there with God for eternity.
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— 19 March 2022 —