A Bruised Reed He Will Not Break
“A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench, Till He sends forth justice to victory” Mathew 12:20 and Isaiah 42:3
For the past few weeks, I was going through various situations in my life where I was feeling so down in my spirit – feeling lonely, depressed and rejected. However, on a Saturday morning in an unexpected situation, I heard this tender comforting voice “A bruised reed he will not break”.
As we all know reed is a plant that grows in marshlands and was used to make pens, measuring sticks in ancient days. If there is a fault in a reed then it will be discarded. Similarly, a wick in an oil lamp will be snuffed out if it’s smouldering due to lack of oil. God is using these two imageries to show that He will not discard us or forsake in our wretched situation.
Many of us are bruised and burning out because of various hurts and problems in our life – rejected, lonely, depressed, abused, cheated, unhappy relationships, unfaithfulness, issues with children, death, debt, failures, tied up finances, sickness and many more. Do you feel like you are bruised due to the repeated trials in your life? Are you a wick smoking with a little spark in you, which can be smothered even by the breath of a small child? Your heart may be right with God, but do you feel you are purposeless? You may want to serve the Lord but unable to step forward? Well then, dear child of God, God gives you a promise “The smoking flax I will not quench; the bruised reed I will not break”. God wanted us to come back to Him from our worthless, shameful situation – He will not despise you. Come to His arms which are ready to receive us.
He will take you the bruised reed and will plant you by the rivers of waters. He will make you grow you in His love. He will pour His grace and mercy on you so that you can produce heavenly fruits mentioned in Galatians 5:22. And He says to the wick, the transgressor, that He will not quench him, He will fan him up to a flame, He will blow gently on the spark, pour more oil of Holy Spirit and great shall be the fire thereof. Our God loves us and He will not destroy or break us.
In Isaiah 42: v6-7 we read Gods promise to Jesus Christ which was fulfilled in His ministry. They are our promises too. A little child won’t be able to hold the hands of his father for a long time, however, when the father holds the hands of the little child it is strong and mighty. Like that God will hold our hands and make us as light to many who are in darkness, to set captives free from prison and to release them from the dungeon. He will make us a testimony so that we can bring forth the message of salvation and guide them to eternity.
In v16 we read that “I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, and crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, and not forsake them.” Many of us may be praying for various things and will be waiting for it to happen in the usual way. But God is saying that He is setting a new way. We may be looking at others and thinking that why this sorrow or sadness always happens to me. But God is saying that He wanted to take you in a new path which no one has seen or heard. The new path may look unfamiliar, not knowing whether to turn left or right, puddles of problems may be in the middle but the promise is that God is holding our hands and will guide us.
The most important assurance we have is in v13, where we know now that our Lord Jesus Christ has won the battle against the enemy on that cross. The enemy who is throwing the depression, sorrow, loss, failure, persecution on you had been already defeated. No matter what the life throws at you, do not bother, the battle is already won and we just need to claim the victory. However, God wanted us to go through these situations of bruising and smouldering is not for our failure. He is training us to be a conqueror who can understand the heart of God and fulfil His desire in us.
So dear child of God, remember God is not rejecting you. He is holding you by His hand and taking you through a new path to be an overcomer. Remember the battle is already won. The only thing we must trust and put our faith on Him. As we read in Psalms 42:5, “Why are you discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise Him again my Saviour and my God!” Let us turn our ears to the calling of Jesus, Mathew 11:28 “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest”.
– Julie Tanish