A Bruised Reed and a Smoking Wick

A Bruised Reed and a Smoking Wick

As one of the many descriptions of the Messiah foretold in Isaiah, this passage focuses on Jesus’ service to humanity - especially individuals who were fragile or broken. And the 2 images that are used to describe these individuals are that of a bruised reed and a smoking wick. 

1) THE REED: This Hebrew word is for a reed that grew up to 15 feet tall and had several uses once cut - maybe as a measuring rod or as a walking staff. But the fact that they were hollow showed the limitations of even a good strong reed. It would splinter instead of bend if too much was asked of it. If it was already bruised - damaged in some way - it was regarded as useless. It would be intentionally broken and might be thrown on your burn or compost pile. 

But the bruised reed is an image for people here.

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Covenant: Merely a Contract?

Covenant: Merely a Contract?

The Bible emphasizes a unique word in describing relationship agreements: COVENANT. It’s the word God uses to capture His relationship with Noah, with Abraham, with Moses, with David, and ultimately with all who are in Christ - the recipients of “the new covenant,” (Jeremiah 31). But since “covenant” has gone out of fashion in common vocabulary, many search for other words to use in its place. We may be tempted to use the analogy of a contract to understand a covenant. I have used this word myself in preaching about covenant before. They both involve agreements and commitments. However, the biblical concept of covenant emerges as much stronger than the conditions of a contract.

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The Source of Conflict

The Source of Conflict

Conflict is inevitable. If you never disagree with someone, then you don't know each other well enough. You don't have a real relationship. But the quarreling (or fighting) often associated with conflict can be prevented. If you want to map out a river, you need to locate all the headwaters. So if you want to map out the whole process of conflict quarrels, let's allow the inspired writer James to point us to the headwaters where we might be able to redirect the streams before they all flow together...

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