Listen, Become All You Are Called To Be
As I read my Bible night before last I came upon the verse above from Isaiah 7. As always when I read something "new" in the Bible I know I have read it before and somehow didn't really read it as I read the words. God has a way of making His Word new over and over to each of us. When we read familiar verses sometimes God speaks something new and different to us even through those verses. But what caught my attention in the verse from Isaiah was not the idea of God"hissing" (which I don't remember reading of before) but the word "bee."
You see earlier the very same day before I read this new old verse I had read a very old poem which was once very new to me. "the bee" was the first poem I remember ever writing. I wrote it when I was ten years old. As I child I was a loner. The poem speaks of the bee longing to make friends with people who always run away when he tries to talk to them. So I suppose I was the bee the poem speaks of as I always longed to fit in, but never quite made it.
In my aloneness, I wrote a lot and stayed outside a lot. When I was very young I remember how I used to catch bees in jars and think they would make honey. I would watch them and watch them, but they never made any honey in the jars, they just buzzed and flew around and I am sure longed to sting me. Ah, life's disappointments.
As I read "the bee" for the hundredth millionth time, I saw something new in the poem I had written so long ago.
You see, there is another stanza that I won't share with you all as it speaks of the bee's suicidal thoughts. As I read the stanza God spoke to me anew through the sad lines from so long ago. God took me, the unhappy little bee, and caught me in His special jar. The thing about God is this, He didn't just observe me and see what I could make of myself, He taught me how to make a better life, a happy, hopeful life for myself with Him as my Keeper. He taught me how to be who He intended for me to become. I believe that is how I would describe the bee poem and the experience I had with God as I read my old verses.
Now as for an explanation of the bee verse in God's Word. In one commentary from John Gill, I found the best interpretation of Isaiah 7:18.
Here is an exert from that commentary.
And it shall come to pass in that day…
the time when those evil days before spoken of should take place:
the Lord shall hiss
hissing or whistling for them denotes the ease with which this should be done, and with what swiftness and readiness those numerous and powerful armies should come; and the allusion is to the calling of bees out of their hives into the fields, and from thence into their hives again, by tinkling of brass, or by some musical sound, in one way or another.
for the fly that [is] in the uttermost part of the rivers of Egypt;
or flies, as the Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions render it; the Egyptians, so-called because their country abounded with flies, and because of the multitude of their armies, and the swiftness of their march;
and for the bee that [is] in the land of Assyria;
the Assyrian army, so-called because the country abounded with bees; and because of the number of their armies, their military order and discipline, and their hurtful and mischievous nature.
The Targum paraphrases in this way... ``and it shall be at that time that the Lord shall call to a people, bands of armies, of mighty men, who are numerous as flies, and shall bring them from the ends of the land of Egypt; and to mighty armies, who are powerful as bees, and shall bring them from the uttermost parts of the land of Assyria:''
I believe God used the word bee to represent the powerful armies of Assyria who were hurtful and mischievous. I used the word bee to represent the helplessness, the hurt and aloneness I felt when I was young. It is amazing how God took a little word such as bee and a little thing such as a bee to help make me become who He intended for me to be.
This week listen for God to speak to you in a brand new old way. You will be amazed at all you will hear. God speaks to us through our interests., through our hurts, through our pain, through all of life's disappointments, and of course through His wonderful Word. He speaks a language everyone can understand. May we all be willing to listen. for something new every day of our "bee"utiful lives, He has given to us.