In one of my last articles, I briefly mentioned the fact that the “pitcher” that God ordered Gideon to break was a “type” of our own flesh. I want to discuss this subject in more depth, specifically why God needs these clay pitchers to be broken. Although we have all been taught that Jesus died for our salvation, which is true, God our Father had an even higher purpose for the sacrifice and death of His Son.
God’s purpose for our redemption is the revelation of His GLORY through His sons, which will deliver His creation from the bondage of corruption (EVIL).
Rom 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creation waiteth for the revealing of the sons of God.
Rom 8:20 For the creation was subjected to vanity, not of its own will, but by reason of him who subjected it, in hope
Rom 8:21 that the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. American Standard Version
I do not pretend to understand all of God’s plans or purposes, but I believe I do have a good understanding of the “big picture”. First, when God (Jesus) created the world, He called everything VERY GOOD!
Gen 1:31 And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
Second, when Adam rebelled against the express commandment of God, and ate the fruit of the knowledge of good AND evil, he condemned ALL of creation to an “experiential” knowledge of EVIL. This means that ALL of creation has the extreme misfortune of EXPERIENCING EVIL…i.e. sickness, pain, disease, corruption, violence, destruction, theft, and death. Adam gave Satan free reign over creation to inflict EVIL, not only on mankind, but on the whole world.
HOWEVER! God had a grand plan to restore mankind, and ALL of His creation, back to VERY GOOD…FOR EVER, AND EVER!
Psa 2:8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.
Psa 2:9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.
Most commentaries explain that Psalm 2:9 is a prophecy of the millennial reign of Jesus Christ and His exercising authority over the nations, and the Psalm illustrates how Jesus will completely destroy all His opposition. My interpretation of Psalms 2:9 is slightly different. I believe that this prophecy is about the latter days, it is specifically about “our time”.
We see in Psalm 2 that the Father is going to give His Son the heathen for His inheritance! Unlike secular rulers, Jesus Christ is not satisfied with simply controlling people with fear, Jesus wants to rule over people’s hearts.
ROD OF IRON
I believe the Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges Commentary probably provides us the most accurate meaning of the iron ROD of Christ.
Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron] A figure for the severity of the chastisement that awaits rebels. Or perhaps, ‘an iron sceptre’ (Psa_45:6), symbol of a stern and irresistible rule. But the word rendered break them, if read with different vowels, may mean rule (lit. shepherd) them. so the LXX (and after it Rev_2:27; Rev_12:5; Rev_19:15), Syriac, and Jerome. In this case rod will mean a shepherd’s staff (Mic_7:14), and the phrase will be an oxymoron.
Our good, and righteous, Shepherd King does not use his rod to punish, but to protect and “FEED” His people. God’s rod is a shepherd’s staff!
Mic 7:14 Feed thy people with thy rod, the flock of thy heritage, which dwell solitarily, in the forest in the midst of Carmel: let them feed in Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old.
Mic 7:15 As in the days of thy coming forth out of the land of Egypt will I show unto them marvellous things.
The Cambridge Commentary tells us that an “iron” shepherd’s staff is an OXYMORON: An oxymoron may produce a dramatic effect but does not make sense. An “oxymoron” is two opposite words or phrases that seemingly contradict each other, like burning ice, or tragic comedy, or seriously funny. However, in the spiritual realm, we are getting to the very root of a shepherd’s (pastor’s) true purpose. God’s pastors do not build people up, they “shatter” people’s reliance on the flesh in order to reveal the “glory” that is hidden in the heart of all Christian believers.
GLORY: G1391, doxa
1) opinion, judgment, view
2) opinion, estimate, whether good or bad concerning someone
2a) in the NT always a good opinion concerning one, resulting in praise, honour, and glory
3) splendour, brightness
2Co 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
2Co 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
The world looks upon the outer man, and highly esteems appearances, but God wants to reveal what is hidden in the inner man.
1Sa 16:6 And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD'S anointed is before him.
1Sa 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
Fallen man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks upon the heart!
HEART: G2588, kardia
1) the heart
1a) that organ in the animal body which is the centre of the circulation of the blood, and hence was regarded as the seat of physical life
1b) denotes the centre of all physical and spiritual life
2a) the vigour and sense of physical life
2b) the centre and seat of spiritual life
2b1) the soul or mind, as it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavours
2Co 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
2Co 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
Mankind was created by God to be a doorway, or a portal, through which His power, and His glory, would be manifested to His creation.
Joh 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease.
Luk 8:16 No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light.
So how will the Good Shepherd “dash them in pieces” like a potter’s vessel and reveal the glory hidden within His people?
First, let me tell you what He does not want “US” to do! He does NOT want us to scourge ourself with a whip, or wear a hair shirt, or be circumcised, or live in a cold damp cave, or spend hours kneeling on a concrete floor, or inflict pain on our self in any way, shape, or form. People who do these types of things are actually “strengthening” the flesh, NOT mortifying the flesh.
Gal 6:12 As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.
Gal 6:13 For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.
Gal 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
Gal 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
God wants us to spend TIME with HIM! That is how God mortifies our flesh and shatters these pitchers of clay.
It is a secret joy to find
The task assigned beyond our powers;
For thus, if ought of good be wrought,
Clearly the praise is His, not ours.
Why was there a literal explosion of Holy Ghost activity in the 1930’s? Many of the people who were saved during the Great Depression were later used by God to literally turn the world upside down in the 1940’s, 1950’s, and 1960’s, what a great wealth of inspired writings these saints have left for us today... if we take the time to read them.
I submit to you that there were not a lot of jobs, especially for young people, and there was not a lot of money in the 1030’s. People did not have the internet, or 24 hour a day “on demand” television, or video games, or talk radio, or even many books. Therefore, many Christians had a lot of quality TIME to spend with God. Christian growth and maturity is NOT mainly about “good works” or being a “good person”, it is mainly about spending time “talking” WITH GOD!
Psa 91:14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
Psa 91:15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
Psa 91:16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.
You can pray (talk) to God on your knees, but you can also talk with God while lying in bed.
Psa 63:5 My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips:
Psa 63:6 When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.
You can talk with God while taking a walk in the park.
Gen 5:24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.
You can talk to God while you are driving to the store, or when you are sitting in your back yard, or when you are camping in the mountains.
Mat 14:23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.
If you talk with God like a close friend; ask Him questions, tell Him your problems, tell Him how much He means to you, and then PAUSE and wait for an answer, you will be surprised how answers and solutions will “pop” into your head, or how a Bible story, or a Bible verse that deals with your circumstances will suddenly come to your remembrance (if you read your Bible). Prayer should not be a monologue by us, prayer should be a dialogue between us and God.
Rev 2:26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
Rev 2:27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.
OVERCOMETH: G3528, nikaō, nik-ah'-o
From G3529; to subdue (literally or figuratively): - conquer, overcome, prevail, get the victory.
If you have troubles or concerns, pray about them then forget them. As you spend more and more time with God, you will find that the cares of this word will become less and less important.
Php 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. English Standard Version
If we overcome, God will make us good shepherds. We will also feed God’s sheep.
Rev 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.