The picture shows a wasp on a apple. These wasps were swarming all over the apples burrowing into them. Destroying all the goodness, and if you were anywhere near they would attack. Wasps seem to have a more aggressive attitude than bees. Perhaps I don’t like wasps because when I was younger I attacked a log with a stick and found out that this was a wasp net. I must have been ten or eleven but it was an extremely unpleasant experience getting stung by many, many wasps.
There have been a couple of times today I have said “I hate”. One was trying to strip branches of a hawthorn tree which had huge spikes and kept sticking into my hands. Another was when I was getting attacked by some wasps.
You see I have been reflecting on Malachi 1:1-4
2 “I have loved you,” says the Lord.
“Yet you say, ‘In what way have You loved us?’
Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?”
Says the Lord.
“Yet Jacob I have loved;
3 But Esau I have hated,
And laid waste his mountains and his heritage
For the jackals of the wilderness.”
4 Even though Edom has said,
“We have been impoverished,
But we will return and build the desolate places,”
I was troubled when I read “but Esau I have hated”.
Putting it into its context, God is not saying as a human I hate as an emotion, but rather a choice for service. Israel He chose for the path and Esau he rejected. The path that would eventually lead to the birth of Christ.
When I uttered “I hate” today, I was actually just voicing that I hated the pain. Hawthorn trees are wonderful, they have wonderful berries for the animals, and their wood is also useful as it seems quite strong. So even though I said I hate this hawthorn tree, I did actually choose it to use within my hut construction.
The hut is no were near complete but it is underway.
I remember before finding Christ that I had a confrontation with a neighbour. I ended up being quite flustered but I responded with hate, rather than love. God changes us completely. He chooses us. In Malachi God, through the prophet is trying to convince Israel that He loves them. They are chosen, not rejected despite the hard times they were in. Perhaps I feel like that somedays, even though I am amazingly blessed I still feel God is not with me. He is with me through the day but I still have the gaul to ask Him – How. These are the days I have neglected prayer, the days I have focussed too much on tasks and not on the bigger rock – Jesus. These are moments of doubt and not loss in faith.
I had an interesting thought as I tried to get the soil for my hut to stay on the slopping parts of the roof.
The first method of trying to get the soil to stick was to just throw it on, or pour it on from above – this failed rather abysmally. The second was to place the soil over some netting, and then use rolls of grass turf placed over these areas and then water them, before leaving them to settle in. Obviously the second method worked.
Could God be like that in his manner of changing us. On our own we simply can not throw good works into our life and expect it to stick. We would always have the temptation to slide back down into our old self. Rather God prepares our way, before giving us a completely new transplant of a soul. It now is grounded in Christ and so sliding back into the old self is an extremely hard thing to do. Is it impossible to slide back into the old self? Probably not but we have the Holy Spirit who can lead us and we choose to follow His directions, if we but listen.
So let us be thankful that God has chosen us, and if you haven’t accepted Jesus as your Lord and saviour then just invite him into your heart today and ask him to give you a new birth, fresh grass, watered and grounded in God. Let us not think God hates, because He is love. He has chosen each of us for a task, just like the hawthorn trees and the wasps have a task, and we should seek to do that task to the best of our ability.
Dear Lord, I pray that we should all lead others to accepting Jesus. That we should love in every situation and chose God as our grounding in life.