"And it shall come to pass at that time That I will search Jerusalem with lamps, And punish the men Who are settled in complacency, Who say in their heart, "The LORD will not do good, Nor will He do evil.”
The Lord has been speaking this passage to me for quite some time now and once again, I feel a conviction in my heart. God says he is sending out his lamps or the King James says “candles”. In prayer last Sunday night, this was made very clear to me. Rather than seeing cute little wax candles or even enclosed lamps, I saw what would be "fires” going forth. I saw or have the idea that we are to be "consuming" bushels, as it might be. All of this, yet I did not have a clear understanding of what a bushel by definition is. I looked it up and this is what I found in John Gill’s exposition..
1. anything which may hide and cover it, and so hinder its light and usefulness.
2. The Greek word (modiov) , rendered a "bushel", answers to the Hebrew (hao) , "seah", which is the very word used in Munster's Hebrew Gospel; and this was a dry measure that held about a gallon and a half; and accordingly is rendered here by the Syriac (atao) .
3. The design of the expression is, that Christ has lighted the candle of the everlasting Gospel, and given gifts to men for the ministration of it, not to be concealed and neglected, or to be used as the servant did his lord's money, wrap it up in a napkin, and hide it in the earth. Ministers are not, through slothfulness, to neglect the gift that is in them; nor, through fear, to hide their talents, or keep back any part of the Gospel, or cover anything out of sight, which may be profitable to souls…
Which leaves me wondering if this “bushel” that was meant to contain a “measure” is the same thing that contains our “measure of faith” that God has given us or even like the basket and store that Deuteronomy 28:5 mentions. “Blessed be thy basket and thy store.”
And what’s more interesting…and I don’t’ recall having seen this before is that in Mark 4:21 Jesus suggests that some might even hide their light under their bed. It says this, “And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick?”
How interesting…putting a flame or a fire under a bed or a place of “sleep” or settled ness. As the Greek defines it, a place of repose, which means lack of activity or to remain still.
And the original wording in Zephaniah, in the KJV, says “men, settled on their lees.” This is what John Gill’s has to say about that…
...like wine on the lees, quiet and undisturbed; in a good outward estate and condition, abounding in wealth and riches, and trusting therein; and which, as the Targum paraphrases it, they enjoy in great tranquility; Moab like, having never been emptied from vessel to vessel, (Jeremiah 48:11) and so concluded they should ever remain in the same state, and became hardened in sin, or "curdled", and thickened, as the word signifies…
Oh glory…we are meant to be emptied from vessel to vessel! I don’t want this vessel of new wine to become settled on it’s lees. I have a feeling that in order to be filled up again and again, we must pour out! That’s why sometimes I drink the new wine and feel it’s effect and can just drink and drink but other times, I feel like I’m too saturated…not thirsty enough. I haven’t emptied out at all.
And then, here comes the part that has gripped my heart. The Lord said, “Who are settled in complacency, Who say in their heart, "The LORD will not do good, Nor will He do evil.”
That in our complacency, in our proclaiming to be a Christian yet lacking the actions, not willing to execute the Word given us, we demonstrate to others, that this is what God himself must be like. When we don’t do the good…save, heal, supply the need, minister peace and edification…do we give the impression that neither does He? When we don’t stand in defiance of what is unjust and declare the result of that…do we then give the impression that God is disinterested as well and that there will be no consequence?
I will be the first to repent…Father, forgive me for believing in my heart and speaking with my mouth, the Lord Jesus Christ and then nothing of who and what you are. Forgive me for misleading men and women…my family, my friends and even perfect strangers to believe that you are at all like me. Transform me today Lord. Transform me in such a way that they realize that I am altogether like you! I love you Lord and I want everyone to know it! Don’t let me walk by that woman and young man with downs syndrome ever again, thinking that they won’t want me to pray because they are an obvious target and have been prayed for time and time again with no result. Forgive me for supposing that they don’t have the faith to see it healed, just because he is already a man and has been living with this a long time. That’s saying that you think downs syndrome is not something you are interested in healing and that you are OK letting them live with it. Oh God…forgive me! And I thank you Lord for another opportunity…
Charles Swindoll said it best! “We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.”
And I like this one as well… “Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Weak men wait for opportunities; strong men make them.”