Praising Through Clouds #5 Thorns 

 

            

           

                        What a strange formation, Hattie thought to herself as she drove home from town.  The clouds are all sticky, pointy, sharp.  They’re like thorns.”

                        That was enough for Hattie to turn the corner and head straight for Beth’s house.  “I’ve got a cloud formation again, Beth.”

                        “Come on in,” Beth almost sighed.  She wasn’t expecting research and praise this late in the day.

            “What shapes were there this afternoon?”

                        Hattie plopped herself down in a living room chair and opened the Bible she had grabbed off of the front seat of her car.  She didn’t even look in the concordance; she immediately turned to near the end of Matthew.  She flipped through a few pages, then said, “Here Beth, in Matthew 27:29, ‘and plaiting a crown of thorns, they put it on His head…’.  This is so sad.        

                        “It is sad,” Beth agreed.  “He is a king.  They were mocking Him with the crown of thorns, and the robe and the scepter.”

                        “It must have been horrible. He deserves a crown of gold and diamonds.  Let’s see what else we can find out about that crown,” Hattie said.

                        They both looked through the Gospels.  Beth spoke up, “Here in John 19:2, it says the same thing.  And, Mark 15:17.  But, I don’t see anything about plaiting a crown of thorns in Luke.”

                        Hattie and Beth spent at least a half hour researching the “thorns.”  They decided the best way to save the information was to combine what they found and to write a summary. 

 

            This is what they wrote:

 

                        Commentators don’t really know what kind of tree the crown of thorns was made of, for there are many thorny trees and bushes in the area.  Perhaps it was the nabka which is dark green resembling a victor’s wreath.  In addition to plaited, other translations use twisted, wove, or braided.  It is fairly agreed upon that the crown was made for ridicule, as were the robe and scepter, not as a form of punishment, though it inflicted great pain.  Thorns, in the Bible, always represent bad or evil. (See Heb.6:8) Thorns first appear in Genesis 3:18, after Adam and Eve were removed from the Garden of Eden, man then had to till the earth in order to grow food, and thorns would make that job more difficult. This was God’s curse on sin; Jesus paid to abolished the curse by His death.   In Genesis 22:13, Abraham was stopped from sacrificing his son Isaac, and a “ram” (a male sheep,) caught in a thicket (a dense growth of underbrush,) was provided by God as a burnt offering.  This foreshadowed the horrific sacrifice of Jesus, the Lamb of God.  In Numbers 33:55, God commanded His children to drive out the inhabitants of the land He would give to them; if not, they would be a thorn to them.  In Isaiah 5, a vineyard, which only produced wild grapes, was representative of the children of Israel who had every opportunity to love and serve God, but they had not.  “…thorns would grow up.” (v. 6)  God would cause the vineyard to be devoured.   In the New Testament, Jesus told the parable of the seed sower; when seeds fell among the thorns, the thorns choked them, and the seeds produced nothing.  Finally, we’ve all heard about Paul’s thorn in the flesh.  Scripture does not reveal what this thorn was to Paul, but it debilitated him. Paul believed it was from Satan, and he prayed that God would take it away.  Paul believed that God used it to keep him humble, for God told him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor. 12:9)

 

                        Hattie and Beth sat and looked at each other.  “That’s a lot,” Beth said.    

                        Hattie though for a moment and then added, “God used this symbol so often, but it does seem that the various examples point us to Christ.  A thread of thorns all through God’s word.”  She bowed her head.  “Oh, Lord God, we praise You; dear Savior we thank You and worship You.”

                        Beth said,  “Amen.”