The prophet Isaiah describes people like us:
Bruised reeds and smoldering wicks.
Listen to how our Savior deals with people like us:
“A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not quench,
until he brings justice to victory…” (Matthew 12:20)
What are we to understand by the bruised reed and smoldering wick ?
This language is no doubt figurative.
What is it that these two expressions mean?
The simplest explanation seems to be,
that the Holy Spirit is here describing persons
whose grace is at present weak, whose repentance is feeble,
and whose faith is small. Towards such persons the Lord Jesus Christ will be very tender and compassionate.
Weak as the bruised reed is, it shall not be broken;
small as the spark of fire may be within the smoldering wick,
it shall not be quenched.
– J.C. Ryle (1816-1900)
Down in the human heart, Crushed by the tempter,
Feelings lie buried, That grace can restore,
Touched by a loving heart, Wakened by kindness,
Chords that were broken, Will vibrate once more.
– Fanny Crosby (1820-1915)
Jesus Christ the King does not merely tolerate weak believers,
but He is drawn to them, showing them special tenderness and compassion
in order to further them in sanctification.
– Richard Sibbes (1577 – 1635)
Why not take a few moments to cherish the special tenderness and compassion
of our Savior today by reflecting on the below prayer and making it your own!
God, our heavenly Father,
we are those who have been bruised and broken by sin and the fall.
We confess that we have bruised others
by our harsh and critical words,
our anger tempers, our betrayals,
and our failed attempts at loving others well.
The devil bruises us with his lies.
We also are bruised by others.
Thank you for dealing tenderly with “bruised reeds” and “smoldering wicks.”
We confess to you that our grasp of your grace is weak,
our repentance is feeble, and our faith is small.
Thank you Jesus that you were wounded for our transgressions
and you were bruised for our iniquities.
Pour out the healing balm of your grace
into our lives we pray for Jesus’ sake. Amen