Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Tale of the Field of Clay -- Black

Word spread amongst the farms and gardens of King Solomon’s Kingdom that a certain piece of ground wasn’t at all happy.
Now, the hills of Bethlehem were very happy with their being honoured as the place where King Solomon’s father, King David, had kept sheep and played his harp, and where he sang songs of praise to the Lord. So, they weren’t the unhappy ground. Besides, these hills were raising sheep to be used in sacrifices at the magnificent Temple, which was then being built, and lamb would also be served at royal banquets around King Solomon’s table!
The land of the royal gardens in Jerusalem prided themselves in the many beautiful shrubs and fragrant flowers which graced the King’s palace. And the royal produce garden grounds were especially proud of the herbs, vegetables, and fruit, grown for the royal table. No – they too, were very content. So then, which of the grounds wasn’t happy?
Word eventually came that it was a field near Succoth and Zarethan, across the River Jordan, which was very upset. That field complained, "The fields of Bethlehem don’t have to do anything; they just sit there and rich, tasty grass grows! Sheep just love it and grow big and strong. The ground of the royal gardens is so easy and workable that the gardeners say it’s a pleasure to till and work it. Besides, King Solomon’s always showing the gardens off to his important visitors."
"So what’s your problem?" asked the other grounds.
"Well, whenever anybody comes to till my ground, they run into all this tough, heavy clay, and the poor oxen just about die from the strain of plowing it up. And then, because I don’t produce a good crop, farmers just give up."
"Oh, poor Succoth-Zarethan. It’s too bad!" the other grounds said.
Fortunately, that’s not the end of the story. One day the king learned that many years before, things made from bronze were cast there, and so he sent a clever man called Huram to head up the work of casting all the bronze articles needed for the Temple.
And so it was that the old clay-soil field became very useful, and the beautiful huge pillars, the gleaming altar, the laver – that is, a huge wash-basin for the priests – as big as a small swimming pool – and all the basins, tongs, and equipment necessary for the priests to offer sacrifices to the Lord God, were cast in this field using its clay in the process. How honoured and happy this piece of ground now was, after all!
How honoured we are to be used of the Lord to help influence people’s lives, so that they too, may be strengthened in character and the likeness of Jesus Christ, and be fitted for His Kingdom’s service!
Scripture References: 2 Chron 4:16-17; Ps 40:1-3; Rom 8:29-30
© Peter A. Black 2000 / 2009 (This piece was written to accompany and illustrate a sermon.)
Peter writes a weekly inspirational column in the Watford Guide-Advocate, a Southwestern Ontario newspaper.
His first book, "Parables from the Pond" (written for children, read and enjoyed by all ages) is published by Word Alive Press. He can be contacted at raisegaze@execulink.com and www.freewebs.com/authorpeterablack

1 comment:

violet said...

Wise little parable here, Peter. I see you don't only write parables of the pond!

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