Thursday, August 2, 2012

What is the Chaff to the Wheat?

Jeremiah 23:33-40

33 And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask thee, saying, What is the burden of the LORD? thou shalt then say unto them, What burden? I will even forsake you, saith the LORD. 34 And as for the prophet, and the priest, and the people, that shall say, The burden of the LORD, I will even punish that man and his house. 35 Thus shall ye say every one to his neighbour, and every one to his brother, What hath the LORD answered? and, What hath the LORD spoken? 36 And the burden of the LORD shall ye mention no more: for every man's word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the LORD of hosts our God. 37 Thus shalt thou say to the prophet, What hath the LORD answered thee? and, What hath the LORD spoken? 38 But since ye say, The burden of the LORD; therefore thus saith the LORD; Because ye say this word, The burden of the LORD, and I have sent unto you, saying, Ye shall not say, The burden of the LORD; 39 Therefore, behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and cast you out of my presence: 40 And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.

The wickedness of Israel had become so great that the Lord determined to forsake them. Previously He described the prophets and priests as profane, and declared that they had brought wickedness into His house. He revealed the root of this wickedness as well: they prophesied lies, proclaiming dreams that were devised by the deceit of their own hearts. They led the people astray and burdened them with false teachings and dreams. Thus, their faithlessness qualified them as chaff. He responded with His own decree, to be faithful to speak His Word and speak the dreams He gave. He followed this decree with three rhetorical questions:

What is the chaff to the wheat?
Is not My Word like a fire?

And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?
His Word is like a fire that burns up the chaff. And like a hammer that breaks in pieces stone hearts that are hardened to hearing His Word. The LORD plainly spoke to these false prophets: do NOT describe My Word as the burden of the LORD. His words are not burdensome, SIN is burdensome.

Matthew 11:28-30

28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.
Here in Scripture Jesus Christ continues this word from the LORD centuries later, describing His burden as light. I receive this in two ways:

My burden weighs little, AND
My “burden” is bright and glorious Light.

2Corinthians 4:17-18
17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

The Holy Spirit later reveals that the light afflictions of our brief sojourn in physical bodies are working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. The “burden” of the LORD becomes the excellent glory of our inheritance in Him, when in submission to His resurrection power and the fellowship of His suffering, we undergo a transformation process into His image more closely every day.
Which brings us back to this rhetorical question:

What is the chaff to the wheat?
It is necessary to understand the separation process involved with wheat seed before we can know the answer to this. The chaff is the husk that surrounds a ripe seed, and must be removed before the seed is useful. This removal occurs on the threshing floor, where a millstone or hammer is used to break apart the chaff and expose the wheat seed, and it is then thrown up into the air where wind created by a winnowing fan separates the lighter chaff by blowing it away, and the usable seed falls back to the floor. The chaff is the unusable by product of the utilization of the wheat seed.

Jesus said this about Himself:
John 12:24

Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
Jesus sowed Himself, the corn of wheat, to receive the harvest of many in His image. We are that harvest, growing side by side with the chaff until such time as the Lord returns to claim His harvest. His Word is not a burden. His Word will never fall void.

Related Scriptures: Matthew 3:1-17; Isaiah 41:1-20; Isaiah 30:1-33

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