Thursday, April 13, 2023

A wicked thief and wise insects

All photos courtesy of Unsplash

I have just read a news item about five hives, containing a total of around four hundred thousand bees, which were stolen during the night of 11-12 June 2022 from their home in Cornwall, England. At the time of writing, the thief and the hives have not been found, but, amazingly, some of the bees have escaped from their captor and have returned, of their own accord, to their owner, who has provided a new hive for them.

On reading this story, I immediately had at least three thoughts. The first is how wonderful God is, that these little creatures have been given this ability by Him. The beekeeper said: “They’re coming back to their old home because that’s what they’re designed to do.” Truly, God is an all-wise Creator. The second thought is a sad one: that someone, probably living nearby and having some knowledge of beekeeping, would do such a thing. It reminds us that God’s perfect creation has been invaded by sin, including thieving. The Lord Jesus Christ once stated the actions of a thief: “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy” John 10.10. Supremely, these things characterise the originator of sin: the devil, God’s enemy, who wants people to remain in captivity to him, and hence to end up where he will be, in the Lake of Fire.

The second part of the verse just quoted is in sharp contrast to the first: “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly”. Christ came from Heaven into this world, not to steal, but to give; not to kill, but to make alive; not to destroy, but to bless. He said, “I lay down My life for the sheep … I lay down My life, that I might take it again” John 10.15,17. Years later, John wrote that “He laid down His life for us” 1 John 3.16. How kind it was of God’s Son to do so, that we might be delivered from sin and Satan, receive the great blessing of everlasting life, and be with God, in Heaven!

And that brings me to my third thought: the wisdom of the bees in the story. These creatures do not have the complexity that we (humans) have, yet they knew where home was, and made their way there. Long ago, God unfavourably contrasted His ancient people and animals: “I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against Me. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, My people doth not consider” Isaiah 1.2,3. Sadly, this analysis still holds for most people today: even domestic animals know who their owners are; they have some comprehension of provision that is made for them, and of where their own interests lie; yet ‘intelligent’ people fail to recognise Who God is; they do not acknowledge or appreciate His love and His many blessings; and they are not interested in His great salvation. They are far from Him, bound by sin and Satan, and they will perish if they remain in that state.

The One Who said, “I am come that they might have life”, also had to say to people whom He was addressing, “Ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life” John 5.40. He came and did the work so they could have life; but in order to receive it they had to come to Him, and, tragically, they were refusing to do so. As you read this, please ask yourself: ‘What would He say to me?’ If you are still far from Him, ensnared by the enemy of your soul (Satan), then be wise, and “flee from the wrath to come” Matthew 3.7, by coming to God, acknowledging your need as a lost sinner, and putting your trust in Jesus Christ, Who died for you at the cross, Who rose again, and Who is now in Heaven. God will warmly welcome you into His family, and His home (Heaven) will be your home, forever.

Used by kind permission of Assembly Testimony


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