I’ve been reading a delightful little fiction book by George MacDonald called “The Princess and the Goblin.” A particular line stood out to me today: “The dew lay in round drops upon the leaves, and hung like tiny diamond earrings from the blades of grass about her path.” You may have never been asked to define “dew”, but if you are, here’s a definition: ” a copious (abundantly yielding) mist, shedding small invisible rain.” It’s been said that dew is sufficiently copious to permit dry farming in the absence of rain. The dew is a subtle kind of rain, isn’t it? It’s just sort of there. You can see the results of it, but it doesn’t really announce its’ arrival. It reminds me of the way in which God oftentimes abides with us. As a matter of fact, “dry farming” also depicts seasons of my life when the walk with the Master seems all uphill and I’m feeling mostly NOT refreshed. Thankfully, “dry farming” is better than no farming at all. There is still food to eat and at the end of the day, I am replenished. Let’s go to the Word to look at the dew’s shining moment on God’s stage.
In Numbers, Chapter 11, the people of Israel were murmuring about their situation. “The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, ‘If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost, also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna.'” Definition of “rabble” – the lowest class of people, a mob. They had lost their appetite for the things of God and so their former slavery began to look appealing; at least the food had more variety! To make a spiritual application, the “rabble” that so easily falls prey to a mutinous attitude, is the lower nature in you and me; the flesh, the carnal appetite that seeks to be satisfied. In times of severe testing, I have found that the “mob” just shows up; I don’t even have to seek it out. I just naturally emit my murmuring and complaining and begin to reason how I can relocate to anywhere but where I presently am. What an astounding lack of wisdom and yet a choice often made!
We are told that the manna was cooked in a pot and made into cakes and that it tasted like something made with olive oil. Numbers 11:9 puts the spotlight on the delivery method God chose: “When the dew settled on the camp at night, the manna also came down.” Psalm 78: 24 – 25 says, “He rained down manna for the people to eat, he gave them the grain of heaven. Men ate the bread of angels.” Wow! Were these “tiny diamond earrings” a forerunner for the Pearl of great price, the bread from heaven that was to come? The Lord desires to encounter us on a daily basis; hence the requirement that the manna be gathered each and every day. The key is “freshness.” Healthy and vibrant relationships are continually renewed. It’s imperative that we appreciate the way in which God chooses to encounter us, especially in the dry times when the menu seems to lack variety.
Hosea, Chapter 14 is a beautiful picture of repentance and blessing. “I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them. I will be like the dew to Israel.” God likens himself to the dew, the night mist, the invisible rain. The results of her repentance coupled with the watering of His Presence are stunning: “He (Israel) will blossom like a lily…his splendor will be like an olive tree, his fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon…” Sounds like dry farming with invisible rain is able to produce a pretty good crop! Hosea concludes the chapter with this verse: “Who is wise? He will realize these things. Who is discerning? He will understand them. The ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them.”