As The Dew
I will be as dew unto Israel.
These words describe the beginning of everything in the experience of God’s children. Dew fall is altogether vital to the life and growth of trees and flowers; and to us the Lord Himself promises to be as the dew. Everything in our lives as Christians comes down to us from Christ as source. He is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, holiness- yes, everything, and there is no human need that we shall find unmet as we receive him, nor indeed will anything be given to us as a separate gift apart from him.
“I will be as the dew,” he affirms, and in the next half of the verse Hosea shows how life with this as its foundation takes on a mysterious dual character. In it the blossom of the lily is wonderfully linked with the roots of the cedar; frail beauty and massive strength untied in a single plant. Such miracles are wrought by heaven’s dewfall alone.
The concept of “being in Christ” is spoken of often but perhaps not understood well. Although Scripture presents this idea most of us still view ourselves as something apart from Christ- coexisting alongside of Him rather than becoming one with Him. Like the flowers and trees we view, we often find ourselves focusing on the seen rather than the unseen. The flowers, fruits, leaves, branches and trunk are easily visible. The roots which are the life source and stabilizer is buried away from our view.
One cannot exist with out the other and they are intertwined together. The roots holds the tree or plant steady and keeps it anchored in the storms. The root draws nutrients and moisture from the soil to provide the necessary nutrition so that the plant can live and produce. The root may be put of sight but nonetheless it’s importance for the life of the tree or plant cannot be understated.
Likewise the seen things, leaves, flowers, fruit are important for the tree to have life. In God’s plan the leaves in conjunction with the sun process the nutrients drawn in by the roots and they become nutritious for it. The flowers produce pollen and attract bees which assist in the production of fruit. The fruit holds seeds so the tree can reproduce ensuring that the species continues.
All truth is parallel. What is true naturally is also true spiritually for it is the same God who designed both. When we consider the idea of “being in Christ” this simple example of relationship between flower and root serves as an important example of just what that phrase means.
Let’s begin with what the Bible has to say in this matter:
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ [that is, grafted in, joined to Him by faith in Him as Savior], he is a new creature [reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit]; the old things [the previous moral and spiritual condition] have passed away. Behold, new things have come [because spiritual awakening brings a new life].”
2 Corinthians 5:17
“I have been crucified with Christ [that is, in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body I live by faith [by adhering to, relying on, and completely trusting] in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”
Galatians 2: 20
“If in fact you have [really] heard Him and have been taught by Him, just as truth is in Jesus [revealed in His life and personified in Him], that, regarding your previous way of life, you put off your old self [completely discard your former nature], which is being corrupted through deceitful desires, and be continually renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh, untarnished mental and spiritual attitude], and put on the new self [the regenerated and renewed nature], created in God’s image, [godlike] in the righteousness and holiness of the truth [living in a way that expresses to God your gratitude for your salvation].”
Ephesians 4: 21-24
These are a few verses of many that teach the connection between us and Christ. Jesus Himself told us that He is the vine, we are the branches, the Father is the One who prunes, and because of that we bear fruit.
There can be no question of the importance of the root system of a tree but that tree produces nothing unless its branches remain connected and fruit-bearing. In the story of the fig tree, Jesus taught us that a tree without fruit is useless, hence that tree died. What I’m going to say may sound radical but here goes. There is no concept in the Bible that we can be “in Christ” and remain in our old sinful ways. While we may have been feeding on poison, that was brought bringing death(sin) when we were born again, our “food” source changed and as believers we now draw from Christ. That’s what 2 Corinthians 5: 17 says. Being in Christ then means ceasing to practice the old habits of sin and beginning to practice the ways of Christ. Every part of our being is affected. Our words, actions, and attitudes reflect this new place of being “in Christ.”
In Galatians Paul says that we “are crucified with Christ”- the old us died at the cross. We know that Christ died on the cross after taking upon Himself all our sins and through that death their power over us was broken. Therefore we can now throw off the burdens of those sins and let their power over us die. Just as Christ rose from the dead to live in a glorified body, we too, have risen from the grave of sin to live in righteousness. We can do this because our nature has been transformed and as we respond to the love of God with our returned love, we lay aside those things which hinder our reflection of Christ in us.
In Ephesians, Paul says that “being in Christ” is like changing our clothes. We take off the old sin-stained garments that we wore when we were slaves to sin and we put on the new “creation of Christ.” In the story of the Prodigal, Jesus paints a powerful picture of what that looks like. He tells how the Father embraced the wayward son, gave orders for bath and a change of clothes so that the ragged beggar who came home no longer looked like or smelled like what he had been. Now he was transformed and restored to a son in the house. He made none of this happen; indeed he had no means to do so. But when he was taken into the house, he became fully the son. That’s us. We have no means to ever qualify for heavenly acceptance on our own. But if we will receive “the dew from heaven” that falls upon us through the grace of God and we choose to remain with Him and “in Him” we will be nourished, stabilized and fruit-producing. While He was here on earth Jesus made a very clear statement:
“I can do nothing on my own initiative authority. Just as I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just (fair, righteous, unbiased), because I do not seek My own will, but only the will of Him who sent Me.
If that’s the case with Christ, then it is more surely so for us. Our prayer then must be that the “dew of heaven” fall over us and around us until by that miraculous work of God in us, we become and we accomplish His will on earth.
The old song says:
“Mercy drops around us are falling
But for the showers we plead.”
May our desire be for an increase of “heaven’s dew.”
Dr. John Thompson