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wood, hay and straw

07-11-2011 - Posted by Andre Piet

During the study I did on Sunday, March 20, 2008, in Zoetermeer, about the topic: “the bêma”, 1 Corinthians 3:12 was our main focus.In this verse Paul speaks metaphorically of various construction materials for the up-building of the ecclesia of God. On the one hand he talks about fire-resistant materials: gold, silver and precious stones and, in contrast, of materials that are not fire-resistant, such as wood, hay and straw. gold, silver and precious stones I clarified that the gold speaks of the glory of God as GOD (the One who holds everything in His hand). Silver, in Scripture, is legal tender, and refers to the payment that Christ Jesus paid as a ransom for the deliverance of every human being (1Timothy 2:6). Precious stones are a type of the glorious truths concerning the multifarious wisdom of God. All these materials are precious and “fireproof”, because they refer to God and the work He does. Wood, hay and straw are the opposite and therefore speak of the works of man. wood When we zoom-in on wood, hay and straw somewhat more closely, we, by comparing Scripture with Scripture, are able to recognize the meaning of these, more accurately. The Greek word for “wood” in 1Cor.3:12 is actually a plural and should be shown as “wooden parts” (or something similar). In the context of a structure, this makes us think of posts, beams and boards. Wood is mainly for the construction of a building. In the consistency of 1Cor.3, it is not difficult to see a link to the “reasonings of the wise”, which the Lord says that they are vain (1Cor.3:20). The wooden parts characterize the so-called clever, human constructions (philosophies) which cannot withstand the test of fire. hay and straw Straw (or hay) is meaningfully mentioned in Exodus 5, where a few details are given about the hardship of the slavery of Israel in Egypt. Henceforth, the Israelites were not only to bake the heavy bricks, but were, themselves, also to provide the straw — a necessary ingredient for the bricks. Bricks, in the Scriptures, we first encounter in Genesis 11:3 in connection with the construction of the tower of Babel. They are an emblem, par excellence, of what man, himself, bakes. In Isaiah 65:3 we read that God’s people openly offended Him by sacrificing on “bricks” (cp Ex.20:25,26). Hay (dried grass) or straw (stubble left after the harvest) are the typical ingredients of baked goods by man. Scripture associates this material with slavery and hard labor. Hay and straw speak of the heavy, frustrating burdens that people impose on themselves and on others. In both cases we speak of bales… Anyway, “hay and straw” is subservient to the many religious and philosophical constructs in this world. They are nothing but works of man, doomed to disappear. Only what GOD does (gold, silver and precious stones) has real value and defies time. ——————————— translation: Peter Feddema