Thorns, thistles and briers exist “because of the ground which the Lord has cursed” (Genesis 5:29). Jesus, the son of God, spoke of thorns in the parable of the sower (Matthew 13; Mark 4). He said that thorns choke good seed and render them unfruitful. That is what sin does to those who hear the word, but still desire worldly things (cares, riches and other unrighteous things). Sin literally chokes the life (specifically eternal life) from people who hear the Word of God and still ignore its message.
Thorns inflict physical pain. By comparison, sin inflicts emotional and spiritual pain. King David can attest to the agony in Psalm 25:18 as he pleads to God, “Look on my affliction and my pain, and forgive all my sins.” Gideon used thorns with briers to tear the flesh of the leaders of Succoth for questioning him as God’s servant (Judges 8:7, 16). In 2 Corinthians 12:7, Paul talked of “a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me.” The word “buffet” means to strike with the fist, give one a blow with the fist, to maltreat or treat with violence.
Note how Satan is associated with the thorn. Which brings me to the ultimate use of thorns to inflict pain, the twisted crown of thorns. “When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’” (Matthew 27:29).
Thorns, a curse on this earth because of sin and a tool used by Satan to inflict pain, was placed on the head of Jesus during His crucifixion. At the cross, God the Father placed the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2) on His Son, Jesus, “who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness” (1 Peter 2:24). The next time you feel a prick when you pick a lily among thorns (Song of Solomon 2:2) or smell a rose, think of the physical, emotional and spiritual pain Jesus went through bearing your sins as He wore a crown of thorns.
In the end, thorns are worthy of one thing – fire! And the source of that fire is God Himself, for He is a consuming fire (Exodus 24:17; Deuteronomy 4:24, 9:3; Hebrews 12:29). “Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire” (1 Corinthians 3:12-15).
I love this body of scripture. The “foundation” is Jesus Christ, the “gold, silver, precious stones” is your work done with pure motive as a Christian, the “wood, hay, straw” are works done with an impure motive (sin), and “revealed by fire” means every thought, word and deed will be tested by God Himself. I call it the sniff test! Good work is refined by fire, resulting in you getting “a reward.” Bad work is consumed by fire and you “will suffer loss,” for He is a consuming fire. This judgment of work takes place for Christians in heaven (“but he himself will be saved“) after we physically die. The judgment for all your sins took place at the cross and were forgiven when you asked Jesus to be your Savior. But what about those who do not ask Jesus to be their Savior? Fire is their future.
The future destiny for all sin, represented by thorns, is fire. “For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned” (Hebrews 6:7-8). “For wickedness burns as the fire; it shall devour the briers and thorns, and kindle in the thickets of the forest; they shall mount up like rising smoke” (Isaiah 9:18). The lake of fire is the eternal home for Satan (Revelation 20:10), the beast and false prophet (Revelation 19:20), Death and Hades (Revelation 20:14), and anyone not found written in the Book of Life (Revelation 20:15), meaning the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars (Revelation 21:8). The key word is “unbelieving” – those who rejected the sacrifice Jesus gave for their sins. They have to pay the death penalty themselves – TWICE! The lake of fire is the second death (Revelation 20:14). What are sins and thorns good for? Fire.
The ultimate curse imposed by God on humanity for sin was death, hell and the grave. No longer in reach was the tree of life in the garden of Eden that produced immortality fruit (Genesis 3:22). “Then the Lord God said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever’— therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life” (Genesis 3:22-24). That tree of life still exist today. It produces twelve fruits, a different kind every month, and contains leaves to heal the nations (Revelation 22:2).
The good news is that Jesus is the way, truth and life (John 14:6). To punch your ticket to heaven and defeat this curse, accept His gift of eternal life by believing in Him as your Savior and He will give you a measure of faith (Romans 12:3) to continue in that belief. “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God” (1 John 5:13). “To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God” (Revelation 2:7).
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NOTE: The preceding excerpt was taken from the book, “God on Climate Change: Worshipping creation instead of the Creator” by Jim Wear (the author of this blog)… available in paperback at Amazon.