I really like that show -- campy, but so entertaining! My staff members get a kick out of it too, and you know -- it's a fun way to visualize what we all go through each day as we go about our culinary duties. You see, God calls us all -- to arise each and every morning. Each day is a new day to do battle. And the battle is very real for us as we take our witness of life in the Lord to the workplace and the world. I got to thinking on "why Iron Chefs?" So I went to the Word (my favorite place to go) and I did a little study on iron. We know iron is strong...and valuable. We know it is made from steel -- and is made into implements like knives, pots and pans. In the Word, I also found some interesting things -- some we know but don't think about much.
"All the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron are sacred to the LORD and must go into his treasury."
Joshua 6:19 (NIV)
(How many of you have a lot of money in your knives and other culinary tools? Hmmmm? Are they in His treasury? Are they cooking for the Kingdom?)
In 1 Chronicles 29:7, they gave 5,000 talents (188 tons) and 10,000 darics (185 pounds) of gold, 10,000 talents of silver (377 tons), 18,000 talents of bronze (679 tons), and 100,000 talents (3,775 tons) of iron. (Is that to extrapolate...the temple was mostly iron? Metalwise, it sure was!)
"You will rule them with an iron scepter; you will dash them to pieces like pottery."
Psalm 2:9 (Also Revelation 2:27) (NIV)
(I know a lot of you will work a shift. Was there ever much time you did not have an iron implement in your hand? Chopping, stirring, whisking, slicing, flipping, sauteing...maybe a little dashing?)
"As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another."
Proverbs 27:17 (NIV)
"As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." (I know y'all use a "steel" to sharpen your knives -- and the steel of your character and knowledge to enhance the "edge" of your staff.)
"For I knew how stubborn you were; the sinews of your neck were iron, your forehead was bronze."
Isaiah 48:4 (NIV)
(Wow...this makes a real visual of stiff-necked and hard-headed...and I know how we must be sometimes to achieve the discipline in the kitchen that produces consistency and excellence: iron-willed?)
We all know of Daniel's vision of the legs of iron shattered by the rock. He also stated something really heavy.
"Instead, you have set yourself up against the Lord of heaven. You had the goblets from his temple brought to you, and you and your nobles, your wives and your concubines drank wine from them. You praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or understand. But you did not honor the God who holds in his hand your life and all your ways."
Daniel 5:23 (NIV)
(Gods of iron? C'mon Daniel! Okay, soap box time: the gods of materialism, power, and financial security, gods of youthfulness, physical beauty, athleticism, and good health, gods of leisure, entertainment, television, and sports... The importance of these things in our lives is evidenced by the amount of time and money we spend on them, by how our love of them often keeps us from worshipping, eating together as a family, and taking on volunteer commitments in the community; by the obscene amounts of money we pay athletes and entertainers; and by the way we idolize them. Thanks for letting me vent!)
Iron shackles, yokes, bands that bind, manacles, chains -- they are very strong, yet can be broken. Just as iron sharpens iron, so does iron break iron -- by the one who holds the iron scepter of God's rule...Himself...the Lord Jesus Christ! How many of us have been or are now in bondage as described in Psalm 107:10?
Some sat in darkness and the deepest gloom -- prisoners suffering in iron chains.
It feels like iron (life) sometimes hard and impervious to our attempts at self-salvation.
We all know we need help sometimes. In fact, every day, when we arise. Each day is a new chance to make the good choice, to ask for help; and then just as importantly, to receive that help! Prepare to receive, by armoring yourself -- not in iron that keeps the blessings out. But in armor as described in Romans 13:12 -
"the night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light."
And Ephesians 6:10, 11 -
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes."
So arise, stand, and fight! Who will reign Supreme? I think you all know the answer: the One who has been given power and authority -- our Lord and Master Jesus Christ.
In times like these, it's good to know there have always been times like these.
If God is speaking to your heart about these things, and you need
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Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. -1 Cor 10:31 ESV