Fine Flour - Food fit for the Bride of Christ
Coarse or Fine Flour
When we think of flour in ancient times, images of mortars and pestles come to mind. Research into ancient peoples of the times when Ezekiel lived, reveal varying levels of technology that went into flour and bread making. Because it was so labour-intensive back then to create flour, most civilizations only made enough for that day's use, unless they were able to buy it from a baker who employed slaves or servants to make the flour for him. Due to this, most ground flour was coarse, and sometimes referred to in Scripture as "meal".
Fine flour then, was much more rare to come by, and typically expensive when found. In order to get fine flour, two things had to happen, first, the barley coat of the flour had to be removed, along with the wheat germ. Once that was done, the flour went through a much more rigorous grinding to produce fine white flour. Then as now, fine white flour produced a much nicer leavened loaf of bread. Yeast wasn't always used, and to this day certain kinds of ancient Middle Eastern flatbreads are now sold around the world. Pita bread is one example, Indian Naan is another. But the ancients did use yeast as well, typically known as leaven at that time.
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"The Staff of Life"
Whether "dark" or "white" bread, as the Romans used to call it, or "whole-wheat" or "white bread" as we call it now, bread has been termed "The Staff of Life". Throughout the ages, it has been, and continues to be a staple food in most societies around the world. Even Scripture refers to bread at various times throughout it's pages. The only reason people are starting to worry about bread in today's society, is the fact that technological advances now allow us to genetically modify our food. Wheat has been bred and spliced and ehanced over the years so many times that to find original grain is now referred to as either Legacy grain, or Ancient grain. Enhancements that cause it to grow faster, resist pests and other dangers, increase the level of gluten higher than what was naturally found, etc., have resulted in people's intestinal systems rejecting it or reacting in an allergic manner to it. The "Staff of Life" has been broken, and there is now a scramble to maintain the needed grains in modern diets.
Such scientific and technological tampering had not happened yet when Scripture was written, and must be kept in mind when discussing Biblical references to the beneficial and sometimes oppulant nature of flour and bread.
Fine Flour in Amazon?
What this means for the Bride of Christ
The reference to God giving Jerusalem fine flour to eat, is yet another reference to the royalty and nobility granted to the Bride of Christ as heir to the Throne and Joint Heir with Jesus Christ. Truly as we examine these verses in Ezekiel, we see that God spared no expense to dress, bedeck and provide nourishment for the chosen Bride of Christ.
But what should make every Christian stop and ponder with grattitude, is just Who this fine flour is and from whence it comes. Our first reference to bread from heaven comes when God fed Manna to the Hebrew people as they travelled in the desert. The very word for Manna means "What is it?" It was described as tasting like Coriander seed and sweet like honey. Then in the New Testament, we hear Christ telling His disciples that He is the Bread of Life, whoever eats of this bread will never be hungry. Later, as Christ engaged the disciples in a ritual they should have understood but completely missed, the betrothal ceremony, He once again referred to Himself in this manner, saying as He broke the loaf on the table, that it represented His body that would be broken for them. They were blinded momentarily as to what this would mean, but in the hours to come, Christ would be betrayed, whipped, beaten, and hung on a cruel cross. This death on the Cross was necessary to pay the death penalty for sin, and through the shedding of His blood, to achieve the remission of sins for all mankind once and for all. The sacrificial system that had been set up at the time of Moses was now complete. Christ, the sacrifical Lamb of God, would be slain for the world. Of course three days later He rose again, conquering both sin and death, and offering eternal life to all who would come to Him seeking forgiveness. Those who would make Him Lord of their lives would become the Bride of Christ. Jesus also said that man cannot live on bread alone, referring to physical bread, but on every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.
We know from John 1:1-5 that the Word is noneother than Jesus Christ Himself, and that it was He who sustained the Israelites in the desert and it is He who sustains the life of the Christian now. We feast on His Words every time we open the pages of Scripture in daily personal devotions. Our soul and our spirit are given new energy and new stamina to continue to resist the wiles of the enemy and his continual attacks. There is a saying, "Seven days without prayer makes one weak". This is true because it is in communication with God that His Word is made alive to us in the Scriptures.
God has not given the Bride of Christ the coarse, dark flour of sin that eats away at her teeth and insides until she eternally dies. No, God has given the Bride of Christ fine flour to eat, the very best furnished her at the very hands of Christ Himself.
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© 2013 Marilynn Dawson