Dateline: 16 August 2016
Onions let you know when their harvest time is nigh. They get weak in the neck and the tops fall over. Typically the tops fall every which way. But this year something astonishing happened in my garden, as you can see above.
This phenomenon reminds me of Moses parting the Red Sea (if only they were red onions!). The event is chronicled in Exodus 14:21...
"And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided."
This event, like so many Old Testament events, is heavy with metaphor and significance.
You will recall that the Hebrews were enslaved in Egypt. And Moses said to Pharaoh, "Let my people go." Pharaoh refused. God sent plagues upon the Egyptians. Pharaoh decided he better let the Hebrews go.
So they all left Egypt. Estimates put the Hebrew exodus at over a million people. They were headed to the promised land of Cannan. On the other side of the Red Sea.
The sea was impossible to cross. And to make matters worse, Pharaoh had a change of mind. He sent an army of chariots to bring the people back. With the impossible-to-cross sea before them and Pharaoh's chariots behind them, there was no hope for the Hebrews. But then God did what only God can do.
The situation that faced those descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is symbolic of the situation that faces every individual human today. We are born in bondage to sin, just like all those Israelites were born into slavery.
The Promised Land on the other side of the Red Sea represents freedom from the bondage of sin, and fellowship with God. But the Red Sea represents our sin. It separates us from the God of the universe. It separates us because God is holy and can not tolerate sin. And it is impossible for us to get over the water to the other side.
So God did what only He can do. He made a Way for mankind through the waters. It is no coincidence that Israel passed through the Red Sea. Red is symbolic of the blood of Christ, which was shed as atonement for the sins of those who would believe.
When Pharaoh's chariots reached the Red Sea, they took chase through the parted waters. But the waters closed in on them, and none survived. When that happened, the Red Sea took on a different meaning. It symbolizes God's wrath on the wicked.
In my first Upland blog post I stated...
"Gardening can, if we are sensitive to the lessons, teach us about things like love, humility, patience, faith, the brevity of life, and the hope of life after death."
The "parting of the onions" pictured above has certainly served this purpose. But I must admit, in this particular garden story, it was I, not God, who parted the onions.