By CLIVE BUTCHER
Tuesday 30 June 2020
Last week when I returned home after my daily walk , I encountered a swarm of bees around a small tree at the edge of our garden, there had been no hint of them an hour before. The sight was quite worrying but a phone call to a very helpful local bee-keeper assured me that they posed no threat and would most probably move on looking for a more permanent home. It did however seem to me that they must be the source of a Devotion leading me to a search of the Bible and internet.
There are four references to bees in the Bible including the well known riddle of Samson in Judges 14 v 8-14 , here a swarm of bees produce honey in the body of a lion, ' Out of the strong came something sweet'. Bees have been used as symbols of both Christ (reflecting his sweet and gentle nature with the added sting of justice and the cross) and the Church ( industry and community).
There are also many biblical references to honey , in Revelation 10 v 10 John eats a scroll given to him by an angel which is ' sweet as honey in my mouth but when I had eaten it , my stomach was made bitter' . The Word of God is sweet but spreading it and putting it into action may lead to bitter consequences .
So many thoughts from such simple insects , not forgetting how they play such a vital ecological role and are under threat from human activities such as the use of pesticides , reminding us of our duty as stewards of Gods creation.
The bees in our garden went as quickly as they had come , my plans for self-sufficiency in honey ruined !
Thank-you Lord that we can learn so much from the natural world around us , may we treat it with the respect it deserves .