There shall be an handful of corn in the earth on the top of the mountains; the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon…
1. Let us think of where the corn comes from. It does not come like anything else in the world. In the woods you may sometimes find a tree growing with a little round black fruit, hard and sour. It does not seem to be worth much by the side of the luscious plum from the garden. But that sloe, as it is called, is the plum in its wild state. The gardener takes it and cultivates it until it comes to be a larger and finer tree. So it is with the crab-tree and its little bitter fruit — that is, the wild apple. And so with the strawberry, and all the fruits and plants in our garden. They were found in a wild state, and they had to be cultivated before they were worth anything. But nobody ever found corn growing wild. Unlike everything else, corn is the special and peculiar gift of God, which He put into man's hand just as it is. And how like Jesus it is in this!
2. Corn will grow all over the world. And is not that like our blessed Jesus? No home but may have Him in it; no heart but Jesus will dwell there; no land under heaven but there men may find the Bread of Life.
3. Think again of what the corn is worth. A very little thing to talk about, this — "a handful of corn!" Corn is worth more than gold. Everybody wants bread. And so, all need Jesus.
4. Corn has life in it — yielding abundant increase. And so Jesus is like the handful of corn upon the top of the mountains: the prophet tells us that we "esteemed Him not," and "hid as it were our faces from Him"; there was no appearance of greatness in Him, or of power. But in Him is life. He comes into our hearts, and we are made like Him, and from us others catch a grain of the good seed, and the life spreads from heart to heart and from soul to soul, until "the whole earth shall be filled with His glory."
5. And yet though there is all this that is wonderful about the corn, let us remember that it is of no good except it be sown. A handful of corn is indeed a poor thing without that. They have found some mummies in Egypt thousands of years old, and in their hands they have found some tiny grains of corn. If they had been sown, by this time they would have grown into enough to feed the world. And so the glory of Jesus grows only when we have Jesus in our heart.
6. Before the corn does us any good, it dies. Think how much this is like Jesus. He lays down His life for us. He dies that we may live. He is beaten, and scourged, and broken, that we may have strength and everlasting life.
(Mark Guy Pearse.)
Parallel VersesKJV: There shall be an handful of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains; the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon: and they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth.