Will It Be the Gnat or the Camel?


I remember a time when I was so focused on all sorts of little things that I was bothered by concerning my husband. I would often give voice to them: “When’s the last time you wrote me a poem?” “Why don’t you want to sit with me and talk with me for hours like we did when we first met?” I can go on and on. How about you? Do you find yourself making a big deal out of so many small things? We can call them gnats because gnats are so tiny but can make a big impact on our peace. Gnats are bothersome and can quickly gather in swarms to overwhelm us.
When my husband and I first married each other, I found myself being overwhelmed rather suddenly by the multitude of trivial offenses and complaints that I had swarmed against him.  They were such small matters and yet I would sift through his conduct and who he is as my husband and try to set all of those irritations apart to justify my own rebellious ways. God allowed me to drink my own water–my own foolishness–for quite some time. Take a look at these verses and the commentary that follows to see if something within you lights up with recognition,
Matthew 23:23-24 ~ ” “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.”
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary*~
“24. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat—The proper rendering—as in the older English translations, and perhaps our own as it came from the translators’ hands—evidently is, “strain out.” It was the custom, says Trench, of the stricter Jews to strain their wine, vinegar, and other potables through linen or gauze, lest unawares they should drink down some little unclean insect therein and thus transgress (Le 11:20, 23, 41, 42)—just as the Buddhists do now in Ceylon and Hindustan—and to this custom of theirs our Lord here refers…and swallow a camel—the largest animal the Jews knew, as the “gnat” was the smallest; both were by the law unclean.”
When I read these verses this morning, I was reminded of how often I strained the gnats in favor of the camel. You might wonder what the camel was that I was swallowing in place of the gnats! The camel was my own sin!! I was swallowing the camel which was my own refusal to submit to God and to my husband. That was a far weightier and serious issue than for me to look for faults in my husband and to strain them to God in my prayers.  God turned my eyes to myself! Made me look at what I was really drinking! The verse that He corrected me with is Luke 6:41-42~ ” Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 42″Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.” I was using a faulty strainer! Instead of focusing on my husband’s conduct, I needed to clean up my own! God is good!!! He delivered me from straining the gnats in favor of swallowing the camels. I’m not saying we are to ignore the small things, but pray and ask God to reveal what the bigger issue at hand really is. Let Him be the strainer! Pray this blesses you ♡
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2 thoughts on “Will It Be the Gnat or the Camel?

  1. Alice D. Elam says:

    Wow! This was right on time for me, for the last 2 days I have been the GNAT!! Just being able to see myself through my husband’s eyes! My God!! This has been a day of Spiritual Reflection…….


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