Faking the Grain
Summary: Out of the weakness of human flesh, God brings some of His greatest blessings.
Read Hebrews 11:32-34 KJV
- INTRODUCTION -- FAKING THE GRAIN
In the New England regions, there is a type of wood known as the Tulip Poplar. It is sometimes referred to as Whitewood. This wood has a very unique capability in that it can imitate other woods that are far more valuable.
Some dealers have mistakenly identified pieces of furniture as high-value cherry only to find out later that a very talented finisher had properly “faked the grain” as it once was referred to.
This Whitewood grain can be taken by a master craftsman and be turned into a wood that imitates a perfect Mahogany. It can ever serve as a very highly passable Birch, Walnut, Cedar, Hazel, and even a straight-grained Maple. All of which is very expensive. When the grain is “faked” a lesser wood becomes far more valuable in appearance. Because of this change, much more can be served by this particular piece of wood.
-When I read about this practice among makers of hand-crafted furniture, I immediately thought about what happens to a man whose life comes under the hands of the Master Craftsman, Jesus Christ.
-Something far less valuable is suddenly redeemed into a highly-prized child of God.
- WEAKNESS THAT BECOMES STRENGTH
-There are numerous examples in the Word of God where one will find that weakness can become strength when it is placed in the hands of God.
1 Corinthians 2:1-4 (KJV)  And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with Excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.  For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.  And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.  And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
Read: 2 Corinthians 3:5, 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (KJV). Paul speaks here of a thorn in the flesh and a messenger of Satan to torment Him.
-It is the paradox of Christ likeness to have our weak places become the point of incredible strength.
Another way that these skilled furniture masters work is to take some paste filler and fill in all of the pores and defects of the wood so that a smooth finish can be applied. This filler is then stained and covered over and it has caused many an expert to think that the wood was much more valuable than it was.
-I have known many, many people (just as you have) over the years whose lives were scarred by sin, (And often imitate the Christian walk, but lack the fruit of being a child of God) They say all the right stuff, all the right move but their hearts are far removed from God. Their lives were filled with the defects of terrible choices and dented by the uncaring hands of the world. They have managed to find their way to an old-fashioned place of prayer and then God was able to change the situation and “fake the grain” making them into so much more than they were. -That is the power of the Gospel.
Romans 1:16-17 (KJV) - I am not ashamed of the gospel… the power of God unto salvation
III. BIBLICAL CHARACTERS THAT “FAKED THE GRAIN”
- Abram changed to Abraham.
- Sarai changed to Sarah.
- Saul changed to Paul.
Moses’ Stutter – Imagine God calls you to preach and evangelise but you have an incredible speak impediment. Was God having fun? But we know that Moses was key in God’s plan with the Israelites. The best education, the best palace, and the best chariot before his mistake.
Exodus 4:10 (KJV) -He led the children of Israel out of Egypt.
- He received the Law on Sinai.
- He held out his rod and the Red Sea parted.
- He crushed the Golden Calf.
- He presented the plans for the Tabernacle.
-There are others that could be added. . . . But very few of us would have even mentioned that Moses had a problem with his speech.
-All of this happened with these people when they met God.
- Jacob’s Limp
-Jacob was a man with a limp. He had a weakness but it was through him that the lineage of Jesus Christ was to appear. When Jacob was born he was holding the heel of his twin brother Esau. The possibly came from Hebrew meaning to follow, to be behind but also to supplant meaning to trip up, or to overthrow. Jacob was full of flaws – a real trouble maker.
-From the outset of his life, Jacob appears to have been chosen by God to fulfil a purpose. His purpose was to have a son named Joseph who would refuse to let bitterness ruin him.
-Jacob. . .
- The man who met God at Bethel.
- The man who saw the golden ladder in his dream.
- The man who saw angels ascending and descending from the throne of Heaven.
- The man who buried the idolatrous gods of his wives.
-Jacob was a man whose grain would need a reformation and a refining by a Master Craftsman.
-There were some cheap things that were hidden in Jacob’s grain and given the right conditions it would lessen the value of the man.
- He was a conniver and a cheat.
- He was a spoiled mama’s boy.
- He was dishonest with his father and his father-in-law.
- He was the man who stole the birth right.
- He looked for situations that would help him to come out on top.
- He sought out benefits by nefarious means.
-All of these things were deficiencies in the character of Jacob. His grain did not look too good with this type of exposure. -But despite all of this. . . . God saw something in the life of Jacob that He knew that given time, energy, and effort. . . . The grain of Jacob’s soul could be changed.
-It really is not an uncommon pattern that trouble makes its way into our lives and causes some very advantageous changes. There came a time in Jacob’s life when he desperately needed God.
-He entered a midnight free-for-all and left the wrestling match with a limp and with a God. He left that night with a “faked grain.” Something that had once been so wild and un-tethered now was worth far more once the Master’s hand had touched his thigh and had wrestled with Jacob’s soul.
-Jacob would bear the limp for the rest of his life. . . but his name would be different and his blessing from God would escalate.
-The place where Jacob met God was at Peniel. It is ironic that the meaning of this name is “face of God.” Every time that we meet God face-to-face, we must come back with a limp. . . The grain has to be marked and changed by the Master.
-If God can change us, He will use us for His Kingdom.
-It is a failure on our parts to go to Peniel (To the east of the Jordan river) and return the same way that we came. This is where God is revealed, and sad to say we leave here many times exactly the way we came. There has to be a change of grain in our soul every time we’ve been to Peniel. The value of our soul depends on how much we are willing to allow God to change us.
-There will certainly be a limp . . . but with the limp comes a change in identity. . . You change a man’s identity and you will change his destiny.
-It was Jacob’s limp that set him apart, it was when the grain got changed but he became what God wanted him to be when he let that weakness become his strength.
-We forget the deficiencies of life in the great men of God. But they were flesh and blood just as we are. They had their ups and downs, they just refused to let the deficiencies rule them and weigh them down.
- Just like Moses, we say that we are not competent enough (Exodus 3:11; 4:1; 4:10) but it is God who will deliver the people.
- Just like Jeremiah (1:6-7) we say that we are too young and don’t have the experience but God took Jeremiah’s inexperience and made a nation to exalt the tears of a prophet.
- Just like the man who hid his talent because he feared the Master (Matthew 25:24-25) we say that God does not allow room for mistakes so we are locked down with paralysis.
- Just like the men in Luke 14, we let land, cows, and wives which are the common pressures of life to hinder our involvement.
-Somewhere along the way, the grain is going to have to be faked by the Master Craftsman. Jacob’s Limp and Moses’ stutter did not stop them. . . In fact, when you read through Exodus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, you note a very loud voice of authority and power to come from Moses.
- CONCLUSION --
-God is not looking for perfection as much as He is looking for availability.
Colossians 3:2-4 (KJV) - Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory?
- Necessity sent Jacob to Peniel.
- Divine appointment met Moses at the burning bush.
- But spiritual hunger put Hannah in the place of worship.
-Desire to have a child. She was willing to give this child back to God if He would just provide. This is a powerful testimony to someone who had a bad “grain” but was willing to let it motivate her to a place of change.