Liliaceae is a large family, with hundreds of exotic species in cultivation. They include hyacinths, tulips, ONIONS, as well as the TRUE LILLIES.
Surely the onion must be the total opposite of the lillies of Bible lands. LILLIES have brilliant flowers, a very strong, sweet fragrance, and are used as a symbol of peace. On the other hand, ONIONS have a strong, offensive smell and are a symbol of tears and crying. ONIONS, as members of the LILY family, could be called HYPOCRITES and traitors.
ONIONS are only mentioned ONCE in the Bible, in reference to the children of Israel.
Numbers 11:4-6, 10
Now the mixed multitude who were among them
yielded to intense craving:
so the children of Israel also wept again
and said “Who will give us meat to eat?
We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers,
the melons, the leeks, the ONIONS and the garlic.
But now our whole being is dried up;
there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!”
. . . And the anger of the Lord was greatly aroused.
After their miraculous deliverance from bondage and early death in Egypt, they experienced many unmistakable signs of God’s continuing presence and protection. Even though they had so many proofs, they carried with them into their new life, their appetite for the pleasures of the world. They complained about the manna which God provided for them and remembered and hankered for the onions of Egypt.
ONIONS for many of us, carry a love/hate relationship. We greatly appreciate the added taste in meals and we like the smell of frying onions, but we do not like the preparation involved: the slicing and dicing. We try many “preventions” to avoid the tears.
If we relate ONIONS to ‘worldly desires’ as in the case of the children of Israel, we can see a parallel, albeit in reverse. The world offers many attractions and while they may bring ‘pleasure’ they result in tears. In fact, we can say we are not where we should be if they do NOT bring remorse and tears.
Possible “onions” in our lives . . .
TV programs, movies etc – are they wholesome? Or do they contain foul language, blasphemy, immorality etc?
Conversations – are they wholesome? Or are they gossip, or not befitting the life of Christ within?
Attitudes – Do they reflect the light, love, mercy and grace of Christ? Or do they show the “old nature” with judgements, grudges, ill-will, self-ness, apathy etc?
Are there “onions” in my life I need to destroy?
Caution: The older onions become, the stronger and more offensive their odour becomes.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if any person is in Christ, he is a new creation.
Old things have passed away. All things have become new.
2 Corinthians 6:17-18
Wherefore, come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord,
and touch not the unclean thing,
and I will receive you and be a Father unto you.
1 John 2:15-16
Do not love the world or the things in the world.
If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
For all that is in the world
– the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life –
is NOT of the Father, but IS of the world.
Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever wants to be a FRIEND OF THE WORLD
makes himself an ENEMY OF GOD.
We have a choice – ‘onions’ of tears or ‘lillies’ of peace:
friendship with the world and enmity with God,
or enmity with the world and peace with God.
You will show me the path of life.
In Your presence is fullness of joy.
At Your right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
O my Saviour, lifted from the earth for me,
Draw me, in Thy mercy, nearer unto Thee.
LIFT MY EARTH-BOUND LONGINGS,
FIX THEM, LORD, ABOVE.
Draw me with the magnet of Thy mighty love.