OnionsLiliaceae 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 1onions 2ONIONS 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.

James 4:4
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.

Psalm 15:11
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.
Draw me with the magnet of Thy mighty love.

About meetingintheclouds

I am Cloudwatcher, a 76 year old Christian lady, happily married to a wonderful man for over 50 years. We have five wonderful sons, all with at least one University degree and in top positions in their chosen fields. One son is still single but four have found perfect wives and they have given us five lovely grandchildren. I was born in England and while I'm proud of my English heritage, I am doubly proud to be a true-blue, fair-dinkum Aussie. My husband and I are committed Christians whose first priority is to love and serve our risen Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. My life story will tell of my journey from abuse to peace. I suffered 22 years of abuse, being constantly told I was totally evil and an ugly freak: no one would ever want me, so I might as well do the world a favour and kill myself.
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20 Responses to THE ONION IS A LILY?

  1. Hello Angela! This is a very fascinating post. There is a great lesson to learn here.

    Thanks so much for reminding us that as Christians we cannot love God and clamor for the implements of the devil. The apostle sums it up perfectly: “Therefore if any person is in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things have passed away. All things have become new.


    • Thanks Noel. Praise God for the change He wrought in our lives and the ‘newness’ we have in Him! The ‘pleasures of this world’ have nothing to offer that can compare with the abundance of God’s blessings.
      When we seek Him and His will, we have all we need, but allowing ourselves to be drawn to things of the world puts us at ‘enmity’ with God – not that He loves us less, or considers us an enemy – but we put ourselves at odds with Him. Our actions are at enmity with His will. James 4:4


    • Lugar and Company says:

      Hi Angela and I love the warning about mediocrity! Thank you for your boldness, love for Him! You might enjoy my post on tulips. Take care and keep blogging!


  2. ptl2010 says:

    Angela, I truly enjoyed my visit today. I love the beauty of lilies, but am allergic to their fragrance.
    i love strongly flavoured onions but am disappointed when the flavour is bland. After some thought, on the spiritual front, we must keep our balance in representing the Lord and the gospel – too strong we become offensive and may put people off knowing God. If we am too bland in our belief, i disappoint the Lord and am ineffective. May the Lord help us in our witnessing.

    Thank you Angela…I shall visit more!


    • Thank you for adding that extra illustration about the strength of the flavour Evelyn.

      Yes, we must never “pull punches”. We should always “tell it like it is” but we should do so in such a way as not to be “holier than thou”. We should show forth the love, mercy and grace of Christ as well as the truth and justice of Christ.


  3. Debbie says:

    Thank you for showing us about the onions and the lilies . .. the things of this world and the things of God. So thankful with you for His ongoing work and leading away from those stinky onions so our lives are a sweet perfume for Him. God bless you, Mentor Angela!
    p.s. I used onion just a bit ago, while cooking! :)


    • I had a smell in my kitchen last week. I scrubbed out the rubbish and scraps bins but the smell remained. Then I found an onion at the bottom of the basket had started leaking. It is such an offensive smell . . . but nowhere near as offensive as our sins are to God. Praise Him that confessed and repented of sins are TOTALLY removed, with no smell lingering, except the beauty of Christ.

      I use a lot of onions in cooking. This reminds me that many of the “things of the world” are not bad/evil in themselves but can be used by the devil to draw us away from the One who is entitled to claim our full allegiance. We must beware of the “good” things which can become gods and result in a foul odour.


  4. Anna Popescu says:

    Cloudwatcher, thank you so much for this wonderful insight! I have literally had to eliminate onions (and garlic) from my life as I have found myself allergic to both! It is interesting to me that I can still cook delicious meals without relying on onions to flavor my food. It reminds me of your statement: “Caution: The older onions become, the stronger and more offensive their odour becomes.” Amen, Sister!


    • I use onions a lot in cooking, and can’t imagine trying to live without them, but I pray for the ‘onions’ of the worldly pleasures to be totally eradicated from my life. Praise God for the continual work of Holy Spirit as He convicts and empowers and enables when they attempt to invade.


  5. Rob Barkman says:

    I really appreciate the reminder to be careful to guard what we see, read, hear and the attitudes we have within us. Lord bless you.


    • Rob, it is so hard to live in this world without being bombarded by the things of the world. Even a trip to the shopping centre involves an attack on the eyes and ears. It seems as though standards of decency and morality are fast disappearing. Of course, one day soon, when we are taken, and Holy Spirit no longer has a home here on earth, they will quickly disappear, but until then, we have to be careful to keep our guard.


  6. Judy says:

    Well, I learned something today! Thanks for sharing an interesting fact and an inspiring application!


    • I guess this happens a lot in nature. I praise God that my ‘onions of tears’ were replaced with ‘lillies of peace’ nearly 55 years ago and that He still continues His work of giving peace, joy and His abundance of blessings. I praise Him that whenever those onions seek my attention He convicts and empowers and enables me to overcome and I rejoice in the REALITY of His work.

      We serve an incredibly amazing God who one day soon will call us to Himself and we will be presented faultless before His throne, ONLY because of His continued work in us.


  7. This is interesting to me as Susan means lily. Sue’s Trifles


  8. admin says:

    Never realized that the lily and onion were related. Very interesting analogy for onions of tears or lilies of peace. The lilies win. The Lord is good!


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