You know, don’t you, that your body is a pile of chemical elements? Because I am a nerd, I love learning about stuff like this. Click here for a list of everything that comprises your pile of “dust.” 🙂
You are a perfectly balanced compound. God miraculously arranges all of these seemingly random items in perfect order to create a human body that functions meticulously and wondrously. How someone could come to the conclusion that it was all thrown in a zip lock bag, shaken, and the result was what we know to be such an amazingly complex creature is beyond me.
Interestingly, the balance of our components is so precise that if we are lacking in just one of them, it can throw us into a tailspin. For instance, iron deficiency (iron is present in all human cells) can result in weakness, fatigue, and a compromised immune system among other things.
Iron is the most common element not only in the body, but on planet Earth (since we came from dust, this should come as no surprise). Because it is found abundantly, it has been widely utilized for centuries.
Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. Proverbs 27:17
Iron implements may be sharpened against other iron implements. They are then made useful again. Without this process, they remain dull (and, if you have not yet discovered this phenomenon, a dull blade is more dangerous than a honed one).
I began to think about this earlier today. I have been blessed with a small handful of iron friends in my lifetime. These are not Facebook “friends” (what passes for friendship via the internet, generally speaking, is a farce), although I have made a wonderful friend this year via that social network…one who has the sharpening qualities I seek and need, and for whom I can do the same. I am grateful for that gift.
About this passage, John Gill’s Exposition says this:
Iron sharpeneth iron…
A sword or knife made of iron is sharpened by it; so butchers sharpen their knives; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend; by conversation with him; thus learned men sharpen one another’s minds, and excite each other to learned studies; Christians sharpen one another’s graces, or stir up each other to the exercise of them, and the gifts which are bestowed on them, and to love and to good works.
I like that. We should not be iron deficient. We need one another, and others ought to be bettered by having been in our company. Who have you sharpened lately?