Beating Around the Bush
Hunters of wild boar among the noble and gentry classes of Europe were known to employ beaters using
sticks to flush the boar out of the brush. Fearing attack by the ferocious boar, the beaters might avoid entering deeply into the brush. Rather, they
might attempt to flush out the boar by beating around the bush to avoid contact with the animals. Hence, anyone appearing to avoid the direct approach in any matter is said to beat around the bush. The prophet Jonah did not want the assignment of preaching to the Ninevites and sought to avoid it. God had Jonah swallowed by a great fish, and, after three days and nights in the belly of the creature, Jonah became more cooperative. It was not until Jonah learned that God was not beating around the bush that he was able to convince the Ninevites of the same thing, saving both himself and them. At the Twelfth of Matthew, Jesus unfavorably compared His audience to the Ninevites, for the latter repented at Jonah’s preaching, but the former repented not at the preaching of the Son of God Himself. They are saved who will believe. They are lost who will not, and that is not beating around the bush.
Written and voiced by David Prophater for the GBN Daily Lift