Monthly Archives: November 2019

THE REPROACH OF A PICKED TREE


William Andrew Dillard

Orchard owners look with great expectation to the trees under their care. They nourish, protect, and defend them from pestilence, and anything else that would prevent full fruition. They are happy with the many blossoms, small buds, and developing fruit. Anticipation of Harvest time is truly filled with excitement, and the joy of abundant blessings. But once harvest is over, then what? The tree is still valuable, but it has given all that it can give. There will be no more fruit to glean, and the eye of anticipation no longer sees as it did before. It is a tree, now ordinary and fruitless, having given all. It is interesting to note that this idea is presented in the Word with reference to our Lord and Savior.
In Psalm 22 which is prophetic of the life and sacrifice of Jesus, the word used to describe him in verse six is “reproach.” The verse states, “But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.” The word “worm” here is the “tolah” worm that was crushed to yield the blood used to dye fabrics with the color of royalty. The term “reproach” is a translation of the Hebrew word “Charaph.” which conveys the idea of a picked tree with nothing more to give. That term used here of Jesus describes how many people see Him as He has given all for the harvest of the souls of men. The people expected that the miracles He invoked for others would surely be invoked for Himself thus giving them a super personage in which to glory in the flesh. They were sadly disappointed.
However, while the forces of sin and evil rejoiced at the crucifixion, the crushing of that “tolah” worm, wrought robes of righteousness for the royal children of the King. Moreover, those who avail themselves of the fruit yielded by that tree find eternal, spiritual sustenance, and a white robe of royal righteousness in which to stand before the Creator. To the world, and to most of Jewish rulers, the tree was picked, and not worthy of a second glance, but to those who have tasted the fruit of that tree found life and hope of so much more that is to come.
So, how do you see Him dear reader? Is He a disappointment, or a wellspring of eternal joy? Is He a picked tree to be turned away from, or is He the Living Tree of Life with the fruit of eternal righteousness to all who receive Him in repentance and faith? My prayer is that you see Him as the latter, even the bread of life that one may eat and not hunger again; as the fruit of all righteousness that one may receive and have no sin imputed by the heavenly Father. There He is, the TREE at the crossroads of time and eternity in the life of everyone.

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APOSTASY PORTRAYAL 


William Andrew Dillard
A DEADLY SIN
Parson to Person

Warning the church of the Living God at Corinth, the beloved Apostle Paul called attention to the terrible failures of Israel in the wilderness wanderings. In I Cor. 10:4, he recalls a most intriguing and interesting phenomenon. A certain Rock appeared wherever the Hebrews made camp, as though it were (because it was) following them. Now this was not an ordinary rock. Paul calls it a spiritual rock. Doubtless it appeared as a large hunk of stone to the Hebrews, but something was very different about this rock. It’s story begins early in the Hebrew exodus from Egypt. It is first mentioned in Exodus 17:5-7. Moses was instructed to smite the rock which would produce water in abundance for the people. 
Since that spiritual rock followed them, it is not known how many appearances it made or how many times the Hebrews took special note of it, or how many times they may have depended upon it for life sustaining water. But, it comes into significant play some forty years later as water was desperately needed, and the Hebrews were complaining because there was none. God’s instruction to Moses now was different: “Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.” Num. 20:8.
Most who are passingly familiar with the Bible know Moses and Aaron did not follow God’s instructions, but in frustration with the people smote the rock twice. Yes, life giving water flowed, but God was not sanctified in the eyes of the people, and it cost Aaron and Moses their life. 
That rock was not Jesus, but it was anointed (Christ is a Greek word that means anointed in English) of God to typify mighty things about Jesus. It showed among other things, God’s protection, solidarity, presence, and sustainment of life. What God has to give mankind is freely offered in Jesus, the Christ. He willingly died to give to all the water of everlasting life. He is with His people and will never forsake them: He is there! He never changes! Either He is one’s life into the age of the ages, or that life shall be forfeited. Being once smitten, He will not be smitten again, but forgives all who call upon Him in repentance and faith. 
The recipients of His righteous blood’s cleansing that flowed from the smitten Anointed One commit a similar sin as Moses and Aaron when they claim they have become lost, and now must return to the Rock for a washing in His blood the second time. He will not be smitten again, but he may be spoken to in prayer and….”if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9 Hallelujah! What a Rock is our Savior!

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OFFENDED OR BLESSED?


William Andrew Dillard
The Choice of Every Person
Her daughter was vexed with a devil. She was a gentile believer begging Jesus for help. Jesus, Who was sent but to the lost sheep of Israel said, “It is not appropriate to cast the children’s meat to dogs.” Wow! What a rebuff! In modern times this would be a significant cause for offense. Would this woman return home in a huff with a mouth streaming bad words about Jesus? Quite the opposite. Being outside of the covenant people of God, but understanding the power of Jesus, she would not be denied. Instead of becoming angry, she doubled down in humility. She replied, “Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”
Jesus said, “O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt.” Her daughter was made whole immediately.
Sin within us is so offensive to God. The righteousness and mercy of God is so offensive to the sin nature within us. When the two meet, sin will be destroyed. Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken, but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will indeed grind him to powder. Luke 20:18.
So, it is so much better to be broken than to be ground into powder. Those are the only choices. To be offended is to choose the latter, to be blessed is to choose the former. The Canaanite woman would not be offended, she was blessed! So are all those who seek God in a repentant attitude. What about you, dear reader? Are you offended or blessed? Be as wise and as humble at that Canaanite woman!

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THE DASH — THE SUM OF EARTHLY LIFE


ABApologetics.org

By: W.A. Dillard

An immigrant, not privileged to formal education signed her name Le—a. After three wrong guesses the immigration officer asked her to pronounce her name. She replied in haltering English, “Tha dash not silent. It be LeDASHa!”
Perhaps this story brings a chuckle to those who hear it, but there is a great truth to be gleaned from it. The dash really is not silent! How many times have you casually strolled through a cemetery? As you read the tombstones, you always saw two dates. The first one was the date of birth of the individual interred there. The second date was the date of death. In between those two dates is a dash. That dash represents all the years that particular individual lived on earth and interacted with others. What about all those years? What happened in the dash? Was that person loved and loving? Did he or she trust in Christ Jesus as their personal Savior? Did they serve Him with the force of their life? Were they a blessing to others, ready for that last date to arrive?
The inscriptions on the stone may identify the entombed person as a unique individual, separated from all others, but it is the dash that contains the multifaceted story of a life that was known among us. That dash represents joy, love, responsibility, opportunity, and all other things sandwiched between two important dates: the beginning and the end. What are we writing into the “dash” of our own unique dates? Wisdom bids us to hasten to do the things that are good, the things that we would. For as surely as you have a birthday, you also have a death-day. But these are not the things people will remember you for, and they are not the things that are important in heaven’s record. It is the dash, friends. The dash is not silent, it is the sum of earthly life!

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HOW WE SHOULD LIVE


We ought to be living

as if Jesus died yesterday,

rose this morning,

and is coming back this

afternoon.

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