Tag Archives: Babylon

IN THE ENDING OF SUMMER OF LIFE ARE YOU SAVED?


William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person

Jeremiah is renowned as “the weeping prophet.” In tears he preached to the hardened inhabitants of Judah, and Jerusalem in particular. Did they love and appreciate him for warning them of looming disaster? Quite the contrary. They cast him in a dungeon, and treated him shamefully in other ways. Still, he preached on. Why did he do this? Because he knew, and knew that he knew, that the forces of Babylon would soon descend upon his beloved city and people unless repentance was imminent. God had both informed the prophet of this doom and commissioned him to preach to his hardened, backslidden people.
Some who dared to believe the prophet had fled to Egypt for supposed safety rather than repent. As time raced toward a deadline for the people of Judah to repent, their condition was thus summarized, “The harvest is past , the summer is ended , and we are not saved” Jeremiah 8:20
Is this actually a page from the annals of ancient history or a present commentary on our people today? Truly, and doubtless the clock of human history is wound down to very near the stopping point. Jesus is coming again! Judgment is coming! A new world order of Heaven’s rule is coming! Life is fleeting! The window of change narrows to a tiny crack! This is not just good preaching, it is God ordained, Biblically established fact about to happen, just as doom came upon an un-repentant people of Judah so long ago.
The summer is gone, and fall races toward us. How easily that is seen. But the same is true of life. So many have passed the summer and are already into the late fall of life, and they are not saved. God help us to not grow cold and hardened as the ancient people of Judah, but to be as the prophet who though not seeing a spirit of repentance in his people continued to cry out and to warn of imminent judgment. People are precious. They are made in the image of Almighty God, and there is a heaven to gain and a hell to shun! In this late summer of life, are you saved, is your hope in your works or in the grace of our wonderful Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus????

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JUST A LITTLE MORE SLEEP


HEBREW HONEYCOMB

William Andrew Dillard
JUST A LITTLE MORE SLEEP

Sleep was created for earthly life as the means of necessary refreshment to the body. Blessed are those who are able to sleep six to eight hours each night, but cursed are those whose goal is to sleep life away during both day and night. Doubtless the sleep of a laboring man is sweet as said the wise man, Solomon, but those who sleep in the affairs of life can expect poverty and loss. Let’s think about it!
Just what is this sleep in the affairs of life? It may be identified as one’s personal comfort zone. It is the nature of the flesh to create a comfort zone, and to disdain any call to consider things that might endanger that insulation to it. That is sleep. Through such sleep, fortunes have been lost, businesses bankrupted, and lives shipwrecked. The Bible underscores this important principle. Consider that it was while they slept that the Midianites were suddenly put to flight by the small band of Gideon. It was while men slept that the Medes and Persians brought an end to Babylon, the first great, world empire. It was while men slept that an enemy sowed tares among the wheat in the parable of Jesus. Moreover, it will be while men sleep that the bridegroom (Jesus) comes and many will not be ready to meet Him.
Solomon said, “How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Prov. 6:9. He went on to say, “Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.” 20:13. Modern times have underscored just how easy it is for individuals and churches to sleep when they should be swimming upstream in holy proclamations of salvation and the soon-coming King of Kings! One might name many reasons why this condition exists, but none of them are acceptable excuses for it.
So, what will we find in the New Testament regarding this specific subject? A quick survey shows much. Let us hear Paul as he admonished the Romans, “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” Rom. 13:11. Similarly, he taught the Thessalonians, “Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.” I Thess. 5:6. God’s people are not children of the night, but children of the day. They are to be awake, alert, watchful, and understanding of what and why things are happening. In so doing, the example of our Lord will be followed. One may be sure that He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. Psalm 121.
Are you a “Ho-hum, you’re okay, I’m okay,” kind of person, or are you awake, discerning the signs of the time in accordance with the Word, and listening for the shout?

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Hello Belshazzar


HELLO BELSHAZZAR
Parson to Person

William Andrew Dillard

Belshazzar was blessed to be king of the first great beast of empire. In prophecy, his kingdom (Babylon) was likened unto a lion in beast symbolism, and the golden head of the statue of empires seen in a kingly dream and interpreted by the prophet Daniel.
His story is a repetitive one both before and after him. It is the story of sinful, foolish pride being a downfall. A modern rendition of that is herewith given.
“Hello, Belshazzar! You are the son of the first great king, Nebuchadnezzar. Remember? He was the king from whom sanity was withdrawn so that he ran with the beast of the field, ate straw like an ox, and grew long nails as claws until he learned that El Elyon (the Most High God) rules in the governments of men and appoints whom He will over it. I say, remember? because you knew this.
Hello, Belshazzar! You are king, but you have not humbled your heart before God. Instead, you have elected to be exalted and praised by a thousand of your lords, and you have called for the sanctified vessels of the Temple of God in Jerusalem to pollute them as wine glasses in your sinful party.
Hello, Belshazzar! It is you to whom the writing hand has written on the wall in your presence. So, “keep your gifts O, King, and let your rewards go to another,” said God’s man, Daniel. “I will read the writing unto the king and make known to him the interpretation.
This is the writing: Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin. This is the interpretation of it. Mene; God has numbered your kingdom, and it is over. Tekel; You are weighed in the balances and have come up short. Peres; Your kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.”
History reveals that Babylon was thought to be impenetrable. Its walls were some 80 high and wide enough at the top for chariots to pass. It was the ultimate in human security. . . or, was it?
For sometime, unknown to dwellers in Babylon, the Meads and Persians had worked upstream to dam the Euphrates river which ran through Babylon. In the night of Belshazzar’s final ball of self glory, the water had diminished below the bars that extended from the city wall into the river. The Meads and Persians used that entryway in mass, and took over the city state with ease. In that same night Belshazzar was slain and Darius took over the kingdom being about 62 year old.
It is said that those who forget history are doomed to relive it. Common observation of society shows no change for the better over time. Repetitious, prideful and disastrous falling from a myriad of modern Babylons and Belshazzars abound.
So, let the Daniels and their wisdom also abound. Jesus the only triumphant Savior is the singular stone of help. Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken, but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. Friend, what is your preference: Salvation or judgment? Hello . . . .!

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Hebrew Word – LORD of Recompense [Jehovah-Gemûlâ]


 

Yāhweh Gemûlāh

 

Because of His perfect, absolute righteousness, God is also called by two names that speak of His judgment upon unrighteousness. We find the first, for example, in Jer_51:56, where He is called Jehovah Gemûlāh. The prophet foretells that God will come “upon Babylon, and her mighty men are taken, every one of their bows is broken: for the LORD God of recompences shall surely requite.” The Hebrew gemûlāh (H1578)—a derivative of gāmal (H1580), “to deal, to recompense, to ripen”—speaks of full repayment for what is deserved.

 

There are many instances of this word (and other derivatives) that speak of recompense, both of judgment and blessing. Used positively, for example, when David was fleeing from Absalom, Barzillai provided him with supplies (2Sa_19:32), and David returned the favor (2Sa_19:36). It is even used to speak of benefits God has given (Psa_103:2). At times, the positive and negative are actually contrasted, as in the Virtuous Woman, who “will do [gāmal] him [her husband] good and not evil all the days of her life” (Pro_31:12).

 

It is the negative, however, that is truly sobering. The instance here in our text speaks of God’s retribution on His enemies, as does Isa_59:18 : “According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompence.” The psalmist calls upon this God of Recompense to “give [the wicked] according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavours: give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert [gemûl]” (Psa_28:4).

 

We cannot help but make special note of Psa_94:2 : “Lift up thyself, thou judge of the earth: render a reward [gemûl] to the proud.” As we will observe in a future study, pride is never used in a positive way of man in Scripture. Here we read of, in fact, its costliness; God will recompense it, judging it as harshly as He did the Babylonians. How this should show us what a serious sin pride is!

 

Scriptures for Study: On the positive side, what does Psa_116:12 command? On the negative side, what does Isa_3:9 warn?

 

 

 

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LORD Is My Shepherd [Jehovah-Rō‘iy]


 

Yāhweh Rō‘iy

 

Psalms 23 is another great psalm of comfort, to many readers the greatest of all, for in it we find another “Jehovah-compound,” the LORD Is My Shepherd. The Hebrew behind shepherd (rō‘iy, or rō‘eh, H7462) is one of many words that have a truly ancient history. It goes all the way back to the Akkadian (re‘û) (an extinct Semitic language that existed in Assyria and Babylon), and is then subsequently found in Phoenician, Ugaritic, Aramaic, and Arabic.

 

Appearing some 170 times in the OT, rō‘iy pictures the simplicity of ancient civilization. Shepherding was the most common occupation throughout ancient Palestine, and this common, ordinary word simply refers to the feeding of domestic animals. Such a mundane word, however, was transformed by biblical usage. It was used to describe the true function of the leaders of God’s people. A true leader is not a despot or dictator who not only drives his sheep but sometimes even slaughters them. Rather, a true leader is a shepherd who leads, tends, feeds, and protects his sheep at the risk of his own life.

 

Our Lord, of course, is the Great Shepherd. As Charles Spurgeon writes in his The Treasury of David, “What condescension is this, that the Infinite Lord assumes towards his people the office and character of a Shepherd!” Think of it! God descended and assumed one of the lowliest occupations in the ancient world. Likewise, the true function of the king of Israel was to be a shepherd (2Sa_5:2; 2Sa_7:7; Jer_3:15), as was that of other leaders, although at times they did it badly (Jer_2:8; Jer_22:22; Eze_34:2-3; Eze_34:8; Eze_34:10).

 

Coming to the NT, the word pastor is the direct descendant of that OT precedent. The word “pastors” in Eph_4:11, in fact, is a translation of the Greek poimēn (G4166), which means shepherd (poimēn is used to translate rā‘â in the Septuagint). In Classical Greek, it referred to the herdsman who tended and cared for the sheep. It was also used metaphorically to refer to a leader, a ruler, or a commander. Plato, for example, compared “the rulers of the city-state to shepherds who care for their flock.” This meaning was carried over into the NT. A pastor leads, tends, feeds, and protects the sheep that God has entrusted to his care. What a solemn responsibility!

 

Scriptures for Study: Read the “Shepherd Trilogy,” noting that in Psalms 22, the Great Shepherdredeems the sheep (cf. Joh_10:11); in Psalms 23, He rescues the sheep (cf. Rev_7:17); and in Psalms 24, He rewards the sheep (cf. 1Pe_5:4).

 

 

 

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