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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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BIBLE ANALYSIS GUIDE


I.THE PRESENT RULE AND GUIDE

The whole Bible is to be studied under right divisions, as indicated in the previous part of this chapter. But this does not mean that men are to practice today everything taught in the whole Bible. Parts of both the Old and New Teatament have been fulfilled, that is some of their divisions or distinct teachings, and are not to be practiced by children of God now.

It has been pointed out that there are three divisions of the Old Testament:

1.the law of Moses,
2.the Prophets, and
3.the Psalms,

the first two of these divisions are declared to have been fulfilled, as a rule and guide for men. That is, the Law and the Prophets, two of the three distinct divisions of the Old Testament, are not to be sought or leaned upon as a rule and guide for faith in practice of any person during this present church age – Col. 2:14-17; II Cor. 3:7-11.

The Law of Moses was given solely as a rule and guide for the Jewish people in view of the coming of Jesus, the Messiah – Exodus 20:1,2,22; Lev. 27:34; Mal 4:4. In like manner the prophets admonished, wrote, and instructed the Jews, not the Gentiles. Their teachings were directed, not to the people of this age, but the age in which they lived. It is true that many principles that guided their ministry, lives, and testimonies are still operative today. But they are stated for man’s following today, in specific instructions, not in either the Law of Moses or the Prophets, but in

1.the Psalms and
2.the New Testament,

which rightly divided, our sole guide for our faith in action today – Matt. 5:17, 18; Luke 16:16; Gal. 3:10, 13, 18-25.

While it is specifically stated that both the Law and the Prophets were fulfilled, abolished, completed their main objective in guiding people to Christ, in no place is it stated the Psalms, the third division, of the Old Testament had fulfilled its purpose, was to last only until Christ, or had been abolished. Rather and instead, the apostles in teaching the doctrines of Christ commanded and admonished New Testament Christians to teach and admonish one another in psalms (evidently the inspired Psalms), – Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16.

Paul commended the members of the church at Corinth for each having a psalm when they came together to worship – I Cor. 14:26. In rightly dividing the Bible and learning what divisions of the Bible present an harmonious view of what and how God wants men to work today, there is wisdom. It is the Psalms that specifically authorize all men to praise God in connection with the use of musical instruments in worship the New Testament endorses and admonishes this.

Three things are called to the reader’s attention and should be remembered in rightly dividing the Bible:

1.The Bible is one harmonious whole, without any discordant note or contradiction, between the two grand divisions, the Old and the New Testaments.

2.The Old Testament is to be studied under the three specific divisions our Lord recognized:

1.Law,
2.Prophets, and,
3.Psalms.

3.The New Teatment’s contents fall logically into three divisions:

1. the historical,
2.doctrinal, and
3.prophetic books.

Let it be remembered that the Bible specifically states that the Law and the Prophets, were till John or Christ, but in no instance is such said of the Psalms. Rather and instead the New Testament authorizes that they be taught and men admonished in them in this age. These are the general divisions of the Bible, rightly divided, that enable men to teach and preach and testify in a way that they need “not to be ashamed” – II Tim. 2:15.

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