Friday, March 5, 2010

The Waters of Shiloah - CR Dickey

I am always amazed at how timely Christina's articles from 1937-1968 are. The ages old war from Genesis 3:15 continues today and the Truth still pertains. Do you think God cares about elections among free people?

THE WATERS OF SHILOAH

Sometimes one’s imagination is captivated by the beauty of a phrase in the Scriptures which, for the moment, appears to be out of harmony with its context. Such an appealing phrase is found in Isaiah’s eighth chapter where the prophet mentions “the waters of Shiloah that go softly.”

The words “Shiloah” and “Siloam” mean “a sending of waters,” as through an aqueduct. Concerning these words, Dr. John D. Davis writes in his Bible Dictionary:

“Siloam --- a pool at Jerusalem (John 9:7), probably identical with Shiloah, the waters of which go softly (Isa. 8:6), and the pool of Shelah, which was by the King’s garden (Neh. 3:15). Josephus says that it was situated…near a bend of the old wall beneath Ophel….The fountain is a small upper basin excavated in the rock. From the lower reservoir, the water flows in a small rill across the road and irrigates gardens in the Kidron valley.”

Now that we have located Shiloah, where the waters go softly, let us read the strange setting of these words in Isaiah’s prophecy, verses 5-8, Smith and Goodspeed Translation:

“Once more the Lord spoke to me, saying,
‘Because this people have spurned
The waters of Shiloah, that flow gently,
And melt in fear before Rezin and the son
Of Remaliah,
Behold, the Lord is bringing up against
Them
The waters of the River, mighty and many,
Even the king of Assyria and all his glory;
And it shall rise over all its channels,
And shall pass over all its banks,
And shall sweep on through Judah, in an
Overwhelming flood,
And shall reach as high as the neck.’”


When Isaiah’s prophecy was spoken, the forces of Syria and Israel were being swept into captivity by the triumphant Assyrian host. As one writer aptly comments on the situation:

“No doubt Ahaz and his court felt they could afford to laugh at Isaiah, who had steadily opposed the alliance which appeared to have been so advantageous. But the triumph of the wicked is short. The unholy success in which bad men rejoice contains within itself the seeds of peril and pain, of retribution and ruin. The ally in whom Ahaz had trusted presently became his oppressor; it was a verification in actual life of the fable of the horse that took a man for its ally. So it is today with all who prosper without God and against God. Their prosperity is, strictly speaking, unnatural, and everything that is unnatural speedily brings on disorder.”

The fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy is recorded in II Chronicles 28: 6, as follows:

“For Pekah the son of Remaliah slew in Judah an hundred and twenty thousand in one day, which were all valiant men; because they had forsaken the Lord God of their fathers.”

When prophecy and facts are brought together the meaning of Isaiah’s symbolism becomes clear. “The waters of Shiloah that go softly” symbolize the tender solicitude of God for His people, and the help of His strong arm which is available at all times when they seek Him in faith. The waters of the overflowing River symbolize the might of Assyria’s king and the devastation which would sweep over Judah. In comparison with the mighty Euprates, the little stream of Shiloah seemed wholly inadequate and unworthy of consideration; so the people spurned the one course that could have saved them. Both Israel and Judah were swept by overwhelming floods again and again because they refused the gentle stream of heavenly love and protection. In the Song of Solomon, the potent waters of Shiloah are described as:

“A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon.” (Song of Solomon 4:15.)

Mingled with rebukes and warnings to both the houses of Israel, Isaiah inserts this paragraph of finality and hope:

“I will bind up my testimony, and seal my teaching in the heart of my disciples. Then I will wait for the Lord, who is hiding his face from the house of Israel; I will set my hope on him, while I and the children whom the Lord has given me remain as signs and symbols in Israel from the Lord of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion.” (Isa. 8:16-18, Smith & Goodspeed Trans.)

These words are of special significance and must have been in Isaiah’s mind when he wrote the next chapter, which contains his great prophecy concerning Christ’s birth and His future reign upon the throne of David. The familiar lines cannot be quoted too often as the day approaches for their complete fulfillment:

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever.” (Isa. 9:6-7.)

Looking forward to the coming of Israel’s Redeemer, Zechariah wrote:

“In that day there shall be a fountain opened in the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.” (Zech. 13:1.)

That fountain was opened freely for all the world when Jesus the Christ came and walked among His people to teach them, heal them, and give His own precious blood to save them from sin and death. In conversation with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, Jesus said to her:

“Anyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but anyone who drinks the water that I will give him will never be thirsty, but the water that I will give him will become a spring of water within him, bubbling up for eternal life.” (John 4:13-14, Smith & Goodspeed Trans.)

The seventh chapter of John’s Gospel reports the controversy which raged over the identity of Jesus at the feast of the tabernacles. John says that on the last day of the festival, which was the greatest, Jesus stood up and cried out:

“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. If anyone believes in me, streams of living water, as the Scripture says, shall flow forth from his heart.” (John 7:38, Smith & Goodspeed Trans.)

Waters that flow gently from this spiritual fountain are the source of cleansing and healing. Jesus said to the man who was born blind. “Go wash in the pool of Siloam” (John 9:7). We are told that the man went his way, washed as he was told to do, “and came seeing.”

In Isaiah 9:16, it is written, “For the leaders of this people cause them to err.” It has ever been so. The nations of Christendom are in their present woeful plight because our leaders, too, have refused “the waters that go softly.” Consequently, the Lord has brought upon them an overflowing tide of Communism and general subversion, as the evil fruits of rebellion against His expressed will for them. The Heavenly Father laments:

“O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea.” (Isa. 48:18.)

Again He said:

“I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.” (Isa. 48:17.)

But, as Israel nations in the world today, we are refusing to drink at the fountain of living waters. Like Judah and Israel of old, we are now floundering in an overwhelming flood tide of evil, “as high as the neck,” almost submerged, but not quite. God is sovereign over all the earth. “All governments are but instruments which He uses when and as He pleases” --- a thought of comfort for the obedient, of terror for the disobedient.

Leaders of nations predominantly Christian in belief should beware of trifling with the basic principles of Divine law and mercy. There is a tendency among political leaders to think that, because God has especially blessed our nation in the past, we may now sin with less risk than other peoples. Such is not the case, for those who attempt to use the grace of God for their own selfish ends will meet the sorer punishment than infidels. Jeremiah says of such leaders and their followers:

“Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? But my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit….For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” (Jer. 2:11, 13.)

Many churchgoing people consider it a mark of sanctity to refrain from active participation in the affairs of local, state and national government. Yet it is a fact that the Bible bears witness against this foolish idea. The Preacher’s Homiletic Commentary, in Isaiah, Volume I, contains some statements which are timeless in their application, and certainly of vital importance to all Western nations today. We quote at some length from pages 173-174:

“God’s people are to be ‘a peculiar people.’ Their whole life is to be governed by Divine principles. By these principles they will be saved from the grievous practical heresy of abstention from public life. Civilized life, especially in a free community, is a partnership, and no man has a right to take all the advantages of a partnership and evade all its labors and obligations. We are bound to labor as well as pray, that God’s will may be done on earth as it is in heaven. The result of abstention on the part of Christian men from public life is the domination of bad men, and the employment of the resources of the community for evil purposes. ‘The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted’ (Psalm 12:8).

“If we need example in this matter, we have the example of the prophets, who were much more than preachers of a monastic piety: they were active politicians, and yet politicians of an utterly unworldly type. By these principles they will be guided and kept amid all the duties and difficulties of public life. They will be uplifted above party spirit in all its narrow and debasing forms. Theirs will be that true patriotism which consists in a steady loyalty to truth, and righteousness, and mercy. If we are to be Biblical politicians, and this is the duty of every man among us, we shall not necessarily be found on the side of the majority. How often God’s people have been called to stand in what is called a ‘miserable minority’!

“We shall not necessarily share in the prevalent feelings of our time, whether they be those of fear or hope. We shall know that no permanent hurt can be done to our nation while it is in pursuit of righteousness, and that no real advantage can be gained by methods that will not bear the Divine scrutiny. Our supreme desire will be, not to conciliate men, but to please God. We shall consider all public questions, and vote for, or withhold our vote from, all public men, as in His sight (Heb. 11:27). This may cause us often to cut ourselves off from our ‘party,’ but this will not trouble us. Hostility may thus be excited against us --- will be excited against us, for such ‘impracticable men’ are the abhorrence of mere politicians; but then God Himself will be to us ‘for a sanctuary.’ We shall never lose sight of the fact that the penalty of ungodliness in public life is ruin.”

Speaking to redeemed Israel, the covenant peoples who have confessed the lordship of Jesus Christ in the latter days, Isaiah said:

“They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them.” (Isa. 49:10.)

The waters of Shiloah that go softly rise from mysterious depths, unknown to man. They issue from “that land which human eye has not seen, of which the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple.” The prophet Ezekiel saw the stream coming from under the right side of the temple (47:1); and John, in his apocalyptic vision, saw it proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb (Rev. 22:1). Hence he could say with absolute assurance:

“The Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” (Rev. 7:17.)
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Article from Biblical Treasures (Volume I) – C. R. Dickey

INTRODUCTION

The Staff at Destiny Publishers, having read all the articles written by the late C. R. Dickey (Christina R. Dickey) found in DESTINY Magazines from July 1938 to October 1967, received such a blessing from her writings that we wanted to share the information with all who are seeking God’s wonderful truths. We are hereby publishing all her articles in two volumes, which we believe you will find most inspiring and of genuine interest and value.

Her knowledge of the Scriptures was unbelievable so she must have had a very close association with her Lord, as she certainly became a champion for His cause.

Our late beloved editor, Howard B. Rand, realized her talent as he published many of articles in booklet form.

The reader should take into account the time element when each article was written, which was from the late thirties to the middle sixties. We found her articles to be up to the minute as though she had written them yesterday. Her writings on various subjects are backed up with Scripture verses, as well as with quotes from reliable sources, when making a point. From her writings, the Lord surely made use of her God-given talents.

Although we do not have any knowledge of her background, we do know that she was a Congregational minister. Her sermons given must have been of interest and value to her congregation. We are sure her articles contained in this book will do the same.
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1 comment:

Graceful Moments said...

I do know those who believe that politics should not be of concern to Christians. I don't share that belief. Thanks for this enlightening post.