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Xh e C o an jtn oju e c
JTJIf. I??2 :
Mr. Bryan .
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i s Bible Talks
A NATION THAT IfORGOT GOD- .
- Uy WILLI AMj JENNINGS 'BRTfAW-" ' '"
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BIBLE TEXlT LESSON JFQ'R jWEli8'-h
ni -' ''til Kings 25:1-12) V' ' f .'
'And it came. Ho pass in, the ninth Steak , of hfs
.Sir. in iikUehiTi month.' in the tehtli-daV' th.l
moiitli that "Nebuchadnezzar king: of Babylonc came,
ip and all liis Jiost, against Jerusalem, anmilchcd
'iCt-j n ourl vtliov linlft fnrta n sriHnst ' 11- rnmwl
against it. .. .-., ; ar. ,. .y
a And the city was besieged unto the eleventh
vear of King Zedekiah.
And on the ninth day of tho fourth month the
famine prevailed in the city, and there was no
bread for the people of the land.
And the city was broken up, and all the men of
war fled by night by the way of the gate.. between
two walls, whlclisis by the king's garden. '(now the
Chaldees were against'the city round rf-bout:) and
the-klng went the way toward the plain.,,
"Ahd the army of the Chaldees pursued, jiftjdr tho
king: and all his army were scattered Irom him: 4
So they took the king,. -and brought' him up to the
kljig of Babylon to Kiblah; and they gave judg
ment upon him.
And they slew the sons of Zedekiall before 'his
eyes, and put oUt the eyes of Zedekiah; ahd bound
him with fetters of brass, and carried him to Baby
And in the fifth month, on the seventh day of
the- roontlu which Is the nineteenth year of King
Nebuchadnezzar king o Babylon, came Nebuzar
adan, captain of the guard,' a servant of the king
of Babylon', unto Jerusalem:
And he burnt tho house of the Lord, and the
king's house, and all the houses of Jerusalem, and
every great man's house burnt he with' fir.e.
And all the army of the Chaldees, that were with
the captain of the guard, brake down the walls of
Jerusalem round about. ,,
Now the rest of the people that were left in the
city, and the fugitives that fell away to the king
of Babylon, with the remnant of the multitude, did
Nebuzar-adan the capta,ln of the guard carry away.
But the captain of tli,e guard left ot the poor of
the land to be vinedressers and husbandmen.
"Be not deceived; God is not mocked;
whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he
How graphically the closing days ot the king
dom of Judah, to which we now come, makes
plain the inexorable working of this great moral
Again and again, as kings came and went, the
people of Jerusalem had scorned the prophets,
turned to idolatrous practices, steeped them
selves in the vices and sins of the heathen na
tions round about them, forgotten and mocked
God. And now the harvest.
But even as the people of Jerusalem looked
out over the city's walls upon the besieging host
brought against them by the mighty king,
Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, God gave them
their last chance to avert the terrible harvest
of their own sowing. Through Jeremiah the
Prophet He had counseled: "Desist in your re
bellion against your overlord, surrender to the
Chaldeans, repent of your sins, and Jerusalem
will not be destroyed and you shall live." But
the stiffnecked rulers of Judah preferred their
own judgment to the guidance of the Almighty,
and, hence national disaster complete and full.
PROOF OF PROGRESS
From the ninth unto the ' eleventh year of
King Zedekiah's reign Nebuchadnezzar be
sieged Jerusalem round about. Then the city's
woa supply gave out, famine fell upon, the peo
ple, a breach was made in the walls, and all
euokiah's men. of war and the king himself fled
Z uht rm the might and wrath, of the Chal
S T? J081, But the enemy pursued and over
rnn? ?e HeblW king in the plains of Jerioho,
jnaae him prisoner, scattered his army from
Jm, and took him up to Nebuchadnezzar to the
town of Riblah for judgment. -
What followed when the two kings came face
J iace is proof that the world has made some
Progress even in war. ..
tth"!? the purpose of war has not changed;
aim takinB of human life is still the first
tWd i war' and wbil outrages are still prac
dS h i 0ldier8 ln tne heat o Passion and iin
tnLl imDulse of revenge, no civilized govern
otS.1 ould be Guilty of the cruelties that were
bW ?iractlcea ia olden times. - The Chaldeans
eve, I,?8 ' of the captive king before his
himl'M?d then tUey P114 out the eyes of the king
tort,,! Any Government that would now thus
lure a Prisoner, helpless in that government's
SX2S oTti!" w!own ttDon itself thc "-
But in the time of which we write the slaugh-
mon "thine0011?!10!'611 1,eC,ple WM not oi
5 d IH ill ?ln VUU w?s !l Pttrt of Wttr whenever
it did its bloody work, and the torture of Zcde-
practiced Ut f harmony with cruelties then
Nor was it an uncommon thing to destroy a
conquered city. And so Nebuzar-adan, a captain
of the guard m the Chaldean army, was sent to
Jerusalem to destroy it.
Ho did his work effectively. He burned the
house of the Lord, and the King's house, and
every great man's house in the city. The walks
were broken down, and the inhabitants who
were left, except the poorest, were carried away
captive to Babylon. But tho poor of the land
were left to care for the vineyards and the farms.
Thus Jerusalem was left desolate, its fate being
just what Jeremiah, speakim; by divine inspira
tion, had foretold God made him his messenger
to the people, but they would not believe, and
their punishment followed.
Th most striking part of the Biblical descrip
tion of Nebuzar-adan's desolating work relates
to the destruction of Solomon's temple.
In beauty it was one of the wonders of thc
world. Its cost has been estimated at from two
and a half to four billion dollars an appalling
sum even now aud relatively much greater then.
Thirty thousand men were employed in cut
ting the cedar that was brought from Lebanon
for the temple. The masons and others who
aided in its construction were numbered at 150,
000. When it is remembered that the building
was not remarkable for its size (ninety feet
long, thirty feet wide and forty-five feet high),
tho outlay upon ornamentation must have been
LOOTING OF THE TEMPLE
"And the pillars of brass that were in the
house of the Lord, and the bases, and the brasen
sea that were in the house of the Lord, did the
Chaldees break in pieces, and carried the brass
of them to Babylon." And the pots and shovels
and the snuffers and spoons and other vessels
of brass, and the firepan, the bowls and such
things as were "of gold, in gold, and of silver,
in silver," were likewise carried away. The loot
ing of the temple left no treasure overlooked.
While the historical facts are of very great
interest, the lessons that the facts teach are of
still greater value to us. We are prone to ex
aggerate the visible and to underestimate the
invisible prone also to be more shocked at the
destruction of valuable property than at the dis
obedience that imperils everything.
What a place Jerusalem would be for tourists
if Solomon's temple were still there!
When I visited the Holy City I was surprised
to learn that but a small fraction of the tourists
who go to Egypt are interested"- in the Holy
Land. Not many thousands turn aside to visit
the soil made sacred by the tread of the prophets
and by the blood of the Saviour. It is a land of
relics and of ruins. A few Jews wail by the walls
of the temple and a few pilgrims wander from
place to place in search of the hallowed spots
described in the Bible. There is controversy
about nearly every point of interest, so that one
is seldom sure that he is seeing the places that
he came to see. If the temple of Solomon were
only there in all its beauty and magnificence, the
lovers of art would wend their way to it from
every land. .
THE ONLY STABLE FOUNDATION
Christ made impressive use of the difference
between the house built upon the rock and the
i,niP built upon the sand. Solomon's temple
was a Sious structure; it rested on belief in
God It was built upon faith and obedience
When faith and obedience were gone, the temple
Wn" its treasures were stripped from it and the
work of it artists became a shapeless mass
a wthMi nation became the avenger of an
A hS administered punishment through
angry God. He i w h t th r carod noth.
the hands 6f n Reverent
ing for. the sent ments Of tne J God,s
silver and the gold. t0 learn
fitable unless it is built upon a moral foundation..
The priceless treasures that arc nlorMAn io
civilized states ar6 unable to flr'oU&tltbdra&lvofJ;
art may please and music may charm; literature
may delight and learning may onrlbli; wealth
may he piled up in fabulous sums aW oratory
may weavo a spell arOund ill:gotten gains, but
the value of all Js jiioas.ured by tho valuo of tho
foundation upon which thoy may rost.
Judah fell because it forgot God. The fcfhgq
relied upon tho military strength of which Ihey,'
boasted and which tholr allies coulil supply.
They folt themisolves secure and obc-IIcnoo to
God wan spurned. When tho tost came they
were helpless, und all tho glories that had'
crowned their days whon they foutia favor in'
tho sight of tho Lord and walked In His path'
vanished when they forsook God.
GOD'S LAWS UNCHANGED "'
God is not changed; Ilia laws havo not boon'
repealed. Disobedience carries thc same penal-'
ties now that it did when Hebrew kings wore un
faithful to Him. None of the refinements that
have come with civilization can protect a na
tion from tho wrath of God if tho rulers and tho
people disregard tho only sure foundation of en
during prosperity, viz., obedienco to God. Evon'
a temple, built for worship becomes a mockery'
when worship ceases.
The schoolroom may bo a mighty auxiliary to'
the church because the brain can bo made into
a great machine tremendously valuable when'
undor proper control aiid rightly directed. But
the mind is no more fitted than the purse to oc-"
cupy the throne . Brain and monoy are "both
good servants, but they havo not tho qualities
that are needed in a master. A consecrated'
heart can make" a Bplendld use of monoy hon
estly acquired, but monoy, oven when legitimate
ly secured can .wreck any life or any nation of
which it takes command.
A trained mind can add largoly to the useful
ness of life when it is undor thc control of the
spiritual in man, but it can wreck any human be
ing, even civilization itself, if it is allowed to
"For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the
flesh reap corruption: but he that soweth of tho
Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."
Every nation of the present day -must stand,
if it stands at all, upon the same foundation that
Judah stood. It will fall as Judah fell if the
foundation gives way.
"Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a'
reproach to any people." .
THE OLD TESTAMENT'S VALUE TO US
By WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN
REVIEW LESSON FOR JUNE 25
Since the first of the year our weekly Bible
talks have been based an passages from tho Old
Testament. The cast of characters has Included
towering giants in faith and service, vacillating
characters, and kings who sold themselves to
evil. At this point Is it not worth while to pause
a moment and consider,, in a general way, the
value of the Old Testament Scriptures to us of
While Christianity is built upon Christ, the
New Testament rests upon the Old. Christ was
a Jew; he came in fulfillment of prophecy and
He gave emphatic endorsement to the Book of
the Law, not one jot or tittle of which was to '
fail until all was fulfilled. Without the Old
Testament, we would have an incomplete view
of the plan of salvation ; those who speak in the
New Testament assume in their hearers ' a
knowledge of tho Old. Without Moses and the
prophets toi furnish a foundation for the super
structure, Christianity would seem suspended in
THE ROCK OF THE NEW TESTAMENT . '
But the Old Testament does more than supply
the rock upon which the New Testament stands;'
it has in it certain elements that contribute nla,- .
terial strength t6 Christianity. Revelation did
not begin with the birth of Christ; it cujmi- '
nated In His coming. The way was paved by
the men of God who ennobled life with ncs- '
sages which they .received airect from Jehovah,.
Among the patriarchs who deserve a high
plaoe in Bible history we find Abraham, who
gives us one of the earliest and most' splendid .
illustrations of the power of faith and of its -fundamental
place in the history of individuals
and nations. ""
At; the call of God, he left his home and
traveled into a distant land, there to become the
father of a race, than which there has never
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