2006 Issue 4 - Let's Talk: Talks About the Bible Chapter 6 - Counsel of Chalcedon

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<ul><li><p>8/12/2019 2006 Issue 4 - Let's Talk: Talks About the Bible Chapter 6 - Counsel of Chalcedon</p><p> 1/2the COUNSELof CHALCEDON 29</p><p>Lets Talk Talks about the BibleErnest Kevan</p><p>(Edited)CHAPTER VI THE PE OP LE NE XT DO OR</p><p>WHAT sort of people do you have living next door to you? I hope if theyare not Christians they are at least nice and friendly. When houses and</p><p>gardens out back are tightly squeezed close up against each other, it matters alot whether your neighbors are pleasant or unpleasant. Of course, do not forgetthat you are the next-door people to somebody else. I hope they think they havenice neighbors!</p><p>How irritating it can be when your neighbor has his music blaring away forhours on end. Nearly all my life I have lived next door to the most pleasant and agreeable of people. Thebest time of all was when our neighbors were true people of God.</p><p>I know a little boy. He is about six years old now; but when he was three, he and two others who livednext door, one aged three and the other five, decided one summer evening that, after they had been putto bed, when their mothers were sitting out in the garden, they would slip out of the front door and gofor a walk down the road in their pajamas. Happily, they very soon walked into the arms of a friendly andfatherly policeman, who kindly took them back to their mothers. Do you know, each little fellow said itwas the boy next door who first suggested this naughty idea! Of course, as the mothers knew, it musthave been one of them who first put the idea into the heads of the others, although they were neververy clear as to which side of the fence it was. Perhaps they all thought of it nearly at the same time.It makes a lot of difference to our conduct, especially when we are small, what the people next door arelike.</p><p>Do you remember that in my last talk to you I described the lovely country which God gave to the</p><p>Israelites as a home? Yes! I thought perhaps you would. Well, today, I must tell you something aboutthe people next door.</p><p>There are some people who do not like to live too near to their relatives; but, when you come to thinkit out, you discover that everybody is really one of the relatives. The Israelites had a lot of cousinswho lived next door to them. Sometimes these cousins were friendly, but more often than not they didnot get along well at all together, and they were quite disagreeable to each other.</p><p>Except for the front door which was by the sea, Israel had neighborsvery close up on both sides, and over the back fence as well.</p><p>First of all, there was a very great and important neighbor called Egypt.</p><p>Do you have your map handy? If you look in the bottom left-hand cornerof our map (south-west) you will see the land of Egypt. The Egyptians werenot strictly relatives of Israel, and yet you could trace back their ancestorsto Ham, who was a kind of great-great-great-great- (and a few more greats)</p><p>-uncle to Israel. It was such a long time ago that the Israelites and the Egyptians never thought ofeach other as cousins.</p><p>At one time the Israelites had been compelled to work for their rich Egyptian neighbors. You know thestory of Joseph and his brothers in the book of Genesis. God, however, had brought them out of thatbondage and made them a free people (read about it in Exodus). Mostly, the Egyptians were friends</p></li><li><p>8/12/2019 2006 Issue 4 - Let's Talk: Talks About the Bible Chapter 6 - Counsel of Chalcedon</p><p> 2/2the COUNSELof CHALCEDON</p><p>Lets Talk</p><p>30</p><p>with Israel, although once or twice they had rather bad quarrels. One of the Israelite kings was killedin battle with the Egyptians.</p><p>On the other side of Israels country there were some people known as the Phoenicians. (Try to learnhow to spell that word. You pronounce the first syllable as if it were Fen-icians.) They lived in thetwo important cities of Tyre and Sidon. You will find these cities to the north of Palestine, and on thesea-shore. Hiram was King there at one time, and he was a great friend of King David of Israel. Hispeople were nearly always friendly, and on one occasion a Phoenician princess, named Jezebel, marriedAhab, an Israelite king. This, however, meant much sorrow and sin for Israel. Jezebel was an idolater,and she brought her idols with her. Sometimes our most friendly neighbors can do us a lot of harmby leading us astray, and this is what the Phoenician friendship did. Be careful about the friends youmake.</p><p>Quite near to the Phoenicians and to Israel were the Syrians. The Syrians were distant cousins ofIsrael. For a time, David conquered them and ruled over them, but, later on, the Syrians becamestrong and rebelled. Their chief city was Damascus. Can you remember about Naaman the Syrian whocame from Damascus into Israel in order to be healed of his leprosy by Elisha the prophet?</p><p> Now look at the other side of Israels home once again. If we imagine the front door being towardsthe sea, we can say that the Israelites had some very close neighbors over the garden fence at theback. These were the Ammonites, the Moabites, and the Edomites. The Ammonites and Moabites werebrothers. They always did things together, and were often quite unpleasant to the Israelites. Theyought not to have been so unfriendly, because they were near cousins to Israel. Their father was Lot,Abrahams nephew. There was often war between the Israelites and these two cousins. Perhaps if theyhad not lived so near to one another they would have been more friendly. That reminds us of Abrahamand Lot who separated from each other because their servants could not get along with each other.Thats what sin does. In spite of their wars, the Israelites often copied some of the sinful ways of theAmmonites and Moabites. They sacrificed to their idols, and did some of the ever so wrong things whichthe Ammonites and Moabites had taught them.</p><p>But I must tell you a little about the Edomites. They descended from Esau, Jacob s brother, and</p><p>so the Israelites and the Edomites were brothers. Perhaps the Edomites could never forget Jacobstreatment of Esau, scheming to get his birthright; it might have been that, or it might have been otherthings, but the Edomites hated the Israelites very bitterly. Once, when Israel s home was destroyedby an enemy, the Edomites stood by and laughed, and they even helped the enemy in the plundering.</p><p>I dont want you to think that the Israelites always behaved as correctly as they should have done.I am afraid the Israelites were very much like the people next door, and were often guilty of startingthe quarrels. But what I do want you to remember is that God had specially called and separated theIsraelites to be His holy people. Unhappily, the people next door seemed to cast a spell over theIsraelites, and again and again they led them astray, and took them away from Gods holy purpose forthem.</p><p>Oh, there is one thing I have not told you. Do you have you any people living upstairs in your house?If so, you will understand what I am now going to tell you. The Israelites had strangers living intheir house. These were the Canaanites, to whom the land had at first belonged. The Israelites weretold by God to drive them out, but they became tired and did not expel them entirely (Read Joshuaand Judges). These Canaanites who still lived in Israels home were just as much a cause of Israel sbacksliding into sin as were the people next door.</p><p>Good-bye, and mind that you are always a good neighbor. But more than that, are you in God s family,one of His people? In Jesus Christ we are God s household and we are to live for Him wherever we are.We must not follow sinful neighbors; we must be salt and light to them!</p></li></ul>


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