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Sunday, March 8 2015
Psalm 106: How Did Eden Become Babylon?
"They despised the pleasant land, they believed not His Word"
The English-language rendering of "Eden" is from the Hebrew word, pronounced ay-den, that meant pleasing, or delightful. It was first used to describe the area of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in which the Garden in Eden (see The Garden In Eden) was planted by the LORD (see The Identity Of The LORD God).
"2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground [see Dust In The Wind], and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul [see Leaving The Soul Behind].
The first humans chose to live a life of confusion for themselves when they ignored the Truth that the LORD gave to them in favor of their own ideas. Instead of living in the real world, they made a self-worshiping fantasy world for themselves. When they became their own morality (the origin of the present-day "it's not wrong if we do it"), humanity began a rapid descent into chaos that ended with the Flood (see Why Did The Flood Happen?).
"6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." (Genesis 6:5 KJV)
Humanity began again after the Flood from the righteous family of Noah, but soon the spirit of rebellion again turned Eden into a place of defiant sinners. The region then became known as "Babylon," which means confusion. It wasn't merely a matter of the many languages - it was the mixed-up attitude that they made of themselves long before then.
"11:3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. 11:4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.
Abraham was a native of Babylon (see A Biography Of Abraham: The Genealogy Of Abram). The LORD called him to come out of "confusion" (i.e. by then, Abraham could have come from anywhere that humans existed) and settle in a place that represented a world in which "Babylon" will no longer exist. It was the same promise and calling that was made to Noah (see The LORD's Seed Covenants With The Two Men Of Iraq).
"11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
Centuries later, when the Israelites, by then divided into two independent kingdoms of "Israel" and "Judah" (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel and Judah) because of their idolatry (see The History Of Idolatry), further made themselves literally into states of confusion rather than the Eden that the LORD provided for them. The LORD then had them taken back to the place that was fitting for their confusion - Babylon. They had made themselves no different than the fools who brought the Flood upon themselves.
"17:14 Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the LORD their God. 17:15 And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them, that they should not do like them. 17:16 And they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. 17:17 And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.
Israel's history knew many self-inflicted hardships because they turned away from the LORD to "Babylon." They "despised the pleasant land, they believed not his word." Israel's history lessons were often intended as warnings to not yet-again repeat their journey back to "Babylon."
"106:1 Praise ye the LORD.
Fact Finder: Why didn't the nearly all of the adults of the Exodus get to the "Promised Land" - the "Eden" that the LORD created for them?
This Day In History, March 8
1126: Alfonso VII was proclaimed king of Castile and Leon.
1576: Spanish explorer Diego García de Palacio first sighted the ruins of the ancient Mayan city of Copan.
1618: Johann Kepler discovered what humans call the third Law of Planetary Motion (see also The First Scientist).
1702: King William III of England was killed in a riding accident at age 52. Queen Ann became the English monarch.
1736: Nader Shah, founder of the Afsharid dynasty, was crowned Shah of Persia (Persia became known as Iran in the 1920s; see also How Hadassah Of Benjamin Became The Queen Of Persia and The Prophecies Of Cyrus of Persia).
1765: One-quarter of Montreal was destroyed by fire.
1782: The Gnadenhütten massacre. 96 Native Americans in Gnadenhutten, Ohio, who had converted to Christianity, were murdered by Pennsylvania militiamen in supposed retaliation for raids carried out by other "Indians."
1801: During the Napoleonic Wars, the British forces under Ralph Abercromby captured Aboukir Bay from the French. Abercromby was killed in the battle (Britain put only a small fraction of its military forces into the War of 1812-14 against the U.S.; the bulk of the British army and navy was involved in fighting Napoleon's French Empire in Europe and Africa e.g. British Admiral Horatio Nelson's victory over the French fleet at Trafalgar and Wellington's victory at the Battle of Waterloo).
1917: Riots and strikes in St. Petersburg marked the start of the "February Revolution" in Russia.
1920: Abdullah was proclaimed king of Iraq, but he declined the throne which was later given to his brother Faysal I. Abdullah later became the king of Jordan when it became independent in 1946 (many of the present-day artificial borders between the Arab nations were imposed by Western imperial nations).
1921: Spanish Prime Minister Eduardo Dato was assassinated in Madrid.
1921: Following Germany's failure to pay reparations from the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), French troops occupied Duesseldorf and other towns in the Ruhr.
1942: During the Second World War (1939-1945), Japanese forces entered Rangoon, Burma, the day after British forces evacuated.
1948: The U.S. Supreme Court ("In God We Trust") ruled that religious teaching in public schools violated the U.S. Constitution.
1965: 4,000 marines arrived at Da Nang in South Vietnam to become the first U.S. combat troops to become involved in the Vietnam civil war. Earlier French imperialism in southeast Asia resulted in the ancient nation of Vietnam being divided into North and South Vietnam, a foreign-imposed partition of the Vietnamese people that did not end until the early 1970s after the U.S. had involved itself in the Vietnamese civil conflict for over a decade.
1973: "Irish Republican Army" terrorist car bombs exploded outside the Old Bailey courthouse and Scotland Yard police headquarters in London, killing one person and injuring 238. On the same day a referendum in Northern Ireland favored maintaining ties with the United Kingdom.
1983: U.S. President Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union an "evil empire." The Soviets responded by calling the U.S. an "evil empire."
2004: A new constitution of Iraq was signed by the U.S.-installed "Governing Council." The puppet regime was however unable to stop the insurgency that demanded genuine independence for Iraq.
2014: Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.