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Friday, August 28 2015

Jeremiah 5: Backsliding The Way To The Top

"Wherefore gloriest thou in the valleys, thy flowing valley, O backsliding daughter? That trusted in her treasures, saying, Who shall come unto me?"

"Backsliding" is generally regarded to mean sliding backwards i.e. simply the opposite direction from forward. That's a reasonable and logical conclusion, but the origin of the English-language word and term, and the actual meanings of the Hebrew words that "backsliding" is used to translate, provide the full intent of the words that were spoken by the LORD (see The LORD God Our Saviour).

The English-language word "back" originated from an Anglo-Saxon word, bak, that meant "the posterior part of the trunk; the hinder part of the body of man" (The Consolidated Webster Encyclopedic Dictionary). The term "backsliding" originally referred to sliding on one's back - in any direction. From that, it became terms of morality and/or religious fidelity in which people can "backslide" their way to the top (if wrong is accepted as right by "society" i.e. iniquity; see Iniquity In History And Prophecy) as much as they can backslide their way to the bottom (personal and national destruction by means of loser behavior i.e. decadence; see Decadence In History And Prophecy).

"Backsliding" is used to translate two Hebrew words of the Holy Scriptures - both of which hold the same directionlessness - people can backslide their way to the top as much as they can backslide their way to the bottom. Many of Israel's corrupt kings and religious officials, the "leaders" and perceived "winners" of the nation, were "backsliders" - as are many of the false-church "leaders" of today (the reason that they are collectively called the "great harlot" and her "daughters"; see The Bride Of Christ and The Great Harlots).

The Harlot Of Babylon

  • The Hebrew word, pronounced mesh-oo-baw, that meant apostasy by the leaders - turning away from the LORD and going their own way to the "top" of their society. Example:

    "3:6 The LORD said also unto me in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot." (Jeremiah 3:6 KJV)

  • The Hebrew word, pronounced show-bawb, that meant apostasy by the general public - an "it's not wrong if we do it" attitude. Example:

    "49:4 Wherefore gloriest thou in the valleys, thy flowing valley, O backsliding daughter? that trusted in her treasures, saying, Who shall come unto me?" (Jeremiah 49:4 KJV)

When Jeremiah was commissioned by the LORD to prophesy to the Kingdom of Judah (see Why Didn't Jeremiah Live In The Kingdom Of Israel?), he began a forty-year ministry to a backsliding self-righteous people (see A Faithful Winner Among Unrepentant Losers).

"5:1 Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth; and I will pardon it. 5:2 And though they say, The LORD liveth; surely they swear falsely.

5:3 O LORD, are not thine eyes upon the truth? thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved; thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return. 5:4 Therefore I said, Surely these are poor; they are foolish: for they know not the way of the LORD, nor the judgment of their God. 5:5 I will get me unto the great men, and will speak unto them; for they have known the way of the LORD, and the judgment of their God: but these have altogether broken the yoke, and burst the bonds. 5:6 Wherefore a lion out of the forest shall slay them, and a wolf of the evenings shall spoil them, a leopard shall watch over their cities: every one that goeth out thence shall be torn in pieces: because their transgressions are many, and their backslidings are increased.

5:7 How shall I pardon thee for this? thy children have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods: when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots' houses. 5:8 They were as fed horses in the morning: every one neighed after his neighbour's wife. 5:9 Shall I not visit for these things? saith the LORD: and shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?

5:10 Go ye up upon her walls, and destroy; but make not a full end: take away her battlements; for they are not the LORD'S. 5:11 For the house of Israel and the house of Judah have dealt very treacherously against me, saith the LORD.

5:12 They have belied the LORD, and said, It is not he; neither shall evil come upon us; neither shall we see sword nor famine: 5:13 And the prophets shall become wind, and the word is not in them: thus shall it be done unto them.

5:14 Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them. 5:15 Lo, I will bring a nation upon you from far, O house of Israel, saith the LORD: it is a mighty nation, it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language thou knowest not, neither understandest what they say. 5:16 Their quiver is as an open sepulchre, they are all mighty men. 5:17 And they shall eat up thine harvest, and thy bread, which thy sons and thy daughters should eat: they shall eat up thy flocks and thine herds: they shall eat up thy vines and thy fig trees: they shall impoverish thy fenced cities, wherein thou trustedst, with the sword.

5:18 Nevertheless in those days, saith the LORD, I will not make a full end with you. 5:19 And it shall come to pass, when ye shall say, Wherefore doeth the LORD our God all these things unto us? then shalt thou answer them, Like as ye have forsaken me, and served strange gods in your land, so shall ye serve strangers in a land that is not yours.

5:20 Declare this in the house of Jacob, and publish it in Judah, saying, 5:21 Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not: 5:22 Fear ye not me? saith the LORD: will ye not tremble at my presence, which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it: and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it? 5:23 But this people hath a revolting and a rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone. 5:24 Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the LORD our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season: he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest. 5:25 Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you.

5:26 For among my people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men. 5:27 As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich. 5:28 They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge. 5:29 Shall I not visit for these things? saith the LORD: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?

5:30 A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; 5:31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?" (Jeremiah 5:1-31 KJV)

Fact Finder: What does "wicked" mean?
See What Does No Rest For The Wicked Mean?


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This Day In History, August 28

475: As the Roman Empire continued to crumble, Western Roman Emperor Julius Nepos fled Ravenna, his capital, while under attack by Roman general Orestes (see also A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars). The original Roman Empire "fell," but was superseded by "the Holy Roman Empire" (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).

489: Ostrogoth forces under King Theodoric defeated Odoacer at the Battle of Isonzo.

1189: During the Third Crusade (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy), the Church of Rome "Crusaders" began the Siege of Acre (Acre is an ancient city in the western Galilee area of northern Israel).

The Siege of Acre 1349: Thousands of Jews in Mainz, Germany were murdered by people who accused them of causing the bubonic plague. The Jews were actually healthier than their ignorant persecutors because they generally observed the Biblical laws of health that the LORD gave to everyone (see Bacteria, Sexual Abominations and What Makes Creatures Clean or Unclean?).

1413: St. Andrew's University in Scotland was chartered by a papal decree from Gregory XII.

1521: Ottoman Turks occupied Belgrade (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).

1565: Spanish admiral and explorer Pedro Menendez de Aviles sighted land near what is today St. Augustine, Florida. He founded there the oldest continuously-occupied European-established city in the continental U.S. (see also Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy).

1609: Delaware Bay was explored by Henry Hudson, for the Netherlands.

1619: Ferdinand II was elected Emperor of the "Holy Roman Empire."

1789: William Herschel discovered Saturn's moon Enceladus (both "Saturn" and "Enceladus" are examples of pagan names that many scientists have foolishly applied to many things in God's Creation - they hypocritically deny the existence of God, while using the names of pagan gods for their "science").

1859: A geomagnetic storm caused the Aurora Borealis ("the Northern Lights") to shine so intensely that it was seen over central and southern Europe and Asia.

1883: The British Parliament banned slavery throughout the British Empire.

1914: Three German cruisers were sunk by ships of the Royal Navy in the Battle of Heligoland Bight, the first major naval battle of the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).

1945: Chinese communist leader Mao Tse-Tung arrived in Chunking to meet with Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-Shek in what turned out to be a fruitless attempt to avert civil war.

1957: U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond began a filibuster to stop the Senate from voting on the Civil Rights Act of 1957. It became the longest filibuster ever produced by a single U.S. Senator.

1963: Amidst a national protest march for integration, U.S. civil rights leader Martin Luther King met with President John Kennedy at the White House. Later that day, King made his famous "I have a dream" speech. Within 5 years, both Kennedy (later that same year) and King (in 1968, the same year as John Kennedy's Presidential-candidate brother Robert) were assassinated.

1988: The Ramstein airshow disaster. Three aircraft of the Frecce Tricolori team collided. The wreckage of the falling aircraft killed 75 people and injured 346.

1990: The government of Saddam Hussein declared Kuwait to be the 19th province of Iraq, in a move that foreshadowed the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

1996: A British court finalized the divorce of Prince Charles and Diana Spencer.

2005: Hurricane Katrina struck Louisiana and Mississippi, devastating New Orleans.

2011: Hurricane Irene struck the U.S. east coast, killing 47 people and causing over $15 billion in damage.


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