"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Monday, September 27, 2021

The Writing on the Wall a Warning for Tall Trees

We are studying the book of Daniel on Sunday mornings. I can’t think of a better book to encourage those who place their trust in the LORD than Daniel.

I received an email from a young man named Camden who is a freshman in college. He spoke of what he learned from Daniel yesterday, as well as something he learned from his study of the fall of Czechoslovakia to communism.

It’s emails like the one below that give me encouragement for the future of the United States.

________________________________________________________________

Hi Pastor Wade!

I just wanted to share this neat little occurrence that just happened to me.

In Bridge this morning, I was captivated by the story of Belshazzar’s fall, and your explanation of the euphemism of seeing the “writing on the wall” as God’s message to the tall trees of this world. I had been thinking of your lesson from earlier today whenever I started to read Rod Dreher’s book “Live Not By Lies.” It starts by giving a story about Father Kolaković, a Slovak Catholic who, while living under Nazi oppression, had been preparing his church community for the possibility of future Soviet oppression (which as you know ended up happening) and how he is attributed to inspiring a generation of Christians who founded underground churches and ultimately challenged communist rule.
*Side note: I was immediately intrigued by this man Father Kolaković, and I believe part of the reason why is because I detect that the goals of his teachings are similar to yours, in the regard of strengthening the church and preparing for possible persecution of our faith and beliefs. If you haven’t already, I think he may be an interesting studying topic for you!*
Anyway, I continued on in the book. It explained how this line of people who were prepared for difficulties and prepared for persecution, specifically in Czechoslovakia, led to the Velvet Revolution in the late 1980s. Not knowing too much about this topic, I did a quick search and found an article on it from history.com. At the end of this article, my mouth dropped open when I read "the writing was on the wall for one-party rule in Czechoslovakia. The Communist Party’s leadership resigned on November 28 and an anti-communist government was in power by December 10.” Here I had a direct correlation between how Biblical Babylon, as well as the Soviet rule, fell. These people had remained strong and vigilant in their faith for half a century in the face of Soviet persecution, and I can only imagine the relief they must have felt when God fell that tall tree. It came as a relief to me because this specific story with the Velvet Revolution caused the light bulb to go off in my head that He was not finished toppling tall trees just when the Bible was finished, and that if he can do all of that barely a decade before I was born, then what safety do the sinful rulers of this present day have!


On a final note, I’ve been really interested in this study of Daniel, and I’ve also been attending Hey Jude, which I’m equally enjoying. I’m not sure why exactly, but I have been soaking up this Biblical wisdom lately more so than I have ever before, while simultaneously thirsting for more Biblical wisdom! With that said, I would like to say keep up the great work, and I’m excited for what is next!

Best,

Camden

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20 comments:

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

The Lord doesn’t hate all tall trees or He wouldn’t have said in (Ezekiel 17:24 NLT)

“…it is I the Lord, who…makes the short tree grow tall…I the Lord have spoken, and I will do what I said.”

Wade Burleson said...

Rex,

The tall tree is a symbol of the person who takes pride in his accomplishments, his power, his honor, and his glory. The low tree is the person who takes pride in the LORD'S accomplishments, the LORD'S power, the LORD'S honor, and the LORD'S glory. The LORD brings down the former and elevates the latter.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

The Bible speaks of trees being good in many places. Where does it say a tall tree is a symbol of a person filled with pride?

Wade Burleson said...

Daniel Chapter 4 - The vision of a "Tall Tree" is from the dream of Nebuchadnezzar. Also, Ezekiel 17:24.

People are compared to "trees." The LORD brings down the tall trees and exalts the low trees.

He humbles the proud and exalts the humble.

Neil Cameron (One Salient Oversight) said...

While this is Biblical imagery, it needs to be remembered that "Cut down the Tall Trees" was also a phrase used by the Hutus to begin a genocide in Rwanda.

There's a scene in Hotel Rwanda where this is mentioned:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RW6tLBxxqg

RB Kuter said...

"It’s emails like the one below that give me encouragement for the future of the United States."

It is true that there have been times when oppressive regimes have been toppled by what seems to be the hand of God as was the case in Czechoslovakia, Soviet Union, etc. Those falls did not occur by the shear power of their opponents but by circumstances that seemed only to be explained as having been orchestrated by divine intervention.

The current regime that rules in the United States today seems invincible having not only acquired control now but is using its power to establish a structure that assures their continued rule. I would never question God's ability to orchestrate a reversal in what seems to be the inevitable in contemporary scale. Perhaps that is God's plan and will indeed happen.

It would be wonderful if some movement of rational, wise, righteous, sanity would arise to domination and have an impact on the general ideology of our society that has currently been hi-jacked by the forces of division, socialism, atheism, and total moral degradation.

I would be more optimistic of such a "velvet" revolution if it was not for the global deterioration of this world's societies. I no longer relate to matters being identified according to "national" scope as in the future of the "United States". My assessment is that this nation has already willingly sacrificed its sovereignty into the hands of those who have amazingly enchanted the majority of the population which has become blind to its liberties and control diminished to the point of no return.

Still, I do not have a sense of being "defeated". I know who is ultimately in control. It will totally unfold as our Father wills and it is all a matter of where we are in His eternal, providential Plan.

The question is:

"Do we stand at the concluding era of this current "Church Age" just prior to those "end of time" events that must take place just prior to the return of The King?"
Or, perhaps,
"We will witness another divine intervention that will put us back on course for an indefinite continuation of nationalism, restoration of sanity, and elevated morals influenced by a repentant people returning to the acknowledgement and submission to God"?

Time to read the signs of the seasons. But hey, I never was a great farmer.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

To say the Lord brings down tall trees and exalts low trees is confusing.

It’s better to say the Lord brings down the proud and exalts the humble.

Like you said, the first was in a dream and had to be interpreted.

The second needs no interpretation.

Wade Burleson said...

Ezekiel 17:24 NLT


24 "And all the trees will know that it is I, the Lord, who cuts the tall tree down and makes the short tree grow tall. It is I who makes the green tree wither and gives the dead tree new life. I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will do what I said!"

Christiane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rex Ray said...

Wade,

KISS - What does KISS stand for? The Free Dictionary

The first acronym definition is “Keep it Simple, Stupid”.

I was told many years ago in order to make myself understood in writing is to write so a fifth-grader could understand it.

Would a fifth-grader understand why the Lord hates tall trees?

Well, old friend, I think I’ll use that old saying; Nuff said.

Wade Burleson said...

"Would a fifth-grader understand why the Lord hates tall trees?"

He would if he was simply told that people are often compared to trees in the Bible.

"Blessed is the person ... who delights in the instruction (Torah) of the LORD. He shall be like a TREE planted by living waters" (Psalm 1).

Neil Cameron (One Salient Oversight) said...

We have to remember that while the Bible's message is simple, there are plenty of metaphors there that need to be explained.

Christiane said...

From the Holy Gospel of St. Matthew chapter 11:

"25 At that time Jesus declared, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26 Yes, Father, for this was well-pleasing in Your sight."

I remember asking Baptists if they could define 'the gospel' to me. I was told by some 'you should know that'. By others, I was told 'you are trying to be ingenious'. And by some very kind Baptist people, I was shown through their own witness to their faith what it was that 'the gospel' meant to them. I was always grateful when people shared their own experiences of faith, as it showed me more than all of the theological discussions to be had in more academic circles.

“For those who understand, no explanation is necessary;
for those who don’t understand, no explanation is possible.”

The lens through which the sacred Scriptures are to be read is Jesus Christ Himself.
The Holy Spirit points us only to Christ.

Rex Ray said...

CHRISTIANE,

“But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative; that is the Holy Spirit; he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.” (John 14:26 NLT)

CHRISTIANE, I believe “he will teach you everything” gets VERY complicated, otherwise Wade and I wouldn’t have argued about tall trees. :)

Last night, I wrote this:

Did the Commander of the Roman Regiment Lie?
“The whole city was rocked by these accusations, and a great riot followed. Paul was grabbed and dragged out of the Temple…as they were trying to kill him, word reached the commander of the Roman regiment…He immediately called his soldiers and officers and ran down among the crowd. When the mob saw the commander and the troops coming, they stopped beating Paul.” (Acts 21:30-32 NLT)

“So the commander went over and asked Paul, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?” “Yes, I certainly am,” Paul replied.” (Acts 22:27 NLT)

“The commander…wrote this letter to the governor…When I learned that he was a Roman citizen, I removed him to safety.” (Acts 23:23-27 NLT)

Neil Cameron (One Salient Oversight) said...

"In 2019, Almost All of Facebook’s Top Christian Pages Were Run By Foreign Troll Farms"

https://www.relevantmagazine.com/culture/tech-gaming/almost-all-of-facebooks-top-christian-pages-are-run-by-foreign-troll-farms/

Christiane said...

Hello out there, REX RAY

yes, the workings of the Holy Spirit are as 'deep unto deep' and we cannot know His Ways, other than in all He does, He points not to Himself but to Christ the Lord.

We use the metaphor that the Holy Spirit brings the Light that is needed to 'see' and to understand, but more so, that He brings the fire to enkindle in us the power of God's loving-kindness in a world that needs the healing qualities of love, kindness, patience, and all the fruit of the Holy Spirit which can transform a wounded soul into a servant of God in the Kingdom of Our Lord. Under the 'wing' of the Holy Spirit, even one single act of kindness can become an intensely powerful action of God's love and this phenomenon happens in ways that cannot be understood in the world of men. You might say that the Holy Spirit is a 'force magnifier' for good to come. :)

How is your health doing? Is the ankle healing better now? Is the pain lessened?

Rex Ray said...

CHRISTIANE,

To answer your question; I’m healthy as a horse. Home Health come twice a week to change bandaged on ankle. Judy does it the other five days. My main problem is my eleven-year-old replacement knees that requires walking with a cane. If I’m working on something low, I sit on a stool.

Today, we finished connecting a 30-foot-walkway to a dock that floats on 28 barrels on our ten-acre-lake. It’s been on land for two years. I took a picture of Judy on it with her thumbs up.

Rex Ray said...

CHRISTIANE,

I contribute good health to never smoking, drank very little homogenized milk, cut down on sugar 40 years ago, and I’ve taking 40 Shaklee vitamins a day for 35 years (I don’t sell them).

For over 20 years for breakfast, I’ve drank from a blender a mixture of orange juice, pecans, and 6 raw eggs. Also, Dad lived till 93 and Mother 94. (Next March, I’ll be 90; Lord willing.)

Christiane said...

Forty 'Shaklee' vitamins a day:

REX RAY, the raw eggs would probably kill me alone!

Good genetics helps in longevity, you bet.

Glad to hear you are getting good wound care.

Rex Ray said...

CHRISTIANE,

If I tried to swallow a raw egg, it’d come up faster than it went down. The mixture tastes GREAT.

Wade,

This guy never gives up on trying to get people to play games. See last comment on Post 9-16-21.