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Topic: Flowers (10/03/05)
TITLE: We are but like flowers
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And so Babylon, the most glorious of kingdoms, the flower of Chaldean culture, will be as utterly destroyed as Sodom and Gomorrah were when God sent fire from heaven; Babylon will never rise again. Generation after generation will come and go, but the land will never again be lived in. The nomads will not even camp there. The shepherds won’t let their sheep stay overnight. The wild animals of the desert will make it their home. The houses will be haunted by howling creatures. Ostriches will live there, and the demons will come there to dance.
The voice says, “Shout!”
“What shall I shout?” I asked.
“Shout that man is like the grass that dies away, and all his beauty fades like dying flowers. The grass withers, the flower fades beneath the breath of God. And so it is with fragile man. The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the word of our God shall stand forever.”
How frail is mankind, how few his days, our life is but a moment of time everlasting! He blossoms for a moment like a flower—and withers; like the shadow of a passing cloud, he quickly disappears. Must you be so harsh with frail men and demand an accounting from them? How can you demand purity in one born impure? You have set mankind so brief a span of life—months is all you give him! Not one bit longer may he live. So give him a little rest, won’t you? Turn away your angry gaze and let him have a few moments of relief before he dies.
It will have three branches going out from each side of the center shaft, each branch decorated with three almond flowers. The central shaft itself will be decorated with four almond flowers—one placed between each set of branches; also, there will be one flower above the top set of branches and one below the bottom set. These decorations and branches and the shaft are all to be one piece of pure, beaten gold.
Each of the branches was decorated with identical carvings of blossoms. The main stem of the lamp stand was similarly decorated with almond blossoms, a flower on the stem beneath each pair of branches; also a flower below the bottom pair and above the top pair, four in all. The decorations and branches were all one piece of pure, beaten gold.
How frail is man, how few his days, how full of trouble! He blossoms for a moment like a flower—and withers; as the shadow of a passing cloud, he quickly disappears. Must you be so harsh with frail men and demand an accounting from them? How can you demand purity in one born impure? You have set mankind so brief a span of life—months is all you give him! Not one bit longer may he live. So give him a little rest, won’t you? Turn away your angry gaze and let him have a few moments of relief before he dies.
O crier of good news, shout to Jerusalem from the mountaintops! Shout louder—don’t be afraid—tell the cities of Judah, “Your God is coming!” Yes, the Lord God is coming with mighty power; he will rule with awesome strength. See, his reward is with him, to each as he has done. He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will carry the lambs in his arms and gently lead the ewes with young.
Listen to the words of God, O women who wail. Teach your daughters to wail and your neighbors too. For death has crept in through your windows into your homes. He has killed off the flower of your youth. Children no longer play in the streets; the young men gather no more in the squares.
Tell them this, says the Lord: Bodies shall be scattered across the fields like manure, like sheaves after the mower, and no one will bury them.
But a rich man should be glad that his riches mean nothing to the Lord, for he will soon be gone, like a flower that has lost its beauty and fades away, withered—killed by the scorching summer sun. So it is with rich men. They will soon die and leave behind all their busy activities.
Yes, our natural lives will fade as grass does when it becomes all brown and dry. All our greatness is like a flower that droops and falls; but the Word of the Lord will last forever. And his message is the Good News that was preached to you.
So now take his word and believe, be saved for eternity, rest assured with the holy one for ever more!
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