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What God Rewards (26 of 40)
Series: Book You Can Trust
Psalm 19:11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: [and] in keeping of them [there is] great reward. (KJV)
Have you ever heard anyone say, "Well you can't take it with you!" That is true. God no less says the same thing. But so many have tried. Most notably we think of the god-kings of Egypt. Those Pharaohs built giant banks (known as pyramids) to house their fabulous wealth so they could "take it with them". Now empty and looted they stand as silent witnesses to the folly of trying to hold onto this earth.
Perhaps the contrast between the last hours of life in two vastly different men will help us see how great are God's rewards!
The first man was the incredibly wealthy, last king of Assyria (in what is today Iran). Ancient sources give a remarkably clear picture of the destruction of Ninevah. There had been rebellions in the empire for some time. Many of them were repulsed by the armies of Nineveh supported by her allies. But in the year 612 B.C. the doom of the city arrived. Combined armies of Babylonians and Scythians marched up the left bank of the Tigris River and surrounded the city. It happened in early spring at the time of the annual rainfalls. Since the rains were especially hard that year, the Tigris and other rivers flooded and apparently washed away a portion of the walls, leaving a breach for the armies to enter the city.
The Greek historian Diodorus Siculus (c. 20 B.C.) says that the river not only broke down the walls of the city, it also inundated part of it. At this point, the king, Sardanapalus, remembering an oracle to the effect that Nineveh would only fall when the river itself declared war against it, believed that the oracle was fulfilled and abandoned any hope of saving himself. He built a gigantic funeral pyre in the royal precincts, heaped up large quantities of gold and costly clothes, shut his concubines and eunuchs in a chamber he had made in the midst of the pyre, and then burned himself, his family, his concubines and eunuchs, and the palace. For centuries the wealth of the ancient world had been pouring into Nineveh as a result of the Assyrian conquests. Now it burned!
The second man was neither wealthy nor a king. His name was CT Studd. After serving 15 years in China and 6 years in India, he invested his final 21 years in the heart of Africa's vast, dark jungles among the fierce, cannibal, head-hunting pygmies. As his breaths became more shallow and labored, and his skin turned black. We need to remember the passing of this hero of heroes in the Lord's army of faithful servants.
CT Studd, a former lean and fit athlete, now gaunt and emaciated. All his gleaming white teeth now either broken, brown or long gone; stooped, halting with each step, he is surrounded by thousands of glistening black bodies wearing banana leaves. They have come to hear their beloved Bwana for the last time. He speaks to them only af ...
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