The Language of Ashdod

TEXTNeh. 13:24

INTRODUCTION:

A.      OUR SPEECH IS IMPORTANT!

          1.       With it we are given the ability to communicate.

          2.       Words are bridges over which we convey ideas!

B.      ONE' REVEALS ALOT ABOUT HIMSELF BY HIS SPEECH.

          1.       Illustrated in Peter( Matthew 26:73 ).

          2.       About our education level, environment, understanding, spirituality.

          3.       Matt. 12:34  Our language can be an indicator of what is in the heart.

C.      CHRISTIAN'S SPEECH IS REGULATED ( Eph. 4:29 ).

          1.       Our language can express thoughts which are not scriptural, not edifying.

          2.       Possibility of being corrupted, displeasing to God and injurious to others!

I.      OUR TEXT AND ITS BACKGROUND( Neh. 13:23-30 )

A.      THE PROBLEM OF vs 24.  CHILDREN OF JUDAH SPOKE THE LANGUAGE

          OF ASHDOD.  COULDN'T SPEAK THEIR OWN LANGUAGE CORRECTLY!

          1.       Ashdod, stronghold, fortress.

          2.       Philistine city (Josh. 15:47) midway between Gaza and Joppa,  3 miles from

                             the Mediterranean.  One of the chief seats of the worship of Dagon (1 Sam.

                             5:5)  Belonged to the tribe of Judah (Josh. 15:47), never came into their

                             actual possession.  An important city, it stood on the highroad from Egypt to

                             Palestine, hence was strongly fortified (2 Chron. 26:6; Isa 20:1).  Uzziah

                             took it, but 50 years after his death it was taken by the Assyrians (B.C. 758).

                             Sargon's record says it was captured by him in B.C. 711. The only reference

                             to it in the New Testament, where it is called Azotus, is in the account of

                             Philip's return from Gaza (Acts 8:40)  It is now called Eshdud.

B.      THE SINS OF RESTORED JUDAH:

          1.       They had taken foreign wives.

                   a.       Legislated against( Deut. 7:3-4;  Ex. 34:12-16 ).

                   b.       Warned against( Josh. 23:12-13 ).

                   c.       Past failures( Judges 3:5-7;  1 Kings 11:1-4 ).

                   d.       History repeats( Ezra 9;  Neh. 13:23-24 ).

          2.       Idolatry.

                   a.       Solomon's wife problem( Neh. 13:26;  1 Kings 11:4-8 ).

                   b.       They are reminded of even Solomon, as great as he was!

                   c.       What does that say about lesser characters, like you and me?

C.      THE EFFECT ON FUTURE GENERATIONS.

          1.       God's warning( Num. 14:18 ).

          2.       Lot's daughters( Gen. 19:30-32 ).

          3.       The language of Ashdod - Speech of the idolatrous Philistines dominated.

II.     THE PROBLEM WITH THE LANGUAGE OF ASHDOD.

A.      BETTER SUITED TO CULTURE OF ASHDOD - IDOLATROUS.

B.      REFLECTS INVOLVEMENT WITH IDOLATRY.

C.      LEANS AWAY FROM TRUE SERVICE( 1 Sam. 8:5-7 ). 

          IDENTIFIES WITH IDOLATORS.

III.    EXAMPLES OF THE LANGUAGE OF ASHDOD TODAY.

A.      WHAT IS THE LANGUAGE OF ASHDOD TODAY?

          1.       Unscriptural terminology.

          2.       Scriptural terminology used unscripturally to mean something else.

B.      AMONG THE DENOMINATIONS:

          1.       Pastor -- poimen, a shepherd

                   a.       This is another term elder, Bishop ( Acts 20:28; 1 Pet. 5:2 ).

                   b.       Reflects a "pastor system" where the preacher does the pastor's work.!

          2.       Reverend -- awesome in some translations!( Psa. 111.9 ).

                   a.       1) to fear, revere, be afraid;  2) to stand in awe of, be awed;  3) to fear,

                                      reverence, honour, respect

                   b.       Reverend PaulReverend Peter? ( Matt. 23:8-10 )

          3.       The Christian Sabbath - Sunday, or the Lord's day.

                   a.       It was the 7th day( Ex. 20:10;  31:15 ).

                   b.       Given to the Jews( Ex. 31 ), nailed to the cross( Col. 2:12-17 ).

                   c.       Do we have a Sabbath rest?( Heb. 4:8-11 ).

          4.       Join the Church( Acts 2:47 ).  As opposed the a congregation( 9:26 ).

          5.       My Church( Matt. 16:18;  Acts 20:28 ).

          6.       Church - Santuary; confused with the building( 1 Pet.2:5; John 4:20-24 ).

C.      IN THE CHURCH:

          1.       Christian as an adjective( Acts 11:26;  26:28;  1 Pet. 4:16 ).

                   a.       Always a noun --a person, a disciple, one who belongs to Christ.

                   b.       Today often attached to many things!  Christian schools & colleges,

                                      homes, institutions, etc.

          2.       Disciple misused.

                   a.       "Discipling Christians."  A superior level of spirituality.  Special

                             understanding( 2 Tim. 3:7 ).

                   b.       Disciple = Christian, Christian = Disciple( Acts 11:26;  John 8:31 ).

                   c.       Different levels of growth.

          3.       Liberty.

                   a.       Freedom from restraint?( Gal. 5:13;  2 Pet. 2:17-19 ).

                   b.       Freedom from sin!( John 8:32-36 ) and its curse( Heb. 2:14-15 ).

                   c.       Free to do right( Rom. 6:6, 17-18 ).

          4.       Unity in Diversity.

                   a.       Connected with other misused words - Grace, Faith, Fellowship.

                   b.       Language of compromise( Prov. 23:23;  Jude 3 ).

                   c.       The pattern is there( 2 Tim. 1:13-14 ).

                   d.       Other words associated - legalist, orthodox, patternist, anti, old fogie.

          5.       These are words used not only by heretics like Fudge and Ketcherside.  They

                             are being used by old friends in the non-institutional camp and among

                             conservatives in the marriage question.  Romans 14 abused.

VI.   WHY IS THIS A PRESENT DANGER?

A.      INTRODUCES AND FAMILIARIZES UNSCRIPTURAL CONCEPTS AND

          PRACTICES.  WE BECOME COMFORTABLE WITH ERROR?

B.      "CALL BIBLE THINGS BY BIBLE NAMES" ( 1 Pet. 4:11 ).

C.      GOD IS CONCERNED ABOUT THE LANGUAGE WE USE IN WORSHIP

          AND SERVICE, AND THAT WE USE TO EXPRESS OUR FAITH..

          1.       Words in the Scriptures chosen by the Spirit( 1 Cor. 2:13 ).

          2.       Why the nit-picking?  Some of us have been on this ground before.

D.      TODAY SOUND WORDS ARE NEEDED AND DEMANDED.

          1.       1 Timothy 6:3-6.  Wholesome,  1) to be sound, to be well, to be in good

                   health.  2) metaph. 2a) of Christians whose opinions are free from any mixture

                   of error  2b) of one who keeps the graces and is strong.

          2.       2 Timothy 1:13.  Pattern, 1) an outline, sketch, brief and  summary

                   exposition,  2) an example, pattern.

That which correctly commnicates the truth.

          3.       1 Pet. 4:11.

CONCLUSION:

A.      SOME HAVE DIFFICULTY GRASPING SCRIPTURAL CONCEPTS, MAKING

          DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN TRUTH AND DENOMINATIONAL ERROR.

B.      COULD IT BE THAT WE ARE SPEAKING THE LANGUAGE OF ASHDOD?

C.      LET US BE CAREFUL.