Dangers to the Church
Jeremiah 49:30-31
Flee, get you far off, dwell deep, O you inhabitants of Hazor, said the LORD…

What is called "Underground Jerusalem" is largely the space from which the stones were taken for the building of Solomon's temple. That space, according to Josephus, was afterwards honeycombed with passages, canals, and secret galleries, not for sanitary purposes, but as places of refuge for women and children in times of war. These passages were all connected with the forts and towers of the city, and were a secret means of escape when the city was besieged. When Jerusalem was surrounded by the Romans under Titus large numbers of the Jews fled for refuge to these underground hiding-places. Before the Romans knew of these hiding-places, they were often astonished, and sometimes startled, by seeing persons rising as from the ground and making their escape by the towers, when at length they entered the city, and had passed from Moriah to Mount Zion, they thought that their work of destruction was ended; but they only then learned that thousands of the Jews were living beneath the ground. It is alleged that more than a hundred battles were fought underneath the city, and that more than two thousand dead bodies were taken out of the tunnels and secret chambers of what is now called Underground Jerusalem. when the prophet enjoined the inhabitants of Hazor to flee, and dwell deep, he may have had some such invisible cities of refuge in view. But even in such hiding-places they were only comparatively safe. Their enemies often sought them, and found them, and put them to death.

I. One of the dangers to which the Church is exposed in modern times is SHALLOWNESS OF THOUGHT. Many seem to be satisfied with as little of Christianity as possible. Shallowness of thought means want of heart, want of understanding, want of principle, moral purpose, and power. The Church can outlive pagan conspiracies, tyrannical laws, and cruel persecutions; but she cannot outlive thoughtlessness. "Dwell deep" may be regarded as synonymous with Solomon's injunction, "With all thy getting, get understanding." It means that we should get beneath the surface and find out the true meaning of things. We are to know things not as they may have been perverted, or as they seem, but as they are. who that is wise would estimate the value of a chronometer by its cases, or of a picture by its frame, or of a book by its binding? We would sooner expect a man to tell us all about the growth and development of a tree without reference to sunshine and showers, or the soil in which the tree was planted and in which it grew, than we should expect him to understand all about salvation without any reference to sin, or all about God without any reference to Jesus Christ. Things can only be known thoroughly and satisfactorily as they are studied in their proper connections. Take the letters of the most precious word you know, and transpose them, and they cease to convey thought to your thought. Separate the Old Testament from the New, or the first Adam, in his federal relationships, from the second Adam, and you will fail to understand one of the deepest doctrines of the Bible. But unite these as Paul does in his Epistle to the Romans, and you have the key to understand much of the great mystery of godliness.

II. Another source of danger to the Church in these days

IS SUPERFICIALITY OF CHARACTER. In the course of our voyage to America, some years ago, the motion of the ship was on some days very disagreeable to the passengers. She pitched and lurched and rolled Among the waves so constantly as to render it impossible for us to rest or be at peace in any position. The sea on the surface being comparatively calm, some of us wondered why the vessel was so unsteady, and on making inquiry were informed that it was owing to her light cargo. The ship had no grip of the water, and the water had no grip of her, and hence her unsteady movement. Men of superficial character are somewhat like this ship, not very steady. Superficial Christians remind you of those shopkeepers who make the most of their limited stock by putting it all or nearly all in the windows. In all substantial buildings there is much invisible mason work. The foundation of every palatial edifice is not only deep and solid, but it has been laid with a view to sustain the structure that rests upon it. It is also well known that there is a fair proportion between the roots of a tree in the ground and its height and breadth above it. It is even so with respect to human character. Those who grow up to Christ in all things cannot be strangers either to the depths from which the Psalmist cried, "Out of the depths have I cried unto Thee, O Lord!" or to the secret place of the Most High, when the soul resides under the shadow of the Almighty.

III. Another source of danger to the Church in modern times is her apparent ACQUIESCENCE IN PIOUS FRAUDS. "The greatest obstacle," says Archbishop Whately, "to the following of truth is the tendency to look in the first instance to the expedient. Pious frauds," he says, "fall naturally into two classes — positive and negative: the one refers to the introduction and propagation of what is false; the other refers to the toleration of it. A plant may be in a garden from two causes, either from being planted designedly or being found there and left there. In either case some degree of approbation is implied. He who propagates a delusion, and he who connives at it when already existing — both alike tamper with truth."

(J. K. Campbell, D. D.).

Parallel Verses
KJV: Flee, get you far off, dwell deep, O ye inhabitants of Hazor, saith the LORD; for Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath taken counsel against you, and hath conceived a purpose against you.

WEB: Flee, wander far off, dwell in the depths, you inhabitants of Hazor, says Yahweh; for Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has taken counsel against you, and has conceived a purpose against you.

The Fall of Damascus; Or, the Lovely and the Lovable Lost
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