“See, thy son liveth,” by Louis A. Dole

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Fryeburg, Maine, December 6, 1931

“See, thy son liveth.” – 1 Kings 17:23

Readings

1 Kings 17 · John 12:23-50 · Psalm 86

Sermon

The story containing our text is most tender and appealing. Death had taken the son of a poor widow. She and her son had been carried through the three year famine by the meal and oil that wasted not, because Elijah, the man of God, had found shelter in her house. Then came affliction sorer than the famine. Her son, in whom lived her hope as a mother in Israel, died in her arms.

To get the vital lesson in this narrative we must see it in its relation to the events immediately preceding, for the striking chapter of the text by three wonderful miracles there told describes three successive states of a regenerating man. The third state is pictured in the raising to life of the dead son of the widow.

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“Their gods are gods of the hills; therefore they were stronger than we; but let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they,” by Louis A. Dole

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“And the servants of the king of Syria said unto him, Their gods are gods of the hills; therefore they were stronger than we; but let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they.” – 1 Kings 20:23

Readings

1 Kings 20:1-34 · Revelation 14:1-12 · Psalm 95

Sermon

Benhadad king of Syria was making war on Ahab king of Israel. After the reign of Solomon, when the northern tribes revolted and set up a separate government, these northern tribes, called Israel, were continually at war with Syria – at times paying tribute and at times gaining independence, but, as we know, finally taken captive by the Assyrians, never to return.

We recall that in the Scriptures Babylon represents the love of self, the love of ruling over others, the lust of dominion; and Syria – or Assyria, the longer form of the name – represents pride in one’s own intellectual powers, pride of self-intelligence, the belief that men are able of themselves to determine what is true or false, good or bad.

When Naaman the Syrian came to Elisha to be healed of his leprosy and was told to go wash in Jordan, he replied, “Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? May I not wash in them and be clean?” The Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus the capital city of Syria, which seemed to Naaman better than all the waters of Israel, represent streams of natural thought – the judging of right by worldly standards rather than by the Lord’s teachings and commandments, represented by the Jordan.

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“And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down,” by Louis A. Dole

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“And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down.” – 1 Kings 18:30

Readings

1 Kings 18:17-30 · Luke 10:25-42 · Psalm 84

Sermon

All religion centers on the belief in God. However varied the concepts of God have been in the course of the ages with the different peoples, however coarse and obscure the ideas of His will and requirements have been, yet from the beginning religion has consisted of the recognition of an almighty God and the learning and fulfillment of His Divine will, as it was understood at different times. People sometimes use the word “religion” to apply to any theory of conduct which they have chosen to adopt; they say, “That is my religion.” It is true that the word itself means a “binding back,” and that we may be bound back from doing many things we want to do by worldly considerations of various kinds, but such a binding back does not change the heart – in fact, it is more than likely to create in the heart self-conceit and the pride of self-intelligence. Though in the preceding epochs and eras the Lord could not reveal Himself in the fullness of His Divine Humanity, though for a long period of time the external state of mankind made it necessary to have worship clothed with the veil of external forms which were not even understood, yet religion has always been the inmost of man and has always served as the means by which the Lord could guide His children to His heavenly kingdom, and there has been at all times a “secret place of the Most High” in man’s soul where the altar of the Lord could be erected.

The altar of the Lord is the symbol of our acknowledgment of the Lord in the heart and life, setting up the law of the Lord as the supreme law of all our thoughts and actions.

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“And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning,” by Louis A. Dole

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“And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.
“And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land.” – 1 Kings 17:6-7

Readings

1 Kings 17:1-16 · John 6:27-45 · Psalm 147

Sermon

There was a famine in Canaan. The Lord told Elijah, the man of God, to go down to the brook Cherith, east of the Jordan, where he could drink of the brook, and the ravens would bring him food. There he remained until the brook dried up from lack of rain.

In its letter this story is a picture of the Lord’s care for one who looks to Him seeking to do His will, making all things from the water of the earth to the birds of the air serve him. It seems a strange way of caring for Elijah, but the Lord does care for us in many unexpected and strange ways. This is one of the miracles that the Lord wrought. Skeptics have questioned it, as they have questioned all the miracles of the Word, but this miracle testifies to the power of the Lord to serve mankind in unsuspected ways.

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“Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart,” by Louis A. Dole

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“Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?” – 1 Kings 3:9

Readings

1 Kings 3:5-15 · Luke 18:9-22 · Psalm 72

Sermon

The office of king represents the rule of truth. The first three kings of Israel, Saul, David, and Solomon, represent this rule in the three planes of the mind, the natural, the spiritual, and the celestial; and they represent also the order of our regeneration: the purification of our outward life, of our thoughts, and the cleansing of the heart. There are other trines in the Bible. We are especially familiar with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This order is the reverse of that of Saul, David, and Solomon. It is the order of the Incarnation, the Divine descent through the heavens, and the order of our first development from the innocence of infancy to the beginning of adult life. In men these planes are successively developed and then regenerated in the reverse order. And we should note that the personal character of Saul, David, and Solomon was quite different from what they represent. As persons they are not to be admired. We recall Saul’s impatience and disobedience, David’s crime in slaying Uriah the Hittite in order to get possession of Uriah’s wife Bathsheba, and Solomon’s final lapse into idolatry, which was worst of all.

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