“Against him came up Shalmaneser king of Assyria; and Hoshea became his servant,” by Louis A. Dole

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“In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah began Hoshea the son of Elah to reign in Samaria over Israel nine years.
“And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord… Against him came up Shalmaneser king of Assyria; and Hoshea became his servant, and gave him presents.” – 2 Kings 17:1-3

Readings

2 Kings 17:1-18 · Matthew 7:13-29 · Psalm 26

Sermon

Hoshea was the last king of Israel. He had reigned three years when Shalmaneser king of Assyria came against him and put him under tribute. For only a few years the tribute was paid, for Hoshea entered into a league with the king of Egypt and then ceased paying the tribute. This brought the Assyrian army into the country and the land was laid waste and Samaria besieged. For three years the city withstood the siege. It fell at last, and Hoshea was put in prison. Nothing more is said of him. Hoshea had conspired against his predecessor and slain him, but his conspiracy against Assyria led to his own downfall and destruction. Then Israel was led into captivity, scattered through various places in Assyria, and the kingdom of Israel was brought to its end. Thus was fulfilled the warning given centuries before that if the law of the Lord was not observed, their cities would be laid waste, the land would be desolated, and the people scattered among the heathen (Leviticus 26:31-34). Later Judah was to suffer for similar reasons.

Today in many colleges and universities the Bible is studied merely from the historical standpoint and judged accordingly. But – differently from other histories – the history of the Jews was so ordered that it might portray spiritual truths.

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“And, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha,” by Louis A. Dole

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“And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.” – 2 Kings 6:17

Readings

2 Kings 6:8-23 · Matthew 26:47-56 · Psalm 55:17-23

Sermon

This text is a suitable one for the period preceding Easter. It directs the mind to Easter themes, such as the existence of the soul within the body, and the reality of the spiritual world. It shows also relations of helpfulness between those in the spiritual world and men upon the earth, which exist through angelic ministry. And it testifies to the unseen but providential care which the Lord exercises over those who trust wisely in Him.

The Syrians, being at war with Israel, sought to destroy Israel’s king by encamping near where he was likely to pass and then falling upon him unawares. The Lord, through the prophet Elisha, warned Israel of the Syrian camp; so the king of Israel continually escaped. Then the Syrian king learns that it is due to Elisha that Israel is informed against him, and he resolves to capture Elisha. With such a purpose he invests Dothan. Here we have illustrated a condition which exists today. As long as Elisha counseled Israel, the attempts of the Syrian army were futile. To succeed against Israel the prophet must be destroyed. The prophet spoke the Word of the Lord. He stands therefore for the Lord. Israel represents those who follow the Lord by obeying His Word, or those of the Lord’s Church. As long as the church is instructed, enlightened, and guided by the Word, it is preserved unhurt from its enemies.

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“The Syrians had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman’s wife,” by Louis A. Dole

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“And the Syrians… had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman’s wife.
“And she said unto her mistress, Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy.” – 2 Kings 5:2, 3

Readings

2 Kings 5:1-14 · Luke 17:1-21 · Psalm 119:1-16

Sermon

As a “captain of the host” Naaman stood close to his master, the king of Syria. It is recorded that he was a great man with his master because by him Jehovah “had given deliverance unto Syria.” But Naaman was a leper.

Leprosy, one of the most dreaded of diseases, was common at this time. The word means “smiting” because it was supposed that one upon whom it came was smitten by God. The leper was supposed to be the special object of the Lord’s wrath. Leprosy was thought to be hereditary to the fourth generation, and we might note the relation of this to the commandment which says “visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.”

All diseases have their primary origin in spiritual disorders – although the disorder may not be in the particular person who contracts the disease – in mental states, in evil desires and false thoughts. These things, as the writings tell us, “destroy the interiors of man on the destruction of which the exteriors suffer, and draw man into disease, and thus into death” (A.C. 5712).

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“Why repair ye not the breaches of the house?” by Louis A. Dole

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“Why repair ye not the breaches of the house?” – 2 Kings 12:7

Readings

2 Kings 12:1-12 · Matthew 21:12-27 · Psalm 103

Sermon

Beginning with the twelfth chapter of Genesis the Old Testament in its letter is the history of the chosen people. Spiritually it describes the struggles, the discouragements, and the final triumph of the Lord’s church and of the heavenly life in the regenerating soul. The time of the divided kingdom which followed upon the death of Solomon was a period of decline. In the northern kingdom, Israel, this decline was continuous and rapid, but in the southern kingdom, Judah, occasionally a good king came to the throne. It is especially beautiful to notice that two of the good kings, Jehoash and Josiah, came to the throne as children, at eight years of age. They foreshadow the prophecy, “A little child shall lead them.” Such a child king, coming forward in evil days and recalling the people from idolatry, suggests the awakening of something childlike in ourselves, when we have gone astray, recalling us to worship of the Lord.

The Lord stores up holy states and memories in every child, and most carefully guards them. These states are the basis for our association with the heavens from which come those influences which in our later years operate to turn us from evil to good. Often we are conscious that the awakening of some innocent, tender state or some memory of earlier days is the means of recalling us to our duty. The Lord’s care in storing up and guarding the innocent states of childhood, which are to be the source of strength in later years, is especially suggested in the story of Jehoash, whom the good priest hid for six years in the house of the Lord, until the time came for him to be recognized as king.

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“And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them,” by Louis A. Dole

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“And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.” – 2 Kings 6:16

Readings

2 Kings 6:8-23 · Revelation 7:1-3, 9-17 · Psalm 91

Sermon

The Word is more than the history of what took place in the past. The event of which our text speaks took place nearly three thousand years ago but, spiritually interpreted, it is an event that takes place today. “Thy Word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever,” It is even so. In times of distress and danger, when we are fighting against the enemies of truth and goodness, it is good to know that “they that be with us are more than they that be with them.” In fact since the Resurrection the Lord is more fully present with us than before. His love and care reach down to every individual. He is no less mindful of one person than of another, for He is love or goodness itself.

The hosts of Syria had come up in hostile array against the kingdom of Israel. Their plans had more than once been thwarted by the prophetic counsels of Elisha. Against him, therefore, they directed their efforts. Their king sent an army to the city of Dothan, where he was, in order to capture him. They came by night and compassed the city about. After stating these facts, the account proceeds as follows: “And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.”

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