“This is the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat,” by Louis A. Dole

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“This is the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat.” – Exodus 16:15

Readings

Exodus 16:11-31 · John 6:27-51 · Psalm 97

Sermon

These words were spoken of the manna that was miraculously given to the children of Israel on their journey from Egypt to Canaan. The people were going hungry and were beginning to wonder if a mistake had not been made in leaving Egypt, a land of material plenty. In every tent there were murmurings and misgivings. They had gone but a few days into the wilderness when they came to Marah where they found the water bitter. After the Lord had helped them there, they journeyed a short distance to Elim where they found the twelve wells and seventy palm trees. But as they journeyed from Elim, hunger overtook them.

Then, just as the Lord had turned the bitter waters of Marah sweet for them, so now He gave them food. They had not sown, nor planted, nor harvested. It had come in answer to their prayers and was given every morning except on the Sabbath throughout the forty years of their wandering. It never failed them. They never had to worry about their food. They were allowed to gather only enough for each day’s need. Every evening their store would be gone. Yet as the days, weeks, months, and years went by, they knew from experience that they would have their daily bread.

This miracle testifies to the Lord’s love and providence which is constantly caring for us. The manna is a symbol of that food for the soul which the Lord came to give. He said He was the Bread of Life, that He came into the world that men might have food for their souls. The spirit as well as the body craves food. We do not live by bread alone. In the Lord our ideals are fulfilled. Through Him comes the power of a new life. The goodness of His life is food for men.

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“And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee,” by Louis A. Dole

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“And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee.
“I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee.
“By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land.” – Exodus 23:28-30

Readings

Exodus 23:2-33 · Luke 2:34-52 · Psalm 30

Sermon

We were created solely for one purpose: that we may be of service to others, thus serving the Lord and preparing ourselves for heaven.

The worldly man is wholly occupied with the affairs of this world. He, in his short-sighted vision, thinks that this world is all there is, that he lives here as animals do and then dies. His short life of vexation and joy, of failure and success is then over, and that is the end. Almost everyone, if taxed with this notion in these terms, would deny that it is a true concept of his views; and yet, in the general run of life, the great majority of people – perhaps ninety-nine out of a hundred – are very accurately measured by this description. How few there really are who act from the knowledge and living conviction that every day on earth is given us to prepare for eternal life in heaven.

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How Truth Is Preserved, by Louis A. Dole

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“And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river’s brink.” – Exodus 2:3

Readings

Exodus 2:1-10 · Matthew 7:15-29 · Psalm 99

Sermon

Our age prides itself on its tolerance, particularly on its religious tolerance. We hear it said, “It does not matter what you believe; one religion is as good as another.” But truth is sacred. It does matter vitally what one believes. For if men believe falsity, they will do evil. The need of the world is for truth in every aspect of its life, for truth in its concepts of God, for truth in its international relationships, in its ideas of government, in its trade and commerce, for truth in its ideas of marriage and family life, for truth in education. Only the thoughtless can say that truth does not matter, or that it does not matter what men believe as long as they are sincere.

This is a very popular attitude, but we all remember that it did matter that thousands were educated in the principles of Naziism from their childhood and so believed that they were a superior and chosen people and should rule the world by brute force. And people can be brought up to despise all religion and to deny all ideas of God. They can even be brought up to believe in emperor worship, of which there is a very modern witness.

Our text tells of the preservation of truth. The saving of the infant Moses by Pharaoh’s daughter has an appeal to all readers of the Bible. Even when there is no knowledge of the spiritual lesson contained therein, there is a sense of dramatic fitness in the saving by Pharaoh’s daughter of the one who was afterward to free Israel from the Egyptian yoke.

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The Finger of God, by Louis A. Dole

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“Two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.” – Exodus 31:18

Readings

Exodus 31 · Matthew 23:1-12 · Psalm 25

Sermon

The conception of God as being “without body, parts, or passions” makes Him utterly unknowable. Such expressions as “life force” and “God is spirit” lead to depersonalization and render the concept of God nebulous, indefinite, and without practical meaning.

This attitude is adopted as a result of the thought that to give form and substance to God is to make Him like ourselves, which would be to degrade Him, but this thought is itself without foundation. It is true that God as He is in Himself – the Absolute, the Infinite, and the Eternal – is beyond our comprehension. The finite mind can never compass the Infinite. So it is written, “No man hath seen God at any time,” “There shall no man see me and live,” and in the writings “The Divine is above all thought and is entirely incomprehensible to angels.” But God is nevertheless a Person. We should not think of the physical body as the thing that makes a man. The body is but the expression in matter of the powers and faculties of the soul, which is the man. And we are not left in darkness as to the Person of God, for God has accommodated the revelation of Himself to our need, and gives the assurance “Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”

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“These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt,” by Louis A. Dole

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“These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.” – Exodus 32:4

Readings

Exodus 32:1-14 · Luke 12:13-36 · Psalm 52

Sermon

While Moses was in the mount receiving the commandments from the Lord, the people took their golden earrings and made of them a molten calf, and they said, “These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.”

This is a story of folly that sounds little less than insanity. The Lord, through Moses, by mighty miracles had delivered them from bondage in Egypt and brought them to Sinai. Yet because Moses was some time in the mountain the people turned against him. They could not have been more foolish.

Yet many today repeat this insanity in another form. Moses stands for the Divine Law which came through him. There is the Divine Law. It is given in the Word. Yet there are many who are too ready to put it out of mind. “As for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.” It is because minds and hearts are absorbed in things of self and the world and closed against heaven. When men are absorbed in things of the body and self, and in getting on in the world, closing the interior planes of the soul which otherwise would be opened to heaven, they turn from heaven and the Lord to the world and to themselves, loving self with all the heart and life. This is what is represented by the absence of Moses and by their contemptuous cry, “As for this Moses… we wot not what is become of him.”

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“The name of the one was Gershom… And the name of the other was Eliezer,” by Louis A. Dole

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“And her two sons; of which the name of the one was Gershom; for he said, I have been an alien in a strange land:
“And the name of the other was Eliezer; for the God of my father, said he, was mine help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh.” – Exodus 18:3, 4

Readings

Exodus 18:1-12 · Matthew 12:1-21 · Psalm 39

Sermon

Moses had spent the second forty years of his life in the land of Midian, and there had married Zipporah, the daughter of Jethro, a priest or prince of Midian, who bore him two sons, Gershom and Eliezer. The names of these two sons of Moses are themselves suggestive of events in their father’s history. Forced to flee from the pomp and regal splendor of Egypt, he had found refuge in the land of Midian, where he was to all intents and purposes an alien. And so he called his first son Gershom, which means “a stranger there” or an exile.

But through all this experience he did not lose his trust in the Lord. Through his call at the burning bush he was shown that he was being prepared for a great and momentous work. It is often the fact that in cases of this kind there are hints and inward indications and premonitions of coming distinction and use. Thus, we may believe, it was with Moses; and to mark his faith he called his second son Eliezer, a word which means “God is my help.”

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Children’s Sunday, by Louis A. Dole

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Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine.” – Exodus 19:5

Readings

Exodus 19:1-9 · Mark 4:1-20 · Psalm 91

Sermon

We are all familiar with the commandments. They are laws that the Lord has given us to teach us how to live. There are laws of nature also which we have to learn. We have to learn that fire is hot and will burn, that there are things that we should not eat, that if we fall we shall get hurt. There are many things that we have to learn if we are to have healthy bodies.

But there are also laws of spirit, which have to do with our souls, and these are more important to us than the laws for the care of our bodies, for our souls we take with us into the other life.

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“I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen,” by Louis A. Dole

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“And he said, Thou canst not see my face… I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.” – Exodus 33:20, 23

Reading

Exodus 33 · John 1:15-34 · Psalm 91

Sermon

There are several passages in the Word similar to our text. For example, Isaiah writes: “Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour.” This chapter of Isaiah, chapter 45, treats of the omnipotence of the Lord. It tells us that love and wisdom in Him are infinite, that He is the Creator of all things in heaven and on earth, that these truths are revealed in the Word, and that there is no legitimate excuse for unbelief. We find in it the words, “I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded,” and “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.” Yet in this same chapter we also find the words quoted above: “Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself.”

The recent disasters – the storm that caused so much damage and loss of life in Japan, the mine disaster in Australia – have again raised in the minds of many the question, “Is there a God?” And this question is asked often by individuals as they pass through trials and misfortunes, as well as in times of war, famine, pestilence, earthquake, and flood, when it is brought before the public mind.

First, let us remember that all things are under the Divine Providence, that although there are misfortunes, they do not bring real harm to those who trust in the Lord, and that whatever happens to a good man the Lord will turn to his eternal happiness and also to the benefit of all mankind. In the Lord’s sight there is no such thing as accident or chance.

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“And thou shalt make fifty taches of gold, and couple the curtains together with the taches: and it shall be one tabernacle,” by Louis A. Dole

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“Fifty loops shalt thou make in the one curtain, and fifty loops shalt thou make in the edge of the curtain that is in the coupling of the second; that the loops may take hold one of another.
“And thou shalt make fifty taches of gold, and couple the curtains together with the taches: and it shall be one tabernacle.” – Exodus 26:5, 6

Readings

Exodus 26:1-14 · Mark 9:1-13 · Psalm 84

Sermon

Every reverent reader of the Bible, when he reads of the minute details given for the construction of the tabernacle, must feel that there is some heavenly meaning for us concealed therein. The details concerning the materials to be used and the construction of the tabernacle were not from Moses’ own mind, but were revealed to him out of heaven.

The thought is familiar to us that the tabernacle represents the dwelling place of the Lord. It represents heaven, and it represents the Lord’s church on earth and human society in its true order. It represents the Lord’s dwelling-place in every human heart, and above all it represents the Lord’s own Divine Humanity in which He dwells among men.

It is with the tabernacle as the representative of the church and of human society that our thought will be concerned at this time, and particularly with the loops and taches by which its curtains were fastened together. Spiritually this tells us of the mutual relations of man with man, by which the whole body of the Lord’s church and of human society is joined together into one.

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“And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near,” by Louis A. Dole

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“And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt.” – Exodus 13:17

Readings

Exodus 13:14-22 · Matthew 26:31-46 · Psalm 62

Sermon

The distance from northern Egypt, where the Israelites had been dwelling, to Jerusalem, which was to be their future capital, was about two hundred miles by the direct route, whereas the distance by the route they actually traversed was not less than four times as great. The way by the seacoast, which led through the land of the Philistines, was near, but the way through the desert was far; and not only was it far but it was through almost foodless and waterless country. Yet the Lord led the Israelites by that long and difficult way.

The Christian Church has long recognized that the journey from Egypt to Canaan is a type of our preparation for heaven. They think of Egypt as picturing the state of life into which we are born, the love of sensual, selfish, and worldly things; the journey in the wilderness has been dimly seen to be the type of trials which are met with, the crossing of the Jordan the passage from the natural to the spiritual, and the entrance into Canaan the reward and rest of heaven. There is much that is true and helpful in this interpretation, but it overlooks the fact that some of Israel’s hardest battles were fought after they crossed the Jordan, and that it was not until the time of Solomon that the country had rest from war.

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