“And Hezekiah was glad of them, and shewed them the house of his precious things,” by Louis A. Dole

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“And Hezekiah was glad of them, and shewed them the house of his precious things, the silver, and the gold, and the spices, and the precious ointment, and all the house of his armour, and all that was found in his treasures: there was nothing in his house, nor in all his dominion, that Hezekiah shewed them not.” – Isaiah 39:2

Readings

Isaiah 39 · Matthew 7:1-20 · Psalm 62

Sermon

Hezekiah had recently been healed miraculously of a fatal illness. Merodach Baladan, King of Babylon, sent a delegation of distinguished Babylonians to congratulate him on his recovery. At least this was the reason set forth by Babylon. We usually have more than one reason for every act, and we do not always give the main one.

The truth was that Merodach Baladan cared little for Hezekiah’s recovery. He was, however, very much interested in the resources of the kingdom of Judah. And this embassy was practically a band of spies instructed to inspect the country and its treasures, so that if Babylon should ever desire to invade Judah, the undertaking could be accomplished more intelligently. Espionage is not new; it goes back into the dim past. Claiming to be solicitous for Hezekiah’s health, this Babylonian delegation came really to inspect the arsenals and the golden and silver treasures which they hoped one day to rifle.

Hezekiah was taken in by their flatteries and showed them his treasures, which had been gathered laboriously through many generations – even the sacred vessels of the temple fashioned of the purest gold.

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“We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God,” by Louis A. Dole

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“We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.” – Daniel 6:5

Readings

Daniel 6 · Mark 10:13-27 · Psalm 118:1-14

Sermon

The book of Daniel is in its letter a book of the captivity of Babylon. The opening chapters are a narrative of Daniel’s experiences, written in the third person. The remainder is written almost entirely in the first person, and describes visions which were seen by the prophet alone. The book is one of marvelous interest even for its story, and contains some of those chapters in the Word which appeal to young and old alike, and which we love to read over and over again.

But the book becomes more wonderful and impressive when we know that it treats of spiritual conditions in which the soul appears to be captive and is threatened by worldly ambitions, which Babylon represents. Baal, Babel, and Babylon are words frequently met with in the Word, and they represent a state in which selfish and worldly ambitions aspire to domineer over spiritual things.

Daniel was a prophet. As a young man he had been marked for his unusual abilities, and was among the first of those taken into captivity by king Nebuchadnezzar. He was a man raised up by the Lord to hold his people steadfast during the trying times which were to come. He soon came into prominence in Babylon, and the Babylonians learned that he had a wisdom superior to that of their soothsayers, magicians, and astrologers. He could interpret dreams and read strange writings. He was feared and persecuted, but always remained steadfast.

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“And Hezekiah was glad of them, and shewed them the house of his precious things,” by Louis A. Dole

Read the original sermon in PDF format

“And Hezekiah was glad of them, and shewed them the house of his precious things, the silver, and the gold, and the spices, and the precious ointment, and all the house of his armour, and all that was found in his treasures: there was nothing in his house, nor in all his dominion, that Hezekiah shewed them not.” – Isaiah 39:2

Readings

Isaiah 39 · Mark 7:1-23 · Psalm 62

Sermon

King Hezekiah had just recovered from an illness that had brought him near to the gates of death. Merodachbaladan, king of Babylon, sent a delegation with a letter and presents, congratulating him on his recovery. At least this was the reason set forth by Babylon. We know that we usually have more than one reason for every act, and that we do not always give the main one.

The truth was that Merodachbaladan cared little for Hezekiah’s recovery. He was, however, much interested in the resources of the kingdom of Judah, and the embassy sent to Hezekiah was really a band of spies sent to inspect the country and its treasures and its weaknesses, so that when Babylon should desire to invade Judah, it could be accomplished more intelligently. Espionage did not originate in Russia; it is a world feature both civil and spiritual.

Claiming to be solicitous concerning Hezekiah’s health, this Babylonian delegation came for the purpose of inspecting the arsenals and also the golden and silver treasures they hoped sometime to possess. In the story it is said that Hezekiah was “glad of them.” He was flattered by their apparent concern, and showed them all his treasures, even those of the Temple itself.

Then Isaiah the prophet appeared to Hezekiah and asked who these visitors were and what they wanted. And when Hezekiah told him, the prophet replied that the word of the Lord was that at some future day Babylon would prove to be a powerful enemy and would plunder the kingdom of Judah and the Temple.

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“And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven,” by Louis A. Dole

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“And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” – Genesis 11:4

Readings

Genesis 11:1-9 · Revelation 22:1-14 · Psalms 75, 76

Sermon

With the story of the Tower of Babel all readers of the Bible are familiar. It is one of the Divine allegories of the opening chapters of the Bible and is, of course, not literally true. But even in the letter it presents a striking picture of self-love, and explains why people fail in heavenly attainment and become confused in their vain attempts to find the satisfying life and power.

There are three levels of meaning within the letter of the Word. The meaning next within the letter is the story of the spiritual development of the human race. The story of the Tower of Babel tells of the end of the Ancient Church. In its beginning this church was faithful to the Lord and to the revelation given to it – the Ancient Word, to which reference is made in our Bible. The story begins: “And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech” – of one faith in general and in particular. But the people did not continue to dwell together in unity. “They journeyed from the east” until they came to a valley. Spiritually the east, where the sun rises, means near to the Lord. Of the Holy City it is written, “The glory of the Lord did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.”

Their journeying from the east and going down to the valley of Shinar pictures turning from the Lord and descending into the valley of self-love, self-thought, and strife. They had been living on the mountain top near to the Lord. Now in the valley they are attempting to build the very mountain from which they had descended, using brick for stone, and slime for mortar.

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