“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 Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and… Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan,” by Louis A. Dole

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“And Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and… Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan.” – Genesis 13:11, 12

Readings

Genesis 13 · Luke 17:20-37 · Psalm 125

Sermon

The story of the return of Abram and Lot from Egypt would as mere history have little meaning for us today. It would be only a statement of the fact that two shepherds, to keep their herdsmen from strife, agreed to separate, one to keep to the highlands, the other to the plains. As mere history there is nothing in the story of the Jewish people any more than in the history of any other nation.

The Word is Divine not because of the mere historicals, but because the Lord has worded and arranged those historicals so as to express spiritual truths. By means of this history He has drawn pictures of otherwise invisible and inexpressible spiritual things. And more than this, He has taken the natural events and ideas and so arranged them as to tell the story of His own Incarnation and Glorification, and to tell it in the order of its progress from infancy until His work was completed. So the story tells about spiritual changes that took place in the human nature which the Lord assumed in the world, and at the same time it teaches us about changes that must occur in every regenerating person.

There is an evident and practical lesson just beneath the surface of our text. We can not get knowledge of spiritual things until we have knowledge of natural things in some degree. There are two reasons for this. First the faculties are developed on the natural plane before they can be developed on the spiritual plane. Natural things are used to develop the faculties. Second, into the knowledge of natural things spiritual knowledges can be insinuated.

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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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“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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