“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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“Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell forevermore,” by Louis A. Dole

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“Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell forevermore.” – Psalm 37:27

Readings

Isaiah 1:10-20 · Luke 11:29-44 · Psalm 37:23-40

Sermon

These words set forth in briefest form the true order of spiritual growth and progress. The first thing for everyone to do in the work of his regeneration is to depart from evil. Then, and not till then, can he in any genuine sense do good. But the result of his departure from evil is that he is blessed with eternal happiness; in heaven he “dwells forevermore.”

Why is it that the shunning of evil must be the first step in a man’s progress toward heaven? It is because by nature he is inclined to evil. This is his inheritance from his ancestors of many generations. We all find ourselves disposed to be selfish rather than unselfish, and inclined to follow our own unbridled will rather than to listen to the wise counsel of others. Also we are inclined to be proud and self-confident and to ascribe to ourselves the merit of well-doing, rather than to be humble and to give to the Lord His proper place as the center and source of all goodness. We are not born into a state of actual evil or sin, but with tendencies to evil.

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“Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage,” by Louis A. Dole

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“Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.” Psalm 119:54

Readings

Deuteronomy 30:1-10 · John 15:1-16 · Psalm 119:33-56

Sermon

The one hundred and nineteenth Psalm, from which this text is taken, is in every verse a song or hymn in praise of the Law of the Lord. It is evident that multitudes of men and women have toward God’s Law a very different attitude from this. Divine Law, obligation to God, responsibility in any form, authority under any conditions they feel to be a hindrance and check upon life. They want their own will and way. Why should they be held back in any of their pleasures or checked in following their strongest impulses? If only they could be free, life, they think, would be a comparatively easy and fair existence.

In the text “Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage” the Psalmist is expressing in figurative language the teaching that the Law of the Lord is really a delight throughout the course of life. The thought that obedience to Divine Law is hard and restrictive, that it cuts one off from the real pleasures of life and makes our pilgrimage here dry and barren is quite contrary to fact. The Psalmist is right.

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