“See, thy son liveth,” by Louis A. Dole

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Fryeburg, Maine, December 6, 1931

“See, thy son liveth.” – 1 Kings 17:23

Readings

1 Kings 17 · John 12:23-50 · Psalm 86

Sermon

The story containing our text is most tender and appealing. Death had taken the son of a poor widow. She and her son had been carried through the three year famine by the meal and oil that wasted not, because Elijah, the man of God, had found shelter in her house. Then came affliction sorer than the famine. Her son, in whom lived her hope as a mother in Israel, died in her arms.

To get the vital lesson in this narrative we must see it in its relation to the events immediately preceding, for the striking chapter of the text by three wonderful miracles there told describes three successive states of a regenerating man. The third state is pictured in the raising to life of the dead son of the widow.

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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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“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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