“And for the precious things of the earth and fulness thereof, and for the good will of him that dwelt in the bush,” by Louis A. Dole

Read the original sermon in PDF format

“And for the precious things of the earth and fulness thereof, and for the good will of him that dwelt in the bush.” – Deuteronomy 33:16

Readings

Deuteronomy 33:1-16 · Revelation 5 · Psalm 145

Sermon

Moses was nearing the time of his passing into the spiritual world, and after the eastern custom, having called the tribes together, he pronounced a blessing upon each of them. The words of our text form a part of the blessing pronounced upon Joseph as represented by the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh.

The blessing of the text must have brought back wonderful memories, for the story of Israel as a nation began with the appearance of the Lord in the burning bush. The Israelites had lived as a subject race in Egypt for over two centuries, and yet had been kept quite distinct from the Egyptians. It is remarkable that the peoples had not wholly mingled, for the very name of Jehovah had been lost during the stay in Egypt. But to Moses in his eightieth year was given the experience at the burning bush. It was then that he heard the command to lead the people to the land promised to their fathers. He at first shrank from the great task, and only when he was convinced by miracles that the Lord would be with him did he undertake it. But he who dwelt in the bush took the people across the sea, fed them in the wilderness, protected them from their enemies, and finally brought them to the borders of the promised land. How difficult had been the way! How often had the people rebelled, and wished that they might go back to Egypt! Even Moses was at times discouraged. But now the journey’s end was being reached, and he had the satisfaction of knowing that his leadership had not been in vain. As he is about to resign his authority to Joshua, he thinks of how the Lord had been with them and had led them all the way, and commends the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh to the good will of Him that dwelt in the bush.

To the Jews Jehovah was invisible; of Him they were not to attempt to make any likeness. Yet, although invisible, they felt that He was God of gods and Lord of lords, and knew that it was He that dwelt in the bush, the bramble. To have appeared in the olive, the vine, or the fig would have seemed more appropriate, but He had been heard from the bush.

In this we have revealed a fundamental truth of religion, that the Lord dwells in the commonest experiences of human life, and happy is he who sees Him there. For as the days and years pass, and as a man passes the threescore years and ten, he will remember the good will of Him that dwelt in the bush.

Please click here to read on.

“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

Read the original sermon in PDF format

“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.

Please click here to read on.

“Not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spake concerning you,” by Louis A. Dole

Read the original sermon in PDF format

“And behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof.” – Joshua 23:14

Readings

Joshua 23 · John 12:20-36 · Psalm 107

Sermon

These words Joshua spoke to the people of Israel with their elders and heads, their judges and officers. Joshua was old and he knew that he was about to die. So he assembled the people at Shechem. It was an impressive occasion. Joshua had led them to victory. He had made of Israel a nation, and had seen them settled in the land promised to them of old, to which they had looked forward with hope for many years. So Joshua wished to give them his counsel and his blessing. He was the same man in dying that he had been in living – calm, brave, and unwavering.

Please click here to read on.