“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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“Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory,” by Louis A. Dole

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“Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.” – Psalm 115:1

Readings

Leviticus 26:1-13 · John 15:1-16 · Psalm 104:24-35

Sermon

The first harvest which the New England colonists reaped upon our shores was made the occasion of special thanksgiving and prayer to God. The importance of this first harvest, which meant that the colonists had gained a foothold in the new land, increased as its significance became better understood until, under President Lincoln in 1863, it was made a permanent national celebration.

From a very small beginning we have grown to become the richest and most powerful nation that the world has ever seen. The harvest is from the Lord’s hand. So today we celebrate that first harvest in recognition of the Lord as God over the destiny of nations as well as of individuals.

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