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´╗┐Title: Best Stories from the Best Book - An Illustrated Bible Companion for the Home
Author: White, James Edson
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Best Stories from the Best Book - An Illustrated Bible Companion for the Home" ***

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[Transcriber's Notes: Bold text is surrounded by =equal signs= and
italic text is surrounded by _underscores_.

This first part of this text has sections of text to be copied in
cursive. These sections are wrapped in brackets and preceded by the
word "cursive".

These sections also have small illustrations to aid in easy reading
these illustrations are signified by [*] in the text.]


[Illustration:

    Lovingly
    Presented to
    ________________________________
    by
    ________________________________
    With kindest wishes
    for a life of usefulness.]

[Illustration: THE GOOD SHEPHERD]



Best Stories from the Best Book

    AN ILLUSTRATED

    Bible Companion for the Home

    BY
    JAMES EDSON WHITE

    With an Introductory Department of
    Easy Lessons for Children
    BY ELLA KING SANDERS

    Over 875 Thousand Sold

    SOUTHERN PUBLISHING ASSOCIATION
    Fort Worth, Texas       Nashville, Tennessee    Atlanta, Georgia

    Printed in the United States of America.

    COPYRIGHT 1900, BY J. E. WHITE



PREFACE


THIS little book is divided into two parts. The First Department is
the children's very own. It is for them to study under the guidance of
teacher, mother, brother, or sister. It has been prepared with great
care by one who has had many years' experience as a teacher of children.

The Second Department is for the entertainment of children both young
and old. Its lessons are taken from God's Word. While the children are
learning to read from the "Easy Lesson" department, let the parents and
older brothers and sisters read to them the Bible stories which follow,
showing and explaining to them the beautiful pictures which accompany
them. Lessons taught in this manner will never be forgotten.


TO TEACHERS AND PARENTS.

God speaks to us through His Word, by His Spirit, and through nature.
By interesting children in nature, which is all about them, it is hoped
they will find pleasure in studying God's open book, and thus be led to
love and study His written Word.

BLACKBOARD TEACHING.--The crayon and the blackboard are very essential
in the work with children. Let the first lessons be given in script
from the blackboard. The simple sentences may be drawn from the child
by questioning. Then tell the child that you will write what he has
said. Then ask, "Now can you read it?" The lesson should be about some
thing which the child can see, and in which he is interested.

For a review lesson, if the idiom, "I see," has been learned, many
sentences may be made by drawing the objects, as "I see a *" (here
draw a leaf or some other object). Use the idioms, "I have," "This
is," etc., in the same way. The earlier lessons in this book should be
largely supplemented from the blackboard in this way, or by variation
of the different sentences.

From the first let the children write on the board, where there can be
free movement of the arm. Original work should be aimed at from the
start. The child soon learns to write the idiom, "I see;" then he is
prepared to do original work on the board or on paper. The blackboard
work on page 33 is suggestive of what may be done in original work.

SENTENCE READING.--The words of a sentence should not be read
separately. At first the sentences are short, and the words are soon
easily known at sight. Until the thought is known, the sentence should
not be read aloud. Hence silent reading should always precede oral
reading with children. "_Read as you talk_," is a good rule.

WRITING.--The script capitals and small letters on page 6 are for
reference. The letters are not to be written separately, but to be used
in words. For practice in writing, use the simple sentences found in
the lessons. If written _many times_, the words will be memorized, and
can be used in original work.

DRAWING.--Allow free hand drawing. Use outline drawings of objects, as
on pages 13 and 49. Lay sticks, then draw them. Provide children with
sticks of different lengths. The kindergarten colored sticks are best.
They are inexpensive, and can be used in many ways.

Encourage picture illustrations of simple stories. Also the
illustration of Bible lessons. Many or all of them may be crude, but
thoughts are expressed, and the lesson more deeply impressed.

REVIEWS.--Observe the suggestion about silent reading first. If the
thought is not easily gotten, the words are not familiar--not well
learned. The child should use the words many times. As reiteration is
the only way in which words are learned through the ear, so it is the
only way they are learned through the eye. The use of the blackboard is
an invaluable help in making impressions through the eye.

[Illustration]

    A B C D E F G H I J
    K L M N O P Q R S
    T U V W X Y Z

    a b c d e f g h i j k l m
    n o p q r s t u v w x y z

    [cursive: A B C D E F G H I J
    K L M N O P Q R S
    T U V W X Y Z]

    [cursive: a b c d e f g h i j
    k l m n o p q r s
    t u v w x y z]



EASY LESSONS.


LESSON ONE.

I see a bird.

[Cursive: I see a bird.]

[Illustration]

I see an apple.

[Cursive: I see an apple.]

[Illustration]

I see a tree.

[Cursive: I see a tree.]

[Illustration]

Is it an apple tree?

[Cursive: Is it an apple tree?]


LESSON TWO

    The [*]     The [*]

        birds.        apples.

    The  [*]   God made [*]
      apple tree.    the birds.

    God made [*] the trees.



LESSON THREE.


    See the  [*]    See the  [*]
            bee.            butterfly.

    The butterfly has      The bee has
      [*]                 [*]
                               wings.
       wings.      God made them all.


LESSON FOUR.

    God made the birds.

        God made the apples.

            God made the apple tree.

    God loves the birds.

                 I love the birds.

[Cursive: God made the birds and trees.]


LESSON FIVE.

    I have [*]
           [Cursive: I have a box.]

    I have [*]
           [Cursive: I have a tree.]

    John made the box.

          God made the tree.


LESSON SIX.

                          I have a [*]

    [cursive: I have a rose.]

                         This is a [*]

    [cursive: This is a leaf.]

    God made the rose and the leaf.

       rose    leaf     box     tree


LESSON SEVEN.

                       See the little [*]

    [cursive: See the little bees.]

    The bees love the rose.

    [cursive: The bees love the rose.]

    The bees are on the rose.

    [cursive: The bees are on
                     the rose.]

    [*]

    bees     little     on     are


LESSON EIGHT.

    [Illustration]

    See the beautiful rose.

    It is red.

    I love the beautiful rose.

    God made it beautiful.

    [Illustration]

        This leaf is red.

    [cursive: This leaf is red.]

    [Illustration]

        This leaf is green.

    [cursive: This leaf is green.]


LESSON NINE.

      This is a butterfly.

    [cursive: This is a butterfly,]

      He has two wings.

    [cursive: He has two wings.]

      The bird has two wings.

    [cursive: The bird has two wings.]

      The bird can fly.

    [cursive: The bird can fly.]

      The butterfly can fly.

    [cursive: The butterfly can fly.]

      I love to see the butterfly.

    [cursive: I love to see the butterfly.]

    The butterfly loves the rose.

    [cursive: The butterfly loves the rose.]

    He     has     can     butterfly
             fly      wings


LESSON TEN.

    [cursive: The butterfly has two wings.

    God made the butterfly.

    I love the butterfly.

    The butterfly loves the rose.

    The bees love the rose.

    The bees are on the rose.

    The bee has wings.

    The bird has wings.

    The butterfly has beautiful
      wings.

    The red rose is beautiful.

    The grape vine has green
    leaves.]

[Illustration: =Drawing Lesson.=]


LESSON ELEVEN.

[Illustration]

      See this vine.

    [cursive: See this vine.]

      It is a grape vine.

    [cursive: It is a grape vine.]

      I see the grapes.

    [cursive: I see the grapes.]

      The grapes grow on the vine.

    [cursive: The grapes grow on the vine.]

            Jesus said,
    I am the true Vine.


LESSON TWELVE.

    [cursive: kitties]     Do you

    [cursive: them]        kind

    [cursive: They]        care

[Illustration]

Do you know me?

[cursive: Do you know me?]

I love the kitties.

[cursive: I love the kitties.]

I take care of them.

[cursive: I take care of them.]

I am kind to them.

[cursive: I am kind to them.]


LESSON THIRTEEN.

I see the bird.

I love the beautiful birds.

God loves the beautiful birds.

Jesus loves the birds.

The rose is beautiful.

I see three apples.

The apples are on the tree.

I see two birds.

I see the box. John made it.

God made the birds and the trees.

God made the grape vine.

Jesus is the true vine.

The roses and birds are beautiful.


LESSON FOURTEEN.


=Holy Bible.=

The Bible is God's holy Book.

Who wrote the Bible?

Holy men wrote the Bible.

God told them what to write.


    I
    love
    God's
    holy
    Book.

[Illustration]

    Do
    you
    love
    the
    Bible?


Can you read the Bible?

Holy Book. [Cursive: God's holy Book.]

    wrote  write   [Cursive: wrote    write]

[Cursive: Can you read? Do you see?]

[Cursive: What do you see?]


LESSON FIFTEEN.

[Illustration]

      Happy little kitties!

    [Cursive: Happy little kitties!]

      Who takes care of them?

    [Cursive: Who takes care of them?]

      What do they see?

    [Cursive: What do they see?]

      Look at their eyes.

    [Cursive: Look at their eyes.]

      Are they like yours?

    [Cursive: Are they like yours?]


LESSON SIXTEEN.


=The Bees.=

[Illustration]

    Mary, see the little bees.

    See the bee on the flower.

    What is he doing?

    He is getting honey.

    He is a busy little bee.

    Watch him fly to
      his home.

    Do you know where his
      home is? I can hear the
      bee buzz.


LESSON SEVENTEEN.

=Bible Verses.=

    The Lord is good to all.

    Praise ye the Lord.

    Praise ye Him, sun and moon.

    Praise Him, all ye stars of light.

    Let them praise the name of the Lord.

    O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good.

    Sing praise upon the unto our God.

    I will praise the Lord with my whole heart.

[Illustration]


LESSON EIGHTEEN.

    This is a family of [Illustration]

    They are little black ants.

          The ants work.

        They live in the ground.

      Watch the ants make a house.

    The house is made in the ground.

    They make rooms in the house.

      Watch the ant carry food.

    The Bible says, "Watch the ant
    and be wise."


LESSON NINETEEN.


    See this [*]

    [Illustration]

    How do
      you do,
        pretty butterfly?

    I see your beautiful
            wings.

    You love the rose.

    Can you get your dinner
        in the rose?

    I love to watch you.

    Do you remember when
    you were a [*]?

    You are pretty now.

         [cursive: Pretty butterfly.
    Beautiful wings.]


LESSON TWENTY.

    geese [Illustration] legs

    walk                 boat

    swim                 back

    body                 dinner

Watch the geese walk.

They can swim better than they can walk.

Their body is the shape of a boat.

Their legs are set far back on the body.

Do you know why?

[cursive: Watch the geese get their dinner in the water.]


LESSON TWENTY-ONE.

    Here is a
               spider.

    [Illustration]

    This spider
            made a web.

    [Illustration]

    The web is his home.

    Do you see his
                  home?

    [Illustration]

    Do you see the spider?

    The spider loves to work.

    Watch a spider make a web.

    Do all spiders make webs?

    to work   webs

    home   his


LESSON TWENTY-TWO.

=Number Story.=

[Illustration]


LESSON TWENTY-THREE.

[Illustration]

Here is a beautiful vine.

It came from a tiny black seed.

It is a morning glory vine.

Do you see the pretty buds?

Can you find a morning glory flower in the evening?

Who gives the morning glory life?

[cursive: Morning glory.

a tiny black seed.

evening.]


LESSON TWENTY-FOUR.

=The Flood.=

One time God let it rain for many days.

The water was very deep. It covered all the earth. All the trees were
covered with water.

All the mountains were covered.

In one place the people were safe.

Yes, in the ark.

[Illustration]

God had told Noah to make the ark.

Noah loved God. He believed what God told him.

The people did not love God. They did not believe what God told Noah.

They did not believe that God would send a flood.

But the flood came.

Noah and his family were safe in the ark.


LESSON TWENTY-FIVE.

=The Bean's Story. I.=

[Illustration]

    Here I am in my warm bed.

    John made the box.

    He put the dirt into the box.

    Mary put me in my bed.

    Then she covered me with dirt.

    The sun made the bed warm.

    The children wanted me to wake up.

    They gave me some water.

    They said, "This will wake her up."

    I love the warm sun and the water.

    The children knew this.

    children    knew    wanted    water
    covered     warm     wake     gave


LESSON TWENTY-SIX.

=The Bean's Story. II.=

[Illustration]

Good morning, children.

You see I am awake now.

I am getting out of my white coat.

I put my feet out first.

You call my feet roots.

My roots help me to stand.

Did you know that I have mouths in my roots?

I cannot run about to get my food.

I get food out of the ground.

    good    morning    awake    mouths
    white    coat    help    stand    roots    feet


LESSON TWENTY-SEVEN.

=The Bean's Story. III.=

[Illustration]

I am glad the children like to watch me.

This morning they can see my tiny leaves.

Shall I tell the children about the mouths in my leaves? I get food out
of the air.

My leaves have work to do.

In this, they are like your hands.

I shall have many hands by and by.

    shall    hands    leaves    about    air
    like    glad    by and by


LESSON TWENTY-EIGHT.

=The Bean's Story. IV.=

[Illustration]

Do you see my long stem?

I can stand up now.

I shall reach up toward the sun.

Can you draw my pretty leaves?

See the bud at the end of my stem.

Watch for the leaves that are in that bud.

It will open soon.

Can you make it open?

    stem    reach    toward    that
    up    end    bud    open


LESSON TWENTY-NINE.

=The Bean's Story. V.=

What do you think of me now?

I have grown big and tall.

Here are two little bean pods.

You see the tiny beans in the pod.

Here are some white flowers.

They will soon fall off.

Watch for more bean pods.

By and by the tiny beans will grow big.

What will they look like?

My work will soon be done.

[Illustration]

Think what I have done for you.

You may thank Him who gave me life.


LESSON THIRTY.

[Illustration: Cursive: We planted a bean.

It looked like [*]

One day it looked [*] like this. By and by it had leaves.

Then it looked [*] like this. Mary.]


LESSON THIRTY-ONE.

=The Lily.=

[Illustration]

Look at this pure white lily.

Jesus wants us to think how the lilies grow.

He said, "Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow."

Who made the beautiful white dress for this lily?

If God cares for the lily, will He not care for us?

He wants us to obey Him as the lily does.

Then He will clothe us as He does the lily.

He will make our lives pure and beautiful.


LESSON THIRTY-TWO.

[Illustration]

Here are grapes, an apple, and bananas.

Which do you like best?

Can you tell where bananas grow?

Do not be afraid to eat plenty of good, ripe fruit.

All who obey God shall eat fruit from the tree of life in the earth
made new.


LESSON THIRTY-THREE.

=A Friend of Ours.=

Yes, the sheep is a friend.

Your warm dress was made from her coat. She gives it away in the
spring. In the fall you are glad to put it on.

The sheep are timid.

[Illustration]

They need some one to care for them.

The man who cares for the sheep is the shepherd.

The little sheep are lambs.

Jesus calls us His lambs.

So you can say, "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want."

A good shepherd would give his life for his sheep.

Jesus gave His life for us.

King David was a shepherd. One time a lion was going to kill one of his
lambs. David killed the lion.

Some day the lion and the lamb shall live together. Yes, and a little
child shall lead them.

[Illustration]


LESSON THIRTY-FOUR.

[Illustration]

See how that girl carries the milk.

Look at the girl who is milking.

I never saw any one milk from that side of the cow.

I do not think those girls live in this country.

This must be a milking scene in some country far across the water.

They have some strange ways of doing things in those countries.


LESSON THIRTY-FIVE.

[Illustration]

I need not tell you our name.

The children say we look like faces.

Did you ever see any of us look cross?

We are always smiling and happy.

Give us the right kind of food and our size will please you.

[cursive: Think of our smiling faces when things do not please you.]


LESSON THIRTY-SIX.

=The Lion.=

Here is the lion.

Is he not fine looking?

Other beasts are afraid of him.

[Illustration]

He is called the king of beasts.

A lamb is not safe with him now.

By and by GOD will make all things new. Then the lion will eat straw
like the ox.

The Bible says that the wolf and the lamb, the lion and the calf, shall
lie down together.

Then other beasts will not be afraid of the lion.

Then you can pet the lion as you do your cat now.

Do you want to live in that home?

Only the pure in heart shall live in the earth when it is made new.

[Illustration: Here are some cousins of the lion.]


LESSON THIRTY-SEVEN.

[Illustration]

These little bunnies are having a fine time.

They know good food when they find it.

Do you know what kind of food bunnies like best?

Look at their eyes. Are they like kitty's eyes?


LESSON THIRTY-EIGHT.

[Illustration]

I think this must be the home of our bunnies.

Does it look like the country homes you have seen?

Look at the road and the trees.

Are the trees alike?

Do you think it would have been nice if God had made all trees alike?


LESSON THIRTY-NINE.

=Wheat and Tares.=

Do you know what is made from wheat? If you do not, ask some one to
tell you.

When Jesus was on earth, He talked about wheat. At the same time He
talked about some bad plants, called tares.

[Illustration: WHEAT.]

He said that a man sowed some good seed in a field. Then some one came
and sowed tares in the same field. The good seed was wheat.

So the wheat and tares were growing in the same field.

The servant wanted to root up the tares. The man said, "No; let them
grow together until the harvest."

Why did Jesus tell this story? See what He says about it:--

"The field is the world. The good seed are the children of the kingdom.
But the tares are the children of the wicked one. The harvest is the
end of the world. The reapers are the angels."

The harvest is very near.

That is when Jesus comes in the clouds of heaven.

[Illustration: TARES.]

The reapers will take the children of the kingdom home to heaven.

The children of the wicked one will be destroyed.

Are we wheat or tares?


LESSON FORTY.

[Illustration]

Here is a shepherd with his flock.

I think he must be a kind shepherd.

See how tenderly he carries the little lamb.

Jesus is our Shepherd. Isaiah says of Him, "He shall gather the lambs
with His arms."

So He will tenderly care for all His lambs now.

Soon He will come to take them to the home He is preparing.


LESSON FORTY-ONE.

[Illustration]

Will they reach the shore?

I wonder what they think?

Once Jesus was with His disciples on the lake.

There came a great storm. Jesus was asleep.

The disciples worked like these men are working.

At last they called to Jesus.

When He awoke He spoke to the wind, and there was a calm.


LESSON FORTY-TWO.

=Washing Dishes.=

[Illustration]

"Good morning, Mary! How can you sing while washing dishes? I always
feel cross, for I do not like to wash dishes."

"Well," said Mary, "I must tell you my secret. I used to feel cross,
too. Now I think about the lesson I am to learn while washing dishes.
Jesus said that we should make the inside of the cup clean as well as
the outside."

"Oh, yes, mama tells me to wash the dishes clean, but I get so tired
of them."

"But, Nellie, you do not see the lesson we are to learn. You know we
try to look very pretty when people see us. We want them to think that
we are pure and clean. When I am washing dishes, I think how Jesus
makes my heart pure and clean. He says, Though your sins be red, I will
make them white as snow."

Nellie went home happy. Do you think she can sing now while washing
dishes?

[Illustration: Drawing Lesson.]


LESSON FORTY-THREE.

=Creation. I.=

"In the beginning God made the heaven and the earth."

The earth did not look as it does now. Every thing was very beautiful.

Green grass covered all the valleys, hills, and mountains.

There were lovely lakes and rivers.

The air and water were clear and pure.

There were no swamps nor deserts, and there were no weeds. The most
beautiful flowers were seen in every place.

We cannot think how lovely every thing was at that time. The earth was
full of the love of God.

"And God saw every thing that He had made, and it was very good."


LESSON FORTY-FOUR.

=Creation. II.=

God did not make the earth as man makes things.

"He spake, and it was done." He was six days in making the heaven and
the earth.

"And God said, Let there be light, and there was light."

This was on the first day.

The second day He made the air.

At this time water covered all the earth.

The third day He made the dry land appear. He called the dry land earth.

Then the rivers, lakes and seas were made.

He spake, and all the earth was covered with green grass.

Then came the herbs and trees.

The herbs were bearing seed.

The trees were bearing fruit.

The seed and fruit were to be food for man.


LESSON FORTY-FIVE.

=Creation. III.=

On the fourth day He said, "Let there be lights in the heaven."

The sun, moon, and stars were to give light upon the earth.

He made the sun to rule the day.

He made the moon to rule the night.

Now there was light; there was air, there was water.

But there were no birds in the air.

There were no fishes in the water.

On the fifth day He made all the birds and fishes.

Now there were animals in the air.

There were animals in the water.

But there were no animals on the land.

On the sixth day God made all the land animals.

The same day He said, "Let us make man in our image."

He gave them the seed of the herbs and the fruit of the trees for food.

"And God saw every thing that He had made, and it was very good."

Thus the heavens and the earth were made.


LESSON FORTY-SIX.

=Creation. IV.=

On the seventh day God rested from all His work.

He blessed it and made it holy.

He calls the Sabbath His holy day.

On the seventh day He looked at the things He had made and called them
very good.

On the Sabbath we should stop our work and our play. God wants us to be
happy on that day.

It makes us happy to look at the lovely things He has made for us.

He wants us to remember Him and thank Him for His love.

He told us to remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.


LESSON FORTY-SEVEN.

=Creation. V.=

God loved Adam and Eve. He wanted them to be very happy. So He gave
them every thing that was good for them.

He planted a garden in Eden. That was their home. We have never seen
such a lovely home as that was. But if we live in the earth made new,
we shall see the Garden of Eden. In that garden was "every tree that
was good for food," and pretty to look at. All the fruit was perfect.

Then there was the river to water the garden. By the river was the tree
of life.

The Lord put Adam into the garden to care for it. So there was a happy
family in a lovely home.

[Illustration: "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all
the host of them." Genesis 2:1.]



[Illustration: Covering Cherubim on the Ark in the Earthly Sanctuary.]

Lucifer, Son of the Morning.


SATAN was once a beautiful, powerful angel in Heaven. His name then was
Lucifer, which means, "Son of the Morning," or, "Shining One, Son of
the Dawn." His position in Heaven, his beauty, power, and final end,
are well described in Ezekiel 28:12-19.

Lucifer, or Satan, is, next to God and Christ, the wisest being in the
universe, for God said, "Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom."
Verse 12.

He was a very beautiful being, for the text says he was "perfect in
beauty." Verse 12.

He has been in the Eden home of Adam and Eve. "Thou hast been in the
garden of God." Verse 13.

He was a great musician, and doubtless led the music and singing of
the hosts of angels in their morning and evening songs of praise to
God. Verse 13 says, "The workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes
was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created."

The above text shows that he was "created" by the power of God. All the
angels were created full grown, and not born as children. Hence this
text is describing some heavenly being.

"Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so."
Verse 14. Lucifer's position was by the throne of God, with his wings
outstretched above it.

The ark built by Moses was a type of heavenly things. On the top of
this ark were two cherubim with their wings covering the ark where
the glory of God rested. See Exodus 25:20. This represents Lucifer's
position as covering cherub, close to the throne of God in heaven.

Lucifer was "the anointed cherub." Anciently the prophets of the
Lord anointed the kings to show that they were appointed of God to
govern and command. Lucifer was, next to the Son of God, the anointed
commander of the hosts of heavenly angels.

[Illustration: Lucifer after the Fall.

"Prince of the power of the air."]

All his wisdom, beauty, power, and position were given him by God who
had created him. The Creator fitted him for the work He wished him to
do, and the place He desired him to occupy. Lucifer owed everything
which he possessed to his Lord.

But, like some people who have riches and power, he become proud of his
glory. He forgot that it was all the gift of God. The text says, "Thine
heart was lifted up because of thy beauty." Eze. 28:17.

The Son of God was above him, and equal with His Father. Lucifer was
second to Christ; but, considering his beauty and power, he decided
that he ought to be equal with God.

The prophet Isaiah says of him, "Thou hast said in thine heart, I will
exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will be like the Most High."
Chapter 14:13, 14.

But Jehovah could not permit this. The very thought of it by Lucifer
was sin, for it was pride and the exaltation of self. Only the Son of
God could be equal with the Father.

Then rebellion came into the heart of Lucifer. He went among the angels
and told his story. They loved him as their leader, and many took sides
with him.

The loyalty of all the angels was tested. Nearly one-half their number
took sides with Lucifer. Then there was open rebellion in Heaven.
Lucifer had a vast army at his command, and he felt strong enough to
defy God.

But rebellion could not be allowed in Heaven. The rebel host must be
disposed of in some way. God could destroy them at once, for if He
could create them He could also destroy them.

But Lucifer had charged God with being partial and severe, and claimed
that the laws of Jehovah were not needed in Heaven. So God allowed the
rebellion to develop and do its work, that all the universe might see
the awful results of sin, and the final fate of sinners. This will be
an object lesson through all eternity.

    Note.--The twenty-eighth chapter of Ezekiel tells of the
    overthrow of the prince of Tyrus, or the city of Tyre, which
    was a very strong, wealthy, proud, and wicked city on the
    Mediterranean Sea, near Palestine.

    But by reading verses 12-15, it will be seen that this
    chapter has a double application, and that these verses
    refer more especially to some being standing at one time in
    a high position in heaven. It shows him to have been very
    wise, beautiful, and powerful, and near the presence of the
    Almighty God.

    Such a description can apply only to Lucifer, now known as
    the devil, and Satan, described in the accompanying lesson.
    The Bible is full of object lessons; and kingdoms, men, and
    events are often taken to teach important lessons. Christ
    did much of His teaching by parables. He took things as He
    found them in the world to illustrate and make forcible
    great Gospel truths.

    In this chapter the power and beauty, the pride and
    wickedness, and the final overthrow of Tyre were taken to
    represent the high position of Lucifer in heaven, his sin of
    pride and rebellion, and his final fall.


[Illustration: "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from Heaven."]



[Illustration: Satan Marshaling His Host.]



Satan, Prince of Darkness.


LUCIFER and his angels had become God's enemies, or rebels against His
government. They could not be allowed to remain in Heaven.

The Son was appointed by the Father to take command of the true angels,
and drive out the rebel host. Lucifer took command of the angels who
had rebelled with him, and was determined to hold his place in Heaven.

Then "there was war in heaven: Michael [Christ] and His angels fought
against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels." Revelation
12:7.

When Lucifer sinned and fell, his character and work were so changed
that the beautiful name he had in Heaven was also changed. In
Revelation 12:9, he is called "the dragon," "that old serpent," "the
devil," and "Satan."

Of course Satan could not win in such a warfare. "He was cast out into
the earth, and his angels were cast out with him." Revelation 12:9.

In Isaiah 14:12, we read, "How art thou fallen from Heaven, O Lucifer,
Son of the Morning! how art thou cut down to the ground."

Christ refers to this when He said to His disciples, "I beheld Satan as
lightning fall from Heaven." Luke 10:18.

When Satan knew that he had lost Heaven forever, his heart was filled
with anger and hatred for all that was good. His history since then
shows that from that time his motto was, "Evil, be thou my good."

Revenge filled his heart in which the love of God once abode, and all
his wonderful powers were turned against God and His work. Every artful
device of evil angels has been used since then to lead men to follow
them in sin and rebellion against God.

It is well for man to know the strength of the foe he has to meet.
Satan and his angels have on earth the same wisdom which they had
in Heaven before their fall. To this is added six thousand years of
experience in their awful work.

In Heaven Satan's influence was so great that he was able to deceive
and lead into rebellion nearly half the angels. His power to deceive
man is very great.

[Illustration: "How art thou fallen, O Lucifer, Son of the Morning."]

With such power and influence at his command, we can never overcome
the devil in our own strength. When we let go our hold upon God we go
onto the enemy's ground, and are "taken captive by him at his will." 2
Timothy 2:26.

But Christ has twice conquered this foe,--once in the great battle in
heaven when Satan was cast out, and again as a man on earth when He met
all his temptations and came off victorious.

Hence Satan is to Christ a conquered foe. If we trust our Lord fully
He will give us strength in every hour of need, and thus we may become
"more than conquerors through Him that loved us." Romans 8:37.

Paul calls Satan "The prince of the power of the air." Ephesians 2:2.
He it is who causes the terrible cyclones, the tidal waves, and other
awful disasters. Only the restraining hand of God prevents him from
bringing destruction to the world more awful than it has yet known.

In Hebrews 2:14, we learn that the devil has "the power of death." This
is so because sin brought death, and Satan is the author of sin. He
claims all who die as his. Only the power of God can bring them from
"the land of the enemy" at the resurrection.

But some glad day sin and death and Satan will be destroyed. Paul
declared that Christ, by His death, opened the way by which He "might
_destroy_ him that had the power of death, that is, the devil." Hebrews
2:14.

The Lord says through the prophet Ezekiel, "I will bring forth a fire
from the midst of thee, it shall _devour_ thee, and I will bring thee
to _ashes_.... Thou shalt be a terror, and _never shalt thou be any
more_." Ezekiel 28:18, 19.

Then, with the stain of sin entirely removed, God will have a clean
universe, as free from sin as it was before rebellion entered heaven.

[Illustration: The Dominion of All Created Things Was Given to Man.]



[Illustration]



The First Dominion.


IN six days the Creator formed the earth and fitted it up as the home
of mankind. When finished it was very beautiful with trees, flowers,
and fruits.

Before man was created, God also made the birds, fishes, and all the
dumb animals and creeping things. The world was then ready for its
master,--man.

"And God said, Let us make man in Our image, after Our likeness.... So
God created man in His own image." Genesis 1:26, 27.

Man was the last and most perfect work of the great creation week. He
was in the "image of God." He looked like his Creator.

Some, at least, of the wisdom of God was given to him. He could talk,
and think, and reason. As we study God's Word, and learn about Him, He
helps us and teaches us. Thus we grow more like Him, and He gives us
more of His wisdom.

After creating man, God made for him a beautiful garden which was to be
the home of Adam and Eve. This was a sample of what their children were
to make of the rest of the world.

This home was called the "Garden of Eden." It was very beautiful,
for "out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is
pleasant to the sight, and good for food." Genesis 2:9.

"God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is
upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit
of a tree yielding seed." This shows what is the best kind of food for
man to eat. "And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the
air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is
life, I have given every green herb for meat." Genesis 1:29, 30. This
was a perfect diet. The Lord did not intend that His creatures should
be killed and eaten for food.

A beautiful "river went out of Eden to water the garden." The tree of
life was also there. This tree had wonderful power. It would preserve
life, and so long as one should eat of it he would never die.

[Illustration: "Heavenly visitors taught them about God."]

"And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden
to dress it and to keep it." Genesis 2: 15. Man was not to live in
idleness, but must care for the beautiful home which God had prepared
for him.

After all was completed the Lord gave to man the earth and all that was
in it. David said, "The earth hath He given to the children of men."
Psalms 115:16.

Man was also to be ruler of all that was on the earth. For the Lord
said, "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and _subdue_
it; and _have dominion_ over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl
of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth."
Genesis 1:28.

Even the beasts loved man and delighted to obey him. There was no fear
in that wonderful home. All was love, and happiness, and peace.

Christ and the beautiful angels from Heaven often visited the happy
pair in Eden.

These heavenly visitors taught them about God and His love, and gave
them such instruction as would help them to take proper care of their
earthly home.

Before Satan could reach them with his temptations, angels were sent
from Heaven to warn them of his fall, and of his desire to bring ruin
upon then, as he had already done upon the angels who sinned with him.
In this the loving, tender care of God for His creatures was manifested.

[Illustration: Satan Entering Eden.]

God is love. He did not wish sin to enter the world; yet He made man
free so that he could choose wrong doing if he preferred it to God's
way, after knowing of the dreadful results of sin.



[Illustration]



The Dominion Lost.


THE love and obedience of every intelligent being must be tested. Tests
make character. If we obey God's laws and walk in His ways, we become
in character like God and sinless angels.

We must have a good character before we are fit to enjoy the beautiful
home Christ is preparing for those who are faithful. God will give us a
good character, and help us to obey, if we ask Him.

If we refuse to let God help us do right, we are out of harmony, or
at war with Him and Heaven. We then come into harmony, or union, with
Satan and his angels, and when sin is destroyed we must perish with it.

Sin makes people unhappy, and God hates it because He loves everybody.
Happiness can be found only in obedience, or doing right.

Before sin reached Eden, Adam and Eve knew nothing of evil. So their
only test was in regard to one special tree planted in the garden. It
was called the "tree of knowledge of good and evil."

God said of the fruit of this tree, "Ye shall not eat of it, neither
shall ye touch it, lest ye die." Genesis 3:3. If they kept away from
this tree they would never know evil. At that tree was the only place
where Satan could meet them to tempt them.

One day the curiosity of Eve led her to come near the forbidden tree.
By so doing she placed herself where Satan could tempt her, and he
was there to meet her as he always meets us when we go in the way of
temptation.

Satan did not come in his own form, but in the shape of a beautiful
Serpent. Eve would have known him in his real person, for angels had
told the first pair about the rebellion of Satan and his angels. Satan
never comes to us as he really is. He comes as a deceiver, just as he
came to Eve in the garden.

The serpent told Eve that the forbidden fruit was good, and began to
eat some of it. Probably he told her that it gave him power to talk.
Eve looked at it and thought about it. The more she looked at it the
more she wanted some of it.

But she told the serpent that the Lord had forbidden them to eat of it,
for if they did they should "surely die."

[Illustration: Angels sent to tell the first pair about the rebellion
of Satan and his angels.]

But the serpent said, "Ye shall not surely die." "See, I am eating of
it and it does me no harm. In fact, I feel better all the time I am
eating of this fruit."

"For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall
be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." Genesis 3:5.

The devil's statement was partly true and partly a lie. And in all his
work he will mix enough truth with his lies to deceive those who do not
know him and his ways well enough to see the difference.

It is true that the fruit of that tree would make those wise who ate of
it. It would make them wise in the knowledge of evil, and the Lord did
not want them to know anything of evil. Such knowledge brings death.

But Satan lied when he said, "Ye shall not surely die," and he knew it.
He has been telling this lie ever since. The Lord has said, "The soul
that sinneth it shall die."

Eve believed the devil instead of God. She ate of the fruit and gave to
Adam, and he ate of it.

The first result of their sin was shame. They saw that they were naked.
Then they made themselves aprons of fig leaves, and hid themselves so
that none should see them. Sin always brings shame.

But they could not hide from God. He called them and asked what they
had been doing.

[Illustration: Hiding from God.]

Then they began to make excuses and to blame others, just as we often
do when it is found out that we have done wrong; but they could not
deceive their Creator. He told them they should have a life of toil
and trouble, and would finally die. Then they were driven from their
beautiful garden home.

After that the earth was to be the battle ground between good and
evil, between Satan and the Gospel. The Garden of Eden contained so
many of the beautiful things of God that it was too sacred to become
such a battle ground. Sin must not mar it. So man was driven from it to
build for himself, as best he could, a new home which he must keep in
order by hard work.

The earth was cursed with weeds and thistles; but this was not a real
evil to fallen man; for while sin is in the world even hard work is a
blessing because it helps to keep people out of mischief. It has been
truly said that Satan always finds work for idle hands to do.

By disobeying God and obeying Satan man became the servant of sin
and Satan. Paul says, "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves
servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey?" Romans 6:16.

[Illustration: Driven from Eden.]

By obeying Satan man lost his dominion of the earth, and it passed
into the hands of Satan. Thus he became "the god of this world."

[Illustration: "To them, bowed low with grief for sin, the shining
ones made known the way to heaven."]



[Illustration]

The Promised Redeemer.


WHEN one person is owned by another person, and has to work for him, he
is called a slave, or a bond-servant, because he is in bondage, and not
free to do what would be best for himself.

So it is with one who lets himself be controlled by the evil instead
of by the good. The word devil is like the word evil, and means the
same. To do evil is to do as the devil wishes us to do. Put _d_ before
_evil_, and you will see where evil comes from.

A slave can not get free from a cruel master. He has no money to buy
his own freedom, and no power to get away. If he tries to escape, he
is followed and caught, and brought back again to work for his hateful
owner.

Adam and Eve really sold themselves to Satan--the evil, the devil--by
doing as he wanted them to do. They traded their happiness for the
knowledge of wrong which he promised them, and which he gave them.

Thus he became their owner, or master, instead of God who had made
them, and to whom they really belonged.

Now they could not get free, and as the wages, or end of sin, is death,
they must serve Satan all their lives and then die, without any hope of
another life beyond this one.

God and Christ and the angels all pitied man in this sad condition,
and Christ offered to leave Heaven and come to this earth and give His
life for man's life.

Only in this way could He buy back, or redeem man (meaning everybody),
so that all who want to be free from the service of Satan and sin can
escape death, which is "the wages of sin."

Sometimes a rich man buys a slave from his cruel master, so that the
poor man can be free and happy. So Jesus did for us.

We get free from Satan by thanking God for this plan to save us, and
asking Him, for Christ's sake, to forgive our sins and help us to live
a good life, away from our old master, the evil.

This is what the word Redemption means. It is buying back something
that has been sold into bondage. Jesus bought us back after we had sold
ourselves to Satan.

"Ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price," "the precious
blood [the life] of Christ." 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20; 1 Peter 1:18, 19.

This "good news," or Gospel of Salvation, was told to Adam and Eve as
well as to the shepherds on the plains of Bethlehem hundreds of years
afterward, so that all could have a chance to obey God by being made
free from the power of Satan.

[Illustration: "They traded their happiness for the knowledge of
wrong."]



[Illustration]

The First Brothers.


CAIN and Abel were the first brothers who ever lived on the earth.
Cain, the elder brother, was a farmer. Abel was a shepherd, and cared
for his father's sheep.

The Bible does not tell us about them when they were boys, but when
they were grown it says they both brought offerings to the Lord. Abel
brought a lamb as his offering, but Cain brought the fruits of the
ground.

The Lord had told them to bring a lamb for an offering, because it
would cause them to think of Christ, for He was "the Lamb of God" who
was to die for the sins of the world.

Before Jesus came to die, men showed their faith in Him by bringing
a lamb for their sins. God accepted the offerings of all who were
sorry for their sins, and forgave them. This was the Gospel in the Old
Testament. Christ was the "Lamb slain from the beginning of the world,"
because, before the world began the plan was laid that He should die
for man if he sinned.

Abel had faith in God. His heart was filled with love because a way had
been made by which sinners could return to God, receive pardon, and
finally be taken to a new Eden home.

Abel brought a lamb from his flock, and offered it to God for his
sins. Looking at the lamb of his sacrifice he saw Christ, the dying
Lamb, on the mountain of Calvary. His faith was "counted to him for
righteousness," meaning that God called him good. His sins were
forgiven. God was pleased with the offering brought by Abel, and so He
sent down fire from heaven and burned up the sacrifice; but not so with
Cain's fruit.

Then the heart of Cain was like the heart of Satan,--filled with hatred
and rebellion against God. He could see the beautiful Garden of Eden
which had been the home of his parents, but he could not enter it. An
angel with a flaming sword guarded the gateway.

In his heart he charged God with cruelty in shutting them out of the
garden, and dooming mankind to a life of labor and sorrow. He did not
accept with gratitude the wonderful sacrifice made by the Son of God to
redeem the world.

[Illustration: The Offerings of Cain and Abel.]

He preferred to talk of what he called the cruelty of the Creator in
punishing the race. Instead of offering in sacrifice a lamb, which only
could represent the sacrifice of Christ, he brought the fruits of the
ground. He thought as sometimes people do now, that what we have to
offer is good enough, even if it is not just what the Lord calls for.

[Illustration: "The next act was to kill his brother."]

In Cain's offering there was nothing to point to the offering of
Christ. There was no blood showing that death follows sin, and that
Christ was to bear it for us. It was in every way contrary to God's
plan, and so it showed no faith. There was therefore no Gospel in it,
and no salvation. The Lord did not accept Cain's offering, and there
was no answering fire.

As Cain saw the difference, he charged God with partiality, and then
began to hate his brother, as all wicked people hate the good. The next
act was to kill his brother, which was the result of his hatred.

Then the Lord spoke to Cain and asked him, "Where is thy brother Abel?"
Cain tried to cover up his sin by lying about it, as some people try to
get out of trouble now. He said, "I know not; Am I my brother's keeper?"

But the Lord knew all about it, for Cain could not hide his sin from
the Lord any more than we can hide ours. The Lord sent him forth as a
wanderer in the earth, and a hateful look marked his face as long as he
lived. Faces show character.

[Illustration: Outside the Ark.]



[Illustration]

Destroyed by a Flood.


BEFORE the flood men lived to be nearly a thousand years old. They were
much larger and stronger than they are now. Living so long they became
very wise and very rich.

For many years there were those who believed in God and obeyed Him. But
in time most of the people forgot Him and became very wicked.

"And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and
that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil
continually.... And the earth was filled with violence." Genesis 6:5,
11.

So the Lord said He would bring a flood of waters on the earth to drown
all the wicked people.

But Noah and his family were faithful to God. So He told Noah to build
a great boat, called the ark. It was so large that it would hold all
his family, and some of all kinds of animals and birds. It also had
room to hold food for them for many days.

The world was warned in regard to the flood, for Noah was one hundred
and twenty years building the ark. Part of this time he preached,
telling the people of the coming flood, and part of the time he worked
on the ark.

[Illustration: Entering the Ark.]

But the people were too busy and too wicked to heed the preaching of
Noah. They only laughed at him for wasting his time and money building
such a great boat so far from water deep enough to float it.

When the ark was finished, the Lord caused the animals from the
forest, and the birds of the air, to come to it. They came two and
two, and went to their places in perfect order. The angels of the Lord
were leading them, although none could see them. It must have been a
wonderful sight.

When all were in the ark, the Lord shut the heavy door. Then the rain
came down and the thunder rolled. The crust of the earth was broken up,
and the water under the surface was thrown up in great water-spouts.

The water rose higher and higher. It rained forty days and forty
nights. Men and animals climbed to the tops of the highest mountains.
But finally these were all covered. Then all the human beings, the
birds, and the animals on the whole earth were drowned.

But all that were in the ark rode safely on the waters. The power of
God protected the ark through all this terrible time.

Then the Lord caused a wind to blow, which dried up the water. After
floating one hundred and fifty days, the ark rested upon the top of
Mount Ararat.

After this Noah waited forty days, and then he opened the window in the
top of the ark and sent out a raven and a dove. But they found no place
to rest, and so returned to the ark.

Seven days after, he sent out another dove, and in the evening it
returned with an olive leaf in its mouth. After another seven days, he
again sent out a dove, but it did not return.

Finally the water was fully dried up, and God told Noah that he and
all the birds and animals could leave the ark. They must have been very
glad to be on the land once more, for they had been in the ark a year
and seventeen days.

Noah was very thankful to God for saving their lives. "And Noah builded
an altar unto the Lord, and took of every clean beast, and of every
clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar." Genesis 8:20.

[Illustration: Noah's Sacrifice.]

The Lord was pleased with this offering, for it showed that Noah was
still true to God, and had faith in Jesus Christ, the great Sacrifice
for the sins of the world.

Then the Lord said that He would not again destroy the earth with a
flood. And as a covenant, or pledge in regard to this promise, He set
the beautiful rainbow in the clouds.

As all the wicked were destroyed from the earth, the Lord made a new
start with the family of faithful Noah, to raise up a people that would
obey Him and be finally redeemed, or brought back to the first dominion.

Jesus said, "As the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of
the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they
were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the
day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came
and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."
Matthew 24:37-39.



[Illustration]

The Tower of Babel.


NOT long after the flood, some of the descendants of Noah forgot God
who had saved their fathers in the ark. They began to worship idols as
the people did before the flood.

Then Nimrod gathered these wicked people together and went with them to
the plain of Shinar. Nimrod was a grandson of Ham, and a great grandson
of Noah. He was a mighty hunter, and became famous in the earth.

The Lord wanted the people to move in small companies into different
places all over the earth. In this way it could be best settled and
subdued, or cultivated.

Nimrod wanted to build large cities and keep the people together. In
this way he wished to establish a government that would finally rule
the world.

"The beginning of his kingdom was Babel." In this city they decided to
build a great tower that would be the wonder of the world. They thought
they would make the tower so high that they could go to the top of it
and be safe if ever there came another flood.

God had promised that He would never again destroy the world by a
flood, but these people did not believe God. They forgot that if God
could bring a flood on the earth He could also destroy any city and
tower that man could build.

For a long time the work of building this great tower went forward
rapidly. It was finished inside into many rooms, some of which were
used as temples for idol worship.

How long they were at work on this tower we do not know, but it reached
to a great height. The builders were much pleased with their work, and
praised the gods of silver and gold. They believed that these idols
were giving them success.

[Illustration: "Then the people were scattered abroad in the earth."]

Then the Lord interfered with their work. He would teach the people
that He was the true and all-powerful God. He would show to the world
that their idols could not help them nor give them any real success.

It is always best to trust and obey the true God. He alone can give
true happiness and success. Some people now trust in their riches. Some
trust in their strength. Some trust in their education. But almost
every day we hear of some rich man who has lost his wealth, some strong
man who loses his strength by sickness, some educated man who has
failed in his work.

But the man who obeys God and walks in His ways in this world, is sure
of success. He may not be rich, nor strong, nor have great learning,
but he will have true happiness and a reward by and by greater than all
the world can give.

Before building the tower of Babel the whole world spoke one language,
and the people could understand one another easily. But when their work
seemed most successful, the Lord made them speak different languages.
None could understand what the others were saying.

Soon all was confusion. If the workmen ordered brick sent to them, they
got mortar. If they ordered stone, perhaps they got wood. This made the
workman very angry, and their work ended in disappointment and strife.

Then the people were scattered abroad in the earth as God intended they
should be. The tower was then called the tower of Babel, which means
tower of confusion.

Many years afterward the city of Babylon was built around this tower,
and the tower was used as a temple of their god Belus. The tower was
then named the Temple of Belus.

[Illustration: "And he went out, not knowing whither he went."]



[Illustration]



The Call of Abraham.


AFTER the people were scattered from Babel, they became more wicked
than before. Nearly all turned from the true God, and worshiped idols.
Abraham remained true to God; but even his father's household were
beginning to worship false gods. The world then was about as wicked as
before the flood.

Then God chose Abraham to represent Him in the earth. He would call him
the father of the faithful, which means those who have faith, or who
believe God. He would give His truth a new start, as He did when He
chose Noah before the flood.

God would not destroy the sinners, as He did at the flood, but would
call Abraham out from among them. Then through Abraham He would give to
the world the knowledge of the only true God.

But the Lord must separate Abraham from his own kindred and friends,
and teach him, and fit him to be the father of a nation that should
serve Him. Hence Abraham must leave his home, and go where the wicked
lives of his friends and relatives would not lead him away from God.

And God said, "Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and
from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee." Genesis
12:1.

Abraham obeyed at once. "And he went out, not knowing whither he
went." He loved his home, but he loved to obey God more than he loved
his home or friends. He did not even know where he was going. He simply
trusted God.

The Lord led him to the land of Canaan, or Palestine. Lot, who was his
nephew, was the only one of his relatives who went with him.

Abraham was very rich. He had vast flocks and herds and a large number
of servants to care for them. Lot had also large flocks and many
servants.

When Abraham finally pitched his tents in Canaan, he was distressed
to find the country filled with idolatry. Idols were worshiped in the
temples and groves, and human beings were sacrificed upon the hills.

But the Lord appeared to him in the night and said, "Unto thy seed
will I give this land," and, "I will multiply thy seed as the stars of
heaven."

This gave him hope and courage, "And there builded he an altar unto the
Lord who appeared unto him." Genesis 12:7. He did the same as Abel and
Noah. He offered a lamb. This shows that he believed in Jesus who was
to die for the sins of the world.

The Lord prospered Abraham in Canaan, and his wealth, his flocks and
herds, increased wonderfully. By the example of his life the Canaanites
learned of the true God.

Wherever he pitched his tent he built an altar to the true God, and
morning and evening called his large family together to sacrifice and
prayer.

Thus the Canaanites learned of the God of Abraham. They saw that the
Lord was with him. But idol worship had so strong a hold upon them that
few turned to the true God.

By and by there came a great drought in Canaan. The rain ceased to
fall, the streams were dried, and the grass withered. It seemed that
his whole encampment must perish.

Then Abraham journeyed to Egypt where he remained until the rains
again filled the streams and caused the grass to grow in Canaan.

By this visit to Egypt the people there learned of the true God. Thus,
in His own way the knowledge of a promised Saviour was taken by Abraham
to the great countries of Canaan and Egypt.

It was God's plan that through Abraham and his descendants the whole
world should learn of the "good news" of salvation from sin and death,
through Christ who was to suffer for men, and thus buy them back to God
and happiness.

[Illustration: The Departure of Hagar.]

But Abraham had no children, and Sarah, his wife, did not believe that
God would give her a son. So she got Abraham to marry her Egyptian
maid, Hagar. But the Lord said that His promise was not to be fulfilled
through Ishmael, the son of this woman, but through a son whom He would
give Sarah. So after Isaac was born, Hagar and Ishmael were sent away;
for the Lord had said, "In Isaac shall thy seed be called."

[Illustration: The Flight from Sodom.]



[Illustration]

The Destruction of Sodom.


ABRAHAM returned from Egypt "very rich in cattle, in silver, and in
gold." Lot was still with him, and their flocks and herds became so
great that they could not find pasture for them all together.

So Abraham said to Lot, "Is not the whole land before thee? Separate
thyself, I pray thee, from me. If thou wilt take the left hand, then I
will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will
go to the left."

Abraham was the elder, and the choice should have been his. But he was
not selfish, and so gave the choice to the younger man, his nephew.

Lot selfishly chose the plain of Jordan. This was the most beautiful
and productive portion of all the land of Canaan. And he "pitched his
tent toward Sodom."

But Lot did not stop to consider that Sodom and the other cities of the
plain were very wicked. He thought only of his own interests, and was
soon living in the city of Sodom itself. His daughters married wicked
men of Sodom, and so forgot God. Lot could now see the evil of choosing
his home among wicked people.

At last Sodom and some of the other cities near it became so wicked
that God would not suffer them to remain. He must destroy them from off
the earth. But first the Lord would tell Abraham what He was about to
do.

One day when it was very warm, Abraham sat in the door of his tent.
Soon he saw three strangers coming toward him. He ran to them and asked
them to come and sit under a tree and rest while he prepared some food
for them to eat.

After they had eaten, two of the men went toward Sodom, but the third,
who was the Lord, or Christ, remained to tell Abraham that He was about
to destroy Sodom.

Then Abraham began to plead for Sodom. He made many requests of the
Lord, and finally gained the promise that if ten righteous people could
be found in Sodom the city would be saved.

In his child-like faith Abraham felt safe when this promise was made.
In the household of Lot alone he thought there must be at least ten who
were true to God. But the evil surroundings of Sodom had corrupted even
the family of Lot.

[Illustration: "And the Lord appeared unto Abraham in the plains of
Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; and he lift
up his eyes, and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him; and when he
saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself
toward the ground." Genesis 18:1, 2.

The Three Angels.]

The two angels who left Abraham came to Lot and told him to take his
sons and daughters, and flee from the city. But these young persons,
who were married to the people of Sodom, would not heed the warning.

Early the next morning the angels told Lot to take his wife and the
two daughters who were with him, and hasten out of the city.

But Lot lingered, for he was sorry to know that some of his children,
his friends, the beautiful city, and all his wealth must be destroyed.
So the angels took hold of them and hastened them out of Sodom.

Then the angel said to them, "Escape for thy life; look not behind
thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest
thou be consumed." And then the angel adds, "For I can not do anything
till thou be come thither."

The angel had said, "Look not behind thee." But the treasure of Lot's
wife was in Sodom. She did not heed the warning of the angel. She loved
her beautiful home and the riches of Sodom more than she loved God. She
proved unworthy of the deliverance that the angels of God had brought
to them, and she turned and looked back to see if God really meant what
he said. That very moment she became a pillar of salt, dead and white
like a marble statue.

When Lot and his daughters were far away, the Lord rained a horrible
tempest of fire and brimstone upon the cities of the plain, and they
were utterly destroyed. The very ground where they stood is now covered
by the Dead Sea.

Thus God showed His hatred of their awful wickedness. They loved sin,
and were not thankful that God had paid the great price of the life of
His only Son in order to save them from doing wrong, if they would only
ask Him for help to do right. Holding on to sin they perished with it,
as many will perish in the last great "lake of fire" "prepared for the
devil and his angels." That fire is not being prepared for man; heaven
is being fitted up for him. Oh that all would accept it!

Jesus said, "In my Father's house are many mansions; I go to prepare a
place for you." Which place are we preparing ourselves for? We are to
make the choice.



[Illustration]



Abraham and Isaac.


GOD had promised Abraham that he should be the father of a great
nation, and that the land of Canaan should be their home. This was not
to come through Ishmael, but through another son.

God had also promised that "in thy seed shall all nations of the earth
be blessed." Genesis 22:18. Paul says, in Galatians 3:16, that the
"seed" here mentioned is Christ; so Genesis 22:18 is a promise that
Christ shall come through the family of Abraham. In Christ all nations
of the earth are blessed, although not all of them accept the blessing.

Abraham was called "The friend of God," because he loved and served the
Lord so faithfully.

He had a son named Isaac, whom he loved very much. God had told Abraham
that Isaac should be his heir, or have all that was Abraham's when he
died. All the blessings promised to Abraham were to come to his son
Isaac.

But a great trial was to come to Abraham to test his faith in God. The
Lord said to him, "Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou
lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for
a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of."
Genesis 22:2.

What a terrible test this was! How could God's promise be fulfilled
if Isaac should die? But Abraham did not distrust God nor question His
command. He believed that if Isaac should die God would "raise him up,
even from the dead." Hebrews 11:19.

Early the next morning Abraham took Isaac and two of his servants and
prepared for the long journey. They cut the wood and bound it to the
back of his beast, and started for the place of sacrifice.

None but Abraham knew of the awful command of God. His heart was very
sad as they journeyed three days in silence.

[Illustration: Ascent of Mount Moriah.]

On the third day they came in sight of the mountain God had appointed
as the place of sacrifice.

"And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I
and the lad will go yonder and worship.

"And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon
Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they
went both of them together." Genesis 22:5, 6.

As the two walked on in silence, Isaac finally asked, "My father,"
"behold the fire and the wood; but where is the lamb for a burnt
offering?"

This was the first time this question had been asked on the journey.
What pain it must have brought to the heart of the loving father! He
could not tell him yet, so he said, "God will prepare himself a lamb
for a burnt offering."

[Illustration: "Lay not thine hands upon the lad."]

At last they came to the appointed place. They built an altar and
placed upon it the wood. Abraham must now tell his son the command that
God had given. He could keep it no longer.

Isaac heard the message of his fate in sorrow, but he did not resist.
Abraham was a hundred and twenty years old, and weak from grief. Isaac
was twenty years old, and strong and vigorous. He could have escaped
if he had desired to do so, but he, too, had faith in God, and was
obedient to his parents.

Isaac let his aged father bind him down to the wood upon the altar,
just as Jesus was to let Himself be nailed to a cross of wood. The last
good-bye had been said, and the last tender words spoken. Then Abraham
raised the knife to slay his son.

But before the stroke could fall, an angel calls to him from Heaven,
"Abraham, Abraham!" And the patriarch answers, "Here am I."

Then the angel said, "Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou
anything unto him; for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou
hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me." Genesis 22:12.

What a joyful command! How easy it was to obey it! Then Abraham saw
a ram caught in the bushes. This he took and offered upon the altar
in the place of his son. Then they journeyed back to their home with
joyful hearts. The Lord blessed Abraham still more because he had
obeyed Him.

[Illustration: The Lord Directs Abraham's Servant In Selecting a Wife
for Isaac. Genesis 24.]

Abraham was willing that Isaac should die, believing it to be best,
just as God was willing that Jesus should die for us, knowing it to be
best.

Isaac was willing to lay down his own life, just as Jesus was willing
to lay down His life for us.

Abraham was spared the awful sorrow of seeing his son die. Another
victim was found. But no one could take the place of Jesus. His Father
and all the angels in Heaven had to see His dreadful death; and it was
all for us.

[Illustration: Jacob Deceiving His Father.]



[Illustration]



Jacob and Esau.


ISAAC had two sons, named Jacob and Esau. Esau was a little older than
Jacob, and was a hunter of wild animals. Jacob was a shepherd, and
cared for his father's sheep.

Esau, the daring hunter, was very dear to his father; but Rebekah loved
Jacob most because he was so kind and careful.

God had said to Rebekah that "the elder shall serve the younger." So
she knew that the Lord would especially bless Jacob, and finally give
him the birthright, which meant that he was to have a double portion of
his father's wealth, and also become the head of the family when his
father died.

The birthright usually went to the eldest son, but the birthright in
the family of Isaac must go to the son who would obey God. He was to be
the father of God's people,--the children of Israel.

Jacob loved God, and was willing to obey Him. He greatly desired the
blessing which the birthright would bring to him. But Esau did not love
God nor care to serve Him. He would rather live the wild, free life of
a hunter, and do as he chose, than have the birthright.

Jacob did not trust God as he should, for he feared that Esau would
have the birthright because he was the eldest son of Isaac. So he
studied all the time to find some plan to get it away from Esau.

[Illustration: Jacob's Dream.]

One day Esau had been in the fields hunting, but had found nothing.
On the way home he became very hungry. Coming to the tent of his
brother he found him preparing his dinner of pottage. "And Esau said to
Jacob, Feed me I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint."

Jacob forgot that he ought to be kind to his brother. He only thought
that this was the chance he had been looking for. "And Jacob said, Sell
me this day thy birthright."

"And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die; and what profit shall
this birthright do to me?" So he sold his birthright to his brother for
a good dinner.

You see Jacob took a mean advantage of his brother when he was faint
and hungry. This made it easier for him afterward to do another great
wrong, and deceive his father. One wrong act always makes it easier to
do another.

When Isaac was very old he became blind. He was still determined to
give the birthright to Esau. So one day he told him to go into the
field and kill a deer and make some savory meat, and then he would
bless him.

But Rebekah heard it, and she was afraid the Lord would let Esau have
the birthright. She thought she must do something to help the Lord keep
His promise that Jacob should be head of the family.

So she told Jacob to kill two young goats, and she made savory meat,
such as Esau made from venison. Then she dressed Jacob in Esau's
clothes, and sent him in to deceive his blind father.

This was very wicked, for Jacob told lies to his father to make him
think that he was Esau. So through falsehood Jacob got the blessing
which made him head of the family.

When Esau returned and learned what Jacob had done, he was very angry.
Fearing that his brother would kill him, Jacob fled from his father's
house, and went to Mesopotamia, where his mother's family lived.

He felt very sorrowful on his journey. He was afraid that his sin was
too great to be forgiven. But one night he confessed it all to God, and
then laid his head on a stone for a pillow, and went to sleep.

In the night the Lord gave him a beautiful dream. In it he saw a ladder
which reached from earth to heaven. On this ladder there were angels
ascending and descending.

At the top of the ladder Jacob saw his Saviour, who told him that He
was the God of Abraham and Isaac, and that He would be his God, and
make him the father of a great nation. This was because Jacob was sorry
for his sins. The Lord promised to go with him on his journey, and
finally bring him back again, and that his children should have the
land of Canaan for their home.

From this place Jacob journeyed until he came to the home of Laban, his
mother's brother. Here he worked hard twenty years.

One night the Lord came to him in a dream, and said, "Arise, get thee
out of this land, and return unto the land of thy kindred." Then Jacob
prepared immediately to return to Canaan.

[Illustration: Jacob and Rachel.]



[Illustration]



Jacob Returns to Canaan.


JACOB had become very rich in sheep and cattle, and had many servants
to care for them. His journey back to Canaan was slow. He was very sad
because of his sin in deceiving his father.

As he neared his old home he learned that Esau was coming against him
with four hundred armed soldiers. Jacob had no soldiers, and was much
afraid.

Then Jacob divided his band into two companies, thinking that at least
one might escape. He then sent servants with splendid presents to Esau,
hoping thus to touch the heart of his brother.

Jacob had now done all that he could do. Then he went by himself to
spend the night in prayer. He knew that God could touch the heart of
his brother, and this was his only hope.

While praying he suddenly felt a hand laid upon him. He thought it was
an enemy seeking his life. He put forth all his strength to escape, but
could not. Jacob struggled and wrestled until near morning.

Then the stranger touched him on the hollow of his thigh, and his thigh
was put out of joint. Then Jacob knew that he had been struggling with
an angel, and not with a man. It was the Lord, his Saviour.

[Illustration: The Meeting of Jacob and Esau.]

Jacob ceased to struggle, and clung to the Angel. He knew he must
have divine help or perish. Unless God should work for him, his brother
Esau would overcome and destroy him.

But Jacob's faith must be fully tested. The Angel said, "Let me go, for
the day breaketh." With the realizing sense of his sins and of his deep
need, he clung to his Lord the closer, and cried, "I will not let Thee
go, except Thou bless me."

And "he had power over the Angel, and prevailed; he wept and made
supplication unto Him; he found Him in Bethel." And the Angel said unto
him, "What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And He said, Thy name shall
be called no more Jacob, but Israel [A prince of God]; for as a prince
hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed."

If we come to God as Jacob did, with confession, with tears, and a
perseverance that will not be denied, we can prevail with Him also.

The Lord sent an angel to soften the heart of Esau. At sight of Jacob
"Esau ran to meet him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him; and they
wept."

Jacob journeyed to the Jordan, which he crossed, and "came in peace to
the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan." Here he erected
an altar which he named "El-elohe-Israel," which means, "God, the God
of Israel."

[Illustration: Jacob and the Angel.]

[Illustration: The Two Dreams of Joseph.]



[Illustration]



Joseph in Bondage.


JACOB had twelve sons. The ten elder sons were shepherds. They often
went far from home to find grass and water for their father's flocks.
Joseph and Benjamin, the two younger sons, remained at home with their
father.

The elder sons were quarrelsome, and gave their father much trouble.
But Joseph was gentle, kind, and truthful. And Jacob "loved Joseph more
than all his children." To show his love, Jacob made him a beautiful
coat of many colors. These things made his brothers jealous, and they
hated him.

But the Lord was pleased with Joseph because he loved to do right and
obey his father. God had a great work for Joseph to do. So He gave him
two dreams which came true many years afterward.

In his first dream Joseph saw himself and his eleven brothers in the
field binding grain into bundles, or sheaves. And his bundle arose and
stood upright, and his brothers' bundles bowed down to his bundle.

Probably Joseph did not know what his dream meant. Had he known, he
would not have told it to his brothers. When he did tell it to them
they hated him more than ever, and said, "Shalt thou indeed rule over
us?"

Some time after this Joseph dreamed another dream. In this dream he
saw the sun, moon, and eleven stars. And they all bowed down to him. He
told this dream to his father and to his brethren. And his father said
to him, "Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow
down ourselves to thee to the earth?" But years after, when the famine
came, the father, brothers, and their families had to depend on Joseph
for even the food which they ate.

One day Jacob sent Joseph to find his brethren, for he wanted to know
if they were well. They were many miles away caring for the sheep.

When they saw Joseph coming, these wicked brothers said one to another,
"Behold, this dreamer cometh. Let us slay him, and cast him into some
pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him; and we shall
see what will become of his dreams."

[Illustration: Sold to the Ishmaelites.]

But Reuben would not consent to have Joseph killed, so they took off
his beautiful coat, and cast him alive into a pit. Soon a company of
Ishmaelites came along on their way to Egypt. Then the brothers drew
him out of the pit and sold him to be a slave.

After Joseph was gone, the brothers began to think of their father,
and what they should tell him. Then to hide their sin they did another
wicked thing. They killed a young goat and put its blood all over
Joseph's coat, so it would look as though some wild beast had slain him.

Some of the brothers then took the coat to their father, and told him
they had found it. They said they had brought it to him to see if it
was Joseph's coat.

And Jacob said, "It is Joseph's coat; some evil beast hath devoured
him." And Jacob rent his clothes and mourned for his son many days. The
wicked brothers deceived their father then, but many years afterward
the truth came out, and they had to confess their sin.

[Illustration: "And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath
shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art."]

Joseph was sold to a rich man in Egypt, by the name of Potiphar. The
Lord blessed Joseph, and Potiphar saw that whatever he did prospered.
So he made him steward of all that he had.

But God had a higher place for Joseph, and he must reach it through
affliction. In all his troubles it was the Lord who was giving Joseph
just the training he needed to fit him for the great work before him.

Through a wicked and false charge of Potiphar's wife, Joseph was cast
into prison. But by his honesty he gained the confidence of the keeper
of the prison, and was given charge of the prisoners.

One morning he met the chief butler and the chief baker of the king.
They had been cast into prison for some offense, and were looking very
sad. He kindly asked the cause, and each said that he had dreamed a
strange dream, and could not tell what it meant.

Joseph then said, "Do not interpretations belong to God? tell me them,
I pray thee." Then they told their dreams, and the Lord told Joseph
their meaning. In three days the butler was to go back to his place
with the king, but the baker would be put to death.

Then Joseph told the story of his wrong treatment to the butler, and
asked him to tell the king, and try to get him out of prison. But the
butler was like many other people who soon forget those who were their
friends in trouble. When he got out of prison he forgot all about
Joseph and his request.

But God was working all the time in His own way. The king had two
dreams in one night, which seemed to mean the same thing. He wanted to
understand them, so he called in the wise men of his kingdom, but they
could not tell what the dreams meant.

Now get your Bible and read the forty-first and forty-second chapters
of the book of Genesis, and see what these dreams were, and how the
Lord got Joseph out of prison and made him ruler of Egypt.

When the dreadful famine came, he had corn saved up to keep the
Egyptians from starving. Thus the Lord often uses good people to
provide for the needs of those who are evil.

But God had another reason for delivering Joseph from prison. What do
you think it was?



[Illustration]



Joseph and His Brethren.


WHEN food began to be scarce with Jacob's family, he sent his ten sons
to Egypt to buy corn. Joseph knew his brethren when he saw them, but
they did not know him. He did not look like the boy whom they had sold.

As they bowed before him, the ruler of Egypt, he remembered his dreams
of many years before. He saw them fulfilled completely. As the sheaves
had bowed to his sheaf, so his brethren were now bowing to him.

His heart went out in love for them, but before he should tell them who
he was, he wanted to know if they were still wicked, or if their hearts
had been changed since he had been separated from them.

Joseph accused them of being spies. But they denied the charge, and
said that they were true men, and a family of twelve brethren. Ten were
in Egypt, the youngest was with their father, and one was dead. They
had never heard of Joseph since they had sold him, and supposed he was
dead.

But Joseph still accused them of being spies, and shut them all up in
prison for three days. These days in prison were days of sorrow. They
felt that they were being punished for their cruel treatment of Joseph.

Finally Joseph called them from prison. He told them that all but one
could return to their father. He would keep Simeon in prison until they
should come back to Egypt, but they must bring their youngest brother
when they came, or Joseph would not even see them.

Joseph chose Simeon to remain because he had been the chief actor in
their cruelty to him in the past. They returned to their home with
heavy hearts.

When the food brought from Egypt was nearly gone, Jacob said to his
sons, "Go again, buy us a little food." But they dared not go unless
Benjamin should go with them. To this the father at last consented,
and they again went to Egypt, taking with them presents for the great
governor.

As they started, the sorrowful father raised his hands to heaven and
prayed, "God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may send
away your elder brother, and Benjamin. If I am bereaved of my children,
I am bereaved."

When they reached Egypt, their brother Simeon was released, and all
were brought to dine at the house of the governor. According to the
customs of Egypt, Joseph must eat at a table by himself, and the eleven
brothers at a table by themselves. They had been jealous of Joseph in
his home, and he wanted to know if they had become better men. So he
sent five times as much food to Benjamin. They showed no jealousy now.

But Joseph desired to test them once more. So when the sacks were
filled with corn he had his silver drinking cup put secretly into
Benjamin's sack.

The eleven brothers departed joyfully, and felt that they had escaped
all the perils which they feared. But they had hardly left the city
when they were overtaken by the governor's steward.

He said to them, "Wherefore have ye rewarded evil for good?" He then
accused them of stealing the cup. They all denied taking it, and felt
so sure that they said if it was found with one of them he should die,
and all the rest would become servants of the governor.

But the steward would not agree to this. He said, "He with whom it is
found shall be my servant; and ye shall be blameless." So all the sacks
were opened, and the cup was found in Benjamin's sack.

What will the brothers do now? If still selfish, they will leave their
brother to his fate, and go back home. But no, they were changed men.
They would now face any peril to save their brother. They rent their
clothes to show their grief, and all went back with him to the city,
and met the governor.

Then Judah offered to become a slave in the place of Benjamin. This
test was enough. Joseph now _knew_ that his brothers were changed.

[Illustration: "I am Joseph, your brother."]

Did he make slaves of them because they had sold him into bondage when
he was a boy?

Find the forty-fifth chapter of Genesis and read what he did, and
how the king felt about it when he heard the news, and what became of
Joseph's brothers and their father's family.

[Illustration: Building the Pyramids]



[Illustration]



Moses.


AFTER the death of Joseph "there arose up a new king over Egypt, which
knew not Joseph." This king did not wish to remember the good that
Joseph had done.

The children of Israel had increased in numbers; "and the land was
filled with them." The Egyptians feared that if there was a war the
Israelites would join their enemies and fight against them.

So the king made them slaves, and set taskmasters over them to make
them work. "And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in
mortar, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field."

They thought that by their cruelty and the hard work in the fields,
they would stop the Israelites from increasing in the land. "But the
more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew."

Then the cruel king commanded that all the boys should be killed at
their birth. But even this plan did not succeed. The Israelites still
increased in the land.

It was at this time that Moses was born. For three months he was
carefully hidden at home and cared for by his mother. But she dared not
keep him there any longer. So she made an ark of bulrushes, and laying
the babe in it, hid it among the flags by the river.

His sister Miriam anxiously watched the little ark while the mother
prayed earnestly that her child might not be destroyed. God heard the
mother's prayer, for the babe in the little ark was to be used by the
Lord to deliver Israel from bondage.

One day the daughter of the king came to the river to bathe. She saw
the ark, and sent one of her maids to bring it. When she opened it and
saw the beautiful child, she knew why it was there, and said, "This
is one of the Hebrews' children." And the child wept, and Pharaoh's
daughter pitied it.

Then Miriam came near and said to Pharaoh's daughter, "Shall I go and
call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child
for thee? And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and
called the child's mother.

"And Pharaoh's daughter said unto her, Take this child away, and nurse
it for me, and I will give thee thy wages."

How glad the mother was to again have the care of her own child. He was
now safe, for he was the adopted son of Pharaoh's daughter. And better
still, he was in the home of his own parents.

The mother had the care of her boy until he was about twelve years
old. During these years she taught him carefully about the true God.
These lessons he never forgot. They kept him pure and free from the
wickedness and idolatry which surrounded him in after years.

From his humble home he was taken to the royal palace, and became the
son of Pharaoh's daughter. "And she called his name Moses," which
means, _drawn out_. For, she said, "I drew him out of the water." In
his royal home he was trained in all the learning of the Egyptians.

This training fitted him for the highest position in all Egypt. He
was the leader in Pharaoh's army, and became a great general. Pharaoh
determined that when he died, his daughter's adopted son should be
king. But all the plans of man were "overruled by God for the training
and education of the future leader of His people." Moses was not to
shine as king of Egypt.

One day, when Moses was forty years old, he saw an Egyptian smiting an
Israelite. He thought the time had come for him to help his people, so
he slew the Egyptian and buried him.

Here Moses made a mistake. He took into his own hands the work which
God had promised to do. He supposed his people were to be delivered by
warfare, and that he, a skillful general, was to be the leader of the
Hebrew armies.

But God had a different plan. By His own hand He would bring His
people out of bondage. In the delivering of Israel, He would teach the
Egyptians the knowledge of the true God by such wonders and plagues as
they could never forget.

[Illustration: Pharaoh's Daughter finds Moses in the Ark of Bulrushes.]

When King Pharaoh learned that Moses had killed the Egyptian, he
commanded that he should be slain. But Moses fled toward Arabia, and
the Lord led him to Jethro the prince of Midian, whose flocks he cared
for during the forty years in which God was preparing him to lead the
Israelites out of bondage.

[Illustration: Moses and Aaron Before Pharaoh]



[Illustration]



The Plagues of Egypt.


ONE day as Moses was leading Jethro's flocks near Mount Horeb, he saw a
strange sight. A bush was on fire, but it did not burn up. So he went
to see what it should mean.

As he came near, a voice from the bush said to him, "Put off thy shoes
from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground."
Then Moses knew that it was the Lord who was talking to him from the
bush.

The Lord told Moses that the time had come for the Israelites to go
free from their bondage in Egypt. He told Moses to start for Egypt, and
that his brother Aaron would meet him on the way and go with him.

They were then to go to Pharaoh and tell him that the God of Israel had
sent them to him, and that he must let His people go. And he gave Moses
wonderful signs to show to Pharaoh, so that he would know that God had
sent them.

When Moses and Aaron came before Pharaoh and told him what the Lord had
said, he answered, "Who is the Lord that I should let Israel go?" The
Hebrew slaves were very valuable to the Egyptians, and they wanted to
keep them, and make them do their hard work.

Pharaoh asked them to show a miracle to prove that their God had sent
them. Then they performed one of the wonders that the Lord had given to
Moses. Aaron cast down his rod, and it became a serpent. Then Pharaoh
called in his sorcerers, who were wicked men claiming to have power to
do wonderful things. He showed them what Aaron had done with his rod,
and asked them if they could turn their rods into serpents.

Then the sorcerers cast down their rods, and they appeared to become
serpents also. But while they were looking at them, Aaron's serpent
swallowed the serpents of the sorcerers.

But the work of the sorcerers was only a deception of their master, the
devil. God only could really give life to the staff of Aaron. Neither
the devil nor his servants can give life to anything. But the sorcerers
had deceived the people and made their work look like God's work.

By thus deceiving Pharaoh they destroyed the effect of God's miracle,
and so the king's heart was hardened against letting Israel go. Satan
is ever counterfeiting, or imitating, the work of God. He often makes
his lies appear like God's truth. In this way he leads many away from
God.

Then God sent ten terrible plagues upon the land of Egypt. Each one
was more awful than the one before it. They were sent to teach the
Egyptians that the God of Israel was the only true God, and to punish
them for refusing to obey Him.

_The First Plague._--The River Nile, which they worshiped, was turned
to blood.

_Second Plague._--An army of frogs, which the Egyptians considered
sacred, came up from the river. They went into all the houses, and even
into the ovens and the troughs where they made their bread.

_Third Plague._--The very dust of Egypt became lice on both man and
beast.

_Fourth Plague._--Swarms of flies came up until "the land was
corrupted" because of them.

_Fifth Plague._--A "grievous murrain" came upon the cattle, so that a
great many of them died.

_Sixth Plague._--Moses sprinkled dust into the air, and it became boils
on man and beast.

_Seventh Plague._--An awful hail, mingled with fire, smote the land,
and killed all men and beasts that were not under shelter.

_Eighth Plague._--Clouds of locusts came up and ate every green thing.

_Ninth Plague._--"Darkness which might be felt" covered the land for
three days. It was so dark that the people did not dare to go out of
their houses.

Through nine plagues Pharaoh's heart had remained hard and rebellious
against God. Egypt was a ruined country because of this. Now the Lord
told Moses that He would send one more plague, more terrible than all
the others, and then they would be glad to let His people go.

But before it came, the Hebrews were to "borrow" from the Egyptians
"jewels of silver and jewels of gold." For many years they had toiled
without wages. What they received at this time was only a partial
payment for their long years of service. This silver and gold would be
needed when they should build the tabernacle in the wilderness.

_Tenth Plague._--At midnight the angel of the Lord was to pass through
Egypt and slay the first-born in every house, and the first-born of
beasts.

None of the other plagues had come near to the land of Goshen where the
children of Israel dwelt. But now they had a part to act or they would
suffer with the Egyptians when the destroying angel should pass through
the land.

In order to escape, the Israelites must separate from the Egyptians,
and come into their own houses. They were to kill a lamb, and, with a
bunch of hyssop, strike some of its blood upon the door-posts of their
houses. Wherever this was done the destroying angel would "pass over"
the house, and all within it were safe.

They were also to roast the lamb whole, and eat it at midnight, while
the destroying angel was doing his awful work among the Egyptians. They
were to eat it standing, their shoes on their feet, their staff in
hand, ready for flight.

This most solemn ceremony was called the "passover," because the
destroying angel passed over the houses of those who had faith in God's
commands and had put the blood upon the door-posts of their houses. The
children of Israel were commanded to keep the passover each year as a
memorial of their preservation in Egypt.

[Illustration: Death of the First-born.]

The passover was also a type of Christ, the Lamb of God. As the blood
of the passover lamb upon the door-posts saved those in the house from
death, so all will be saved now who confess their sins, believing that
the blood of Jesus was shed to save sinners just as surely as the blood
of the passover lamb saved those who trusted in it.



[Illustration]



Out of Bondage.


"AND it came to pass, that at midnight the Lord smote all the
first-born in the land of Egypt; ... and there was a great cry in
Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead."

And Pharaoh "called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up,
and get you forth from among my people." And he hurried them out of the
land of Egypt with their flocks and herds and all they possessed.

When Jacob went into Egypt his whole company numbered only seventy.
When Israel left Egypt there were six hundred thousand men, beside
women and children. The whole number must have been nearly three
millions.

The Lord went before them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of
fire by night. And the children of Israel went forward and camped by
the Red Sea.

After Israel had left Egypt, Pharaoh became angry because he had let
them go. So he took a very large army and pursued after them, and
overtook them as they were camped by the Red Sea.

There seemed to be no way of escape for the Israelites. They were
hedged in between the mountain and the Red Sea, and behind was the army
of Pharaoh. But the Lord had brought them there to test their faith,
and show once more how He would deliver them from their enemies.

[Illustration: The Egyptians Overthrown In the Red Sea.]

Moses was commanded to stretch forth his rod, and as he did so the
sea parted and left a dry road through which the Israelites passed
over and were safe. And so blind and foolish was Pharaoh that he and
his army followed after. When Israel was safe on the other side, Moses
again stretched forth his rod, and the sea came back and drowned
Pharaoh and all his army.

The Lord cared for his people wonderfully on their journey. At Marah
the water was bitter, and they could not drink it. The Lord showed
Moses a tree, and told him to cast it into the water; and when he did
so it was made sweet and good.

By and by the food which they had brought from Egypt began to fail.
The Lord wanted them to learn to trust Him, and so He was willing they
should have difficulties to test them. But they did not trust the Lord.
They began to complain and find fault with Moses. God had promised
to care for them, and if they had only believed Him they would have
learned precious lessons and received great blessings.

Then the Lord said to Moses, "I will rain bread from Heaven for you."
In the morning they found it on the ground, and called it Manna. Each
one gathered just enough to last through the day. This manna would keep
fresh and sweet only one day. So they all had to depend on the Lord
every day for the food they ate.

In Egypt the people had forgotten the Sabbath. Now the Lord would have
them remember it. So on the seventh day no manna was given. But on the
sixth day the people gathered enough for two days.

And the Lord kept it sweet for them over the Sabbath. This was a
Sabbath lesson for them every week. The Sabbath was made for man, and
given to him at creation as a memorial of God's great work of making
the world in six days. But Israel had forgotten. God wants His Sabbath
kept holy now as well as in the time of Israel in the wilderness.

[Illustration: Water from the Rock.]

When they came to Rephidim there was no water, and the people
complained again to Moses. And the Lord told Moses to go to Mount Horeb
and smite the rock with his staff. When he did so, water burst from the
rock, enough for the whole camp. It was Moses who smote the rock, but
the Lord made the waters to flow.

Whenever the camp was pitched after this they found good water flowing
from the rock for them. This rock was to make them and us think of
Christ, and the water flowing from it represents the living water of
the Word of God which He gives to all who want it.

Soon a new danger arose. The Amalekites came out to attack them. Joshua
led the armies of Israel against them. While the battle was going on,
Moses stood on a hill and raised his hands to God and prayed for the
success of Israel. When he became weary and lowered his hands, the
Amalekites were successful. Then Aaron and Hur held up the hands of
Moses until the sun went down, and Israel gained the victory.

This was to teach Israel that the victory came from God, and that he
would hear and answer prayer. It also taught them that they should help
their leader, Moses, in the great work he had to do.

[Illustration: The Camp and Tabernacle in the Wilderness.]



[Illustration]



Mount Sinai.


FROM Rephidim Israel journeyed to Mount Sinai. Here God would give His
law to the people, and here they were to build the tabernacle for His
holy service.

Before this time these people had no books to read. God's Word and His
law had been told from father to son, and so remembered. But during the
slavery in Egypt this instruction had been forgotten by many, until
they had become like the heathen around them.

During their journey God had spoken to Israel only through Moses. But
at this time all the people were called together, and God spoke His law
to them with His own voice.

The scene which the people saw was terribly grand. There was a thick
cloud on the mount, and amidst it were thunderings and lightnings. The
whole mountain was shaken with an earthquake.

There was a loud blast of a trumpet from the mount, "so that all the
people that was in the camp trembled." Then God spake His law to the
people,--the ten commandments recorded in Exodus 20:3-17.

The children of Israel were always to remember this scene. It was to
impress upon their minds the greatness and power of God, the importance
of His law, and the necessity of obeying it.

Moses was called up into the very presence of God, on the top of the
mountain. Here God gave him two tables of stone on which He had written
with His finger the same ten commandments that He had spoken in the
hearing of all Israel.

God's law is as enduring as the stone on which it was written. These
two tables are called "the tables of the covenant." Deuteronomy 9:11.
The ten commandments are called God's covenant with His people. "And He
wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments."
Exodus 34:28.

David said that His covenant, or law, was "commanded to _a thousand
generations_." Psalms 105:8. It will _continue forever_. Christ Himself
said, "Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no
wise pass from the law." Matthew 5:17, 18.

Again He said, "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least
commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least (or,
of no account) in the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:19.

The Apostle James said, "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and
yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." James 2:10. Keeping nine
of the commandments will not save us. If we break _one_ commandment,
the law will condemn us as surely as if we broke all the ten.

Man can not change _one single commandment_ of God's law. If he tries
to do so, it is then only a commandment of men. The worship of those
who make or keep such commandments is useless, for God will not accept
it. Christ said of those who do so, "But in vain do they worship Me,
teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." Matthew 15:9.

The only safe course is to take God's law _just as He gave it_ on
Sinai, and obey it _as_ He gave it. Of those who will be alive when
Christ comes it is written, "Here are they that keep the commandments
of God." Revelation 14:12.

Heaven will be filled with commandment-keeping people; for it is
written, "Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have
right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the
city." Revelation 22:14.

We can not keep these commandments ourselves any more than the children
of Israel could in the wilderness. It is for this that Christ died on
Calvary. Through Him we can have forgiveness for our sins, and receive
help to overcome sin and obey the law of God.

While Moses was in the mount God gave him instructions for building
the sanctuary. It was to be like the one in heaven. In it the Lord
would meet His people and give them such instruction as they needed.
Provision was also made in it for sacrifices and offerings, all of
which were to show their faith in the Saviour to come.

Moses was in the mountain one-ninth of a year. The faith of the people
was not strong enough to endure the long separation from their leader.
They did not think he would return to them. They said, "As for this
Moses, ... we wot not what has become of him."

They came to Aaron and said to him, "Up, make us gods, which shall go
before us." They would make to themselves a calf as their leader to
take the place of Moses, and then go on to the promised land without
him. The old habits of idol worship in Egypt had come back to them.

So Israel brought their ornaments of gold to Aaron, and he made of them
a golden calf. The calf represented Apis, the god held most sacred by
the Egyptians.

When it was done the people gathered around it and cried, "These be thy
gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt." Exodus
32:4.

How could they so soon forget the wonders and plagues brought by the
Lord upon Egypt! How could they forget the terrible day when God spake
to them His law from the top of Mount Sinai!

And the Lord said to Moses, "Get thee down, for thy people have
corrupted themselves." As Moses came in sight of the camp of Israel,
and saw their heathen worship, he was filled with horror and anger.

In his hands he bore the tables of the sacred law which they were
transgressing. He threw them down, and they were broken in pieces at
the foot of the mount. This was to remind the Israelites that they had
broken God's law which they had promised to obey. In consequence of
this they could not claim the promise He had made them.

Through the pleading of Moses, God spared Israel at this time, but the
rebellion and evil must be put away from among them.

Moses called for a separation in the camp. Some had not joined in the
idolatry, but through it all had remained true to God. These were asked
to take their place at the right hand of Moses. Many others saw how
wicked they had been, and repented. These took their stand at the left.

Others were stubborn and would not repent, and would not come by the
side of Moses at all. About three thousand of the leaders in wickedness
perished at the command of the Lord, and the camp was cleansed.

[Illustration: The Ark of the Covenant.

And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: ... And thou shalt put
the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the
testimony that I shall give thee. Ex. 25:17, 21. And He gave unto Moses
... two tables of testimony, written with the finger of God. Ex. 31:18]

Aaron confessed his sin in making the golden calf, and was forgiven.
The calf was ground to powder and scattered in the waters of the brook
from which they drank.

At the command of God, Moses hewed out two more tables of stone, and
took them up to Sinai. On these God again wrote His law. When the
sanctuary was completed, these tables were placed in a beautiful ark,
overlaid with gold. For this reason it was called "The Ark of the
Covenant."

This ark was the most sacred thing in all the earthly sanctuary. It was
sacred because it contained the tables on which God had written His
law. It was deposited in the most holy place, into which none but the
high priest ever entered.

On the top of the ark was the mercy seat, and here was where the glory
of God rested, and from this place He spake to His people.

When the children of Israel were taken captive by the Babylonians, the
ark disappeared, and the Bible makes no mention of it since that time.

[Illustration: Moses Breaking the Tables of the Law.]

[Illustration: The Return of the Spies.]



[Illustration]



The Twelve Spies.


AFTER all the work on the tabernacle was done, the Israelites again
took up their march toward the promised land. In eleven days they
reached Kadesh, near the borders of Canaan.

Here twelve spies--one from each tribe--were sent to view the land.
They were gone forty days, and on their return brought samples of the
fruit of Canaan. They brought one cluster of grapes, so large that it
was carried on a pole between two of the men.

In their report to Moses they said, "We came unto the land whither thou
sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the
fruit of it." Numbers 13:17.

Oh, if they had only been willing to stop there in their report! But
they went on to tell that the land was filled with strong nations.
There were walled cities that could not be broken down, and there were
giants, the sons of Anak.

Then Israel lost all hope and courage, "And all the congregation ...
cried; and the people wept that night." And they murmured against Moses
and Aaron, and said, "Would God we had died in Egypt! or ... in the
wilderness.... Let us return to Egypt." Numbers 14:2, 4.

Where now was their faith and trust in God? They had forgotten the
wonders and plagues and the deliverance from Egypt. They had forgotten
the many times God had done wonderful things for them on their journey.
Surely a God who could do such things could give them the victory over
their enemies in Canaan.

Only two of the twelve spies kept their faith in God. Caleb and Joshua
told the people that God was able to give them the land. "And Caleb
said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to
overcome it." Numbers 13:30. But the people would not listen to them.

Then God spake to Moses, and told him that Israel had been so
rebellious that those who came out of Egypt should never enter the land
of promise. They should wander in the wilderness forty years until they
died, and when their children were grown He would bring them into the
land.

But Caleb and Joshua had been faithful to God. These two were excepted,
and of all the men that left Egypt, only these two should finally enter
Canaan. The other ten spies, who had caused Israel to sin, were smitten
by the plague, and died in the sight of all Israel.

All the next night Israel spent in mourning. They now realized what
they had lost. But in the morning a new hope came to them. They would
make up for their lack of courage. They would now go up and take the
land.

The armies of Israel gathered, but Moses said to them, "Go not up, for
the Lord is not among you." They had lost their opportunity, and if
they went up God would not fight for them.

But the army of Israel was a vast multitude of over half a million
solders. They now felt able to attack their enemies. So against the
command of God they went up to battle with the armies of the Canaanites
that had come out to meet them.

But the ark of God remained in camp, and so did Moses and Aaron, Caleb
and Joshua. Without a leader, and forsaken of God, the army of Israel
was defeated with great slaughter.

Then the Israelites turned back to the wilderness.



[Illustration]



The Brazen Serpent.


THE Israelites wandered in the wilderness nearly forty years. Then, at
the command of the Lord, they again turned their faces toward Canaan.

On this journey they were permitted to meet many difficulties, that
their faith and trust in God might be tested. They were sometimes short
of food to eat and water to drink, and as they neared the promised land
great armies came out to destroy them. But the Lord helped them in
every trouble, and gave them the victory over their enemies.

Part of their way lay through a hot, sandy desert, where they suffered
from heat and thirst. But, instead of being patient, they rebelled
against God, and found fault with Moses.

Then the Lord let serpents come into the camp, whose bite was like
fire, and brought sure death. Some in almost every tent were bitten.

This punishment showed them their sin, and they came to Moses and said,
"We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee.
Pray unto the Lord that He take away the serpents from us." Numbers
21:7-9.

In answer to the prayer of Moses the Lord told him to make a serpent of
brass, and raise it up on a pole, so that all in the camp could see it.
Those who were bitten were told to look at this Serpent and they would
be healed. The serpent could not heal them, but to look required faith,
and faith brought the healing power.

[Illustration: The Brazen Serpent.]

The Lord could have healed them with a word, but the lesson must
be complete. The lifting up of the serpent was to them a type of the
lifting up of Christ on the cross, for through Him only could they
receive pardon and relief from the consequences of sin. The brazen
serpent was an object lesson to lead the children of Israel to look to
Christ.

The Hebrews had the same Gospel, or good news of pardon and salvation
through Christ, that we have. Speaking of them in the wilderness, the
Apostle Paul says, "For unto us was the Gospel preached as well as unto
them." Hebrews 4:2.

Every sacrifice they made for sin, every lamb slain, was to show their
faith in "the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."
John 1:29. The blood of the offering was a type of the blood of Christ.

Jesus Christ is the great central figure of the Gospel. It was Christ
who was with Israel in all their journey from Egypt to the promised
land.

Christ was the "Spiritual Rock" which followed them. He was in the
pillar of cloud by day, and in the pillar of fire by night. He was the
"Angel" that went before Israel; for Jehovah said, "My name is in Him."
(See Exodus 23:21, 22.) No being bears the name of God but His Son.

So, in the history of the world, it has not been as some have supposed,
God the Father in the Old Testament, and Christ the Son in the New
Testament. It has been Christ with His people all the way.

In the Old Testament Christ was their "Spiritual Rock." In the New
Testament, "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself." 2
Corinthians 5:19.

Both the Father and the Son have ever worked for the salvation of man;
but Christ has been the active agent in this work. It was God who "so
loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son" for our redemption.
It was Christ who made the terrible sacrifice for our salvation.

[Illustration: The Israelites Crossing the Jordan.]



[Illustration]



Entering the Promised Land.


AS Israel neared the promised land, both Moses and Aaron died. Joshua
was then made commander in the place of Moses.

Soon they came to the River Jordan, which they must cross. Here again
the Lord made a way for them. He told Israel to go forward, and as the
feet of the leaders touched the water, the river stopped flowing from
above, and the bed of the stream was left dry. Then the people passed
over on dry ground, as their fathers had crossed the Red Sea forty
years before.

The book of Joshua tells of the battles that Israel fought with the
inhabitants of the land of Canaan. These were very wicked nations, who
were as bad as the people who lived before the flood. So the Lord used
the armies of Israel to destroy those wicked people.

The first city overthrown was Jericho. This city had very strong and
high walls, and the Hebrews were not able to break them down. But the
Lord could do what man could not.

One day Joshua saw a man near the camp, with a sword drawn in his
hand. "And Joshua went unto him and said, Art thou for us or for our
adversaries?

"And he said, Nay; but as Captain of the host of the Lord am I come."
Joshua 5:13-15. Then Joshua knew that it was Jesus Christ, for He is
the Captain of the Lord's host.

[Illustration: Joshua Commanding the Sun to Stand Still.]

The Lord told Joshua what to do. Each day, for six days, all the army
of Israel was to march around the city. The soldiers were to go ahead,
the priests with the ark of God were to come next, and all the rest of
the people were to follow.

On the seventh day they marched around the city seven times. "And
it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the
trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the Lord hath given
you the city." Joshua 6:16.

And when the people shouted, the walls of Jericho "fell down flat,"
and the soldiers went into the city and utterly destroyed it as the
Lord had told them to do. This was to show to all nations that God was
fighting for Israel.

The tenth chapter of Joshua also tells of a very wonderful battle
between Israel and five of the kings of Canaan. All day the battle
lasted, and God fought for Israel, sending down great hailstones upon
their enemies. More were killed by these hailstones than were slain by
the Israelites.

As the conflict raged, Joshua saw that the day would be too short to
finish the battle. Then, led by the Spirit of God, he commanded the sun
and moon to stand still until the work should be fully done.

"So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go
down about a whole day. And there was no day like that before it or
after it." Joshua 10:13, 14.

In this battle the armies of the wicked Canaanites were utterly
destroyed, and their kings slain.

When the nations of Canaan were fully conquered, the land was divided
up and given to the different tribes of Israel, as their home.

[Illustration: Gideon's Three Hundred.]



[Illustration]



The Judges of Israel


AFTER the death of Joshua, Israel was governed by judges for many
hundred years. Sometimes these judges were wicked men, and led the
people into the worship of idols.

Then the Lord, although He still loved them, allowed their enemies to
afflict them, that they might remember that He alone could save them
from their foes and from sin.

Then when they returned to Him, confessed their sins, and put away
their idols, He would choose good and wise men to be their judges. He
would then go with their armies to battle, defeat their enemies, and
deliver them.

At one time the armies of Midian afflicted Israel for seven years. At
harvest time they would come "as grasshoppers for multitude," and take
from Israel "all the increase of the earth." During these attacks the
people fled to the dens, and caves, and strongholds of the mountains.

Then Israel cried to the Lord for help, and He raised up Gideon to
deliver them. One day an angel appeared to him, as he was threshing
grain in secret for fear of the invaders. And the angel told him that
he was chosen to "save Israel from the hand of the Midianites."

Gideon then prepared food and brought it to the angel. He also asked
for a sign that he might know that the words spoken by the angel came
from the Lord. So instead of eating the food, the angel said to Gideon,
"Take the flesh and the unleavened cakes, and lay them upon this rock,
and pour out the broth."

When Gideon had done as he was told, the angel touched the food with
the rod in his hand, and fire came out of the rock and burned it. Then
the angel disappeared, and Gideon knew that it was the Lord who had
spoken to him.

And the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon, and he made a call for
soldiers. But before he dared take command of the army that gathered,
he asked for other signs that he might be sure that God had really
chosen him and would go with him.

So one night he spread a fleece of wool on the floor, and asked the
Lord that if He had chosen him to lead Israel, to let dew fall on the
fleece, and the rest of the floor be dry. And in the morning he found
it so.

The next night he asked that the dew might fall on the floor and dampen
it, and the fleece remain dry. This also was done. Then Gideon knew
that the Lord had called him to lead the armies of Israel.

Gideon's army numbered only thirty-two thousand men, but their enemies
were "like grasshoppers for multitude." Yet the Lord told Gideon that
his army was too large. The Lord would show all Israel that He would
deliver them if they would trust him.

So Gideon was told to let all who were fearful go back to their homes.
As a result, twenty-two thousand men returned, leaving only ten
thousand.

Yet _these_ were too many. The army must be so small that every one
would know that it was God alone who gave the victory. So at the
command of the Lord they were led to a brook to drink.

Those who kneeled down and drank were sent home. But there were three
hundred men whose thoughts were only on the work before them. They
dipped up the water in their hands, and drank as they went on, with
their faces toward the enemy.

These three hundred men were then armed for their work, and in a
strange manner. Each man was given a trumpet, a pitcher, and a blazing
torch hidden in the pitcher. This little army was then divided into
three companies, and, in the darkness of night, approached the hosts of
Midian from three sides.

At a signal from Gideon, all three companies gave a blast of their
trumpets to awaken the sleeping enemy. Then they broke the pitchers and
let their torches flame up, and gave the battle cry,--"The sword of
the Lord, and of Gideon." To the Midianites it appeared that they were
surrounded by a great army.

In their fear they fled for life. They mistook their own companions for
enemies, and killed one another. The news of the victory spread, and
thousands of Israel joined in pursuit of their retreating foes, and the
great army of Midianites was utterly destroyed.

The strongest and most wonderful Judge of Israel was Samson. According
to instruction given his mother from the Lord, he was a "Nazarite" from
his birth. This meant that he was to drink no wine, and the hair of his
head was never to be cut.

As he grew up, the Lord gave him wonderful strength. One day as he was
passing through a vineyard of the Philistines, a young lion met him. He
had no weapons with him, but with his bare hands he tore the lion and
killed him.

Soon after this a great army of Philistines came out against Israel.
"And the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon Samson." His only weapon
was the jaw bone of an ass; but with this he defeated the whole army of
the Philistines, and slew a thousand of them.

[Illustration: Samson Carrying the Gates of Gaza.]

Here was another lesson of what the Lord could do for His people.
Gideon had three hundred men when he fought the hosts of Midian; but
at this time one man alone won the battle against an army of the
Philistines.

At another time Samson stayed part of a night in a city of the
Philistines, called Gaza. And the dwellers in Gaza shut the gates, and
set men to watch them, so that when he should come out they might kill
him.

But before morning Samson arose, tore down the great gate of the city,
carried it on his shoulders to a hill, and left it there.

All the wonderful things that Samson did, and how he finally died, a
prisoner to the Philistines, are recorded in Judges 13-16.

About fifty years after Samson's death, Samuel was born, who was to
be both a judge and a prophet. His mother was a good woman. The Bible
says, she "lent him to the Lord as long as he liveth." 1 Samuel 11:28.

Eli was priest at this time in the temple of the Lord, and "the child
Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli."

While Samuel was a small boy, it came to pass one night, ere the lamp
of God went out in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was,
and Samuel was laid down to sleep, that the Lord called Samuel, and he
answered, "Here am I," thinking Eli had called him.

Three times this occurred. Then Samuel said, "Speak, Lord; for Thy
servant heareth."

Let us answer the Lord as did Samuel. He speaks to each of us in His
word, the Bible.

[Illustration: The Child Samuel.]

[Illustration: The Parting of David and Jonathan.]



[Illustration]



The Kings of Israel.


UNTIL the days of Samuel, Israel was not governed by kings. Jehovah had
promised to be their Ruler and King. Had they been true to Him they
would have been prospered and given every needed blessing.

But the people wanted to be like the nations around them. So the elders
came to Samuel and said, "Make us a king to judge us like all the
nations."

Samuel was a prophet of the Lord, and had been the judge of Israel for
many years. Their demand for a king displeased him, for he felt that
the people had rejected him.

But the Lord told Samuel to do as they asked, "for they have not
rejected thee, but they have rejected Me." And the Lord chose Saul, of
the tribe of Benjamin, to be king.

At the command of the Lord, Samuel anointed Saul as king. A little
later he called the people together and presented their new-made king
to them. And they shouted, "God save the king!"

But Saul soon became proud, and many times refused to obey the Lord.
Then the Lord rejected Saul and chose David, a young shepherd boy, to
be king when Saul should die. And Samuel anointed David to be king in
the place of Saul.

[Illustration: David and Saul at the Cave.]

When Saul heard of this he was very angry, and tried many times to
kill David. Saul wanted his son Jonathan to be king when he died. How
foolish it was for Saul to try to kill David, when God had said he
should be king over Israel!

So David fled from Saul, and for many years lived among strangers, and
in the dens and caves of the mountains. But Saul hunted him so many
times that David had to change his hiding place very often.

One time Saul lay down to sleep in the very cave where David was
hidden, not knowing he was there. Some of the men who were with David
wanted him to kill Saul, but he would not do it. He only crept up to
the king and cut off a piece of the robe which he wore.

When the king had gone, David called to him and showed him the piece he
had cut from his garment. Saul saw at once that David could have killed
him as easily as he cut a piece from his garment.

Then Saul promised David that he would not again try to destroy him.
But David did not trust his promises; and it was well he did not, for
Saul was soon hunting him as wickedly as before.

Notwithstanding David was hated by Saul, his son Jonathan loved David.
They were as brothers to each other. Jonathan was a true servant of
God. He was always true to David, and whenever he could aid him in
escaping from his father, he did so, notwithstanding he knew that David
was to be made king instead of himself. This shows that he was one of
the most generous and lovable characters recorded in the Bible.

Finally there was a great battle between Saul's army and the
Philistines. In this battle Jonathan was slain, and Saul fell on his
own sword and killed himself.

Soon after this David was made king. In most things he was a good
king, and obeyed the Lord and ruled Israel well. He was a great
warrior, and subdued the enemies of his people.

[Illustration: Solomon and the Queen of Sheba]

At the death of David, his son Solomon was made king. He was a very
wise man and a good king. It was he who built at Jerusalem the
wonderful temple for the service of the Lord.

The wisdom and riches of Solomon were so wonderful that his fame was
spread abroad in all the earth. And the queen of Sheba, in Arabia, came
to see if all the reports she had heard were true.

And the queen asked Solomon hard questions; but he was able to answer
every one of them. She was then shown the riches and wonderful works of
Solomon.

When ready to return to her own land she told Solomon that she had
heard wonderful reports about him and his kingdom, but she had not
believed them. Now, she said, "Mine eyes have seen it; and, behold, the
one-half of the greatness of thy wisdom was not told me." 2 Chronicles
9.

After the days of Solomon, Israel was ruled by many kings. Some of them
were good, and their rule brought the blessing of God to their people.
But many were wicked men who led Israel into sin and idolatry. Then the
Lord could not protect them, and their enemies would afflict them.

The history of Israel is a sorrowful story. God wanted to bless them
and make them the light of the world. He wanted to show the whole world
what wonderful things He would do for those who were faithful to Him.
But they preferred their own way, and in consequence perished as a
nation.

The apostle Paul says that "all these things happened unto them for
ensamples; and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends
of the world are come." 1 Corinthians 10:11.

[Illustration: Daniel in the Den of Lions]



[Illustration]



The Prophets of Israel.


AFTER Samuel, the sixteen prophets whose writings bear their names in
the Bible, may be classified as follows:--

(1) Those before Israel's Babylonian captivity, namely: Jonah, Joel,
Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, Micah.

(2) Those near to, and during the captivity: Nahum, Zephaniah,
Habakkuk, Jeremiah, Daniel, Obadiah, Ezekiel.

(3) Those after the return from the captivity in Babylon: Haggai,
Zachariah, Malachi.

The books which bear these names in our Bible are not arranged in the
order in which they were written; but in the order of their supposed
importance. But man can not tell which part of God's word is most
valuable. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God."

Peter says that "the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man;
but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." 2
Peter 1:21.

We will refer to a few prophecies which have been fulfilled:

Isaiah mentions by name the Persian prince, Cyrus, 200 years before he
was born, and tells what he should do. Compare Isaiah 44:28 with Ezra
1:1, and notice the dates in the margin of your Bible.

Isaiah also foretold and described the sufferings of Jesus. Compare
the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah with Luke 22:37; John 1:10, 11;
Matthew 8:17; 1 Peter 2:24, 25; Acts 8:32-38; Luke 22:37; Matthew
27:57-60.

Forty-seven of the sixty-six chapters in Isaiah are referred to in the
New Testament, and Jesus twice mentioned Isaiah by name. Matthew 13:14;
Matthew 15:37.

Jeremiah prophesied that Jerusalem should be destroyed, and that during
the siege the famine should be so great that the Jews should "eat the
flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters." Jeremiah 19:9.

This prophecy was given six hundred and five years before Christ, and
it was fulfilled when the Roman army surrounded Jerusalem, A. D. 70,
thirty-six years after the crucifixion of Jesus.

Some of the most wonderful of the prophecies are in the book of Daniel.
The history of the world since his time is given plainly in chapters
two, seven and eight.

[Illustration: Daniel Interpreting the King's Dream.]

In the second chapter the Lord foretold, by a dream, what should come
to pass from that time to the end of the world.

Daniel, a prophet of the Lord, was given wisdom to tell the king his
dream, which he had forgotten, and also its meaning, after the false
prophets had confessed that they could not do so.

Daniel said: "There is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and
_maketh known_ to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the _latter
days_." Daniel 2:28.

So the interpretation is for us, because "the secret things belong unto
the Lord our God; but _those things which are revealed belong unto us
and to our children_." Deuteronomy 29:29.

Prophecy is history told in advance. The Lord is the only one who can
do this without making a mistake.

Turn to Daniel 2:31-36, and read the dream. Verses 37 to 45 interpret
it plainly, showing that the four parts of the image mean four great
kingdoms.

History tells us that the Babylonian kingdom, symbolized by the head
of gold, was conquered B. C. 538 (five hundred and thirty-eight years
before the time of Christ), by the Medo-Persians, represented by the
breast and arms of silver. Cyrus was their general.

The Medo-Persians were overcome by the Grecians, under Alexander, 331
B. C. The brass thighs of the image represent their kingdom.

The Romans, "strong as iron," signified by the legs of iron, subdued
the Grecians in the year 168 B. C.

The feet and toes of the image represent the ten parts into which the
Roman empire was divided between the years 351 and 476 after the birth
of Christ.

These parts of Rome exist in Europe to-day, under the names, England,
Germany, France, Spain, Italy, etc., and will continue separate (see
verse 43) until the kingdom of Christ is set up, represented by the
stone "cut out of the mountain without hands," which "shall break in
pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and shall stand for ever." Jesus
said, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."

[Illustration: Swords and Plowshares, Spears and Pruning Hooks.]



[Illustration: They that take the Sword shall Perish with the Sword....]



What the Bible Says About War.


THE great Teacher said, "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you,
do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use
you." Matthew 5:9, 39-44.

When everybody does this, there will be no war. All will be righteous;
for "love is the fulfilling of the law," God's standard of right-doing.

But no person can love everybody without a change of heart. "Ye must be
born again," said Jesus. This change, or new life, comes by _believing_
that God will change us. It is only when we stop believing right that
we stop doing right.

If the world would believe, the world would be converted, or changed;
but the parable of the tares and the wheat (Matthew 13:36-43), and
what Jesus said about the "many" in the broad way and the "few" in
the narrow way (Matt. 7:13, 14), show that "many are called, but few
chosen."

Yet thousands of people are prophesying "peace and safety" (1
Thessalonians 5:1-5), forgetting that "evil men and seducers shall wax
worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived" (2 Timothy 3:13), and
that the "tares," or sinners, are finally to be destroyed instead of
being changed over into wheat. "Ye will not come unto Me," said Jesus.

One of the prophecies of Isaiah (2:2-5) says that "many people" "in
the last days" shall talk about peace as if it were coming soon by the
conversion of the world. The marginal reading of Isaiah 2:16, calls
such talk "pictures of desire," and says they shall "be brought low"
(verse 12).

Verses three to five tell what the "_people_" are saying. Verses six to
twenty-two are the _prophet's_ declarations because of what the people
have said. He foretells destruction for those who do not repent, the
same as does the prophet Joel. It will be a time of general war. Here
are the _people's_ sayings and the _Lord's_ sayings, side by side. They
are direct opposites; yet both refer to "the last days," when "the day
of the Lord is near:"

"It shall come to pass in _THE LAST DAYS_ that ... _MANY PEOPLE_ shall
say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the
house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we
will walk in his paths:...

"And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people:
and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into
pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither
shall they learn war any more.

"O house of Jacob, come ye and let us walk in the light of the Lord."
Isaiah 2:2-5.

Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles. Prepare war, wake up the mighty
men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up:

"Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears:
let the weak say I am strong.... Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest
is ripe: come, ... for their WICKEDNESS is great.

"Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the
Lord is near in the valley of decision." Joel 3:9-16.

The _DAY OF THE LORD_ "shall come as _A DESTRUCTION_ from the
Almighty." Isaiah 13:6-11.

[Illustration: John the Baptist by the Jordan.]



[Illustration]



The Birth of Jesus.


"THERE was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

"The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all
men through Him might believe.

"He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light."
John 1:6-8.

"As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send My Messenger before
Thy face, which shall prepare Thy way before Thee.

"The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the
Lord, make His paths straight.

"John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of
repentance for the remission of sins.

"And there went out unto him all the land of Judea, and they of
Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan,
confessing their sins.

"And John was clothed with camel's hair, and with a girdle of a skin
about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey;

"And preached, saying, There cometh One mightier than I after me, the
latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose.

"I indeed have baptized you with water; but He shall baptize you with
the Holy Ghost." Mark 1:2-8.

[Illustration: The Wise Men Following the Star.]

In ancient times, when a king made a visit to another country, he sent
messengers before him. These messengers would see that there was a good
path for him to travel, and that the people where he was going were
ready to receive him.

John the Baptist was God's messenger, sent to arouse the people of this
world, and prepare them to receive Jesus when He should come to visit
them.

Before Jesus came to this earth He was a great King in heaven. Paul
says He was "equal with God." Philippians 2:6.

We can never understand how the Son of God, the great King of heaven,
could come to this earth as a babe. This is one of God's great
mysteries.

But he did come in just this way. He was born in a manger in Bethlehem.
Coming in this humble manner, the priests and rulers of Israel were not
ready to receive this Babe as their Saviour. They were looking for Him
to come as a great King, in pomp and splendor.

But there were on the plains of Bethlehem some humble shepherds who
were looking and waiting for the promised Messiah. To them angels were
sent to tell of the birth of Jesus.

And the angel said, "Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling
clothes, lying in a manger." And they went to Bethlehem in haste, and
found the infant Jesus as the angel had told them.

God meant that others, as well as the Jews, should know that the
Saviour had come to begin His work on earth. Away off in the Eastern
country there were wise men who had read the prophecies about the
Messiah, and believed that He would soon appear.

One night these men saw a wonderfully bright star in the sky, moving
toward the land of Judea. They believed this to be a sign that the
Messiah had come. So they followed the star, and it brought them to the
manger in Bethlehem.

"And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child
with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him; and when they
had opened their treasures, they presented unto Him gifts; gold, and
frankincense, and myrrh.

"And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to
Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

"And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth
to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and His
mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word:
for Herod will seek the young child to destroy Him."

[Illustration: The Shepherds Worship Jesus.]

Find the second chapter of Matthew, and read about the flight into
Egypt, and why they finally went to Nazareth, in Galilee, instead of to
a city of Judea. Verses 15 and 23 tell the reason.



[Illustration]



The Childhood of Jesus.


THE early life of Jesus was spent in Nazareth, a small city in the
northern part of Palestine. His parents were very poor, and He had only
what poor children have.

His father was a carpenter, and Christ learned the carpenter's trade
and worked with him. From His earliest days He was a pattern of
obedience and industry. He was used to a life of hardship and toil, and
can comfort all those who must work for a living.

Of the childhood of Jesus it is written, "The child grew, and waxed
strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon
Him." Luke 2:40.

The mother of Jesus was His first earthly teacher. From her lips, and
by reading the prophecies, He was taught of heavenly things and of His
mission to this world.

The wonderful truths which He Himself had spoken to Moses and the
prophets, He was now taught by His mother. The Holy Spirit gave her
wisdom to teach Him aright. All parents should teach their children as
Jesus was taught, that every child may obtain knowledge as Jesus did.

Jesus left all His glory and power when He came to earth as a babe. He
took His place by the side of the fallen men of earth. He came "in the
likeness of sinful flesh." He was subject to all the temptations and
weakness of our fallen race.

[Illustration: Jesus among the Teachers of the Law.]

Yet by the power of God He was kept from yielding to the temptations
which surrounded Him. This power He gained by earnest prayer to His
Father in Heaven. This power every child and man can obtain in the same
way.

In His humble life, as the child of poor parents, He faithfully did
His part of the work. Ever obedient and cheerful, He was as a pleasant
sunbeam in the home circle.

Once a year His parents went up to Jerusalem to attend the passover.
When Jesus was twelve years of age He went up with them.

When the feast was over, Joseph and Mary started for home with a
company of friends, but Jesus remained in Jerusalem. They supposed He
was in the company, and did not miss Him until they had journeyed a
whole day. Then they turned back to find Him.

[Illustration: Jesus in the Carpenter Shop.]

"And it came to pass, that after three days, they found Him in the
temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them and
asking them questions." Luke 2:46. These doctors were learned men in
the Scriptures, yet they were astonished at the questions and answers
of Jesus. They soon saw that He had a deeper knowledge of the Word of
God than they had, although He was so young.

Jesus seemed to know the Scriptures from beginning to end. He repeated
them in such a way that their true meaning shone out. His knowledge of
the Scriptures made them ashamed.

"Though Christ seemed like a child that was seeking help from those who
knew a great deal more than He did, yet He was bringing light to their
minds in every word He spoke." While appearing to instruct Jesus, these
doctors were asking questions and learning Bible truths which they did
not understand.

And while Jesus was thus teaching others, "He Himself was receiving
light and knowledge about His own work and mission in the world; for it
is plainly stated that Christ 'grew in knowledge.'"

When Mary found Him she said, "Son, why hast Thou thus dealt with
us? Behold, Thy father and I have sought Thee sorrowing." And Jesus
answered, "How is it that ye sought me? Wist ye not that I must be
about My Father's business?"

His parents could not understand Him then, but when He began His
ministry it was plain to them.

"And He went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto
them; but His mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus
increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man." Luke
2:41-53.



[Illustration]



The Early Ministry of Jesus.


WHEN Jesus was about thirty years of age, He went to be baptized by
John in the River Jordan. He was not baptized because He was a sinner,
but to set an example for all to follow.

When He came out of the water the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove,
descended from Heaven upon Him. Then the voice of God was heard, saying
"This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

The descent of the dove upon Christ was His anointing for the work of
the ministry that was before Him. From the Jordan the Spirit led Him
into the wilderness, where He fasted forty days, and where the devil
tempted Him in many ways, as recorded in Matthew 4:1-11.

From the wilderness He returned to the Jordan, and began to choose His
disciples. We next hear of Him at the marriage at Cana of Galilee,
where He performed the wonderful miracle of turning water into wine.

Soon after this, Jesus went to Jerusalem to attend the feast of the
passover. As He entered the temple where God was worshiped, He found
the court filled with cattle, sheep, and birds, for sale to those who
would buy sacrifices for their sins.

Cheating and robbery were carried on in the very temple court. Even
priests and rulers were engaged in this unholy traffic. As Jesus stands
on the temple steps His eye views the whole scene. His countenance
changes, and all seem compelled to look upon Him.

[Illustration: Jesus Drives the Buyers and Sellers from the Temple.]

All trading ceased, and there was silence in the temple court. Then,
raising a whip of small cords, He cried, "Take these things hence; make
not My Father's house an house of merchandise." John 2:16.

Priests, and rulers, and merchants fled in terror from the temple. They
could not endure the look on His face nor the power of His voice. The
divine power had flashed through the humanity of Christ.

After a time the crowd that had fled at the words of Jesus came slowly
back; but what a change had taken place! Instead of unholy trade, they
saw the Saviour healing the sick who were pressing around Him.

On every side was heard the urgent, pitiful appeals, "Master, bless
me." All were healed who came to Him. The lame were made to walk, the
dumb to speak, and the blind to see.

The mothers brought their children to be healed and blessed. The little
sufferers were returned to their mother's arms with the bloom of health
and the smile of happiness on their faces.

Jesus loved the children because they were so pure and innocent and
simple in their ways. He took them as an example of the purity and
simplicity that should show in the lives of those who should follow Him.

One day some mothers brought their children to Jesus, hoping that He
would bless them. But He had worked a long time, and needed rest. So
His disciples rebuked the mothers, and told them not to trouble the
Master.

"But when Jesus saw it, He was much displeased, and said unto them,
Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not; for of
such is the kingdom of God." Mark 10:14.

The pen of Julia Gill has given the following beautiful description of
this scene:--

[Illustration: Jesus Blessing the Children.]



Christ and the Little Ones.


    "THE Master has come over Jordan,"
      Said Hannah, the mother, one day,
    "He is healing the people who throng Him,
      With a touch of His finger, they say.

    "And now I shall carry the children--
       Little Rachel, and Samuel, and John,
     I shall carry the baby, Esther,
       For the Lord to look upon."

    The father looked at her kindly,
      But he shook his head and smiled;
    "Now, who but a doting mother
      Would think of a thing so wild?

    "If the children were tortured by demons,
       Or dying of fever, 'twere well,
     Or had they the taint of the leper,
       Like many in Israel."

    "Nay, do not hinder me, Nathan--
       I feel such a burden of care;
     If I carry it to the Master,
       Perhaps I shall leave it there.

    "If he lays His hand on the children,
       My heart will be lighter, I know,
     For a blessing for ever and ever
       Will follow them as they go."

    So over the hills to Judah,
      Along the vine-rows green,
    With Esther asleep on her bosom,
      And Rachel her brothers between,

    'Mong the people who hung on His teaching,
      Or waited His touch and His word,
    Through the row of proud Pharisees listening,
      She pressed to the feet of the Lord.

    "Now, why shouldst thou hinder the Master,"
      Said Peter, "with children like these?
    Seest not how, from morning till evening,
      He teacheth, and healeth disease?"

    Then Christ said, "Forbid not the children--
      Permit them to come unto Me."
    And He took in His arms little Esther,
      And Rachel He set on His knee;

    And the heavy heart of the mother
      Was lifted all earth-care above;
    And He laid His hands on the brothers,
      And blest them with tenderest love.

    As He said of the babes in His bosom,
      "Of such is the kingdom of heaven,"
    New strength for all duty and trial
      That hour to her spirit was given.

[Illustration: At the Home of Mary and Martha]



[Illustration]



Jesus in the Home.


ON earth Jesus had no home of His own. He said of Himself, "The foxes
have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man
hath not where to lay His head." See Matthew 8:20.

He never remained long in one place. We read of His beautiful teachings
and wonderful miracles in all parts of Palestine. At one time He is on
the shore of the Sea of Galilee. At another time He is in Jerusalem,
cleansing the temple and healing the sick. Then He is by Jacob's well,
in Samaria, teaching the people of Sychar the way to everlasting life.

He had no home of His own, but many were glad to receive Him as a loved
and honored guest. When in these homes He more than repaid them for
their care, by the beautiful lessons He taught, and the sorrows He
comforted.

And we can have Jesus in our homes to-day just as truly as they had Him
when He was on earth. If we invite Him, He will come into our homes and
dwell with us, and teach us, and help us in all our trials, and comfort
us in all our sorrows.

In the little town of Bethany, near Jerusalem, was the home of Lazarus
and his sisters Mary and Martha. At this pleasant home the Saviour was
always welcome. This whole family believed in Jesus and His mission,
and eagerly listened to the words which He spake.

In this peaceful home Jesus often found rest. When weary, and feeling
the need of human sympathy, He was glad to escape from the throngs of
people, and the contentions of the wicked Pharisees, for the quiet and
peace of this humble home.

At the time of His first visit to Bethany, His disciples came with Him
to the home of Lazarus. Here He had no enemies to watch his words, and
He taught the great truths of the gospel plainly, and not in parables.

Prizing these lessons, Mary sat at the feet of Jesus, an eager listener
to the wonderful words of life. But Martha was busy preparing food for
the guests. She was very anxious that they should be comfortably cared
for.

Martha felt that her sister was not helping in the work as she ought,
and came to Christ, and said, "Lord, dost Thou not care that my sister
hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me."

But Jesus answered, "Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled
about many things; but one thing is needful; and Mary hath chosen that
good part which shall not be taken away from her." Luke 10:40, 41.

The most important thing in this world is to learn the great lessons
which Jesus teaches. There is need for the Marthas with their zeal and
carefulness for the work and servants of God. But first they should,
like Mary, learn at the feet of Jesus.

    "Happy the home where Jesus' name
       Is sweet to ev'ry ear;
     Where children early lisp His fame,
       And parents hold Him dear.

    "Lord, may we in our homes agree,
       This blessed peace to gain;
     Unite our hearts in love to Thee,
       And love to all will reign."



[Illustration]



The Miracles of Jesus.


DURING His mission on earth, Jesus performed many wonderful miracles.
He healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, made the deaf to hear,
cleansed the lepers, raised the dead, stilled the storm, and did many
other wonderful works.

At one time Jesus had been teaching all day in a desert place. As the
night came on the disciples asked Him to send the people away that they
might go into the villages and buy food to eat.

But Jesus answered, "Give ye them to eat." They were astonished at
this, for there were five thousand people to be fed, and they had only
five loaves and two small fishes.

Then Jesus took the loaves and fishes and blessed them, and divided
them among the people. "And they did all eat, and were filled. And they
took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes," Mark
6:39-44

At another time four of the disciples fished all night on the Lake
of Gennesaret, or Galilee, and had caught nothing. And Jesus said to
Peter, "Launch out into the deep, and let down your net for a draught."

But Peter was discouraged, and said, "Master, we have toiled all the
night and have taken nothing; nevertheless at Thy word I will let down
the net. And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude
of fishes; and their net brake." Luke 5:1-7.

[Illustration: The Net Full of Fishes.]

Then Peter and Andrew called to James and John to come with their boat
and help them. And both boats were filled with the fish.

Some time after this miracle, Jesus and the disciples were crossing
this same lake, and a terrible storm arose. But Jesus was lying asleep
on one of the hard seats of the boat.

The disciples worked hard to save the boat; but when it began to fill
with water, they awoke Him, and said, "Master, Master, we perish." And
the Saviour rebuked the storm, and it ceased, and the waters became
still.

Every miracle performed by Jesus had a lesson for us. These miracles
show that the Lord can control every element for the good of His people
and work. They also show that He can provide for all our wants.

Wherever Jesus went, the sick and the suffering were brought to Him,
and He never turned them away. By a touch the blind received their
sight. By a word the deaf were made to hear, and the lame to walk.

To the appeal of the lepers He said, "I will, be thou clean," and they
were cured of their loathsome disease. At His command the devils were
cast out, and those having all manner of diseases were healed.

All sickness and suffering are the result of sin. When the same dear
hand that healed the sick on earth shall destroy sin, all sickness and
suffering shall be forever ended.

Among the many miracles of Jesus, even the dead were raised to life.
The daughter of Jairus, a ruler in Israel, was sick, and before Jesus
reached her she died. Yet He took her by the hand, and said, "Damsel, I
say unto thee, arise." And she was raised to life and perfect health.
See Mark 5:22-43.

The son of the widow of Nain was raised from the dead as he was being
taken to the place of burial. See Luke 7:11-15.

But the greatest exhibition of divine power was in the raising of
Lazarus, who had been dead four days. He had been dead so long that no
one even thought of his being raised.

But when the stone was rolled away, Jesus cried, "Lazarus, come forth!"
At the call of the Life-giver, he that had been dead came to the door
of the sepulcher. And Jesus said, "Loose him, and let him go." These
miracles show that Jesus can break the power of death. When He shall
again come to this earth He will bring the final reward to His people.
See Revelation 22:12.

[Illustration: The Mighty Healer.]

Paul based his future hope on the resurrection. "For if the dead rise
not, then is not Christ raised; and if Christ be not raised, your faith
is vain, ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which have fallen
asleep in Christ are perished." 1 Cor. 15:16-18.



[Illustration]



The Parables of Jesus.


MUCH of the teaching of our Saviour was made plain by the use of
parables, or object lessons. He took the things of every-day life, with
which all were familiar, to illustrate the truths of eternal life.

"And He spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves
that they were righteous, and despised others:

"Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the
other a publican.

"The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank Thee,
that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or
even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all I
possess.

"And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his
eyes unto Heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to
me a sinner." Luke 18:9-13.

Our own righteousness is nothing but "filthy rags." Our own good deeds
can never save us. Prayer is simply coming to God as our Father. It is
telling Him of our needs, and thanking Him for His blessings.

The Pharisee felt no need, and so received no blessing. The publican
knew he was a sinner, and asked for the mercy of God. Hence he went
from the temple forgiven, "justified," made just before God. His record
was made clean on the books of Heaven.

[Illustration: The Pharisee and the Publican]

In another parable Jesus said, "There was a certain rich man, which
was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day.

"And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his
gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell
from the rich man's table." See Luke 16:19-31.

The rich man died and was punished, because he had not made God his
hope and trust. But Lazarus, although poor and afflicted, had been a
servant of the Most High God. He also died, but received the glorious
reward which God has in store for all who obey Him.

This parable teaches that riches are no sign of God's favor; neither
does poverty indicate that one is rejected of God. At another time a
lawyer asked Jesus, "Who is my neighbor?"

[Illustration: The Rich Man and Lazarus.]

Jesus answered with a parable. A man traveling from Jerusalem to
Jericho was met by thieves, who beat him, and robbed him, and left him,
supposing he was dead.

A priest came that way, but passed by on the other side of the road. A
Levite also came and looked at him, and then went away without giving
aid. But at last, one of the Samaritans (a people despised by the Jews)
came along. When he saw the wounded man, he bound up his wounds, lifted
him onto his beast, took him to an inn, and cared for him.

Then Jesus asked, "which now of these three, thinkest thou, was
neighbor unto him that fell among the thieves?" And the lawyer could
only answer, "He that showed mercy on him." Then Jesus said, "Go, and
do thou likewise." See Luke 10:25-37.

[Illustration: The Good Samaritan.]

Our neighbor is any human being in need. A man despised may be living
out the principles taught by Christ, better than the ones who despise
him.



[Illustration]



The Death and Resurrection of Jesus.


AFTER three years and a half of ministry, Jesus came to Jerusalem to
eat the last passover. From the supper room He went with His disciples
to the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus knew that the time for His suffering
and death had now come, and He went to the garden for one last season
of prayer to His Father.

We can never understand the terrible sufferings of Christ in
Gethsemane. He was to suffer for the sins of the world. He must feel
the displeasure which God has for sin.

So great was His mental agony that drops of blood, like sweat, stood
upon His face. Three times He prayed to the Father for strength and
submission for the awful trial before Him.

After each prayer He came to the disciples for sympathy; but each time
found them asleep. Had they watched and prayed with the Master, they,
too, would have received strength for the trial and sorrow before them.

After the last prayer, He said to the disciples, "Rise, let us be
going; behold he is at hand that doth betray Me." Matthew 26:45, 46.
They were then met by the throng that had come to take Jesus, and Judas
betrayed His Master with a kiss.

[Illustration: In Gethsemane.]

That same night Jesus was examined before the high priests and
the Sanhedrim, and in the morning He was taken before Pilate for
condemnation. Pilate was a Roman governor, and no one could be put to
death unless he commanded it.

When Pilate saw Jesus, he did not believe he was a criminal. He saw a
man of noble, dignified bearing, with no appearance of crime about Him.

But men had been hired by the priests to testify falsely against Jesus.
Pilate listened to them, and then questioned the Saviour. He then gave
his decision, "I find no fault in the Man." Pilate wished to release
Him: but the priests were determined that he should be put to death.

Then Pilate sent Jesus bound to Herod, for Herod was ruler of Galilee,
and the home of Jesus had been in that country. The soldiers mocked and
derided Him, and then Herod sent Him back to Pilate.

Pilate was angry when Jesus was brought back to Him for final trial.
So he said, "I will therefore chastise Him and let Him go." But the
priests would not consent, and all cried out, "Away with this man."
Nothing less than the death of Jesus would pacify them.

At this time God sent a warning to Pilate. An angel troubled the mind
of Pilate's wife, and she sent word to her husband, "Have thou nothing
to do with that just Man; for I have suffered many things this day in a
dream because of Him." Matthew 27:19.

But Pilate feared to displease the Jews. So he washed his hands before
the people, to show that he would not be responsible for the death
of Jesus. And yet Pilate condemned Him to death, and He was taken to
Calvary and crucified between two thieves.

Tender, loving hands took Him down from the cruel cross, and laid Him
away in Joseph's new tomb. But the tomb could not hold Him.

[Illustration: The Dream of Pilate's Wife]

Early on the morning of the first day of the week, a powerful angel
was sent from the courts of Heaven. The stone was rolled away from the
tomb, and the angel cried with a loud voice, "Jesus, Thou Son of God,
come forth, Thy Father calls Thee!" And Christ came from the tomb, a
conquerer over sin, Satan, death, and the grave.

When the women came that morning, to care for the body of Jesus, they
found a shining angel at the tomb. And he said to them, "Fear not ye;
for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.

"He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come and see the place
where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is
risen from the dead; and, behold, He goeth before you into Galilee;
there shall ye see Him; lo, I have told you.

[Illustration: "He is not here; for He is risen."]

"And they departed quickly from the sepulcher with fear and great joy;
and did run to bring His disciples word." Matthew 28:1-8.



[Illustration]



The Dominion Restored.


AFTER the resurrection Jesus appeared to His disciples at different
times and places. They were thus strengthened for the work that was
before them.

At His last visit, forty days after the resurrection, He walked with
them from Jerusalem to the Mount of Olives. Here He gave the blessed
promise, so dear to every child of God, "Lo, I am with you alway, even
unto the end of the world." Matthew 28:20.

And then, with hands raised in blessing, He rose from among them. As
they gazed upward, "a cloud [of heavenly angels] received Him out of
their sight."

Had they lost their Saviour forever? Oh, no! Two shining angels had
been sent to comfort them, and said, "Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye
gazing up into Heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you
into Heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into
Heaven." Acts 1:9-11.

Jesus Himself has said, "I will come again, and receive you unto
Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." John 14:1-3.

The angels told the disciples that He would "so come in like manner as
ye have seen Him go into Heaven." He ascended bodily, in plain sight of
the disciples. When He returns, "every eye shall see Him." Revelation
1:7.

Paul, in describing Christ's second coming, says, "For the Lord
Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the
Archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise
first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together
with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we
ever be with the Lord." 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17.

Paul calls the Christian's hope "that blessed hope, and the glorious
appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ." Titus 2:13.

The hope of the Christian depends on the second coming of our Lord, for
He says, "Behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give
every man according as his work shall be." Revelation 22:12.

Yes, Jesus is coming again. And when He comes the righteous dead will
be raised from their graves, and all that have been faithful and true
will be rewarded with everlasting life in the paradise of God.

[Illustration: The Ascension.]

The reward is worth receiving. A beautiful crown is waiting; for Paul
says, "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness,
which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day; and
not to me only, but unto _all them also that love His appearing_." 2
Timothy 4:6-8.

This is called a "crown of life," in James 1:12, and Revelation 2:10.
Peter calls it a "crown of glory," and says it is to be given "when the
Chief Shepherd shall appear." 1 Peter 5:4.

And this earth, cleansed and purified from sin and the effects of the
curse, is to be our home. Peter says of it, "Nevertheless we, according
to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth
righteousness." 2 Peter 3:10, 13.

The New Jerusalem, which Christ is preparing in heaven, shall come down
to earth and be its capital city. The apostle-prophet John said he "saw
the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven."

"And I saw no temple therein; for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb
are the temple of it.... The Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations
of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it."

"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be
no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any
more pain; for the former things are passed away."

"He that overcometh shall inherit _all things_; and I will be his God,
and he shall be My son." Revelation 21:7.

The earth and the dominion of it were given to man at creation. These
will be restored to him at redemption.

The prophet Micah said to the "daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it
come, even the first dominion." Micah 4:8.

Then Eden lost will be Eden regained, and the lost dominion will be

    The Dominion Restored.

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes:

Obvious punctuation errors repaired

Page 84, "happines" changed to "happiness" (give true happiness)

Page 107, "Benjaman" changed to "Benjamin" (Benjamin, the two)

Page 119, "Egyptains" changed to "Egyptians" (to the Egyptians)

Page 121, "recieved" changed to "received" (What they received)

Page 123, "posessed" changed to "possessed" (all they possessed)

Page 130, "Whosover" changed to "Whosoever" (Whosoever therefore shall)

Page 158, "chapthers" changed to "chapters" (plainly in chapters two)





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