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Tenth Sunday after Trinity. KEY-NOTE: "The manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.'
1. And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt.
2. And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness.
3. And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to Qod we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hanger.
4. Then said the Lord nnto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law or no.
5. And it shall come to pass, that on the sixth day they shall prepare that which they bring in ; and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.
0. And Moses and Aaron said unto all the children of Israel, At even, then ye shall know that the Lord hath brought you out from the land of Egypk
7. And in the morning, then ye shall see the glory of the Lird; for that he heareth your murmuring) against the Lord: and what are we that ye murmur against us?
8. And Moses said, This shall be when the Lord shall give you in the evening flesh to eat, and in the morning bread to the full; for that the Lord heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against him: and what are we? Your murmurings are not against us, but against the Lord.
What is the Gospel for this day? What are its contents? What is the key-note? Whence is it taken? What is the design of spiritual gifts? How are they related to suffering f What do we pray in the Collect T
What was the Bubject of our last lesson? Whither did the children of Israel go after crossing the sea? Exod. xv. 22. What want met them in the wilderness? What was their first camping place? Num. xxxiii. 8. What is said of the waters of Marah? Exod. xv. 23. How was the water made sweet? \\ hither did thev go from Marah? xv. 27.
Verse 1. Where was Elim? What did the Israelites find at Elim? What was their next ramping place, after leaving Elim? Num. xixui. 10. Whither did they proceed from the Red Sea? Where was the wilderness of Sin? When did they arrive in the wilderness of Sin? How long was this after leaving Rameses t
Verses 2,-3. What, did the children of Israel do here? Was this the first time they murmured? What did they murmur about here? What did tbey say to Moses and Aaron? What did they mean by the hand of the Lord t What particularly do they miss now? Did tbey prefer the flesh pots of Egypt to their liberty? Why? Are Christians in their pilgrimage to the heavenly Canaan often guilty of a similar folly? How did the Israelites expect to perish in the wilderness? Does that show that they had already forgotten God's wonders in their behalf?
Verses 4-5. What did the Lord say to Moses? What was this bread from heaven? Verses 14-15. What does Manna mean? Is Manna found in that region now? Was this the true bread from heaven? John vi. 32. What is the bread of life? What directions did the Lord give in reference to gathering the Manna? Why must it be gathered every day? why do we pray, Qiee us this day our daily bread f Why was a double portion to be gathered on the sixth day? Had the Sabbath then already been instituted? How long did the supply of Manna last? Ver. 35.
Verses fi-7. What did Moses and Aaron say to the children of Israel? How had the children of Israel blamed Moses and Aaron for having bronght them out of Egypt? Did they not know better? How were they to learn that the Lord had doneit? Vers. 12-13. How were they to see the glory of the Lord?
Verse 8. How is this verse related to the two preceding ones? What kind of flesh did the Lord give the children of Israel? Were these natural quails? Was their coming up at this time in such numbers a natural occurrence? What kind of bread is that here spok°n of? How were these miracles related to the glory of the Lord T What does Moses here say about the murmurings of the Israelites? How had they murmured against the Lord? Are those who murmur against the servants of the Lord, always offending the Lord Himself?
Notes.—The Gospel for this day shows us our Lord &a He is approaching His passion, weeping tears of compassion over impenitent, unbelieving Jerusalem. Hence this Sunday has been called Sunday of suffering. Perhaps instead of suffering (passion), it would be more exact to say fellowship of suffering (compassion). The Epistle for the day treats of spiritual gifts (manifestations of the Spirit) which, though of various kinds, and bestowed in various measures upon different individuals, have for their design the common profit of all believers, the edification of the body of Christ. These gifts, and their exercise, are most strongly demanded, and become most illustrious, in conditions of suffering. ' Then their moving principle is sympathy with the fuffering of Christ, for which we pray in the Collect of this day,
After crossing the sea, the children of Israel entered the wilderness of Shur or Etham, which lies to the north and east of the head of the gulf of Suez, where they wandered for three days without finding water. Passing southward they came to Marah, their first camping place, whose bitter waters were made sweet by stirring them with a certain tree or shrub (Exod. xv. 2225). From Marah they journeyed still farther south, and encamped at Elim. Here our present lesson opens.
Ver. 1. Elim. This was a p] easan t oasis, now called Wady (valley) Ghurundel; and here they found twelve wells of water and seventy palm-trees. Their next camping place after leaving Elim, was on the Red Sea, (Num. xxxtii. 10), where nothing of importance seems to have occurred. From the Red Sea, they directed their course towards Mount Sinai, which was the objective point of their journey from the beginning; and came unio the wilderness of Sin. The word Sin seems to have the opposite significations of miry and rocky. Here it is used in the latter sense. The wilderness of Sin is described as lying between Elim and Sinai. Of its precise extent, and of the spot where the events here recorded occurred, we have no information. On the fifteenth day of the seccond month i, e., just one month after their departure from Rameses.
Verses 2-3. The whole congregation
of the children of Israel murmured. This was not their first murmuring. They murmured already when they camo to Marah, because of the want of water. But here the discontent seems to have been both more general and more intense than there. There it is said the people murmured against Moses, which probably does not mean the whole people. But here it is the whole congregation or multitude of the people that murmur; and they express their dissatisfaction with Moses and Aaron in the most bitter terms. The cause of this discontent was the want of food. It was a month now since they had left Egypt. The provisions which they had carried with them were consumed. And here they were, a multitude of perhaps two millions of people, in a barren desert, which yielded no supplies, no bread for their children, no grass for their cattle, and but small and uncertain quantities of water. Regarded simply from a natural standpoint, their situation was one well calculated to make people discontented and gloomy. IVould to God we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, i. e., by means of the plagues which the Lord had brought upon the land of Egypt, especially the last one, namely the pestilence which carried off the firstborn. When we sat by the flesh pots and did eat bread to the full. When they were in Egypt, although they were groaning under cruel bondage, under which they could not work out their grand destiny, yet their bodily wants were at least supplied. They had meat enough to eat, and desert, it seemed to them, no doubt, a bread enough. And these luxuries they now missed. In their privations in the if they could smell the very odor of the steaming fleshpots by which they used to sit, and their mouths must often have watered for the delicious vegetables which they used to eat on the banks of the Nile. And now they would have preferred the flesh pots and the bread of Egypt to their liberty itself, because that liberty could only be maintained by enduring hardships and suffering privations. But Christians iu their journeyings towards the heavenly Canaan are often guilty of a similar folly. In order to the perfection of our spiritual nature, the lusts of the flash must be denied; and there are many who prefer to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, rather than suffer affliction for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. To kill this whole assembly with hunger. It was only a month since they had seen the last of God's great wonders in their behalf, and already they expected to perish of hunger! How soon God's miraculous works are forgotten!
Verses 4-5. J will rain bread from heaven for you. God's common way of giving bread is to cause the earth to produce it. 1 It comes, indeed, from heaven, the source of light and moisture, but it comes mediately through the earth. But here in the desert, where the earth is incapable of producing it, God promises to give it dir«etly from heaven. The fulfillment of this promise-is recorded inverses 1—15. The miraculous bread which God gave His people in the wi'derness was manna, which is described as a small, round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground, being white, and resembling coriander-seed, and tasting like wafers made with honey. The derivation of the word manna is uncertain. The one proposed by Josephus, and adopted by many, that the word is composed of an interrogative proHoun and adverb, and signifies What is it? is certainly incorrect. Perhaps it comes from a verb which signifies to divide, and signifies division, apportionment. A substance called mannof by the Arabs, is a natural product of the Sinaitic peninsula, exuding from the branches and leaves of the tamarisk tree. This may have been the natural basis of the miraculous manna. But there are important differences between this and that. The natural manna is produced only at certain seasons of the year, and then only in small quantities. The miraculous manna was produced in very large quantities, at all seasons, during a period of forty years (ver. 35), and possessed qualities essentially different from the natural. This nianna, produced for the preservation of the natural life of Israel, was a type of the life-giviDg energy which is in Christ, who is therefore the true bread of life. See John vi. 35. Gather a certain rate every day. The manna was
given daily, and must be gathered daily, in order to cultivate a sense of perpetual dependence upon Jehovah. For the like reason we are directed to pray, Give us this day our daily bread. Daily must we feel our dependence upon God, daily ask Him for material and spiritual food, and dally be thankful ■ to Him for the same. On the sixth day .... twice as much. Because the following day was the Sabbath, on which none was to be gathered. From this and other incidents of the Bible, we learn that the institution of the Sabbath existed previous to the promulgation of the law at Sinai, and also that on the appointed day of rest we should abstain from all secular labor. People ought to make their preparation on Saturday for the devout observance of Sunday.
Verses 6-7. At even ye shall know that the Ijord hath brought you out, etc. The children of Israel had blamed Moses and Aaron for having brought them into their present situation. They said to them, "Ye have brought us forth into this wilderness to kill us with hunger." But this was merely the language of unreflecting anger, not of sober thought; for if they had thought soberly, they must have known better. And now they are to be brought to their sober senses again, and made to acknowledge Jehovah's presence and power among them by the miraculous provision of meat (quails) and bread (manna). In the morning ye shatl se the glory of the Lord. "Ye shall see and experience His glorious power in the miraculous gifts of flesh and bread." But see verse 10.
Verse 8. Further explanation of the thought of the two preceding verses. This shall be, i. e., Ye shall receive new evidences of Jehovah's presence and power among you, when the Lord shall give you in the evening flesh to eat, etc. The reference is to the miraculous appearance of quails (verse 13). The quail is a bird resembling our partridge and pheasant, and belongs to the same family. It is a migratory bird, passing from south to north in immense numbers in the spring of the year, and is nowhere more common than in the neighborhood of the Ked Sea. "When exhausted by a long flight it is easily captured even with the hand." Thus this miracle also had its natural foundation, it was the spring of the year, the time when the birds were on their passage to the north. The miraculous element consisted in the prediction of their appearance by Moses, in their coming up just when they were needed, and in their coming in such immense numbers, as to cover the camp of Israel. And in tlie morning bread to the full, i. e., the manna. The quai s came in the evening, and the manna was found in the morning, after the children of Israel had clamored for food. These coincidences were all miraculous, showing that Jehovah heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, and manifesting His glory; as Jesus also is said to have manifested His glory by means of the miracles which He performed. Compare John ii. 11. Your murmuring* are not against us, bid against the Lord. Moses and Aaron were but instruments of the Lord. From the first they appeared in that character. They attested their divine commission by the miraculous siens which Jehovah had given them. This the people had not forgotten. They knew very well that, not Moses and Aaron, but Jehovah, the God of their fathers, had brought them out of Egypt; and hence their rebellious murmuring against Moses and Aaron was in fact a murmuring against Jenovah Himself. So those who*find fault with the servants of God, and grumble about them for their discharge of the duties entrusted to them, are always offending against God Himself. When, for instance, the minister of the Gospel rebukes the sins which God in His word orders him to rebuke, many people find fault with the minister and grumble about him, when in fact God Himself is the real ohject of their rebellious thoughts. They only abuse the minister because God Himself is beyond their reach. Could the children of Israel have gotten at Jehovah, they would not have murmured against Moses and Aaron.
Is It The Noble In Nature Who Become Drunkards ? — There is no class of declaimers with whom we have less patience than those who seek opportunity for a little flighty oratory, by
picturing the ranks of drunkenness as composed of the brilliant intellect, the generous of heart, and generally the nobility of Nature; while they intimate that those who lead temperate lives do so because they are too mean to spend the money to become drunkards. It is time that this kind of miserable and injurious stuff should be sternly rebuked, whether it be indulged in on the lecture platform or elsewhere, for it is the invitation, above all other forms of encouragement, that leads the thoughtless young man to his cups. Make the ordinary youth believe that it is an evidence of genius and whole-souled manliness to fire his brain with alcohol, while it is a suggestion of stinginess to keep away from it, and you have got him very far on the road to the drunkard's ignoble end. Drunkenness an evidence of manliness ! a tribute to genius! a testimony to generosity! The evil one himself could not desire a more shameful perversion of the truth to help his cause. Why, there is nothing mean, brutal, detestable and ignorant in this world that is not found in drunkenness; and the young man with any self-respect, with any respect for those interested in him, should shun it as he would the leprosy. It takes a man with low and brutal instincts to be a drunkard— for in doiog so he must forget every holy family relation to be able in his drunken idiocy or frenzy to bring agony to a mother's heart, or shame and disgrace to wife and children. Genius! generosity! nobleness! in such a crea! ture! Shame on them and sham 3 on thosa who would endeavor to clothe such a life with the glitter of tempting and lying attractions.
The Village Pastor.
At dawn he marks the smoke among the trees,
From hearths to which his daily footsteps go; And hopes, and fears, and ponders on his knees,
If his poor sheep will heed his voice or no; What wholesome turn will Ailsie's sorrow take?
Her latest sin will careless Annie rue? Will Robin now, at last, his wiles forsake T
Meet his old dupes, yet hold his balance true? He prays at noon with all the warmth of heaven
About his heart, that each may be forgiven; He prays at eve; and through the midnight air
Sends holy ventures to the throne above. His very dreams are faithful to his prayer,
And follow, with closed eyes, the path of love.—Charles Tennyson Turner.
AUGUST 28. 1881.
Eleventh Sunday after Trinity.
KEY-NOTE: "Every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth
himself shall be exalted."
Tlie Commandments.—Exod. xx. 1-11.
1. And God spake all these words, saying,
2. I am the Lord thy Qod, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the bouse of bondage.
3. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
4. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
5. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
6. And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
7. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
8. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work:
10. But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God :• in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
11. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the Beventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
What is our key-note to-day? How is it related to the Gospel? Uow is the same lesson taught us in the Epistle?
Whither did the children of Israel go from the wildernefs of Sin? Exod. xvii. 1. What three events occurred at Rrphidiin? How long did they probably remain here? Whither did they remove from Repbidim? When did they arrive in the desert of Sinai? Exod. xix. 1, 2. What occurred here?
Verse 1. Whence did God speak? Where were the people? Exnd. xix. 17. How did God speak to them? What is meant by these words f How many are the' commandments? How are they divided? What does the first table teach? What does the second teach? Which of these are we going to study todav?
Ver. 2. How is this declaration related to the commandments? What two reasons does the Lord here give for claiming obedience to the commandments? Do the same reasons exist in the case of Christians? How has the Lord come to be our God? From what has He delivered us? Could we otherwise keep the commandments?
Verse 3. Can you repeat the first commandment? Are there any other gods besides Jehovah? What then does the commandment mean? What are those people called who believe in many gods? How could people ever come to believe in many gods? What are those objeots called which the heathen worship? Does idolatry consist only in worshiping actual idols? Eph. v. 5; Col. iii. 5. Whom are we to love supremely? Matt. nil. 37. In whom only are we to put all our trust? Whom only must
I we worship? Would it be fulfilling the commandment, to worship nothing at all? Why does God want us to worship Him?
Verses 4-6. Repeat the second commandment. What does God forbid here? Of what things are we not to make images? For what purpose are we not to make images of these things? Would the use of symbolic images in the worship of God soon degenerate into idolatry? How are to worship God? John iv. 23, 24. What only medium of worship has God allowed? Ver. 24. What reason for observing this commandment is there added to it? How does that apply particularly to this commandment?
Verse 7. Repeat the third commandment. How may the name of God be taken in vain? What is cursing? What perjury? What is a lawful oath? What does God here say of those who take His name in vain? What does that mean? How was profanity punished in the Old Testament? Lev. xxiv. 10. How only must the name of God be used?
Vebses 8-11. What is the fourth commandment? What does Sabbath mean? What ia the meaning of remember f Had it ever been observed betore? Is this an arbitrary command? On what necessity of our nature does it rest? What is forbidden on this day? How is it to be kept? Does all this apply to our Sunday or Lord's day? Has the commandment ever been abolished? How should we keep the Lord's day? Heid. Cat., Qu. 103. WhaU are the most common ways in which the Lom's day is now profaned? In what one commandment, a« their common principle, may these four be summed up?