present, future! "The glory of Israel." If the great men of a people a re their glory, Christ is above all t he glory of Israel. But for H im the world would hardly have heard of them. H e "Is the Flower of their race," and He is the glory of God and man. "The fall and rising of many." Christ is a savor of life to some, of death to others. Israel t h at rej^pted Him fell (Rom. 11:11), Israel t h at receives H im shall rise again (Rom. 11:26). "A sign." Christ isi the test and sign of men's character. Attitude toward H im tells out the inner man. Some speak well of Him, others against Him. "A sword pierce thine own soul. " How would a
mother feel who s a w such a Son enduring such lifelong rejection, such abuse and such crucifixion? Probably the sword never pierces more sharply t h an when Mary sees the Romanist pay t h at homage to her which belongs only to Him. Witness No. 2. We must be satisfied here to say merely: 1. That this widow had mar- ried herself to Jehovah, and for 84 years ministered in His house. A beautiful life! 2. She was a prophetess, as Simeon was a prophet. The old man, and the old woman "dreamed dreams" marvellously real. 3. Her testimony. 4. "She spake of Him." She preached Jesus the Redeemer.
X5l)fc 3 f e a r t of tljfc T f s s o i t . By T. C. Horton.
Lesson I. January 7
A Priest—a Prayer—a Presence—a P r om- ise and a Punishment. This is the story of t he lesson in a n u t- shell. Our thoughts are centered in the golden text, "Wh e re there is no faith it is impossible to please God" (Weymouth), Heb. 11:6. A splendid text for meditation on t he first Sabbath of the N ew Tear. H e re is an uipright, godly, Jewish priest keeping the Ordinance of God and fulfilling in a faithful w ay his priestly functions. A man chosen of God to be the f a t h er of the prom- ised prophet who was to be the last of the prophetic line and himself without a peer. A m an to whom God had sent His own royal body-servant with a message t h at should have filled him with joy and caused him to break forth into singing. And this man responds to the heavenly message with a question mark. How' am I to know? He wanted some visible! sign, some token be- yond the word of God, and yet before his eye was the sign Manuel" of God H i m- self. It is ever this' way with the h e a rt of Nine months have passed since God by His angel stopped the speech of Zachariah and as if by magic - his lips are unsealed and joy bursts forth in praise to t he God of Israel. Since Malachi there had been no prophetic message. Now the silence of 400 years is broken and h um an lips t a ke up the thread where Malachi left off. It is a song of praise and h as to do, as have all real spiritual songs, with the redeemed of Israel. "Blessed be the Lord, t he God of Israel, for He h a th visited and wrought r e- demption for His people" (Luke 1-68). God had covenanted with Ab r a h am and is now about to fulfill t h at covenant. God had (promised David t h at his house should bring forth the Saviour and He is about to ful- fill t h at promise. Malachi had. said, "Be-
unbelief. It is possible to be a Christian, to belong to church, to read the Bible, to be engaged in church work and yet to doubt the Word, of God. The lesson is a search- ing one. God 'demands faith. If we . are to please Him we are to belieye Him. Did Zachariah know the experience of Ab r a h am to whom God said, when H e promised him a son, "Is anything too hard for the Lord?" (Gen. 18:14). Zachariah missed a golden opportunity to magnify the n ame of the Lord by a child-like faith. H ow unbelief is regarded by God is manifested in the se- verity o-f the punishment H e inflicted upon Zachariah. Unbelief is paralyzing—it ties the tongue; it shuts the mouth and hin- ders testimony. Wh en faith falters, thè steps flag, the h e a rt beats slow, the lips lifeless. How sad the words! "O little faith why did you doubt?" (Matt. 14:31). May God, the giver of hope, fill you with con- tinuous joy and peace, because you t r u st in H im (Rom. 15:13). hold I will send my messenger" and his n ame was John. God h ad come back to His people; the long, weary night w as p a st and the day had dawned. The theme of the Bible is "God h a th visited and wrought redemption." In the evening of the day when Ad am fell, God visited him a nd wrought redemption for him. At t he end of the age He visited the people and put a w ay sin by the sacrifice of Himself. He, t he blessed Holy Spirit, is here now to echo the song of Zachariah, "Blessed be God, redemption is wrought for his peo- ple:" Go sing it in the streets; go pro- claim it upon the house-tops; ma ke it known amo ng t he children of men—redemption is wrought, and t h at at a mighty cost.
Lesson II. January 14.
Lesson III. January 21.
H e re are t he shepherds—an angel, the glory of the Lord shining round about, but these are mere incidents compared with the
MESSAGE which the angel brought, "For unto you is born this day, in the city, of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord"
Made with FlippingBook - professional solution for displaying marketing and sales documents online