Oct. 30, 1949 THE PROPHETS PREACH SOCIAL RIGHTEOUSNESS Isa. 5:1-12
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during these flush days. Then in verses 11 to 17 the woe is against the lusts of the flesh. Substitute Christendom for Judah, and again we see multitudes who are “ lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Tim. 3 :4 ); and in many instances these pleasures have so deadened the spiritual faculties that men do not discern that the Judge is at the door. Helps for the Children Choosing the Best Jer. 35:5-9 Memory Verse: “I will behave myself wisely” (Psa. 101:2). Jeremiah, like Isaiah, was one of God’s greatest Old Testament prophets to the Jews. One day God told Jeremiah, to take a family named the Rechabites into the house of the Lord and offer them some of the sacred wine to drink. Jeremiah obeyed God and gave the Rechabites pots full of wine and cups and said, “ Drink ye wine.” They refused to drink, for their fathers had told them that none of their family was ever to drink wine. God told Jeremiah to ask the sinful Jews why they refused to obey Him. The Rechabites had obeyed even their earthly father. God had sent many of His prophets to plead with the Jews to worship and serve Him, but they had refused. God said that He was going to punish His people for their sin, but the Rechabites were to be richly blessed be cause they had obeyed their father so perfectly. Today, as then, God richly rewards those who love Him and who choose those things to do and to eat and to drink that will keep their bodies well and strong for Him. Each day Christians must choose between good and evil com panions, pastimes, drinks, foods, books, songs, etc. In each of these choices, God’s children need with His help to determine: “ I will behave myself wisely.”
Pointers on the Lesson The passage before us has often been called The Song of the Vineyard of the Well Beloved. It is a beautiful expres sion of what God has done for His people and of what He in turn expects of them. The Beloved’s Care for His Vineyard vv. 1,2a Clearly the direct application of the Song is to Israel but there are applica tions which may be made to God’s peo ple whoever or wherever they may be. Psalm 80:8-12 may well be considered in connection with this Song. As for God’s care of the vineyard, the first two verses show that He has done all that a vine yard keeper can do to make it fruitful. He looked well to its situation. He fenced it, removed the stones from it, planted in it the very best vines, erected a watchtower in it, and provided a wine press for it. What more could He have done for it? Surely this is a wonderful picture of God’s dealings with His peo ple Israel. He called them in Abraham, prepared them in Egypt and delivered them from its bondage, disciplined and provided for them in the wilderness, and at last brought them into a land “ flowing with milk and honey.” From this consideration it is not difficult to think of God’s provision and care for His church. The Beloved’s Disappointment in His Vineyard vv. 2b-4 Jehovah expected luscious grapes from such a well-cared-for vineyard but, alas, it only produced “wild grapes.” The lat ter fails to give the real significance. In Hebrew the root means “to have a bad smell.” The same word is rendered “ stench” in 34:3. To see the nature of this fruit see v. 7 of our lesson, also compare Matthew 21:33-44. This is a solemn reflection. When God gives much, He has a right to expect much in re turn. Israel miserably failed in their re sponsibility. How much better are we doing today? The Beloved's Decision With Respect to His Vineyard vv. 5-7 He was going to permit chastise ment to come. No doubt the reference is to the Assyrian and thè Babylonian as the instruments of this chastisement. Through their invasion of the land, many opportunities would be lost to God’s people. There is a principle in volved here that ought to be taken to heart by all of us, namely, opportuni ties abused and neglected are removed ultimately. Talents not used eventually become of no value. The Beloved’s Woes Pronounced Against Israel vv. 8-12 Verse 8 presents the first of six woes pronounced against Israel. In the first instance (8-10), the woe is against mo nopoly. Selfishness and greed have no place in the service 'of God. Avarice is a sin we need to be on guard against
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Beautiful pictures illustrating the eight miracles in the Gospel of John—each one original—by one of the leading Bible artists in the nation. (Bl) Our Lord's first m iracle. The Marriage in Cana o f Galilee. John 2. (B2) Our Lord heals the N oblem an’s Son. John 4. (B3) Jesus heals the im potent m an. John 5. (B4) Jesus, the bread o f life, feeds 5000. John 6. (B5) Jesus walks upon the sea, saves Peter, calm s troubled waters. John 6 and M atthew 14. (B6) Jesus, the light o f the world, gives sight to a blind m an. John 9. (B7) Jesus, the resurrection and th e life, raises Lazarus from th e grave. John 11. (B8) The risen Christ, gives disciples a haul o f fishes. John 21.
WALKING ON SEA
HAUL OF FISHES
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