King's Business - 1915-02

132 THE KING’S BUSINESS FEBRUARY 21, 1915. T h e D ea th oe E l i and H is S on s . LESSON VIII. . 1 Sam. 4:1-13, 18. (Commit vs. 10, 11.) G olden T e x t : ' “ Be ye doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding your own selves." —James 1 :22. DAILY BIBLE READINGS

Monday, February 15.—-1 Samuel 4:1-9. (The Lesson). Tuesday, February .16.—1 Samuel 4:10-18. (The Lesson) . Wednesday, February 17.—Joshua 7 :l-9. Failure through sin. Thursday, February 18—Isaiah 1:10-20. Gods call to repentance. Friday, February 19.—Jeremiah 7 :21-28. They hearkened not. Saturday, February 20.—Matthew 7 :21-29. Wise and foolish. Sunday, February 21.-—James 1:13-27. Hearers and doers " EXPOSITION AND PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS

v. 1. “And the word of Samuel came to all Israel.” The reason why “the word of Samuel came to all Israel” was because the Word of the Lord came to Samuel (ch. 3:21): This cbmes out very clearly when we drop out the chapter division between the third and fourth chapters and read right on. In the paragraph division of the Revised Version, the opening words of verse 1, chapter 4, go on without a break upon the closing words of chapter 3 and the para­ graph division is made in the middle of verse 1. This is as it ought to be and makes the sense much plainer. The man to whom God speaks and through whom He speaks is sure to get a wide hearing sooner or later. Samuel was not obliged to resort to any sensational methods to secure a hear­ ing. The man through whom God really speaks does not have to advertise himself. God will do all the advertising, that is necessary. It is the consciousness that God is not really speaking through them that leads so many men in our day to make such frantic efforts at self-advertising. v. 2. " When they joined battle Ismei was smitten before the Philistines.” Israel was God’s people and the Philistines were not God’s people and yet Israel was smitten and the Philistines victorious, because Is­ rael had been unfaithful to their God and needed to be brought to their senses by severe chastening (chi 7:3; Ps. 106:40, 41). It is “whpm 'the Lord loveth” that “He

chasteneth” (Heb. 12:6) and so when God’s people go away from Him, He allows them to be put to shame before their enemies and His. All over our land today God’s people are being smitten before the Philistines, the Church defeated by the world ; and the rea­ son today is the same as the reason in Samuel’s day, God’s people have been go­ ing after false gods. Whenever Israel turn their backs on their enemies we may be sure that there is sin in the camp some­ where (Joshua 7 :12) ; and the thing to do is not to try to get along somehow without God and conquer by the power of our own numbers and abilities, but to cry to God to find out what there is in us that displeases Him. v. 3. "And when the people were come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, Wherefore hath the LORD smitten us to­ day before the Philistines?" This was just the right question to ask, but they did not wait for an answer from God but went about rectifying things for themselves in their own way. When God smites us we should always ask why. The sooner we find the cause and remove it, the sooner the chastening will be withdrawn (1 Cor. 11: 31). But when we ask the question we should wait for an answer from God Him­ self and not get up one of our own de­ vising. Too often when we meet with de­ feat though we ask why, we do not ask of God. Israel, however, were right thus

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