« AnteriorContinua »
and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid ; and she waited on 3 Faith habitually supplies courage. Vaaman's wife. And she Even this little maid of Israel, believsaid unto her mistress, Would ing in her God, was bold to do right, God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria ! for he would recover him of his le
4 God can order that the humblest prosy. *And one went in, and told his lord, saying,
agents prove ministers of good to us. Thus and thus said the maid that is of the land of Israel. And the king of Syria said, Go to, go, and I will send a letter unto the king of Israel. And he departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment. And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, saying, Now when this letter is come unto thee, behold, I bave therewith sent Naaman my servant to thee, that thou mayest recover him of his
7 Jehoram, the king of Israel, had leprosy. And it came to forsaken his God-it is no wonder pass, when the king of Israel that he forgot his prophets. had read the letter, that he rent his clothes, and said, Am I God, to kill and make alive, that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosy? wherefore consider, I pray you, and see how he seeketh a quarrel against me. And it was so, when Elisha the man of God had heard that the king of Israel had rent his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, Wherefore hast thou rent thy clothes ? let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel. So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha. And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean. But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and
12 This is ever the vain language of recover the leper. "? Are not worldly men — why must we keep Abana and Pharpar, rivers the strait way of the Gospel ? of Damascus, better than all “ Reason and philosophy offer easier the waters of Israel? may I ways"—is the plea of these proud not wash in them, and be
13 What a happiness it is to have clean? So he turned and
faithful and affectionate servants ! went away in a rage.
In this instance their reasoning was his servants came near, and
as unanswerable as their respect and spake unto him, and said, regard were exemplary. My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing,
wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and
14 Had Naaman persisted in despibe clean ? 14 Then went he sing the means because of their simdown, and dipped himself plicity, he had been a leper to his seven times in Jordan, ac
death *. cording to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. 15 And he returned to the man 15 Here was a double blessing the of God, he and all his com- leprosy of the body was healed, and
the sin of the soul removed. pany, and came, and stood before him : and he said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel: now therefore, I pray
thee, take a blessing of thy servant. But he said, As the LORD liveth, before whom I stand, I will receive none. And he urged him to take it; but he refused. And Naaman said, Shall there not then, I pray thee, be given to thy servant two mules' burden of earth ? for thy servant will henceforth offer neither burnt offering nor sacrifice unto other gods, but unto the LORD. In this thing the LORD pardon thy servant, that when my master goeth into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leaneth on my hand, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon : when I bow down myself in the house of Rimmon, the Lord pardon thy servant in this thing. And he said unto him, Go in peace. So he departed from him a little way. 20 But Gehazi, the ser
20 To be greedy after gain is death. vant of Elisha the man of God, said, Behold, my master hath spared Naaman this Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought: but, as the LORD liveth, I will run after him, and take somewhat of him. So Gehazi followed after Naaman. And when Naaman saw him running after him, he lighted down from the chariot to meet him, and said, Is all well? And he said, All is well. My master hath sent me, saying, Behold, even now there be come to me from mount Ephraim two young men of the sons of the prophets : give them, I pray thee, a talent of silver, and two changes of garments. And Naaman said, Be content, take two talents. And he urged him, and bound two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of gar
* Let us all beware, every man, how we disregard or neglect the water in baptism, and the bread and wine in the Lord's supper, on the ground that the appointed means are all too simple for their end. They are to he more gratefully received. Your ministers plead with you, as the servants of Naaman with their master, “If God had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it ?"
ments, and laid them upon two of his servants; and they bare them before him. And when he came to the tower, he took them from their hand, and bestowed them in the house : and he let the men go, and they departed. But he went in, and stood before his master. And Elisha said unto him, Whence comest thou, Gehazi? And he said, Thy servant went no whither. 26 And he said un
36 We live under the eye of an allto him, Went not mine heart with thee, when the man
present and heart-searching God. tumed again from his chariot to meet thee? Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and maidServants ? 17 The leprosy
27 What an awful proof of retritherefore of Naaman shall butive punishment ! Let me neither cleare unto thee, and unto
covet nor envy. thy seed for ever. And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow.
EVENING. 2 Kings ix. And Elisha the prophet called one of the children of the prophets, and said unto him, Gird up thy loins, and take this box of oil in thine hand, and go to Ramoth-gilead : and when thou comest thither, look out there Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi, and go in, and make him arise up from among his brethren, and carry him to an inner chamber; then take the box of oil, and pour it on his head, and say, Thus saith the Lord, I have anointed thee king over Israel. Then open the door, and flee, and tarry not. So the young man, eren the young man the prophet, went to Ramoth-gilead. And when he came, behold, the captains of the host were sitting; and he said, I have an errand to thee, O captain. And Jehu said, Unto which of all us ? And he said, To thee, O captain. And he arose, and went into the house ; and he poured the oil on his head, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I have anointed thee king over the people of the Lord, even over Israel. And thou shalt smite the house of Ahab thy master, that I may avenge the blood of my servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the Lord, at the hand of Jezebel. For the whole house of Ahab shall perish : and I will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel : and I will make the house of Abab like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah : and the dogs shall eat Jezebel in the
portion of Jezreel, and there shall be none to bury her. And he opened the door, and fled. Then Jehu came forth to the servants of his lord : and one said unto him, Is all well? wherefore came this mad fellow to thee? And he said unto them, Ye know the man, and his communication. And they said, It is false ; tell us now. And he said, Thus and thus spake he to me, saying, Thus saith the LORD, I have anointed thee king over Israel. Then
13 The elevation of Jehu to the they hasted, and took every
throne of Israel shows that God is man his garment, and put it
himself King of kings and Lord of under him on the top of the
lords. In bringing about the de
signs of providence, Jehovah setteth stairs, and blew with trum
up one and putteth down another, pets, saying, Jehu is king. even as He willeth.
None can So Jehu the son of Jeho
withstand Him. shaphat the son of Nimshi conspired against Joram. (Now Joram had kept Ramoth-gilead, he and all Israel, because of Hazael king of Syria. But king Joram was returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which the Syrians had given him, when he fought with Hazael king of Syria.) And Jehu said, If it be your minds, then let none go forth nor escape out of the city to go to tell it in Jezreel. So Jehu rode in a chariot, and went to Jezreel; for Joram lay there. And Ahaziah king of Judah was come down to see Joram. And there stood a watchman on the tower in Jezreel, and he spied the company
of Jehu as he came, and said, I see a company. And Joram said, Take an horseman, and serd to meet them, and let him say, Is it peace ? So there went one on horseback to meet him, and said, Thus saith the king, Is it peace! And Jehu said, What hast thou to do with peace ? turn thee behind me.
And the watchman told, saying, The messenger came to them, but he cometh not again. Then he sent out a second on horseback, which came to them, and said, Thus saith the king, Is it peace? And Jehu answered, What hast thou to do with peace? turn thee behind me. And the watchman told, saying, He came even unto them, and cometh not again : and the driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi; for he driveth furiously. And Joram said, Make ready. And his chariot was made ready. And Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah went ont, each in his chariot, and they went out against Jehu, and met him in the portion of Naboth the Jezreelite. And it came to pass, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, Is it peace, Jehu? And he answered, What peace, so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel, and her witchcrafts are so many? And Joram turned
his hand, and fled, and said to Ahaziah, There is treachery, O Ahaziah. And Jehu drew a bow with his full strength, and smote Jehoram between his arms, and the arrow went out at his heart, and he sunk down in his chariot. Then said Jehu to Bidkar his captain, Take up, and cast him in the portion of the field of Naboth the Jezreelite : for remember how that, when I and thou rode together after Ahab bis father, the Lord laid this burden upon him ; Surely I have seen yesterday the blood of Naboth, and the blood of his sons, saith the LORD; and I will requite thee in this plat, saith the Lord. Now therefore take and cast him into the plat of ground, according to the word of the
27 This “ was of God." Ahaziah LORD. 27 But when Ahaziah
was accounted one of Ahab's house ; the king of Judah saw this, therefore was he cut off. He was he fied by the way of the also guilty in imitating the king of garden house. And Jehu
Israel in encouraging idolatry. followed after him, and said, Smite him also in the chariot. And they did so at the going up to Gur, which is by Ibleam. And he fled to Megiddo, and died there. And his servants carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem, and buried him in his sepulchre with his fathers in the city of David. And in the eleventh
year of Joram the son of Ahab began Ahaziah to reign over Judah. And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window. And as Jehu entered in at the gate, she said, Had Zimri peace, who slew his master? And he lifted up his face to the window, and said, Who is on my side? who? And there looked out to him two or three eunuchs. And he said, Throw her down. So they threw her down: and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall, and on the horses : and he trode her under foot. 54 And when
34 Enmity ceaseth after death. Pro
per sepulture is awarded her *. he was come in, he did eat and drink, and said, Go, see now this cursed woman, and bury her: for she is a king's daughter. And they went to bury her: but they found no more of her than the scull, and the feet
, and the palms of her hands. Wherefore they came again, and told him. And he said, This is the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying,
* Her death shows that no worldly or intellectual advantages can tompensate for want of holiness of life ; and that no earthly power can successfully contend against God. • True, like Jezebel, the wicked may, for a time, execute their own will, and Hourish for a season ; but when the breath of the Lord's anger doth blow, they wither and die.