Here is a gold mine for the preacher, the teacher and the father and mother in the home who have it in mind to inculcate sound teaching, based upon the Word of God, so that the boys and girls of the congregations, Sunday-Schools and households may be thoroughly rooted and grounded in the essentials of the Christian faith. There are many volumes in this series of short addresses and they cover the entire range of the Holy Scriptures, from Genesis to Revelation. The material gathered here is fresh and varied and there is just enough of it to furnish the groundwork of the preacher's sermon, the Sunday school teacher's talk and the parent's reading and comment. Contents: A Garden Without Water. Paper Boats. A Nail In A Sure Place. A Short Bed And Narrow Blankets. Keeping A Diary. A Protected Life. Christ Our Hiding-Place. The Highway To God. How God Hides. A Lady For Ever. An Iron Neck. Polished Arrows. The Language Of The Leaves. An Everlasting Name. Mending The Holes.
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CHILDREN'S GREAT BIBLE TEXTS
THE BOOK OF ISAIAH
a Garden Without Water.
A Nail In A Sure Place.
A Short Bed And Narrow Blankets.
Keeping A Diary.
A Protected Life.
Christ Our Hiding-Place.
The Highway To God.
How God Hides.
A Lady For Ever.
An Iron Neck.
The Language Of The Leaves.
An Everlasting Name.
Mending The Holes.
The Book Of Isaiah, J. Hastings
Jazzybee Verlag Jürgen Beck
86450 Altenmünster, Germany
A garden that hath no water. — Isa. i. 30.
Have you ever looked at your garden after a long spell of hot, dry weather? The ground is baked and parched and seamed with cracks, and the poor little flowers droop their weary heads. Of course you go round with a watering-can and do your best to revive them, but if you happen to live in a town where the water supply is limited, sometimes you receive an order to stop watering the garden. Then you know that if the rain doesn't come soon the flowers will shrivel up and die.
Away in the East they are much more dependent on water for their gardens than we are. For the sun shines much more hotly, and there are long periods when rain does not fall at all. And in these lands you can imagine what a terribly dreary thing a garden would be that had no means of getting water. Everything would be shrivelled and burnt up. It wouldn't be a garden at all.
I want to speak to you about two kinds of parched gardens.
1. The first is the garden of our own soul.
It is a very beautiful garden, for God has made it, and there are many fair flowers in it — the flowers of purity, and love, and gentleness, and kindness. But unless our garden is well watered these flowers cannot grow; they will droop and wither away. Now the strange thing about these flowers is that though they are ours we cannot make them grow. We cannot bring the refreshing showers to water them. Then what are we to do?
What do they do in those hot Eastern countries? In some parts of Persia the rain falls for only a few hours in each year and yet there are gardens there. How do you think they keep them flourishing? Well, they bring the water in pipes from the mountains many miles away. These mountains are so high that their peaks are covered with the everlasting snows, and so the supply of water never fails.
And if we want our soul-garden to flourish we must get our supply of water from an everlasting source. We must ask God to water it with the pure water of His Spirit. And when they are refreshed with that stream the fair flowers of character will blossom and abide.
2. But there is another kind of parched garden you may find in the world. It is the thirsty garden of other people's lives.
Some people have their hearts dried up for want of a kind word or for lack of somebody to love them; and so they become hard, and bitter, and disagreeable. There are very few fair flowers blossoming in their garden. Other people have become withered by some great trouble, or by a great many little cares, or by love of money.
Now God wants you to be raindrops to water these parched gardens. Perhaps you don't think it is very pleasant work; perhaps you think you would rather water gardens that are fresher and more beautiful; but don't you think it would be splendid to help to make the flowers grow in these dry, barren places? I believe that children can do this work much better than grown-ups.
Away in the Orange River Colony there is a wonderfully fruitful farm. Half of it lies on the side of one hill, the other half on a hill opposite, and between lies a valley. On one hill grow acres of wheat, on the other there is a splendid fruit orchard. That farm has a history. Once the land was dry and bare and unfruitful, because there was great scarcity of water. But one hot day the farmer climbed one of the hills and lay down near the top to rest. As he lay there his attention was attracted to a low gurgling sound beneath the surface of the ground. There was no water to be seen, but he felt sure there must be a hidden spring beneath the rock. In great haste he descended the hill and rode off to the nearest town for an engineer. Very cautiously they opened the rock, and out rushed a stream of clear refreshing water.
That stream was the making of the farm. They led it down the hill and up the opposite slope, and now the farm is one of the most fruitful in the State.
What that stream was to the parched land you can be to the parched lives around you: you can refresh them with a kind word, with a loving deed. And then some day, perhaps, the flowers will bloom, and the fruits will ripen in these dry, dreary places, and what before was a barren desert will become a beautiful garden.
Vessels of papyrus. — Isa. xviii. 2.
Who would have thought that paper boats were mentioned in the Bible? It is wonderful what you can find there if you hunt.
Do you wonder how they made them in those days — whether they used brown paper or white, and if they had the same pattern as we have? Well, I'm afraid you might not have recognized these paper boats if you had seen them, for they were made, not exactly from paper, but from the papyrus reeds which grew along the side of the Nile. Some people say that the ark of bulrushes in which the baby Moses was laid was woven of these reeds. From the papyrus reed was made also a writing material which was used for books and manuscripts for centuries before paper was invented and which gave its name to paper as we know it.
Would you care to know what these vessels of papyrus were like? Well, they were long light boats with flat bottoms. They were not unlike punts. They held only one or two passengers, and they were propelled by a paddle or a punting-pole.
Now in some respects these paper boats are rather like boys and girls. There are three ways in which they resemble them.
1. First they could go where larger and heavier craft could not venture. — They were used for navigation in the shallows and pools of the Nile where large heavy boats would have been stranded.
I think that is very like the boys and girls. They can often go where big people can't go, and do what big people can't do. Sometimes you sigh to be grownup and to be able to do all the nice things the grownups are allowed to do; but did you ever think of the things that you can do and they can't? I'm quite sure heaps of big people would grow sea-sick on a swing, and if you asked many of them to go down a slide they would either refuse outright or collapse in the middle of it. No grown-up can be a telegraph boy or a boy scout. No grown-up can go half-price in a tramcar or a railway train. And I know of one small boy called Tommy who came to the rescue when the big people got fairly stuck.
He was spending his holidays with his grandmother at a farm, and one morning the key of the hen-house went amissing. They searched high and low, the whole house was turned upside down and inside out, but not a trace of the key could be found. Perhaps Granny had a hole in her pocket. History does not relate.
It was market day, and Granny particularly wanted those eggs to take to market. What was she to do? At last a brilliant thought struck her. Why not make use of Tommy? So she called him and pointed out the hole in the door of the hen-house through which the cocks and hens went in and out. Did he think he could squeeze himself through that? Why, of course, it was just the very sort of " ploy " Tommy loved! And before you could say " Jack Robinson," he was wriggling through the hole, and very soon he had searched all the nests and brought out the eggs.
You see, boys and girls can often be of use when the big people fail. And there are higher and better things than those we have mentioned that a child can do. For there are rough and difficult places in life that the grown-ups sometimes reach; and often it needs a child's merry laugh to cheer a sad heart, a child's gentle touch to melt a hard heart or comfort a sorrowing one. If you took all the children out of the world it would be a dull and dreary place. You have got this gift, little children, of making the world brighter. Will you try to use it?
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