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 Throne For The King's Mother. Day-Dreams. The Tree Of The Lord. Narrow Lights. Rehoboam The Unwise. Pretending. Trust And Get The Blessing. Lame Minds. Little Things. The Letter "I." Boasting. Busyness And Business. Cheating God. The Little Word "But." Some Great Thing. Seeing The Unseen. The King's Crown. Money-Boxes. A "Reliable" Story.
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CHILDREN'S GREAT BIBLE TEXTS
THE BOOK OF KINGS
A Throne For The King's Mother.
The Tree Of The Lord.
Rehoboam The Unwise.
Trust And Get The Blessing.
The Letter "I."
Busyness And Business.
The Little Word "But."
Some Great Thing.
Seeing The Unseen.
The King's Crown.
A "Reliable" Story.
The Book Of Kings, J. Hastings
Jazzybee Verlag Jürgen Beck
86450 Altenmünster, Germany
And the king rose up to meet her, and bowed himself onto her, and sat down on his throne, and caused a throne to be set for the king's mother; and she sat on his right hand. — 1 King ii. 19.
If I were to ask you what you thought the greatest thing about King Solomon I wonder what your answer would be.
Perhaps some of you would say his wealth and magnificence. We read of his wonderful ivory throne overlaid with gold, of the golden drinking vessels which were used in the palace, of the golden shields of his bodyguard. We learn that ships came fron strange countries bearing treasure, that kings brought him costly gifts, and that in his reign silver was counted as stones. We are told that he " exceeded all the kings of the earth in riches."
And yet at the end of his life Solomon found that all his glory was but " vanity of vanities." In gaining his wealth he had lost something much more precious — the love and trust of many of his people; and he knew that as regarded the best and highest things his life had been a failure. So I think we must admit that Solomon's wealth was not the greatest or best thing in his life.
Perhaps others of you say that the greatest thing about King Solomon was his wisdom. And you remind me that he chose above all things " an understanding heart." You tell me how wisely he judged the people and how, when the Queen of Sheba came from far to prove him with hard questions, she went away saying that not the half had been told her of all his wisdom.
But although Solomon was a wise judge and was clever at answering riddles he was not always a wise ruler. He gained his magnificence at the price of the people's oppression, and it was largely owing to his misrule that the greater part of the kingdom was taken away from his son Rehoboam.
Shall I tell you what I think was the greatest thing about King Solomon, the thing I like best to remember about him? It was his reverence for his mother.
Right at the beginning of his reign we have a little picture of how he received his mother when she came to him with a petition. Solomon was only about twenty years old at the time. His head might well have been turned by his position. But when the queen mother came into his presence he did not wave her aside with a haughty gesture and tell her to await the king's pleasure. No, he paid her the greatest honour and deference that he knew. He "rose up to meet her, and bowed himself unto her, and sat down on his throne, and caused a throne to be set for the king's mother; and she sat on his right hand."
I think that must have been one of the proudest moments of Solomon's life, when he rose up in all the glory of his young manhood and his power to welcome his mother, and to give her the seat of honour at his side.
Something very like this happened in the life of one of the Presidents of the United States.
His name was James Garfield and he started life as a poor boy in a little log cabin. Bit by bit, by dint of perseverance and hard work, he made his way up, until at last he was elected President of the United States,
As the day drew near for the inauguration ceremony when he was to be made President, he wrote to his old mother and asked her to accompany him to Washington, the capital city. His mother replied that she would be quite out of place among all the grand people who would take part in the ceremony, and that she would just stay at home and pray for him. But Garfield wrote back, "I'll not go without you!"
So together they travelled to Washington. They stayed in the same hotel, and when the time came for the ceremony Mrs. Garfield went out leaning on her son's arm and together they entered the carriage that was waiting for them. Together they drove to the Capitol, where the great ceremony was to take place. There they found waiting a great crowd of about a hundred thousand people. On the platform were all the celebrated men from all over the country — judges, and governors, and ministers.
Together Garfield and his mother mounted the platform. And then he did a beautiful thing. In front of that great sea of faces all turned towards him, he gave his mother the chair, the seat of honour, that had been provided for himself. Then he delivered his inaugural address; and after he had taken the oath to be faithful to his office, he turned and put his arms round his mother and kissed her.
These are two pictures of how two great men treated their mother. How are you treating yours? Remember that the way in which you act towards your mother proves what kind of boy or girl you are. It is one of the very best signs if you are good to her, and one of the very worst if you treat her with contempt.
Now most of us would scorn to treat our mother with contempt, and yet we often give her a great deal of trouble. We say we love her, and we mean it too, but we are cross and disobedient and disobliging. We forget that the real proof that we love people is that we try to please them. The love that is all words and that costs us nothing isn't of much value.
I want to give you three reasons why you should be good to your mother.
1. And the first is "because you will never again meet anyone like her. You may live till you are a hundred but you will never have a second mother. Nobody will love you again in just the same sort of way. Nobody will have so much patience with your faults.
My Mother she's so good to me,
Ef I wuz good as I could be,
I couldn't be as good — no, sir
I Can't any boy be good as her
She loves me when I'm glad er sad;
She loves me when I'm good er bad;
An', what's the funniest thing, she says.
She loves me when she punishes.
It is from the love of our mothers that we can have a faint idea of God's love for us. They never stop loving us, and they never stop believing in us, not even when everybody else has given us up as a bad job. The greater number of us would not be half the men and women we are, if it were not for the love, and the care, and the prayers of our mothers.
2. The second reason why you should be good to your mother is that by so doing you will save yourself many hitter regrets. Many a grown man would give all he possesses just to have his mother back again so that he might smooth out the wrinkles he had imprinted on her face and make up to her for all the sorrow he had caused her. You have still got your mother with you. Be good to her and you will live to be thankful for it. Remember any wrong or unworthy thing you do hurts her more than it hurts anyone else on earth, because she loves you most.
Here is a story told of another President of the United States — George "Washington. When he was a boy he resolved that he would go to sea as a midshipman. All the arrangements were made, his trunk was even packed and away, and George went to say good-bye to his mother. He found her in tears, and what do you think he did? He turned to a servant and said, " Go and fetch back my trunk. I will not go away and break my mother's heart." His mother was so struck with his decision that she said, " God has promised to bless the children who honour their parents. I believe He will bless you." And He did.
3. The third reason why you should be good to your mother is that it is one of the best ways to serve your country. Perhaps you think that seems a queer thing to say, but it's like this. All through histoiy it has been seen that the strongest and most prosperous people are those whose children obey the Fifth Commandment. If you don't learn early to obey and reverence your parents you won't learn later to obey and reverence authority. And a country where there is no reverence for authority is in a very shaky condition. So the very greatest service you can do for your country at present is to render honour and obedience to your parents.
Just one word more, and it is about One greater than Solomon. Jesus Christ was the Euler not merely of a little Eastern kingdom but of all the earth, and yet almost all that we know of Him for eighteen years — from the time He was twelve till He was thirty — is that He was subject unto His parents. And when He was hanging on the cross, He forgot His own agony to give His sorrowing mother into the charge of the disciple He loved
Jesus Christ was the most tender and chivalrous of sons, and if we want to please and serve Him here below one of the first things we must do is to love, and reverence, and obey our mother.
And Solomon awoke, and, behold, it was a dream.— 1 Kings iii. 15.
Have you ever dreamt dreams? I expect most of you have. And queer things some of them were! If you want to find the cause of them you won't have very far to seek. It is often because you have eaten too much of something very nice for supper. And the reason why we sometimes dream such very odd and impossible things is that when we dream, although part of our brain is awake — the imaginative part — yet the bit that judges and reasons is asleep, and so our imagination really runs away with us.
But there is a certain amount of sense in our dreams too, for I think you will find that very often you dream of something you have been thinking about or longing for. Perhaps the holidays are near and you are looking forward to a glorious time in the country. You have been thinking about it for days, and drawing pictures in your mind of all the nice things you are going to do. And when you fall asleep at night, you dream that you are helping to pack the boxes, or that you are setting out for the railway station. Sometimes you find yourself in the train and looking out of the carriage window. But the provoking bit of it is that you so very rarely get to your destination. Just when you are nearing it something happens and you wake up.
Now, Solomon once dreamt a dream. But his was a much more marvellous dream than any of ours; for a wonderful thing happened in it — God spoke to him. You know sometimes in the old days God did speak to people in that way. But what I want you to notice is that Solomon dreamt about the thing that had been most in his thoughts and nearest his heart. He had just come to the throne and he wanted to rule wisely and well. But he was very young and he felt he knew very little about it. And so, when God offered to give him whatever he desired, instead of riches, instead of long life or honour, he chose wisdom to rule. If God had appeared to him in the daytime and given him the same choice, he would have made the same decision. Solomon's day-dream was to be a good and wise king, and so his night-dream was the same.
1. I suppose most of you have day-dreams. You dream about what you are going to be and do when you grow up. Now some people fancy that day-dreams are silly things and do more harm than good, but I don't think that and I shall tell you why. If you don't dream great things it is very unlikely you will eve?' do them. It is the people who have dreamt great things who have done them.
But of course the usefulness of day-dreams depends upon what kind of dreams they are. I remember reading about one man whose dream was to have a tremendously big funeral. And he left instructions in his will that every boy or girl who came to his funeral was to receive a penny. So when he died seven thousand boys and girls came to his funeral and received their pennies!
That seems a very senseless sort of dream, doesn't it? But I'm not sure that some of ours are not just as foolish. However I'm not going to tell you to stop dreaming; only be sure your dreams are worth dreaming.
2. But our dreams are not going to come true without our working for them. The best dreams are not easily realized. So besides dreaming we must do.
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