Obrazy na stronie

panied by obedience. “To obey," said the prophet, “ is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” These words of Samuel teach us that all the profession we may make is of no avail, unless we make it our constant endeavour to do the will of God. Saul is a striking example of the evil of disobedience. After this affair in regard to the children of Amalek, he had to hear his doom repeated to him by Samuel, who told him that because he had rejected the word of the Lord, the Lord had rejected him from being king, and had given the kingdom to a neighbour of his, who was better than he. Then the prophet Samuel, though a man of peace, took the sword of justice in his hand, and executed the commands of God in putting to death Agag, king of the Amalekites.

We must conclude now; we have talked long to-night.

The Israelites erred in thinking themselves secure of victory if the ark were with them,—Who resemble them in this ?

In what ought we to follow the example of the men of Bethshemesh ?

What does their fate teach us to avoid ?

The Spirit of the Lord taught Saul to command; the fear of the Lord taught the people to obey, What do we learn from this ?

The Lord gave victory to the arms of Israel, which caused Saul to refuse to put to death those who had scorned him, — What does this teach us ?

„Saul, for his disobedience, lost the kingdom,- What are we taught by this ?

What do we learn from the success which attended Jonathan in his attack of the Philistines' garrison ?

What do we learn from Saul's conduct in the pursuit that day?

What are we taught by Jonathan's conduct, when he was unjustly condemned ?

What are we taught by the people's conduct on the same occasion ?

“ To obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams,"—What do these words teach us ?






“God is the eternal King; thy foes in vain

Raise their rebellions to confound thy reign;
In vain the storms, in vain the floods arise,
And roar, and toss their waves against the skies;
Foaming at heaven, they rage with wild commotion,
For heaven's high arches scorn the swelling ocean.

“ Ye tempests, rage no more; ye floods, be still,

And the mad world submissive to his will ;
Built on His truth, His church must ever stand;
Firm are His promises, and strong His hand;
See His own sons, when they appear before Him,
Bow at His footstool, and with fear adore Him."


Marianne. Grandfather, I do not like Samuel very well. He seems as if he were glad to tell Saul that he was to lose the kingdom. It looks as if he did not like poor Saul.

Grandfather. If my way of telling the story gives you that impression, the fault is mine, for it is very different from the account that the Bible gives. We read there how Samuel mourned for Saul—how he even cried all night to the Lord for him. From his example we learn what we ought to do in regard to those who have

rejected the commandments of the Lord. We have arrived now at the time when Saul's successor was introduced into the army. The Philistines assembled their armies, marched into the territories of Judah, and there pitched their camp. The Israelites gathered together and pitched near them. Each army was on a mountain, a valley lay between them. In the Philistine host there was a giant, whose name was Goliath. He belonged to the town of Gath. He was of the sons of Anak, hearing of whom from the spies had so filled the children of Israel with dread.

Johnnie. How tall was the giant, grandfather ?

Grandfather. Six cubits and a span. Some make the cubit to be twenty-one inches; but even reckoning it at a foot and a half, the height of Goliath would be within three inches of ten feet. He was completely armed. He wore a coat of mail and a brass helmet. He stepped forth from the ranks of his countrymen and called out to the Israelites, offering to decide the battle by single combat, if any man of Israel would come forward to encounter him. “ If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me," said the tall Philistine, “ then will we be your servants; but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us.” These words, and the formidable appearance of the speaker, struck terror into the hearts of Saul and his men. None dared to reply. Forty days the Philistine approached every morning and every evening, and defied his trembling foes. In the town of Bethlehem, of the tribe of Judah, there lived at this time a very old man, named Jesse. He had eight sons, the three eldest of whom were in the army of Saul. One day Jesse called to him his youngest son, David, and told him to go to the camp to see how his brethren were, and carry some provisions—some bread and corn to them, and some cheeses to their captain. Early the next morning David rose. He gave the sheep he was in the habit of tending into the care of a keeper. He took the provisions of which his father had spoken, went to the camp, and arrived there as the armies were preparing to engage. David left his baggage behind him, and ran eagerly forward to salute his brethren. While he was talking with them, forward came the champion Goliath, and spoke the same words he had been in the habit of saying. David heard, and so did all the soldiers of Israel, who, although they might have been accustomed by this time to the sight of the formidable Philistine, yet could not see him without turning to filee. They told David that whoever of the men of Israel killed the giant, the king had promised to endow him with great riches, to give him his daughter to wife, and to bestow great privileges on his father's house. Indignantly the son of Jesse exclaimed, “ Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” Angrily spoke his eldest brother Eliab to the young shepherd. “ Why camest thou down hither ? and with whom hast thou left these few sheep in the wilderness ? I know thy pride, and

« PoprzedniaDalej »