The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, April 01, 1922, Page 10, Image 10

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The Commoner
VOL. 22, NO. 4
raised in tho court of Pharaoh and was pre
pared by tho oppressor of his race for the task
of securing their release. Those who believe
in providential caro And much encouragement
in Joseph, Moses and Joash.
Every great lifo that fits into and molds a
period is made up of a multitude of circum
stances, jtho absence, of any oue of which would
have changed tho result. In many of these
cases the individual is ignorant of the work for
which- his life is being shaped. His preparation
has no seeming connection with a life p!an or
with the needs of some great emergency. But
tho hour and tho man meet.
When somo Goliath appears, David nppcara
also, with just the skill that the occasion re
quires. When a new nation is to be launched
in a now world, a Jefferson appears to wrlto tho
Declaration of Independence and a Washington
is at hand with the military skli necessary for
a commander, with tho executive ability nec
essary for a first president, and with the poise and
discretion necessary to bring tho antagonistic
elements of his day into harmonious co-operation.
When tho Union was threatened there - was
one man (he seomed to be the only one) whose
life was a mixture of the North and Sou in,
whoso sympathies were broad enough to include
tho whole country, and whoso calmness and
soronity enabled him to look beyond the con
flict to a nation preserved. r
If wo can see tho hand of Providence shap
ing history through lives that are unconscious
of the part for which they aro being prepared,
how much easier it is to understand the cur
rents that are sot in operation by prayer.
If every human being is a part of God's plan,
as ho must be if there be a God, it is not un
reasonable to believe that the Hoavonly Father
, is willing to direct those who seek to know His
Will in order that they may oljpy. It is Impos
sible that a Heavenly Father such as the Bible
describes should be deaf to tho entreaties oe
His children. And of all the gifts which we may
assume Him willing to give, what would 'He
give more gladly than, guidance to those whose
hearts are open to. divine suggestion?
If we cannot doubt God's willingness to an
swer prayer, wo need only be sure that there aro
means of communication to be certain that the
means will be employed. Without attempting
to enumerate these means or to show preference
betweeipossible means, attention can be called
to one very obvious avenue for communication
between the human and the divine.
Every human act is the result of a decision
and the decision though instantaneous, ex
ercise a vital influence, the temptation
comes to steal, the decision determines
whether one will remain honest or become
a thief; and so With tl.e temptation to kill or
to commit any other sin. The power that re
strains one at this critical moment may be an
emanation from God. Is it unreasonable to be
lieve that this power will respond to an appeal
from the heart? And so with the decision as to
whether a good act shall be performed or aid
There was a moment when Reuben decided to
plead for tho life of Joseph and a moment when
the others yielded to the plea. Thero was a
moment when the Ishmaelitish merchants de
cided to come that way and a moment when the
plans of Joseph's brothars were changed. There
was a moment "when Joseph decided to risk im
prisonment rather than yield to sin, and there
was a dream that flitted through the mind of
tho butler, tho dream that brought Joseph to tho
attention of Pharaoh.
There was a moment when a suggestion came
to the mother of Moses a suggestion that did
not seem to come to any other of the afflicted
mothers of that day. And these suggestions con
tinued to como at each turning point in' the life
of the great law-giver.
There was a moment in the life of Jehosheba
when she decided to rescue the threatened child
Joash. During the six years that followed there
may have been moments when a similar decision
was made in regard to him. It is not unreason
able to believe that the God who needed Joash
could and did turn tho purpose of the aunt in
favor of the welfare of His ward.
Is it unreasonable to believe that God still
lives, still loves and still guides? God needs
servants to do His work today as in the days
gone by, and servants need direction as much as
they ever did in tho past.
The childxWhom wo can succor or save may
be as important a part of God's plan
as Joseph, or Moses, or Joash. As we
ourselves have been the recipients of a
care as affectionate and as tender as that which
Jehoshoba lavished upon her nephew, so our de
voted interest may be as necessary to some of
God's little ones as the care of others has. been
necessary to us. , , .
We see but a small part of God's plan, but
we have faith in the power and wisdom and love
of the Heavenly Father who fits events together
in the mosaic of life.
(Sec John 20: 19-31)
Then the same day at evening, being the first
day oC the week, when the doors were shut whoro
the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews
came Jesus and stood In the midst, and saith unto
tliom, Peace be unto you.
And when he had so said, he shewed unto them
his hands and. his side. Then were the dlsciplca
glad, when they saw the Lord.
But Thomas, ono of the twelve, called Didymus,
was not with them when Jesus came.
The other disciples therefore said unto him. We
have seen tho Lord. But he said unto them, Except
I shall see In his hands the print of the nails, ana
put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust
my hand into his side, X will not believe.
And after eight days again his disciples were
within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus,
the doors being shut, and stood in tho midst, and
said. Peace be unto you.
Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither my finger,
and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand,
and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless,
but believing.
And Thomas answered and said unto him, My
Lord and my God.
Jesus saith unto him, Thomas thou hast seen
me, thou hast believed: blessed aro they that have
not seen, and yet have believed.
My Talk today is based on two passages from
the Scriptures one from the Old Testament, the
the other containing one of the New Testament's
most beautiful Easter lessons.
The Old Testament passage, from the 12th
chapter of Second Kings deals with the love
manifested by Judah's King Joash for tho house
of Jehovah.
It is not -unnatural that he 'should have been
attached to the once splendid temple that
Solomon had built. It had been, his hiding place
in his childhood when his idolatrous grandmoth
er Athaliah reigned a usurper in Jerusalem after
having slaughtered all the seed royal but him.
His aunt, at risk of her own life, had saved him
from-the fate of his brothers and smuggled him,
a babe in arms, into the sacred place and given
him into the protection of his uncle, the high
priest, who doubtless lost no opportunity to cul
tivate in the heart of his royal charge a love for
God's house. And in the temple, at the tender
ago of 7, with the support of the high priest and
the army, he had been brought before the peo
ple, crowned, and accepted by them as their
rightful king
Now, in the 23d year of his reign, finding that
the temple was not being put in repair, he di
rected that all the voluntary offerings of the
people should bo saved up for that purpose. So
Jehoiada, the high priest, "took a chest, and
bored a hole in the lid of it, and sot it beside
the altar, on the right side as one cometh into
house of the Lord" in all likelihood the orig
inal contribution box. And when the chest was
filled with money it was counted into bags and
paid out to them that wrought upon the house
of the Lord.
The details of the collection and disburse
ment of this repair money are not the import
ant lesson taught by this bit of.Old Testament
history, although there is one significant state
ment that should not be overlooked. In distri
buting tho money for work done, no accounts
were kept, which indicates a confidence in those
wha had charge of the expenditures. Indeed,
the historian, plainly states that the men who
faUhfulIethe mney t0 Pay thG workmen "dealt
It is not always wise, however, to ignore the
matter of account, for even good men have
sometimes been made careless .by the suspen
sion of the ordinary rules of business in hand
ling church funds. Careful expenditure and ac
counting according to the rules of good business
often mean the difference between a successfui
and a struggling church.
But tho main impression gained from JoaRh'a
wTilfip0' thG temPl ,8 reEard f0r thQ SSi
If one visits the great churches and cathedrals
of Europe, be cannot fall to be impressed by the
lofty conception that planned them and by the
deep corisecration of those who sunnily .t.
money. God's temples lowered above th, D .
liest mansions of those who designed and ere t
the placed of worship and used themJ
nificence of these temples dedicated to Tiw?"
Whfin one thinks of th nroMfAn i.T ,,e 10val.
gious assembly. There was a strikw ?L?i'
between the poverty of tho nnnnio ,i f. Uiurast
innAA -u.r. tA.t ,.-,.. . u lie
When one thinks of the architects mm',Ia11:
in the building and of the unrecorded multif,, ,
who joined their labor in erecting them l
reminded of the words of John Boyle O'IIphi
. "The dreamer lives forever, while the toiler X
in a day." uie8
It does not speak well for the religious ait
tude of Christians of the present day when tho
interest is shifted from "the temple of the Ai
mighty to tho dwelling place of the individual
We have now magnificent estates and'eostiv
palaces in which the rich dwell, while places of
worship are less pretentious. If the money worn
being spent in the extension of God's kingdom
and in the carrying of His Gospel to those who
know it not, no criticism could be offered, but
in most cases that is not the reason for the re
lative difference in the amount expended on per
sonal comfort and religious worship, it is too
often a proof of selfish indulgence that not enly
bespeaks decreased reverence for God but pro
duces demoralization in those reared in luxury.
Churches should not be so extravagantly built
or so exquisitely adorned as to make the poor
feel out of place in them, but the temple of wor
ship should be proof of profound respect for God
and of a deep interest in His house.
If the tithing system were employed by all
Christians, there would be enough to keep all of
God's temples in repair and to supply the funds
necessary for the enlightenment of all who sit
in darkness. Joash, King of Judah, sets the
Christians of today an example of devotion to
the house of God which may well be imitated.
And to those today who are devoted to the
house of the Lord, what comfort and joy the re
turn of the Easter season brings!
Easter compels a spirit of optimism. The
tomb is deserted; a risen Lord gives proof con
clusive of a life beyond. Nature, with her
myriad tongues, declares that man is immortal;
each atom of matter, by its' indestructibility,
raises a presumption in favor of an inextinguish
able soul. If matter cannot die, much less the
spirit that "molds matters according to its wish.
Christ has made death but a narrow, star
light strip between the companionship of yester
day and the reunion of tomorrow. Since Christ
has put death, man's last enemy, under His
- feet, an angel can be seen at every grave, speak
ing comfort to those who mourn.
The Easter lesson for this year turns the light
on the doubter Thomas, and we discover how
great a service he rendered, even though wo
feel ashamed that one in the presence of the
Master should have questioned His return to
life. We learn, too, that ther9 are two kinds of
doubt, a -doubt of the mind and a doubt of the
On that first Easter, 1900 years ago, when
Christ appeared to the disciples, they wero
"glad when they saw the Lord." But -Thomas
was not with them when He came, and when the
other disciples reported to him, "We have seen
the Lord," his 'mind annswered: "Except I shall
see in his hands the print of the nails, and put
my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust
my hand into his side, I will not believe."
All of Thomas' doubts were mental. His
heart was as trustful as the hearts of the other
disciples, but his reason was not convinced.
Christ deigned to furnish proof by appearing
again before the disciples when Thomas was
prosent, and then the doubter's heart brought
his mind into harmony. "My Lord, and my
God," Thomas' heart and mind cried out in
unison when Christ showed him His wounded
hands and side, and admonished him "Be not
faithless, but believing."
The mind cannot wreck the life so long as the
heart is steadfast, as was Tho'mas'. In this day
when there is so much of mind-worship, it is
nocessary that the heart should assert and dofeud
its right to the throne. An arrogant mind has
made many a life barren of faith and of joy
because the heart has abdicated in" its favor.
It is the business of the church to assert the
supremacy of the heart, out of which aro the
issues of life. The mind cannot find God, it has
no spiritual vision. But tho mind can approve
of the heart's dico.veries and can defend that
which has brought light into the soul. "I be
lieve," is the voice of tho heart; "help thou mine
unbelief" is the plea that the heart, filled with
adoration, makes for the mind that doubts.
The world never needed Christ more than to
day; and it needs a full statured Christ. No mere
i.-. ,tlii ZiA fit i "ja yfotf-MgLflg.. jj.