The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, April 01, 1922, Page 9, Image 9

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    The Commoner
APRIL, 1922
,iArful faith that led Job to exclaim, ''Though
Si ri?y ie? yet will I trust in Him."
nil t wo know people largely by comparison,
lit is hardly fair to compare any one with
ti His wife's faith xniglit have been superior
J0 that of most husbands.
Asa's father reigned but a short time, dur
ing which he won a notable victory over
Tnreboam, first king of the ten. revolting tribes of
Israel But he was a weak man and, accord
ing to the commentators, ' permitted idolatry
,d aiiowed both himself and his people to
ommit heathen abominations. And Abijah's
mother, descendant of Absalom, is described as
au evil woman.
In the second commandment we are told that
God visits the iniquities of the fathers Upon the
children to the third and fourth generations of
them that hate Him, and shows, mercy unto
thousands of them that love Him' and keep His
commandments. Some have questioned the
justice of God because He visits the iniquities
of the fathers upon the children.
It is not necessary' that we shall understand
God's laws in order to respect them. The citi
zen is required to obey the law of the land,
even though he opposed, its enactment, and that,
too, whether it is the proclamation of a king
or the decree of a people's- government. In
human government obedience does not depend
upon love for the law or even an understanding
of it. If this is true of a man-made law, it is
much more true of the 'laws made by an in
finite God for the government of finite people.
It may not be out of place-, however, to sug
gest that the law of heredity- acts as a power
ful restraint in hours of temptation. A man
would more frequently yield to sin if the entire
penalty would fall upon- himself; he is strong
er to withstand temptation when he knows that
his act may curse his children and his children's
And then there is the other side of the prop
osition. God shows mercy unto thousands that
love Him and keep His commandments. The
mercy of God,, as well as His punishments are
a matter of inheritance. Man - is constrained
to an obedience which riot only saves himself
and those of his blood from the wrath of God,
but assures him and them the joy of God's
presence and the smile of His approval.
Asa did that which was good and right in the
eyes of the Lord his God. Noble son! He broke
with the past, rose above the evil environment
of his youth and put his trust in God.
A lesson for every young man who begins
life with the handicap of an unfavorable en
vironment. While the majority of such drift
with the current and suffer shipwreck, there
are enough splendid illustrations of individual
strength to make it certain that none need fail.
Society will encourage every boy and every
girl who is willing to da as Asa did, and the
Church should be the first to offer its hand.
Walter Malone preaches the true gospel of
Jesus and His Church when he says, "No shame
faced outcast ever sank so deep but he can rise
and be again a man." If there is hope for the
violent sinner how much more for the son or
(laughter of one who has sinned?
But one who would start right must do as
Asa did. He took away the foreign altars and
the high places and brake down the pillars. As
king he was responsible for the form of wor
ship, and he proceeded to do his duty. Ho rid
the land of the altars that had been erected to
heathen gods and abolished all the insignia of
idol worship.
So with one who sets out upon a new life;
he cannot compromise, with the "things that per
tain to the world; his affections cannot cling
Jo the sins of the world. His heart must hate
the things that it once loved and love the things
that it once hated.
Asa gave evidence of a new birth by the thor
oughness with which he destroyed the imple
ments employed in idol worship. He commanded
Judah to seek the God of their fathers and to
uo His law and the commandments.
It is a great thing for a private citizen to turn
from sin unto righteousness; it was much great
er for a ruler to lead a people In the worship of
od. And as today, while every soul is of equal
value in the sight of God, and every heart can
be made a fit temple for the indwelling of God's
?? i i ' is more important that men In author
Jt shall have singleness of purpose and be sensi
ble of responsibility. The blessing reaches its
maximum when the rulers of a free people wor
hip Jehovah.
They have a- duty to perform today, for altars
5E m? Ja,8ed t0 mammn in the market
Si HL 2? man avo turne(1 from th worship
of the Heavenly Father to the wo'-ship of gold.
?fwnnaMn nCeda today th0 recognition of God
at Washington and at the State capitals. All
the great problems with which the world has to
deal are due to a failure to obey God.
Without a worship of God there can be no re
spect "for God's law of rewards. It is a disre
gard of God s law of rewards that has brought
upon our nation its greatest burdens and threat
ens it with the greatest calamities. According
to Gods law, each human being is entitled to
draw from the common store in proportion to
his industry and intelligence. In other words, a
man is not entitled to more than ho earns, and
he cannot earn more than a fair compensation
for the service that he renders. When a few
are" permitted to draw more than they earn the
total so reduced that that which rernainb
is not sufficient to give a just compensation to
the remainder.
The God-fearing statesmen of tho world have
a work to do in the bringing of peace. The
time is ripe for the emancipation of the people
from war. The fullness of time had not come
when Asa improved the ten quiet years o his
reign to fortify the cities of Judah against tho
enemies round about. War was then the only
method of settling disputes. The land hunger
that has caused so many wars in the centuries
since Asa's day was even then tho cause oj
We now have the simple gospel of One at
whose coining the angels sang of peace and good
will. His teachers have become the ideal which
the best and the noblest strive to embody in
their lives. The power of the Christian creed
increases with the years.
The devil's burden has become too heavy for
the nations; they must turn from his sophistries
and false philosophies to tho One whose yoke
is easy and whose burden is light. When tho
Arms Conference met at Washington last fall
it was opened with prayer. An appeal was
tmade to the God of our fathers and every step
'taken was in the direction of obedience to God's
law and His commandments.
Asa relied upon God. "Help us, O Lord our
God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we
go against this multitude!" he cried when the
great host of the Ethiopians was set in battle
array against him.
His example ought to be valuable now to pri
vate citizens and to public officials alike. He
followed the only path that is open to those
who seek to make the most of life for themslves
and to make the world a blessed dwelling place
for the children of men.
"Help us, 0 Lord our God, for we rest on
(II Kings 11: 1-4, 11-17)
And when Athaliah tho mother of Ahaziah, saw
that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all
thute Jehoslfeba, the daughter of King; Joram, sis
ter of Ahazlah, took Joash, the son of Ahazl.aH, and
stole him from among the king's sons when wero
slain- and they hid him, even him and his nurse,
fn the bedchamber from Athaliah, so that he was
n0Andlanne was with her hid In the houso of the
Lord for six years. And Athaliah did reign over tho
laAn'd the seventh year Jehoiada sent and fetchefl
the rulers over hundreds, with the captains and
tho fruard and brought them to him into the house
f (? Tord and made a covenant with them, ana
tof ol ch anLoratha of them in , the , house of the Lord,
and shewed them the king's son.
And the guard stood, every man with his
nnla inlils hantl round about the king, from
weapons in his nanarounu eft corner
temDle along by the altar and the temple.
fAtnriherought forth the king's son and put the
And "LriSm and cave him tne testimony ana
crown 'kf" and an on ted him: and they
they mAdi?nrmandS and said, God save the king.
claAPPiedhlJ Athaliah heard the noise of the guard
andhoWX BhoSaSio to the people into tho
temple of the Lord. benold, the king stood by
And when sne " nd tnc prlncs and
a pillar, " ftnhfkfi5d all the people of
the trumpeters by P0ana blew trumpet: and
Shalialf renher'cloYhes, and cried, Treason!
Treason! . Driest commanded the cap-
But fA.fndreos the omccrs of the hoat, and
a dVn'to'KorHfvf forth w.thout tholes:
S 8S?ifflSt'Sra.St her not he slain m
" AhhVhehK0rnaehsCrcaaranea !
?Hfca?.W!SSSt between tho Lord
and tho king and tho pooplo, that thoy should be
tho Lord's people; between tho Icing also and tho
Tho story of tho young prince Joash, as pre
sented in tho text of today's Biblo Talk, Is a
fascinating one. It recalls two other Biblo stor
ies, and it has innumerable illustrations In lives
upon which the light of publicity has not been
Tho narrative is a simplo'ono.
Athaliah, tho mother of Ahazlah, king of
Judah, was the daughtor of Aham, king of
Israel, and, probably, tho daughtor of Jezebel. .
If there is anything in blood, hor life furnishes
circumstantial ovidenco of kinship with one of
tho most wicked womon known to history.
"When her son Ahaziah, tho king, was killed
in tho revolt of Jehu against Israel's king,
Athaliah aspired to Judah's throne, and to make
tho way clear for tho gratification qf her am
bition she set out to kill off all who wore of the
royal .blood,
It so happened that Jehoshoba, slstor of tho
dead Ahaziah, hoard of tho plot and stole away
tho babe Joash from among the king's sons and
hid him, with his nurse in tho bedchamber an
empty room in tlio palace, whore, according to
custom, the mattresses and bod coverings wero
kept. In this way Joash escaped tho death that
came to the rest of the dead king's sons. Later,
in some way not explained, the child was taken
into tlio temple, and there, tho account says, was
hid for six years "in tho houso of tho Lord"
while his wicked grandmother reigned over tho
In the seventh year, Jehoiada, the high priest,
who was an undo of tho young prince, called in
tho captains and tho soldiers and, having placed
guards in position to protect him, brought forth
the king's son, put a crown upon his head, gavo
him the testimony and anointed him while tho
people clapped their hands and shouted, "God
Bavo the king."
When tho usurper Athaliah heard tho noise
her suspicions wero aroused, and she hurried to
the temple, "and, behold, the king stood by tho
pillar, as the manner was," with tho princes and
the trumpeters beside him. Sho heard tho peo
ple rejoice and the trumpeters blow. Then, wo
are told, she rent her clothes and cried, "Trea
son! treason!"
But the high priest, Jehoiada, had tho ad
vantage over her. -She was in the Lord's house,
where ho presided, and he had the army on his
side. He did not allow her to ho slain in the
temple, but she was taken outside and put to
It is not necessary to dwell upon the wicked
ness of Athaliah. Tho history of monarchy Is
replete with such criminals; hers was tho 'cus
tomary way of removing those who might bo
rivals to the throne. It is shocking today be
cause we have passed beyond tho time when
such barbarity would be tolerated. Thero was
a time when kings not only admitted such cruel
ties but boasted of them. On tho walls of one
of the temples in Egypt there is a carving which
represents a king holding in one hand the
plaited hair of a number of victims, while with
the other hand, uplifted, he waves a lash as it to
strike. Times have changed since then.
The lesson that stands out from tho narrative
is that of providential care. An aunt risked her
life to save the child Joash; Her blood would
have paid the penalty had anyone betrayed to
Athaliah the fact that Joash was in hiding, but
Jehoshaba was willing to die if necessary and so
the child escaped.
One recalls the story of a dreamer whoso
brethern plotted to kill him and then were per
suaded to substitute death by starvation In a
lonely pit for outright murder. This was at the
suggestion of Reuben, who hoped to rescue him
Here, again, chance played a vital part in the
development of a great career. The Ishmaelitish
merchants happened to come that way at an op
portune time and the jealous brothers Breathed
a sigh of relief to find that they could rid them
selves of hoir hated rival and yet not be guilty
of taking his life. Circumstance followed cir
cumstance until the chain of events dragged
Joseph through a dungeon to a place by tho
side of Pharaoh.
The mother of Moses is also recalled. Pos
sibly because she provisioned the mission of her
son, she hid the child in the bulrushes Another
woman, by accident or by divine suggestion,
happened that way and was touched, not by tho
smile hut the cries of the babe.
It is easy to explain the lingering of the sis
ter near to watch the child, but not to easy to
explain why the child's mother should have been
accepted as a nurse. At any rate, Moses was
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