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ILLUSTRATION. Water provided for Hagar's child.
16 Abraham, the servant of God, rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, his bondrooman, putting it on her shoulder, and her child, and sent her away. And she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beer-sheba.
“ And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs. And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bow shot: for she said; "Let me not see the death of the child.' And she sat over against him, and lifted up her voice and wept.
“ And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her; What aileth thee Hagar ? fear not;
for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is.—Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand, for I will make him a great nation.'
“And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink. And God was with the lad ; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness.”
1 Gen. xxi, 14-20.
Special promises to the needy. 16. Thus saith the Lord God :-It shall come to pass, that before my people call, I will answer;
and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. Behold, my servants shall eat, and drink, and shall rejoice. Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart. ?For the righteous Lord loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright. The Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor.
4“ Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me. The needy shall not alway be forgotten; the expectation of the poor shall not perish for
6« Fear not, I will help thee, saith the Lord, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water; that they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the Lord hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it.
76. Blessed be ye poor: for your's is the kingdom of God. Blessed are ye that hunger now : for ye
shall be filled. I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, but thou art rich. Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer; be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.”
1 Is. Ixv, 13, 24, 13, 14. 2 Ps. xi, 7. 3 Ps. cxl, 12. 4 Ps. 1, 15. 5 Ps. ix, 18. 6 Ís. xli, 14, 17, 18, 20.7 Luke vi, 20, 21. 8 Rev. ii, 9, 10.
ILLUSTRATION. Elijah sustained in famine. 16. There was a sore famine in the land of Samaria, ? for it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And the word of the Lord came unto Elijah, the prophet, saying; "Get thee hence and hide thyself by the brook Cherith ; and it shall be that thou shalt drink of the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there. So Elijah went and did according unto the word of the Lord. And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening, and he drank of the brook.
"And it came to pass, after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land. And the word of the Lord came unto him saying, “Arise and get thee to Zarephath, and dwell there; behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.' So he arose and went. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there, gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, 'Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.' And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her and said : Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand.' And she said : “As the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but a handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse : and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it and die.' And Elijah said unto
her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said : but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and thy son. For thus saith the Lord God of Israel: The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth.'
" And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah : and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days. And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord.”
11 Kings xviii, 2. 2 Jas. v, 17. 31 Kings xvii, 2, 1, 2—16.
Encouragements to trust God's providence. 16. Take no thought for your life, what yo shall eat; neither for the body what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. Behold the fowls of the air : for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Consider the ravens; for they neither sow nor reap: which neither have storehouse nor barn: and God feedeth them. How much more are ye better than the fowls ?
"And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest ? Consider the lilies how they grow; they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.—If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to-morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?
4“Therefore take no thought saying, What shall we eat?' or, 'What shall we drink?' or, · Wherewithal shall we be clothed ?' Sneither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after; and your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of them. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow; for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
"Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God. For the Lord giveth food to the hungry, he relieveth the fatherless and widow. 8 And hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him ?- My God shall supply all your need, according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.—Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen."
1 Luke xii, 22, 23. 2 Matt. vi, 26. 3 Luke xii, 24-28. 4 Matt. vi, 31. 5 Luke xii, 29, 30. 6 Matt. vi, 32-34. 7 Ps. cxlvi, 5, 7, 9. 8 Jas. ii, 5. 9 Phil. iv, 19, 20.