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1 Kings Chapter Fifteen                            


1 Kings 15

Chapter Contents

Wicked reign of Abijam, king of Judah. (1-8) Good reign of Asa, king of Judah. (9-24) The evil reigns of Nadab and Baasha in Israel. (25-34)

Commentary on 1 Kings 15:1-8

(Read 1 Kings 15:1-8)

Abijam's heart was not perfect with the Lord his God; he wanted sincerity; he began well, but he fell off, and walked in all the sins of his father, following his bad example, though he had seen the bad consequences of it. David's family was continued as a lamp in Jerusalem, to maintain the true worship of God there, when the light of Divine truth was extinguished in all other places. The Lord has still taken care of his cause, while those who ought to have been serviceable thereto have lived and perished in their sins. The Son of David will still continue a light to his church, to establish it in truth and righteousness to the end of time. There are two kinds of fulfilling the law, one legal, the other by the gospel. Legal is, when men do all things required in the law, and that by themselves. None ever thus fulfilled the law but Christ, and Adam before his fall. The gospel manner of fulfilling the law is, to believe in Christ who fulfilled the law for us, and to endeavour in the whole man to obey God in all his precepts. And this is accepted of God, as to all those that are in Christ. Thus David and others are said to fulfil the law.

Commentary on 1 Kings 15:9-24

(Read 1 Kings 15:9-24)

Asa did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. That is right indeed which is so in God's eyes. Asa's times were times of reformation. He removed that which was evil; there reformation begins, and a great deal he found to do. When Asa found idolatry in the court, he rooted it out thence. Reformation must begin at home. Asa honours and respects his mother; he loves her well, but he loves God better. Those that have power are happy when thus they have hearts to use it well. We must not only cease to do evil, but learn to do well; not only cast away the idols of our iniquity, but dedicate ourselves and our all to God's honour and glory. Asa was cordially devoted to the service of God, his sins not arising from presumption. But his league with Benhadad arose from unbelief. Even true believers find it hard, in times of urgent danger, to trust in the Lord with all their heart. Unbelief makes way for carnal policy, and thus for one sin after another. Unbelief has often led Christians to call in the help of the Lord's enemies in their contests with their brethren; and some who once shone brightly, have thus been covered with a dark cloud towards the end of their days.

Commentary on 1 Kings 15:25-34

(Read 1 Kings 15:25-34)

During the single reign of Asa in Judah, the government of Israel was in six or seven different hands. Observe the ruin of the family of Jeroboam; no word of God shall fall to the ground. Divine threatenings are not designed merely to terrify. Ungodly men execute the just judgments of God upon each other. But in the midst of dreadful sins and this apparent confusion, the Lord carries on his own plan: when it is fully completed, the glorious justice, wisdom, truth, and mercy therein displayed, shall be admired and adored through all the ages of eternity.

── Matthew HenryConcise Commentary on 1 Kings


1 Kings 15

Verse 1

[1] Now in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam the son of Nebat reigned Abijam over Judah.

Abijam reigned — So his reign began with Jeroboam's eighteenth year, continued his whole nineteenth year, and ended within his twentieth year, in which also Asa's reign began. And thus one and the same year may be attributed to two several persons.

Verse 2

[2] Three years reigned he in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom.

Three years — That is, part of three years.

Abishalom — Or, of Absalom, as he is called 2 Chronicles 11:21. And because he is here mentioned as a known person, without any addition of his kindred or quality, some conceive that this was Absalom's daughter, called properly Tamar, 2 Samuel 14:27, and from her royal grandmother, 2 Samuel 3:3, Maacah.

Verse 4

[4] Nevertheless for David's sake did the LORD his God give him a lamp in Jerusalem, to set up his son after him, and to establish Jerusalem:

A lamp — A son and successor to perpetuate his name and memory, which otherwise had gone into obscurity.

Jerusalem — That he might maintain that city, and temple, and worship, as a witness for God, in the world, against the Israelites and heathen world.

Verse 5

[5] Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.

Save only — This and the like phrases are not to be understood as exclusive of every sinful action, hut only of an habitual and continued apostasy from God, as the very phrase of turning aside from God, or from his commands, doth constantly imply. And thus it is most true. For David's other sins were either sudden and transient acts, soon repented of and blotted out, as in the cases of Nabal and Achish; or, mistakes of his judgment, which was not fully convinced of the sinfulness of such actions: whereas that which concerned Uriah's wife was a designed and studied sin, long continued in, defended with a succession of other sins, presumptuous, and scandalous to his government, and to the true religion.

Verse 6

[6] And there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all the days of his life.

War between, … — Upon Jeroboam's invading him with a great army: acting then in his own defence, he totally routed Jeroboam, so that he was quiet the rest of his reign.

Verse 10

[10] And forty and one years reigned he in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom.

Mother's — That is, his grandmother's, as appears from verse 2, who is called his mother, as David is called Abijam's father, verse 3. And his grand-mother's name may be here mentioned, rather than his mother's, because his mother was either an obscure person, or was dead, or unwilling to take care of the education of her son, and so he was educated by the grand-mother, who, though she poisoned his father Abijam with her idolatrous principles, verse 12, yet could not infect Asa, nor withhold him from prosecuting his good purposes of reforming religion.

Verse 11

[11] And Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, as did David his father.

Right — As to the government of his kingdom, and the reformation, and establishment of God's worship. That is right indeed which is so in God's eyes. Those are approved whom he commendeth.

Verse 12

[12] And he took away the sodomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made.

Sodomites — All whom he could find out; but some escaped his observation, as appears from chap. 22:46.

Idols, … — And if his father had made them, he had the more need to remove them, that he might cut off the entail of the curse.

Verse 13

[13] And also Maachah his mother, even her he removed from being queen, because she had made an idol in a grove; and Asa destroyed her idol, and burnt it by the brook Kidron.

He removed — He took from her either the name and authority of queen regent, which she, having been Rehoboam's wife, and Abijam's mother, took to herself during Asa's minority; or, the dignity of the queen mother, and those guards, or instruments of power, which she had enjoyed and misemployed.

An Idol — Heb. a terror, or horror, that is, an horrible idol; which it may be so called, because it was of a more terrible shape than ordinary, and not to be seen without horror.

Kidron — That when it was burnt to powder, it might be thrown into the water, and be unfit for any use.

Verse 14

[14] But the high places were not removed: nevertheless Asa's heart was perfect with the LORD all his days.

High places2 Chronicles 14:3. He took away the altars of the strange gods, and the high places where they were worshipped: but as for those high places where the true God was worshipped he did not take them away; partly, because he thought there was no great evil in them, which had been used by David and Solomon, and other good men; partly, because he thought the removal of them might do more hurt than their continuance, by occasioning the total neglect of God's worship by many of the people, who either could not, or, through want of faith and zeal, would not go up to Jerusalem to worship, now especially, when the Israelites, formerly their friends, were become their enemies, and watched all opportunities to invade or molest them.

Was perfect — That is, he sincerely and constantly adhered to the worship of God. Though he could not hinder the people from using the high places, yet he entirely devoted himself to the worship of God in the manner and place prescribed by him.

Verse 15

[15] And he brought in the things which his father had dedicated, and the things which himself had dedicated, into the house of the LORD, silver, and gold, and vessels.

His father — Abijam, when he was in distress, and going to fight with Jeroboam, 2 Chronicles 13:1-3, though afterwards he did not perform his vows, nor bring in what he had devoted; probably he was prevented by death.

Verse 17

[17] And Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah, and built Ramah, that he might not suffer any to go out or come in to Asa king of Judah.

Built — That is, repaired and fortified.

Verse 18

[18] Then Asa took all the silver and the gold that were left in the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king's house, and delivered them into the hand of his servants: and king Asa sent them to Benhadad, the son of Tabrimon, the son of Hezion, king of Syria, that dwelt at Damascus, saying,

Were left — What either Shishak had left, or Abijam, or Asa, or others, both of Israel or Judah had dedicated; which probably was not inconsiderable, because Asa had got great spoils from Zerah, 2 Chronicles 14:9-15, and he and his numerous and prosperous people, did at this time express a great zeal for the house and worship of God.

Sent them — Wherein he committed three great faults, amongst many others, first, he alienated things consecrated to God, without necessity. Secondly, he did this out of distrust of that God whose power and goodness he had lately experienced. Thirdly, he did this for an ill intent, to hire him to the breach of his league and covenant with Baasha, verse 19, and to take away part of that land which by right, and the special gift of God, belonged to the Israelites.

Verse 21

[21] And it came to pass, when Baasha heard thereof, that he left off building of Ramah, and dwelt in Tirzah.

Tirzah — Now the royal city of Israel. There he abode to defend his own kingdoms, and durst not return to oppose Asa, lest the Syrian king should make a second invasion. So Asa met with success in this ungodly course as good men sometimes meet with disappointment in a good cause and course. So there is no judging of causes by events.

Verse 22

[22] Then king Asa made a proclamation throughout all Judah; none was exempted: and they took away the stones of Ramah, and the timber thereof, wherewith Baasha had builded; and king Asa built with them Geba of Benjamin, and Mizpah.

None, … — All sorts of persons were obliged to come, except those who were disabled by age, or infirmity, or absence, or by the public service of the king and kingdom in other places.

Built — Repaired and strengthened them, for they were built before.

Verse 23

[23] The rest of all the acts of Asa, and all his might, and all that he did, and the cities which he built, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? Nevertheless in the time of his old age he was diseased in his feet.

Nevertheless — Notwithstanding the great things which he had done, and the glory and prosperity which he enjoyed, he felt the effects of human infirmity, and of his own sins.

Verse 25

[25] And Nadab the son of Jeroboam began to reign over Israel in the second year of Asa king of Judah, and reigned over Israel two years.

Two years — Not compleat, as appears from verse 28,33.

Verse 26

[26] And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of his father, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin.

In his sin — In the worship of the calves which his father had made.

Verse 28

[28] Even in the third year of Asa king of Judah did Baasha slay him, and reigned in his stead.

Even, … — It was threatened, chap. 14:15, that Israel should be as a reed shaken in the water. And so they were, when, during the single reign of Asa, their government was in seven or eight different hands. Jeroboam was upon the throne at the beginning of his reign, and Ahab at the end of it: between whom were Nadab, Baashah, Elah, Zimri, Tibni, and Omri, undermining and destroying one another. This they got by deserting the house both of God and of David.

Verse 29

[29] And it came to pass, when he reigned, that he smote all the house of Jeroboam; he left not to Jeroboam any that breathed, until he had destroyed him, according unto the saying of the LORD, which he spake by his servant Ahijah the Shilonite:

Any — Any of the males of that family.

According, … — So God overruled Baasha's ambition and cruelty, to fulfil his own prediction.

Verse 30

[30] Because of the sins of Jeroboam which he sinned, and which he made Israel sin, by his provocation wherewith he provoked the LORD God of Israel to anger.

Because — So that same wicked policy which he used to establish the kingdom in his family, proved his and their ruin: which is very frequently the event of ungodly counsels.

── John WesleyExplanatory Notes on 1 Kings


15 Chapter 15


Verses 1-24

Verses 11-15

1 Kings 15:11-15

Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord.

The character of Asa

In Asa, King of Judah, we have one of the most melancholy, yet perhaps one of the most marvellous instances on record in the Holy Scriptures of the depravity of our nature. What strikes us in this prince is not merely that sort of inconsistency which is, more or less, part of every man’s character; that strange admixture of opposing principles and motives which may be said to influence the actions of the generality of men; neither is it--what is a still more common evil among men--the succumbing to the power of any one evil disposition which is not sufficiently counteracted by a corresponding virtue. It is his failure in that very point in which the chief of his virtues seemed to lie--his faith and perfect confidence in God.

I. The impossibility of man’s arriving at a sinless state of perfection so long as he is clothed with this mortality. In Asa we have a proof that a man may be perfect before God, and yet have sin. “In many things we offend all,” and “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves”--if we were to infer that a state of faultless perfection were attainable in this world from the fact that there are many who, like Noah, Abraham, or Asa, are said to have walked perfectly with God, it would he difficult to reconcile such an inference with the sins they are known to have committed. When we find such injunctions as this--“Walk thou before Me, and be thou perfect.” It is plain that the word “perfect” must be interpreted in that sense of general uprightness of character which it is only possible to apply to the best of men in this world. The main difference between the righteous and unrighteous--and this we ought chiefly to bear in mind--lies in habitual character. It is this which God principally regards, and not occasional sins, grievous though they be. The pith of all true religion, the grand substance of the doctrines of both Old and New Testaments, is summed up for us at the conclusion of both--the last words of the Old Testament being: “Then shall ye return and discern between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not”; while among the last utterances of the Holy Ghost speaking by St. John, are these: “His servants shall serve Him”--“He that loveth not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be anathema maranatha.” Thus the constant service of God is spoken of in both Testaments as the distinctive feature of the righteous.

II. The more practical lesson of caution in the manner of our daily walk. If Satan be suffered to exercise so great power over the hearts of the faithful servants of God, how watchful over our own hearts should we be! How necessary to each one of us the godly admonition of the apostle: “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall”! And how are we to take heed lest we fall? By standing always in the grace of God--this is the secret of final perseverance; this is the secret of Asa’s heart being perfect all his days. It is a mere matter of history that the saving mercy of God is more generally shown to those in whom we find habitual goodness of heart to have pre-existed, or, more strictly speaking, by whom grace given has been constantly used and persevered in, than to those whose habit of life has been careless and negligent of God’s service. The case of a seemingly virtuous child being led astray might well presuppose a want of real hearty piety, or a degree of pride and self-confidence which has withdrawn the special care and love of God, and left that child a prey of his enemies. This is not, however, the case of a really righteous person fallen from his uprightness. In all this we have a strong caution. If habitual piety is never forgotten, and rarely goes unrewarded at last, how much ought we to be on our guard lest we lose aught of that piety, lest we slacken the fervour of our zeal, and suffer our love to grow cold, or even lukewarm; lest, in a word, we forfeit aught of that grace wherein alone we stand. (J. B. Litler, M. A.)

Verse 22

1 Kings 15:22

They took away the stones of Ramah.

Old material for new buildings

The King of Israel went up against Judah and built the strong fortress of Ramah, but the King of Judah strengthened himself by calling in, on the basis of an ancient treaty, the assistance of Benhadad, the King of Syria. Benhadad and Asa went up against the King of Israel and overthrew him and took his fortress called Ramah, and with the stones of that fortress two cities of Judah were built. Surely there is a great lesson here by which all sensible men may profit! Asa turned the old material to new uses, and said in effect, “A stone is a stone, a beam is a beam: there is no harm in the material itself: it has been used against me, now it shall be used for me,” and thus, in the eloquent language of Bossuet, “with the fortresses of Samaria he built the cities of Judah.” Thus the subject begins to reveal itself, and we see how, amid these ancient names, often unknown and sometimes uncouth, the very freshest lessons may be gathered.

1. Is it not much the same as if a man should use the materials of his old self with which to build the structure of a new and nobler manhood? Suppose a man to have come over to what is expressively termed the Lord’s side: we will ask, What have you done with the old material--is it to be left--is it to be utilised? Have you been so foolish as to leave all the old stuff in the enemy’s hands? The stuff itself is not bad: it was only put to bad uses. We want you to bring away every stone and every beam, and with the old material to build a new palace. You have come over to the Lord’s side, what are you now? How much of the old material have you saved and appropriated to better purposes? In some cases, we fear, the disguise is so complete that your own mother would not know you now. You have succeeded in burying every talent, powdering every stone, burning every beam--the old material is not found among the resources of your better life. Ramah has not become Mizpah. You were once musical; and now you scarcely mumble a hymn in church, much less sing. Ramah has not become Geba of Benjamin, or Mizpah. You have left the music with the enemy instead of bringing it with you and sanctifying it, by a new baptism, to higher and diviner uses.

2. What is true of the building up of the individual, is true also of the building up of the Church. It is recorded of one of the Wesleys that when he heard anybody singing a nice tune on the streets, he used to loiter about until he got the melody thoroughly into his head, and then he went away and set divine words to the prostituted music. He said, “The devil has all the best tunes.” Persons looking at Wesley standing listening to the street singer, would say, “What, is he caught by the song?” and they might have attributed wrong motives to his standing there, but he was pulling down Ramah that he might build Geba of Benjamin, and Mizpah. The tune that was used to carry evil sentiments or bad language was brought over to tell the world the great gospel. Here is a man whom we have taken from the enemy who has a gift of music: what is he going to do with it in the Church? Let us employ him at once as a singing missionary; send him out to sing. He will find the voice, we find the words. Is it possible to sing the gospel? Verily so. In a recent walk I saw some little fellows about two feet and a half high--little bunches of papers on their arms, sitting on the steps, and looking at one another so coyly and nicely, with unkempt hair, and their bare feet and their tattered garments--and there was I, poor dumb priest, on my way to talk to the luxury of the age, and I felt the tears in my throat as I cursed myself. I would that some lady could have gone to those little fellows and have sung them some little hymn or sweet song. It would have been odd: it might have been useful. It would have created a laugh for the time being: it might have won a conquest. It would have been called ridiculous: in heaven it might have been termed sacrificial. What are you doing with the old material? Here is a man we have captured, who used to be quite famous for his humour. He was in very deed a wit. He saw the comical aspect of every question, he had a keen eye for the ludicrous, a happy tongue for the expression of all that he saw and felt. He is now in the Church--what is he doing? Sleeping. The Church will not have him. The Church is wrong. We should make a modern Elijah of him, and he should taunt the priests of evil on their own ground and across their own altars, till they ran away for very shame. Such a man should have a function in the Church. But is there not danger in employing such persons to do such work? Yes, there is danger in doing it; but, as we view the case, there is more danger in not doing it. We are too much afraid of danger. There was great danger in entrusting the revelation of Christianity to a few fishermen, ignorant and feeble in every aspect of social importance. We dare not have done it. We should hardly have trusted any one of those men to have posted a letter. But Jesus entrusted them with a letter for the universe. Clothe men with responsibilities if you would call up their supreme, power to its best expression, its most solid and massive and dominating attitude. We want to know what has become of the old material. You were greater on the other side than you are on this. You made more of a figure, you created a deeper impression, you were better known as an actor than ever you have been known as a preacher--how is that? You were better known as a blasphemer than you are known as a suppliant--how is that? O that we could utilise all the old forces! Jesus Christ works in the spirit of this text in building up His kingdom. Jesus Christ will overthrow the fortress of the enemy, and take every stone and beam and timber away, and rear new edifices with them. Out of the ruins of the drunkard, Jesus Christ builds the apostle of temperance. Jesus is building His great house, and some day men will say about the stones that are in it, “What are these, and whence came they?” and Jesus will answer with a pride of satisfaction flooding and flaming His soul, “Every stone that is there is precious to Me: this is Ramah, rebuilt as Geba; this is the old fortress turned into the new sanctuary”; and as He looks upon that palace, wide as the horizon, high as heaven, what wonder if, seeing the travail of His soul, He is satisfied? (J. Parker, D. D.)

Verse 23

1 Kings 15:23

Nevertheless in the time of his old age he was diseased in his feet.

Asa; or, failure at the last

Few personages in Holy Scripture appear to have commenced their career with more decided promise of good, and more energetic measures against evil, than Asa, King of Judah. Asa was the third of those princes of the house of David, whom God, though for the sins of Solomon He had alienated ten tribes from their sway, permitted for His ancient servant’s sake to retain a throne and a name. Asa was preserved pure amid the corruptions of his age; and his acts immediately on ascending the throne, and for a large portion of his life, showed, not merely that his heart was not perverted to idols--that is, was in this sense perfect before the Lord--but that he leaned on Him, and found Him to be his Strength and his Redeemer. When ten years are over, we find that great change has passed upon Asa. Hostilities are threatened at the hands of Baasha, King of Israel. That prince is building a fortress on his very frontier. His purpose cannot be mistaken. It is to check the growing intercourse between Asa’s subjects and his own. Asa is naturally alarmed; but in his alarm he seeks not God--he seeks a human, a heathen ally. He bribes the King of Syria., with his own treasures and the treasures of the temple, to break an existing league with Baasha, and invade the north-eastern provinces of Israel. A diversion is thus effected; for Baasha is summoned from his scheme of offence by tidings that the whole of the coast of Gennesaret is being wasted by fire and sword. Asa improves his opportunity. He destroys the rising fortress, Ramah, and applies to the strengthening of two cities for himself the materials prepared by the enemy. Yes, he has repelled the danger, but he has incurred a greater danger. He has made God his enemy, for he has not trusted in Him as his friend. How strange, how very mournful, that he who for more than a quarter of a century had led men to God, should at length have himself turned from Him; that he who, by his life and reign, had preached to others, should himself be a castaway! And is it indeed so? Hanani the prophet has come to remonstrate with him; and his remonstrance, truly though severely kind, must surely move him. Alas! Asa’s heart is hardened. The voice of honesty grates harshly on him; he is wroth with the prophet; he even imprisons him. And the sacred historian adds, “He oppressed some of the people at the same time”; it may be, because they reminded him of the oath which they had sworn at his bidding, and in which he had bound himself, that God should be their God. A few more years pass on, of which we read nothing, but of which we must fear much. Asa is now stretched on his sick-bed; a lingering disease is wasting him; at length, it is exceeding great. Two or three years he lies in deep agony, yet he never thinks of God; he “seeks not to the Lord, but to the physicians.” Is no more said of him than this? Does no repentance for his evil deeds come upon him? No remembrance of his youthful faith, and of the way in which it was rewarded, flash upon him? Does no light illume the chamber of death? No fear of what is beyond death appal him? He had long ceased to live by faith, and he does not die in faith. To the words, “he sought not to the Lord, but to the physicians,” succeeds the simple announcement, “and Asa slept with his fathers, and died in the one-and-fortieth year of his reign.” He died. He died, and was buried in his own sepulchre, which he had provided for the body, however much he had neglected his soul. He was buried with great honour in the city of David. He was buried “with an empire’s lamentation.” But what was all this, unless we have reason to suppose that angels received his soul, and conveyed it into Abraham’s bosom, there to abide till the resurrection? But what were the causes of his fall? Scripture is silent on this point; we may, however, discover two or three of them.

1. He was tried, in the first place, by great success. People are inclined to think that success is no trial. They are much mistaken. Nothing is more liable to produce self-confidence, and neglect of Him who bestoweth on the wise their wisdom, and on the strong their strength. Unless a man watches himself very narrowly, pride will insinuate itself even into the midst of his thanksgivings; complacent thoughts of his own foresight underlie his recognition of God’s providence; convictions of his own good desert qualify his confessions of sin. Idols had bowed at Asa’s word. Profligacy had shrunk abashed from his presence. The appointments of the temple had risen to fresh splendour on his opening the doors of his treasury. The ancient renown of his people had revived under his sway. The borders of his kingdom had been extended by his policy. He had spoken, and cities long dismantled had resumed their coronal of towers. He had led out his armies, and barbarians had fled before him. Whatever he had taken in hand, the Lord had made it to prosper. This was at length too much for him. He dwelt on his wisdom, it became foolishness--on his strength, and it turned to weakness; in a word, he forgot God, who, as He had raised him up, had power to cast him down.

2. But mark a second point in which Asa was tried, and having been tried was found wanting. He was placed in the perilous position of having to guide and instruct others--to provide for their spiritual welfare--to correct whatever tendencies he discovered towards vice or towards idolatry. Now, little as we are accustomed so to view it, this is a great snare to any one. The mother, who teaches her child to pray; the father, who watches over his son’s moral progress; the master, who is a strict censor of the behaviour of his servants; the Scripture reader, the district visitor, the nurse of the sick, the almoner of the poor; yea, even the minister of God who has professionally to bring before his people the means of grace and the hopes of glory, the right use of the one, and the sober entertainment of the other; these persons are all of them in danger of neglecting themselves; of placing themselves, as it were, ab extra, to the duties which they have to inculcate; of losing their interest in them as things in which they have a deep personal concernment. Such persons are tempted then in the contemplation of their works, to forget themselves, to abate their self-discipline, and, when the novelty of their employment has passed away, to fall back upon other things; it may be, to end with languor, disgust, or carelessness, if not with utter faithlessness and sin. Gradually, indeed, and very slowly, such lethargy may creep over the soul; as gradually as the fumes of the chafing-dish overpower the senses of the sleeper, or as the deathlike chill of the mountain steals over the weary traveller, and lulls him into a slumber from which there is no awakening--but like these, it is subtle, silent, fatal. It is only sure-walking that is safe-walking. To be sure we must not be secure, we must be careful; carefulness is the earnest of safety; carefulness, whose maxim is, “Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall”; carefulness, which, in the words of our Litany, petitions the Almighty for deliverance not merely in the “time of tribulation,” but in the “time of wealth.” (J. A. Heasey, D. C. L)

──The Biblical Illustrator