ANCIENT PROMISES OF DELIVERANCE
IN WHAT promise was a Saviour from sin first revealed?
"And the Lord said unto the serpent, . . . I will put enmity be- tween thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel." Genesis 3:14, 15.
Through whom was a restoration of the lost dominion prom- ised to Abraham?
"To thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever." Genesis 13:15.
Who was this promised seed? "He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ." Galatians 3:16.
THE BIRTH OF JESUS
Where was Christ to be born?
"And . . . he [Herod. demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea." Matthew 2:4-6. (See Micah 5:2.)
Of whom was Christ to be born?
"Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel." Isaiah 7:14.
NOTE.—Immanuel means "God with us." (See Matthew 1:23.) Before His birth, what did the angel say to Joseph concerning the naming of the child? "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins." Matthew 1:21.
At His birth, what message did the angel bring to the shep- herds abiding in the field?
"And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:10, 11.
In what song of praise did a host of angels join?
"And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heav- enly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." Verses 13, 14.
What prophecy of Isaiah was fulfilled at Christ's birth?
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder." Isaiah 9:6.
What did the prophet say His name should be called?
"And His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end." Verses 6, 7.
What did the devout Simeon say when he saw the child Jesus?
"And when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for Him after the custom of the law, then took he Him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant de- part in peace, according to Thy word: for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people, a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel." Luke 2:27-32.
How did the aged prophetess Anna express herself at the sight of Jesus?
"And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of Him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem." Verse 38.
What did the wise men of the East do when they had found Jesus?
"When they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary His mother, and fell down, and worshipped Him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto Him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh." Matthew 2:11.
INTO AND OUT OF EGYPT
How came Jesus to live for a time in Egypt?
"And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and His mother, arid flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy Him." Verse 13.
How does the revelator describe this satanic desire to destroy Christ?
"And the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born." Reve- lation 12:4.
By what means did Herod seek to destroy Christ?
"Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under." Matthew 2:16.
After Herod's death, where did Joseph and his family live?
"And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene." Verse 23.
AT NAZARETH AND JERUSALEM
What is said of Christ's childhood and early life?
"And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wis- dom: and the grace of God was upon Him." "And He went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them." Luke 2:40, 51.
Upon returning from a feast at Jerusalem, how came Joseph and Mary to lose Jesus when He was twelve years old?
"But they, supposing Him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought Him among their kinsfolk and ac- quaintance. And when they found Him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking Him." Verses 44, 45.
NOTE.—This is how many lose Jesus today. They suppose He is in their company, but do not see to it that He is with them personally. Through care, lessness it takes but a day to lose Him; but, when once lost, it sometimes takes days of sorrowful searching, as it did Joseph and Mary, to find Him again.
What was Jesus doing when they found Him?
"And it came to pass, that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions," Verse 46.
How did His questions and answers impress those who heard Him?
"And all that heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers." Verse 47.
With what words do the Scriptures conclude the record of Christ's early life?
"And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man." Verse 52.
HEAVEN'S PATTERN FOR EARTH'S YOUTH
Christ's early life is a pattern for all children and youth. It was marked by respect and love for His mother. He was obedient to His parents, and kind to all. He hated sin, and to every temptation turned a deaf ear. He sought to understand the reason of things, and so increased in knowledge and wisdom. He was sympathetic and tenderhearted, and ever ready to relieve the oppressed, the sorrowing, and the suffering. If we love Christ, we shall love to talk of Him; our sweetest thoughts will be of Him; and by beholding Him we shall be changed into the same image. (See page 95.) »>
ALL praise to Thee, eternal Lord,
Clothed in a garb of flesh and blood;
Choosing a manger for Thy throne,
While worlds on worlds are Thine alone!
Once did the skies before Thee bow;
A virgin's arms contain Thee now:
Angels, who did in Thee rejoice,
Now listen to Thine infant voice.
A little child, Thou art our guest,
That weary ones in Thee may rest;
Forlorn and lowly is Thy birth,
That we may rise to heaven from earth.
Thou comest in the darksome night,
To make us children of the light;
To make us, in the realms divine,
Like Thine own angels round Thee shine.
All this for us Thy love bath done,
By this to Thee our life is won;
For this we tune our cheerful lays,
And tell our thanks in songs of praise.
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