Transcribed by Becky Campbell
April 20, 1950
††† As we have been on the line of pity and sorrow for persons, animals and even trees, we will write again in something of the same vein.†† Perhaps we have a sad or melancholy streak somewhere in our make-up.† On the other hand,† we have tried as hard as perhaps almost anybody to look for the brighter side of life.†† If we were to give over completely to remembrances of misfortunes and allied matters, we would surely have to surrender the fight.† There are times, we suppose , in every person's life, when that individual is almost compelled to review the disappointments and hardships of life that have come his way.†† Occasionally the writer has been guilty of too much indulgence in such thoughts.† We are too prone to see only the dark, the sad, the gloomy and disappointing things of life; and under such a† cloud, we are very apt to forget our many, many blessings.
††† But back to our line of thought for this article.† We have been a student of the Scriptures for more than 40 years, although we grew up in a home in which there was not a Bible.†† However, our mother had a large-print New Testament so far back as we can remember.† Our first Bible was a little, leather-bound, red-letter book, with the words of Jesus in the New Testament printed in red ink, and the same being true of the prophecies of Him in the Old Testament.
†† In our perusal of the Bible, we found many things that have excited our sympathy.† Some of them will be given in this article.† One of the first of these concerns Adam.† He apparently wanted to do right, wanted to obey God, wanted to abstain from eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.† There is not a hint that the devil ever tried to persuade him to violate the Divine regulation in this matter.† If Satan ever made a single pass at Adam by way of temptation, the Scriptures are silent thereon. But Eve, the help-meet, the weaker vessel, the woman, the wife, was soon the object of the tempters persuasion.† Apparently in the absence of the husband, the evil one talked with Eve, with no outward indications of his real purpose.† He even told her some truth; that is, that her eyes would be opened, etc. She fell under the spell of Satan's offer and became a sinner before God.
††† Next Adam appears on the scene, perhaps to learn of the downfall of the woman he loved.† He apparently knew how to side-step Satan's devices and Satan had not molested him, so far as the Bible shows. Now a new situation has developed.† Adam's wife, the woman he loved, the one and only woman in all the world, now has placed a barrier between the pair, a fence, as it were, that could be removed in only one way.† Eve herself could not remove the barrier, she could not return to the side of her husband.† She is irrevocably separated from the world's one and only man.†† We have always felt a deep sense of sorrow, for the weakness of the woman, for the loss of her happy state, her wonderful home, her happiness, her freedom from want and need and work, for her seperation from Adam.† Next we have sympathazied with a man thus placed as Adam was.† In earthly decision, perhaps none was ever to be made that required so hard a choice.† On the one hand, Adam, knowing the facts of the situation and not being deceived, had to decide whether he would refrain from eating of the forbidden fruit and thereby be seperated forever from the woman he loved, or to eat and join his wife in disobeying God.†† What a choice, a hard bitter choice!† Perhaps we might surmise a bit and ask what would a man of today have done?† What would you men who read this have done?† What would you preachers who read this have done?† Before answering it might be well to remember that man was thus left alone and that it is not good for man to be alone.† Those unfortunate men who have lost a wife perhaps can appreciate a little of the situation that confronted Adam and of the bitterness of the choice he had to make.† Our guess is that the men of today, preachers or whatever they might be, would have done exactly as did our first father, Adam.† By eating as his wife had done, Adam would again be permitted to join his wife, and this is what he did, to his sorrow, her sorrow and the world's sorrow.† On the other hand, if he had not eaten of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, there would have been perhaps no human beings on earth and you and I would have never existed.† Moreover, the woman asked Adam to eat and this added to the bitterness of his decision.
††† Thus placed "between the devil and the deep, blue sea, "Adam has had our sympathy many, many times.† Then we feel sorry for them, even though it was just, when they lost their Eden home, lost their happy relationship with God, lost their beautiful garden and went out into a world of thorns and thistles.†† The fearful words of Holy Writ, spoken by the Lord to the woman, ring down throuh the centuries of time,† as God† thundered:† "I will greatly multiply thy sorrow, and thy conception; in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children, and thy desire shall be unto thy husband and he shall rule over thee."† And earth's billions of sorrowing wives and mothers from that day to the present time bear witness to the awful curse brought upon them by mother Eve.
††† But God did not stop with the denunciation pronounced upon the woman.† To the man, He said: "Because thou hast harkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it; cursed is the ground for thy sake, in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.† Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return to the ground; for out it wast thou taken; for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."†† What a price, a fearful price for one to pay to be with the one woman he loves!† We see them leaving their former home, once happy and joyful and glad; but now closed to them and gone from their reach. Behind them the beauty, the happiness, the joy of Eden.† Ahead what?† No home save what they might make for themselves; thorns, thistles, labors, toils, sorrows, grief, anguish and in the end, death.† Not only were these to be the portion of the guilty pair; but worse, perhaps by far, the same dreadful curse would be upon their, as yet unborn, offspring, including all of us.†† If this tragedy, the worst in all the world from a human standpoint, evokes our own feeble sympathy, fills our heart with sorrow and regret even to bowing down our head and weeping, how greatly it must have moved the Great Judge.††† We see, as it were, His taking the innocent lambs and destroying their lives to furnish clothing for the guilty couple.† And a pitying God had said:† "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head and thou shalt bruise his heel."
††† And we have bowed, as it were, with Adam and Eve when they found their second son, the devoted, faithful Able, cold and still in death and had to know that the world's first baby had become the murderer of his good brother.
††† We have grieved with Lot's wife as the poor wife and mother, turned for a last look toward Sodom, in violation of the express command of the Lord not to look back, and became a pillar of salt.† Lot's wife was leaving her home and part of her children.† Mother love perhaps prompted her to take that fatal look toward the doomed city in which part of her children would soon perish.
††† Then we have had a profound pity for Esau, the hairy man, and a twin brother of Jacob.† We have sorrowed over his weakness, his proneness to do as the flesh dictated, to grasp a kettle of beans and lose perhaps an empire.† We have thought of him as the old blind father waited, the son doing his best to provide the kind of savory meat asked by his father, with the hours passing and the son still in pursuit of the game wanted; then of the triumphant son coming to his old dad and bringing him the kind of meat demanded by the father.† We can almost har the cry of anguish that fell from his lips when he found that the father had bestowed his blessing upon the twin brother, Jacob.† We can almost hear Esau as he cried out perhaps frantically:† "Hast thou but one blessing, my father?† Bless me, even me also, O my father!"†† Here Esau wept and we have, in a measure, wept with him.† And yet we do not question the plans and arrangements of God in the least.† Even though we may not understand all his will, we want that will to be done if it breaks our heart, destroys our home, robs us of loved ones and plunges us to the dark depths to which Job, for the glory of God, descended.
††† Perhaps we may have more along this line at some later time.