The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. — Edmund Burke

Story of the Bible Told for Young and Old - Jesse Hurlbut




The Prophet in the Wilderness


We come now to a time when Jesus, the son of Mary, was a young man about thirty years of age. John, the son of the priest Zacharias, was six months older, but these two young men had never met, for one was in the north at Nazareth, and the other was living in the desert on the south of Judea.

Suddenly the news went through all the land of Israel that a prophet had risen up and was giving to the people the work of the Lord. It was more than four hundred years since God had sent a prophet to his people; and when it was known that again a man was speaking what God had told him, and not what he had learned by studying the old writings, a thrill went through the hearts of all the people. From all parts of the land, out of cities and villages, people poured forth to the wild region beside the river Jordan, where the new prophet was preaching the word of the Lord.

This prophet was John, the son of Zacharias. He lived in the wilderness, where he was alone with God and listened to God's voice. In his looks and dress John was not like other men. His garment was made of rough cloth woven from camel's hair; around his waist was a girdle of skin; and the food which he ate was dried locusts and the wild honey from the trees. And this was his message, "Turn from sin to doing right, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand, and the King is soon to come." The people came to hear his words, and when they asked him, "What shall we do?" John said to them, "He that has two coats, let him give to him that has none; and he that has food, more than he needs, let him give to him that is hungry."

John the Baptist in the wilderness
JOHN THE BAPTIST IN THE WILDERNESS


The men who gathered the taxes, and were called publicans, asked of John, "Master, what shall we do?" And John answered them, "Do not cheat the people nor rob them, nor take more money than the law tells you to take from them."

And when the soldiers cane to him, he said to them, "Do not harm any one, nor bring false charges against any; and be content twith the wages that are paid to you."

There came to John some people who were called Pharisees. These men made a great show of being good, and of worshipping often and of keeping the law of Moses. But in their hearts they were evil, and their goodness was not real. John said to these men when he saw them, "O ye brood of vipers! Who has told you to escape from the wrath of God that is soon to come? Turn from your sins to God, and do right. And do not say to yourselves, 'Abraham is our father,' for God is able out of these stones to raise up children to Abraham."

When men who heard the words of John wished to give themselves up to serve God and to do his will, John baptized them in the river Jordan, as a sign that their sins were washed away. And because of this he was called "John the Baptist". Some of the people began to ask, "Is not this man the Christ whom God promised long ago to send to rule over the people?"

John heard this, and he said "I baptize you with water, but there is one coming after me who is greater than I. He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. He is so high above me that I am not worthy even to stoop down and untie the strings of his shoes. This mighty one who is coming shall sift out the wheat from the chaff among the people. The wheat he will gather into his garner, but the chaff he will burn up with fire that no man can put out."

Nearly all the people in the land came to hear John in the wilderness, and were baptized by him. Among the last who came was Jesus, the young carpenter from Nazareth. When John saw Jesus something within told John that here was one greater and holier than himself. He said to Jesus, "I have need to be baptized by thee, and comest thou to me?"

Jesus answered him, "Let it be so now, for it is fitting that I should do all things that are right."

Then John baptized Jesus, as he had baptized others. And as Jesus came up out of the water, and was praying, John saw above the head of Jesus the heavens opening, and the Holy Spirit coming down like a dove and lighting upon him. And John heard from heaven a voice saying:

"This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

And then John knew and told to others that this was the Son of God, the Christ whom God had promised to send to the people.



Contents

Front Matter
Review

The Story of a Beautiful Garden
The First Baby in the World and His Brother
The Great Ship That Saved Eight People
The Tower That Was Never Finished
The Story of a Long Journey
How Abram's Choice Brought Blessing
The Angel by the Well
The Rain of Fire That Fell on a City
The Boy Who Became an Archer
How an Angel's Voice Saved a Boy's Life
The Story of a Journey after a Wife
How Jacob Stole His Brother's Blessing
Jacob's Wonderful Dream
A Midnight Wrestling Match
The Rich Man's Son Who Was Sold as a Slave
From the Prison to the Palace
How Joseph's Dream Came True
A Lost Brother Found
From the Land of Famine to the Land of Plenty
The Beautiful Baby Who Was Found in a River
The Voice from the Burning Bush
The River That Ran Blood
The Night When a Nation Was Born
How the Sea Became Dry Land and the Sky Rained Bre
The Mountain That Smoked and Words That Were Spoke
How Aaron Made a Golden Calf and What Became of It
The Tent Where God Lived Among His People
How They Worshipped God in the Tabernacle
What Strong Drink Brought to Aaron's Sons
The Scapegoat in the Wilderness
The Cluster of Grapes from the Land of Canaan
How the Long Journey of the Israelites Came to an
What a Wise Man Learned from an Ass
How Moses Looked upon the Promised Land
The Story of Job
The Story of a Scarlet Cord
How the River Jordan Became Dry
The Story of a Wedge of Gold
How Joshua Conquered the Land of Canaan
The Old Man Who Fought Against the Giants
The Avenger of Blook and the Cities of Refuge
The Story of an Altar Beside the River
The Presnt That Ehud Brought to King Eglon
How a Woman Won a Great Victory
Gideon and His Brave Three Hundred
Jephthah's Rash Promise and What Came from It
The Strong Man: How He Lived and How He Died
The Idol Temple at Dan and Its Priest
How Ruth Gleaned in the Field of Boaz
The Little Boy with a Linen Coat
How the Idol Fell Down Before the Ark
The Last of the Judges
The Tall Man Who Was Chosen King
How Saul Saved the Eyes of the Men of Jabesh
The Brave Young Prince
Saul's Great Sin and His Great Loss
The Shepherd Boy of Bethlehem
The Shepherd Boy's Fight with the Giant
The Little Boy Looking for the Arrows
Where David Found the Giant's Sword
How David Spared Saul's Life
The Last Days of King Saul
The Shepherd Boy Becomes a King
The Sound in the Treetops
The Cripple at the King's Table
The Prophet's Story of the Little Lamb
David's Handsome Son and How He Stole the Kingdom
Absalom in the Wood; David on the Throne
The Angel with the Drawn Sword on Mount Moriah
Solomon on This Father's Throne
The Wise Young King
The House of God on Mount Moriah
The Last Days of Solomon's Reign
The Breaking Up of a Great Kingdom
The King Who Led Israel to Sin
The Prophet Who Raised a Boy to Life
The Prayer That Was Answered in Fire
The Voice That Spoke to Elijah in the Mount
The Wounded Prophet and His Story
What Ahab Paid for His Vineyard
The Arrow That Killed a King
Elijah's Chariot of Fire
A Spring Sweetened by Salt
The Pot of Oil and the Pot of Poison
The Little Boy at Shunem
How a Little Girl Helped to Cure a Leper
The Chariots of Fire around Elisha
What the Lepers Found in the Camp
Jehu, the Furious Driver of His Chariot
Elisha and the Bow; Jonah and Nineveh
How the Ten Tribes Were Lost
The First Four Kings of Judah
The Little Boy Who Was Crowned King
Three Kings and a Great Prophet
The Good King Hezekiah
The Lost Book Found in the Temple
The Last Four Kings of Judah and the Weeping Proph
What Ezekiel Saw in the Valley
The Jewish Captives in the Court of the King
The Golden Image and the Fiery Furnace
The Tree That Was Cut Down and Grew Again
The Writing upon the Wall
Daniel in the Den of Lions
The Story of a Joyous Journey
The New Temple on Mount Moriah
The Beautiful Queen of Persia
The Scribe Who Wrote the Old Testament
The Nobleman Who Built the Wall of Jerusalem
Ezra's Great Bible Class in Jerusalem
The Angel by the Altar
The Manger of Bethlehem
The Star and the Wise Men
The Boy in his Father's House
The Prophet in the Wilderness
Jesus in the Desert, and beside the River
The Water Jars at the Wedding Feast
The Stranger at the Well
The Story of a Boy in Capernaum and a Riot
A Net Full of Fishes
The Leper and the Man Let Down through the Roof
The Cripple at the Pool and the Withered Hand
The Twelve Disciples and the Sermon on the Mount
The Captain's Servant, the Widow's Son, and a Sinn
Some Stories Jesus Told by the Sea
"Peace, Be Still"
The Little Girl Who Was Raised to Life
A Dancing Girl and What Was Given Her
The Feast beside the Sea and What Followed It
The Answer to a Mother's Prayer
The Glory of Jesus on the Mountain
The Little Child in the Arms of Jesus
At the Feast of Tabernacles
The Man with Clay on His Face
The Good Shepherd and the Good Samaritan
Lazarus Raised to Life
Some Parables in Perea
The Poor Rich Man and the Rich Poor Man
Jesus at Jericho
Palm Sunday
The Last Vistis of Jesus to the Temple
The Parables on the Mount of Olives
The Last Supper
The Olive Orchard and the High Priests Hall
The Crown of Thorns
The Darkest Day of All the World
The Brightest Day of All the World
The Stranger on the Shore
The Church of the First Days
The Man at the Beautiful Gate
The Right Way to Give, and the Wrong Way
Stephen with the Shining Face
The Man Reading in the Chariot
The Voice That Spoke to Saul
What Peter Saw by the Sea
How the Iron Gate Was Opened
The Earliest Missionaries
The Song in the Prison
Paul's Speech on the Hill
Paul at Corinth
Paul at Ephesus
Paul's Last Journey to Jerusalem
The Speech on the Stairs
Two Years in Prison
The Story That Paul Told to the King
Paul in the Storm
How Paul Came to Rome and How He Lived There
The Throne of God
The City of God