The Gospel Observer

"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations...teaching them to observe all that I commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matt. 28:19,20).
March 15, 2015


1) "Be still, and know that I am God...." (Tom Edwards)
2) Romans 1:20 (Tom Edwards)
3) News & Notes


"Be still, and know that I am God...."
by Tom Edwards

Especially when bombarded with the continual news-reports of such terrible things happening in our world today, or of whatever the troubles, sorrows, and even tragedies that might come the Christian's way, the true child of God need not worry nor fret. For "God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble" (Psa. 46:1).  

What a beautiful and encouraging truth.  In the Lord, the Christian has shelter, protection, and comfort from the dangers and tribulations of life.  For God's care and benefits for His people are not just for the great by-and-by in heaven itself; but also for the here and now, at this very moment.  Yes, God is "a very present help in trouble" (emphasis mine).  

This, of course, is not to say that the child of God is exempt from all the adversities, struggles, and trials of this earth-life; but it is to say that he does have a loving Father in heaven to help see him through all of those difficult and trying times (cf. 1 Cor. 10:13; 1 Pet. 5:6,7).  

As the psalmist goes on to say, "Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; Though its waters roar and foam, Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride" (vv. 2,3).  

The psalmist could have this confidence and consolation because, regardless of what the day would bring, "The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold..." (v. 7) -- and even when the "nations [the heathen who were not God's people] made an uproar" and "the kingdoms tottered" (v. 6).  For what challenge are they to God, as His enemy, when He has the power to melt the earth and bring desolation with merely a word?  

So in view of God's superiority over all the enemies of His people, and in view of the Lord's great compassion for His own and His desire to aid them through whatever their hard times, He declares, "Be still, and know that I am God" (v. 10, emphasis mine).  

The Hebrew word for "Be still" (raphah) has various meanings: "...to let drop, abandon, relax, refrain... to let go... to be quiet" (Brown-Driver-Briggs' Hebrew Definitions).  It conveys the idea in this verse to not be worried, distressed, or disturbed -- to not be troubled.  The NASB translates it as "Cease striving"; but it is also rendered as "Desist" (Young's Literal Translation), "Let go of your concerns!" (God's Word), and "Be at peace in the knowledge that I am God" (Bible in Basic English).

A verse that well parallels with Psalm 41 is Zechariah 2:8: "For thus says the LORD of hosts, 'After glory He has sent me against the nations [those who are not God's people] that plunder you, for he who touches you, touches the apple of His eye.'"  

How special God's people are to Him.  They are, as this verse shows, "the apple of His eye"; or, in other words, "what is most dear to him" (Bible in Basic English).  

The psalmist then repeats and closes with those comforting words that "The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold" (Psa. 41:11).  What a wonderful thing for the Christian to remind himself of, to be humbly thankful for, and to draw strength from: God is with us as we remain with Him.  

The more we increase in faith through the Scriptures (cf. Rom. 10:17), the more we will be able to "Be still" and truly know God -- and not with merely a head filled with Bible facts, but also with a heart increasing in more love and devotion for Him who first loved us, and enabling us to have a closer walk in our spiritual relationship with our Lord.  

So let us continue to feed ourselves upon God's word that our faith in Him will continue to grow; and we will be able to better do, as He had commanded those of ages past, and especially when we have many burdens weighing us down, to "Be still, and know that I am God" (Psa. 46:10. Emphasis mine).


Romans 1:20
by Tom Edwards

I appreciate Luke Lively granting me permission to use on facebook an interesting nature scene he captured of a shallow bayou about 20 feet wide and stretching, maybe 100 yards or more, to where it disappears around a bend near the distant trees.  This narrow, but long body of water rests at the edge of an open grassy field that is a few feet high and mainly a light brownish tinge, which looks very cushiony and soft from the warm glowing sun.  Running along the right side of the bayou, and very near it, is a dirt road; and just a few feet to the right of that are the woods of short trees that are showing some of their autumn colors of brownish-orange, rusty-red, and even some green still seen among the other shades.  About the upper third of the picture is a beautiful blue sky with low, elongated clouds that are primarily white, but with many of them being somewhat darkened on their undersides.  However, with the sun still gently shining and putting a nice glow on all that it reaches, it doesn't appear that the rain will be coming any time soon.  The only creature seen in the picture is a small white egret standing in the forefront of the bayou and perhaps looking for something to eat in the water below.  Centered above, in the sky section of the picture, is black text which reads as follows:

"For what can be known about God is plain to them. For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse" (Romans 1:20).  

The picture well illustrates this Bible verse.  For all of nature is just temporary, but its very existence attests to the need for a great First Cause to have made it all possible.  

And that First Cause had to always be (or else it would have never been), which is one of the inferences Paul shows in Romans 1:20 that we can make from the creation itself: that God is eternal

In addition, what has been made also implies the need for great intelligence to have designed all the vast varieties of living things -- from the simple to the highly complex.  

Just think of all there is to consider in our own anatomy!  Our body consists of so many different needful components.  

We not only have all of the right parts, but we also have them in all of the right and best places.  For instance, where is a better place to have your hands than right there where you have them?  Or to have your feet at the bottom of your legs, while your eyes are way up high to better see, as if from a tower?

How far different the eye is from the ear, or the heart from the brain, or the lungs from the kidneys, etc.  Yet they each are very needful and have their own special function.  

How can one believe that we all evolved from a mindless single-celled organism in a mud pond eons of years ago?  How would that non-thinking substance know what would be necessary to form various creatures?  And not only know of all of those needful parts, but then be sure they would form in all the right places?  As some might say, "It takes more faith to believe in the general theory of evolution than to believe in the Bible's account of creation."

How could these, and the numerous other components that make up our bodies, come about by mere chance or coincidence?  

How could so much complexity and vital integration of parts simply evolve from a non-thinking substance?  

How did the genetic code come about, the information in our DNA, that helps form the way we are -- and also does so for every living creature, and giving each one exactly what is needed, regardless of how vastly different one creature is from another?  Just as computer software required a programmer, who or what programmed the DNA to be able to encode the right genetic instructions for the intelligent development of all known living organisms?  Did it not also have need of a Programmer or Designer?

Not one man-made thing -- whether great or small -- ever came about without man's ingenuity and involvement. But are we to make an exception to that principle when it comes to our entire universe and every non-man-made thing therein? That it required no "inventor," no "designer," and no "builder" nor "producer"?  

As Paul points out, God's "eternal power and divine nature" have "been clearly seen... through what has been made, so that they are without excuse" (Rom. 1:20).       

All of nature is a reminder of God.  As David writes, "The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands" (Psa. 19:1).

The child of God knows who to thank for the wonders and beauties of creation.  And by looking into His word we have the additional source that reveals even more about the Lord and those needful instructions pertaining to salvation. Let us, therefore, not neglect to examine that message.  For it is "the power of God for salvation" (Rom. 1:16) and the words of eternal life (Jn. 6:68).

News & Notes

It is to be soon that Steve Vesta will begin hospice care.  Let those of us who are God's children also be keeping in prayer his wife Maria and all his other loved ones as well.

With his kidneys no longer functioning as they should, Buddy Gornto is no longer the diabetic he had been for many years; but he is now having to receive dialysis.

We are very glad to know that Dolly Downs Moody is now cancer free!  But she can still use our prayers due to thrombosis (a clot) in her portal vein, which she is now taking Warfarin for, in hopes of eliminating that blockage and discomfort. 

The North Valdosta church of Christ is having a Gospel Meeting this week from March 15-20 (Sunday through Friday) with Everitt Heaton as the guest speaker.  Weeknight services begin at 7:30.  The church meets at 4313 North Valdosta Road in Valdosta.

Let us also continue to remember the following in our prayers: Myrna Jordan, Melotine Davis (recovering from a knee replacement), Danielle Howard, Mary Vandevander, Jim Lively, Deborah Medlock (hasn't been feeling well lately), Shirley Davis, Penny Medlock (glaucoma), Cheryl Corbitt (seeking employment), Jewell Wilson, Rex and Frankie Hadley, Jesse Bailey (cancer), Dexter Roberts (cancer), Sue Wooten (at nursing home), and Collen Henson.

Tebeau Street

1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501
Sunday services: 9:00 AM (Bible class); 10 AM & 5 PM (worship)
Wednesday: 7 PM (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
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