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"
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).
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
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
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
CHURCH OF CHRIST
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
(Gospel Observer website)