The Gospel Observer (January 17, 2016)

Contents:

1) Job — A Real Humanitarian (Tom Edwards)
2) The Blessings of Forgetting (Robert F. Turner)
3) Why the Conscience? (William V. Beasley)
4) News & Notes
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Job — A Real Humanitarian

Tom Edwards

Thinking of Job probably first evokes the wonderful example he has long been as a man of great patient endurance when undergoing even the most difficult hardships and sufferings, yet still maintaining his integrity through it all.  But there is also more about him that can be said with regard to the godly person that he was, as we shall soon see.

It was to Satan, that “accuser of the brethren” (Rev. 12:10), to whom God had declared Job’s righteousness. Not only did He speak highly of him as being “…a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil,” but also as being the most righteous person at that time: “…For there is no one like him on the earth” (Job 1:8). And his outstanding godliness is also implied in Ezekiel 14:13-16.

But just as Satan, that evil foe, had falsely charged Job, even so did Job’s own friends who were certain that all of his tragic loss and adversity was due to sin in which he was guilty.  Eliphaz, for example, wrongfully accused Job by saying, “Is not your wickedness great, And your iniquities without end?  For you have taken pledges of your brothers without cause, And stripped men naked.  To the weary you have given no water to drink, And from the hungry you have withheld bread” (Job 22:5-7). “You have sent widows away empty, And the strength of the orphans has been crushed.  Therefore snares surround you, And sudden dread terrifies you” (vv. 9,10).

But isn’t that just the way of a false accuser —  to paint a distorted or an untrue picture of someone that portrays the exact opposite?  For Job was not guilty of any of these charges that Eliphaz had made against him.

To the contrary, note what kind of person Job really was: “For when the ear heard, it called me blessed, And when the eye saw, it gave witness of me, Because I delivered the poor who cried for help, And the orphan who had no helper.  The blessing of the one ready to perish came upon me, And I made the widow’s heart sing for joy.  I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; My justice was like a robe and a turban.  I was eyes to the blind And feet to the lame.  I was a father to the needy, And I investigated the case which I did not know.  I broke the jaws of the wicked And snatched the prey from his teeth” (Job 29:11-17).

Yes, as the above passage shows, Job truly was a real humanitarian, bearing the burdens of others!  He was concerned for their well- being.  He was kind and benevolent toward them in doing what he could to help out.  And, perhaps, these are characteristics he possessed that we had not known or have overlooked, but well- worth in now seeing or in seeing again to refresh our minds.

His concern for others is initially seen in that toward his own children, in the very first chapter of the book of Job.  For they were often in each other’s homes for days of feasting (v. 4).  But when that feasting was over, “…Job would send and consecrate them, rising up early in the morning and offering burnt offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, ‘Perhaps my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.’ Thus Job did continually” (v. 5).

So in addition to helping others with their physical needs, Job was also continually concerned about the spiritual welfare of his family. He desired each of them to be in a right relationship with God, and sought to do what he could in regard to that as well.

Though we find the book of Job right before the book of Psalms, and many of those Psalms written by David who was born during the Mosaical Period about 1085 B.C., yet Job actually lived during the Patriarchal Age, many centuries prior to the time of David.  In the Chronological Bible, the book of Job is placed  between Genesis 11 and Genesis 12.

But what I want us to primarily remember from this article is that Job was not only a man of great patient endurance, but also a righteous man who bore the burdens of others and showed kindness toward them.  Of course, we would think that for one to be righteous, it would also involve one’s relationship with others in treating and helping them the right way.  But it is good to see of these specified means in which Job demonstrated that kind of righteousness in his own life.  As we saw earlier, Job helped the poor, the orphan, the widow, the blind, the lame, and he rescued the helpless from the wicked.  What a great blessing and comfort he must have been to all of these people, and a good example, influence, and encouragement to those who knew him.

May these thoughts of Job as a true humanitarian, and these specific ways in which he was, be also added to our knowledge of him, if they haven’t been already.  And may we, too, be encouraged, influenced, and motivated by his good example in helping others.
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The Blessings Of Forgetting

Robert F. Turner

Are you proud of your memory? Are you anxious to show folk how you can recall the little details of long ago? Not me! Maybe I’m seeking justification for my weak mind, but I find reason to be proud of my forgettery. I believe there are blessings in forgetting — and my wife says I am of all men most blessed.

The Preacher said to remember the Creator in youth — before the evil days come — when the clouds return after the rain (Eccl.12:1-2). In good days the clouds appear, it rains, and it is all over. But there comes a day when “the clouds return after the rain.”  Our troubles will not depart. And sometimes they stay because we will not let them depart — we recall, and relive them, over and over. It is a wise, and happier man, who knows when and how to forget.

Joseph had been ill-treated by his brothers — sold into slavery. He could have dwelt upon this injustice, growing more and more bitter — and finally have allowed it to wreck his own life and that of his people. But when his first-born, Manasseh, came, Joseph said, “God hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father’s house” (Gen. 41:51).

“Forgiving” contains that sort of forgetting. Jesus said, “If ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” When Peter asked how often he should forgive his brother, Jesus gave the indeterminate number, “Until seventy times seven” (Matt. 6:15 18:22). One has not truly forgiven who buries the hatchet, but sets up a marker so that it may be easily exhumed. The facts of the past may remain, as they did for Paul, but the bitterness, and any desire for vengeance we may have felt, must vanish.

Paul said, “…forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13-f). No one can build a glorious future by wallowing in a sordid past. God forgives — and He calls it “remission” (Acts 2:38) or cancellation. “Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more” (Heb. 10:17). God has a good forgettery when such is in order. Do we propose to know more than He about these matters? Oh ye of little faith!!

Many years ago I knew a couple who were deeply hurt by the indiscretion of one. The man, in the wrong, pled for forgiveness — to no avail. The woman freely acknowledged, “My pride has been wounded — I can not forget.” I fully believe this was a case where a sharp memory was a curse — and a forgettery would have been a blessing.

God has endowed us with the capacity to forget. A hot, dusty, insect-filled, flat-tire, hard-work fishing trip soon boils down to the fun we had catching that bass — the hardship part is forgotten. Wouldn’t life be more fruitful if we would apply our forgettery to personal bitterness, little “digs” and “slights” that begin with pride, and feed on acid rehearsals? Christ died to give us a way to get rid of sin. Must we live trying to find a way to keep it??

— via Plain Talk, Vol. IV, No. 2, Pg. 5, April 1967
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Why the Conscience?

William V. Beasley

For years we have opposed the false standard of those who say, “Just let your conscience be your guide!” We have pointed out that Saul of Tarsus (Paul) “lived before God in all good conscience” (Acts 23:1) while he was “breathing threatening and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord” (Acts 9:1). We read verses like Jer. 10:23 to show that man cannot guide himself. We turn to 2 John 9 and show the word of God is the proper standard for our lives. We do all of these things but to no avail. Men still cry “just let your conscience be your guide.”

Interestingly, letting one’s conscience be one’s guide would in many cases be an improvement. This is true because most men do not live as good as they know to live. They steal, lie, and cheat — even when they ‘know better.’

In fact, even many Christians would be improved if they “just let your Biblically educated conscience be your guide.” They know they should be giving liberally (2 Cor. 9:6), studying more (2 Tim. 2:15), telling others the good news (Mark 16:15; Acts 8:4; 2 Tim. 2:2), joining with the saints every time they assemble (Heb. 10:25), etc.  Yes, “just let your conscience be your guide” would be an improvement for many folks.

— Via The Beacon, February 24, 2015
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News & Notes

Let those of us who are Christians include in our prayers Barbara Darsey (who is recuperating from a heart attack and the installation of a pace maker), Judy Daugherty (who had been hospitalized for congestive heart failure, but now is back home), Shirley Davis (painful hip trouble), Deborah Medlock (arthritic pain around shoulder area), Andra Johnson (difficulty while pregnant), Misty Thornton (heart trouble), and Michelle Rittenhouse (heart trouble).
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The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30,31).
2) Believe in the deity of Christ
(John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins
(Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ
(Rom. 10:9,10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized
in water for the remission of sins
(Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3,4; Gal. 3:26,27; 1 Pet. 3:21).     
6) Continue in the faith
; for, if not, salvation can be lost
(Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
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Tebeau Street
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
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/go
(Gospel Observer website)
https://thegospelobserver.wordpress.com/
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html
(audio sermons)

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