The Gospel Observer (April 17, 2016)

Contents:

1) “…My horn is exalted in the LORD…” (1 Samuel 2:1) (Tom Edwards)
2) A Lively Hope (Brian A. Yeager)
3) News & Notes
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Exodus15_2
-1-

“My horn is exalted in the LORD…”
(1 Samuel 2:1)

Tom Edwards

Hannah, the mother of Samuel, began her prayer to God by saying, “My heart exults in the LORD; My horn is exalted in the LORD, My mouth speaks boldly against my enemies, Because I rejoice in Your salvation” (1 Samuel 2:1).

What does it mean that Hannah’s “horn is exalted in the LORD”?

The “horn” is sometimes used figuratively in the Bible to refer to strength, as it is here.  It is derived from the literal horns of animals by which they do battle and, thus, symbolizes their power.

So after the psalmist declares that all God’s “…enemies will perish; All who do iniquity will be scattered” (Psalm 92:9), he then goes on to acknowledge, “But you have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox…” (v. 10).

And, as for these enemies of the Lord, “…all the horns of the wicked He will cut off, But the horns of the righteous will be lifted up” (Psalm 75:10, NASB).

Compare Jeremiah 48:20,25: “Moab has been put to shame, for it has been shattered.  Wail and cry out; Declare by the Arnon That Moab has been destroyed. The horn of Moab has been cut off and his arm broken…” (NASB).  Yes, Moab was powerless to save itself from destruction.

Different Bible versions can be of help in better understanding some passages.  For instance, “horn” in 1 Samuel 2:1 is rendered as “strength” in the ESV and RSV.  And the CEV begins this verse, by saying, “Hannah prayed: You make me STRONG and happy, LORD…” (emphasis mine).

The Hebrew word for it is “qeren,” which among its various definitions is also, “of strength figuratively” (Brown-Driver-Briggs’ Hebrew Definitions) and “figuratively power” (James Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries).

Like David, we must also realize that the power of our salvation does not lie within ourselves, rather it is in the Lord Himself!  For as the psalmist acknowledges in Psalm 18:1,2: “I love You, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the HORN of my salvation, my stronghold” (NASB, emphasize mine).

Yes, salvation can come only from the Lord; but we can also be strengthened in Him as we yield our lives to Him through our faith and obedience to His word; and, as a result, be like the “they” and the “our” of whom the psalmist writes in Psalm 89:16,17: “In Your name they rejoice all the day, And by Your righteousness they are exalted. For You are the glory of their strength, And by Your favor our horn is exalted” (NASB, Psalm 89:16,17).

So may we also make that true of ourselves, in order that, we, too, can sing as Moses and the children of Israel did, that “The LORD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation; This is my God, and I will praise Him…” (Exodus 15:1,2).
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1Peter1_3
-2-

A Lively Hope
Brian A. Yeager

In September Calvin preached a sermon on hope. He established that in this world there is no hope. In fact, as he pointed out, the world is full of tribulation (John 16:33). He discussed the difference between the way carnally minded individuals approach hope from how we approach the subject matter of hope. I enjoyed listening to that sermon, as I did all of the classes and sermons I heard here while recovering from surgery.

While listening to that sermon I was overjoyed in considering our hope. I was hanging onto every word in every Scripture that was used during that lesson. One Scripture that I did not catch in the sermon is what we are going to base this lesson upon. Calvin rightly made the points that whatever hope you have in this world is temporary (II Peter 3:10-12). George, in the class before that sermon, rightly taught about how limited and fragile our time in this life is. The Scriptures clearly show us those things (II Samuel 14:14, Psalms 90:10, Psalms 102:11, Psalms 103:15-16, Psalms 144:4, James 4:13-16, and I Peter 1:24).

Therefore, when you think about hope, you realize how dead hope is if it is a worldly hope. Solomon pointed this out throughout the book of Ecclesiastes repeatedly (Ecclesiastes 1:2, Ecclesiastes 1:14, Ecclesiastes 2:1, Ecclesiastes 2:11, Ecclesiastes 2:15, Ecclesiastes 2:17, Ecclesiastes 2:19, Ecclesiastes 2:21, Ecclesiastes 2:23, Ecclesiastes 2:26, Ecclesiastes 3:19, Ecclesiastes 4:4, Ecclesiastes 4:7-8, Ecclesiastes 4:16, Ecclesiastes 5:7, Ecclesiastes 5:10, Ecclesiastes 6:2, Ecclesiastes 6:4, Ecclesiastes 6:9, Ecclesiastes 6:11, Ecclesiastes 7:6, Ecclesiastes 7:15, Ecclesiastes 8:10, Ecclesiastes 8:14, Ecclesiastes 9:9, Ecclesiastes 11:8, and Ecclesiastes 11:10). If all you have in life is physical things then you most certainly are hopeless (Luke 12:13-21 and I Corinthians 15:19). So, we should focus on a living hope.

Our Real Hope Of Life

Notice: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls” (I Peter 1:3-9).

Don’t just read past the Scriptures quoted above. Reread them. Think about them. Hope is a significant benefit of being a faithful disciple of the Lord. Hope is most certainly a huge part of God’s plan of salvation. Consider this: “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it” (Romans 8:24-25).

Our real hope separates us significantly from people of the world. Consider this Scriptural point: “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (I Thessalonians 4:13-18).

As Paul noted to the Thessalonians, in the quote above, people who do not have Christ have no hope in death. We do! The righteous have hope in death (Psalms 37:37 and Proverbs 14:32). Our hope is not temporary. We don’t labor for things that will perish. Doesn’t that make you thankful that you have found and obeyed the Gospel of Christ? Doesn’t that make you thankful that you can have salvation? Let’s all remember, the hope we all have in Christ now hasn’t always been presented to humanity.

The Hope We Now Have Hasn’t Always Been

Notice this: “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:11-13).

Our hope for life, as you just read, wasn’t always presented to mankind. The Old Testament had promises (i.e. Joshua 1:6), but not as we have in Christ. Those promises of old were temporary or at best presented in a mysterious way (Ephesians 3:1-11). Now consider this great hope we have, that hasn’t always been, and ask yourself what that should motivate you to do.

Our Hope As A Motivator

“And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (I John 3:3). If we want to see God, it’ll be through being pure (Matthew 5:8). Therefore, let the hope of eternal life motivate you to live the right life now so that you gain eternity (John 5:28-29).

Conclusion

We have a living hope. That is, something to live for and look forward to (Colossians 1:5). There is only one hope (Ephesians 4:4). Be thankful that we whom are faithful in Christ have that hope. Let that hope move you forward to the fulfillment of the promise of life.

— Via Words of Truth, December 13, 2015, Volume 16, Issue 13
——————–

-3-

News & Notes

Bennie Medlock was hospitalized Saturday, due to high blood pressure.  In running tests on him, it was also revealed that he has had several mini strokes, since the major stroke he had 3 years ago, though none recently.

Frankie Hadley
is doing better.  She returned home from the hospital April 11, but let those of us who are Christians continue to remember her in our prayers.

Let us also be remembering Mandy (who recently had surgery on her brain for a malignant tumor), Carol Drain and Easton Cox (who are receiving chemo treatments), Jean Beach (who was recently hospitalized for several health problems), James Medlock (who sometimes goes into a deep sleep that he cannot be awakened from), and Minnie Lanier (who had corneal surgery for her blindness).

There will be a singing at the Golden Isles church of Christ this Saturday, April 23, from 3 to 5 PM.  They meet at 441 Touchstone Parkway, Brunswick, GA.
——————–

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).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501
Sunday services:
9:00 AM (Bible class); 10 AM & 5 PM (worship)
Tuesday: 7 PM (Ladies’ Bible class)
Wednesday: 7 PM (Bible class)
evangelist/editor:
Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
https://thegospelobserver.wordpress.com
(Gospel Observer website)
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html
(audio sermons)

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