Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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Men Too Often Forget!

The last several chapters of the book of Job are very interesting. In them, in no uncertain terms, God puts Job in his place. He describes Himself as creator, and the one who is in charge of the universe, the earth, and the animals upon it. In contrast, he shows Job his own impotence and lowly place. For example, he wrote in chapter 38:34-35, “Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, That an abundance of water may cover you? Can you send out lightnings, that they may go, And say to you, ‘Here we are!’?”

I always think of that conversation between God and Job when natural disasters occur, like the earthquake and tsunami in Japan this past week. Men so often consider themselves to the masters of the earth. While technology is amazing, and we are fortunate to live in an age of comfort and security, so often we are confronted with how vulnerable we are to this great universe created by our God.

As I watched the video of the tsunami I was amazed and appalled at its destructive power. Cars, boats, even houses were no match, and were swept away. One video in particular was impressive as the wave swept across a river, instantly filling the banks, and continued on without even a moment’s pause. In another a group of cars were attempting to speed away in front of the oncoming wave, but were unable to outrun it and were engulfed. At this writing there are almost 700 confirmed dead, another 700 missing, and unconfirmed reports of whole trains lost, and even one small town of 9,500 that may have been entirely wiped out.

The earthquake videos were a bit less spectacular, but still photos of large cracks in the earth, destroyed highways and destroyed buildings were shown. It is difficult to imagine the power of an 8.9 magnitude quake. The epicenter was located about 80 miles east of Sendai in the Pacific Ocean, about 250 miles from Tokyo. Chip Foster, who had been preaching in the Philippines was on a plane at the Tokyo airport, and felt the strong tremors, which lasted for several minutes.

Of course, you don’t have to live in Japan to see the full force of nature. Tornadoes, hurricanes, strong winds and large hail are all fairly common to our own state. Hurricane Katrina, and the eruption of Mount St. Helens are two cataclysmic events hitting the United States, that immediately come to mind.

So, why do we mention these things? To ask up a simple question, why do men exalt themselves against God?

Consider the following passage from Psalm 78, concerning Ephraim’s guilt:

The children of Ephraim, being armed and carrying bows, Turned back in the day of battle. They did not keep the covenant of God; They refused to walk in His law, And forgot His works And His wonders that He had shown them. Marvelous things He did in the sight of their fathers, In the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan. He divided the sea and caused them to pass through; And He made the waters stand up like a heap. In the daytime also He led them with the cloud, And all the night with a light of fire. He split the rocks in the wilderness, And gave them drink in abundance like the depths. He also brought streams out of the rock, And caused waters to run down like rivers. But they sinned even more against Him By rebelling against the Most High in the wilderness. And they tested God in their heart By asking for the food of their fancy. Yes, they spoke against God: They said, “Can God prepare a table in the wilderness? (9-19)

I think perhaps the greatest reason is as it was for Ephraim, “They forgot His works and His wonders that He had shown them.” Men too often forget!

The scoffers of 2 Peter 3 forgot that the Lord destroyed the world with water. The pagans of Romans 1, no longer retained God in their knowledge (cf. vs. 28). This past week, modern man has been humbled again by the untamable power of nature. The evidence of God’s power and might is yet again clearly shown, and despite the fact that he has no excuse (cf. Romans 1:20), no doubt he will forget yet again.

Yet, perhaps a few will respond as Job, as he confessed to God:

“Listen, please, and let me speak; You said, ‘I will question you, and you shall answer Me.’ “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:4-6).