Sunday, December 18, 2011
RFD: "Rescued From The Dump"-- a commentary on Job 33: 19-33 by P.S.R.
He is chastened also with pain upon his bed, and the multitude of his bones with strong pain: So that his life abhorreth bread, and his soul dainty meat. His flesh is consumed away, that it cannot be seen; and his bones that were not seen stick out. Yea, his soul draweth near unto the grave, and his life to the destroyers. If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man his uprightness: Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom. His flesh shall be fresher than a child's: he shall return to the days of his youth: He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto man his righteousness. He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not; He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light. Lo, all these things worketh God oftentimes with man, To bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living. Mark well, O Job, hearken unto me: hold thy peace, and I will speak. If thou hast any thing to say, answer me: speak, for I desire to justify thee. If not, hearken unto me: hold thy peace, and I shall teach thee wisdom.
Now here we find RUIN (v 22), REVELATION (v 23), REPENTANCE (v 27), RANSOM (v 24), REGENERATION (v 25), RECONCILIATION (v 26), and RESURRECTION (v 30).
And this old story has been told and enacted so many times in the history of sinful man that 3,000 volumes of 1,000 page each would not tell the story. God's salvation has carried thousands of men (literally) from the "guttermost to the uttermost," and if the truth for many a life were posted over the door posts of that heart, it would read "RFD"--Rescued From the Dump.
Here is John Gimenez, who began to fool with hallucinogens and Lysergic Acid Diethylamine (LSD), and finally began to "take off" as a mainliner on heroin. Gimenez was a first-class Junkie before he was 25 years old; he was "on the horse" when God rescued him from the dump. In his childhood, Gimenez knew more about "Murphy men," hustlers, chickies, bulls, fences, horse parties, narcos, "booting it," skin pops, pushers, and muggers than most of you will ever know about your Bible.
At Mountain Dale (a Christian rehabilitation center), Gimenez finally wound up "cold turkey," after touching the brink of insanity and suicide half a dozen times; a burnt-out wreck at 30 years of age, Gimenez had "had the treatment"; he had drained the barrel of life and found nothing in the bottom of it but gravel and broken glass. At Mountain Dale, a converted "knife" man (Jackie Dean) suddenly woke up the "barracks" one night, at three in the morning, hollering, "Devil get outta here! Leave this place right now; in the name of Jesus, GO!!" Gimenez got up in a cold sweat and went outside the building while the rest of the men knelt inside to pray. In his own words, Gimenez was "crying, weeping way down deep inside." Gimenez said that God was shaking him like he had dumped a dirty rag into a washer and was banging it round and round. With the men inside praying for him, Gimenez staggered down a dirt road at 3:20 a.m. He began to weep and laugh at the same time. Suddenly all the heaviness left him and he began to sing: "Jesus, Jesus, praise your name! Thank you Lord! Come here Jesus!!"
At 7:00 a.m., that former addict (with nothing behind him but sin and nothing ahead of him but a harvest (Gal. 6:7, 8) that would cause the angel Gabriel to tremble) came back into the barracks and fell asleep. He didn't wake up till noon, and when he got up he was a new creature in Christ, filled with the Holy Spirit, born again, and burning with a desire to witness for Christ instead of smoking pot. Gimenez says: "Man, it was like an explosion!" In writing to one of his former friends (who was still "carrying the monkey"), Gimenez says, "Curtis, you'll make it man, with Jesus Christ! Don't you forget it, Jesus is HIGHER than HIGH!" (And for those of us who have read Colossians 1:16- 18, an "Amen" would be just as appropriate following this junkie expression as it would be following a reading of John 3:16).
And over in this corner is Thomas Noah Carter, arrested in Arizona for dope and malpractice of medicine. Both of his grandfathers were preachers. Thomas Noah Carter studied at Mercer University and was the graduate of a Medical College, but he never received Christ, and he never believed the Bible. His mother prayed for him for more than twenty years. In jail, Carter cursed God and the Bible. A tubercular condition siezed him, and he went from 225 pounds to 118 pounds in less than six months. One time in his cell, he passed into a catalyptic state, and the prison doctor pronounced him dead. The prison officials notified Carter's aged mother but she wrote them a letter saying: "I don't believe it. I've been praying for twenty years that God would make a preacher out of him, and I haven't heard him preach yet!" He wasn't dead, but he was half dead. A week later Carter's voice failed him, and he could only curse God in a whisper. Carter then went to the chapel and came forward at an invitation, but the Chaplain told him that he was too wicked to be saved (Isa. 1:18!); so, in despair, Carter returned to his cell, tore a blanket into strips (intending to hang himself) and prepared to die. But Carter's preparation miscarried. Just as he was tearing a third strip off of the blanket, a Bible fell out of it! Carter sat down on his bunk, in a sweat, and opened the Book: It opened at 1 John 1:7. As he read 1 John 1 and 2, the Lord said to him: "If you will teach and preach this Book, I'll save and heal you!" Carter began to shout; he woke up all the prisoners in his cell block. The Warden and two guards came in to give him some "special treatment," but the warden got converted coming through the door! (God had been dealing with the warden for nearly three months, and as he stepped into the cell block and heard Carter yelling, "Glory to God! Praise God for the Lord Jesus Christ!" the warden accepted Christ on the spot!)
When they opened the cell, Carter rushed to him and hugged him and yelled, "Warden, I've just been saved! I've just been saved!" and before the body guards could interfere, the warden was yelling, "Me too, Carter, me too!!"
Thomas Noah Carter was given an unconditional pardon after serving four years of a ten-year sentence, and he preached the truth of God till the day that he died: RFD--"Rescued From the Dump!"
And who could forget old "Bulldog" Charlie Wyman from Kent, Kentucky!? You could "read the wallpaper" on the walls of the house where he was born-- it was literally newsprint!; and the house had a ground sandstone floor. When Charlie was a boy his mother whipped him three times because of three fist fights he had with an older boy at school who had challenged him. Each time she whipped him, Charlie would say, "Mother, if you whip me again, I'll beat that boy up worse than the last time." The third time (after he had put the older boy in the hospital) he said, "Mother, I'm going back and whip that kid again, and if you whip me one more time, I'll kill him." So, Charlie's "home discipline" (without a father) ended there at the age of 15. The rest of Charlie Wyman's life reads like a Zane Grey novel or a Hollywood "Western." He shot out all the street lights in his home town as fast as they were put in, and he whipped every deputy sheriff that came to town to arrest him. He took the guns out of the holster of a sheriff and told him to "be a good boy and go home before you get into trouble." He crippled a man for life in one gun fight, killed two men in another, and shot all the fingers off a man's hand ecept one, and in a bloody shot-gun versus .38 duel, one man went insane, one died of wounds, and Charlie caused the death of a clean-cut youngster (named Foss) who was not even involved in the fight. Running a liquor store and pool hall, "Bulldog" Charlie Wyman ran that town.
Then, in 1913, a small, circuit-riding, country preacher came to town. His name was "Night Hawk" Tom, and he was called that because it was rumored that no man could know as much about the sins of his congregation as "Night Hawk" knew unless he was abroad at night "window peeping." The first time Wyman saw Tom going down the street to the "meetin' house," he said, "ah, that little rabbit! Ah ain't going to kill him; ah'll jus run him outta town."
The next day Night Hawk Tom crossed the street to Charlie's pool hall, introduced himself, took Charlie's hand, and invited him to the revival meeting. When he left, Charlie shook his head and said to himself, "Now I wonder why a good man like that would take time out to talk to a rascal like ME?" Well, the "steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord," and Charlie didn't know it, but he wasn't about to run Night Hawk Tom out of anywhere.
The next night (after the revival had been running for a week), Wyman got terribly sick. He closed down the pool hall early, and, in a drizzling rain, he walked home down the dark streets of the town. As the downpour increased, he stepped into a front yard and took temporary shelter under the eaves of a large two-story house. The house had belonged to a young woman (Gaussey) whose husband was serving time for killing a man during a gunfight with Wyman. Leaning on the gate post near the window, Charlie Wyman wound up his "career." You see, the townspeople at the meeting had been praying for Charlie Wyman in public and private devotions for nearly a month, and as Wyman huddled against the house, below a bay window, he saw Alice Guassey-- the wife of the man who was in jail--come into the room with her two small children. They knelt, facing the window, and as the storm slacked and the rain stopped, Wyman heard that woman and her children praying aloud: "Oh God, please save the godless sinner, Charlie Wyman! Oh Lord, please save us and our town from that murderer! Don't let him burn in Hell, Lord, please save him!"
That prayer struck old "Bulldog" Charlie through like an arrow that pierces to the marrow of the bones. Charlie said to himself: "I am the man for whom she is praying! Oh my God!"
To make a long story short, Charlie was in church the next night. Before an amazed congregation, he literally ran to the altar at the invitation and knelt there, as he said with "blood dripping off my hands." At the altar, that old-time Methodist Circuit rider told him to repent and make restitution before asking God for any favors-- that's how they did it in those days! Charlie got up and went to the Banker and apologized to him for some bad checks; he then turned himself in to the sheriff whom he had made "dance" with bullets when the sheriff came to arrest him; when asked for someone to sign his bond, Charlie moaned, "Nobody in this country would sign a bond for me!"
"Well," said the sheriff, "do you mean business for God?"
With tears raining down his face, Wyman said, "Oh I want to do right. I want to be GOOD Man! I want to go to Heaven; if I have to go to the penitentiary the rest of my life, I must make it to Heaven!"
The sheriff bonded him out.
"Bulldog" Charlie preached the old-time gospel for nearly fifty years after God rescued him from the dump (Job 33:24, 27, 28). And time would fail us to tell of those legions of "mouldy saints" with "unwashed breath" whom God salvaged for His glory and made their "harps" (Job 30:31) sound forth the praises of Zion.
On the 14th day of March, 1949, a drunken bum, working as a discjockey at a radio station (WEAR, Pensacola, Florida), received Christ as his Saviour. He made the decision in the record room of the station surrounded by album covers of Hank Williams, Patti Page, Tony Martin, Tex Ritter, Doris Day, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Dizzie Gillespie, Artie Shaw, Peggy Lee, Benny Goodman, and Stan Kenton. At 27 years of age this D. J. had "had the treatment." Raised as an Episcopalian, with a vestryman for a father, educated as a college graduate with a major in Radio and Psychology, trained as an Infantry officer with 46 months active duty as a Rifle Platoon leader, catechized as a Roman Catholic proselyte by a Jesuit priest from Loyola, and acquainted with the world system through jobs as a lifeguard, bartender, beach boy, radio announcer, newspaper cartoonist, and dance band drummer, this wreck had reached the end of the rope.
Liquor had not solved his problems, lust and dissipation had failed to provide any happiness, education and science had failed miserably, religion and mysticism had accomplished nothing of a permanent nature, and three years of "TM" and Zen Buddhism had failed to still the voice of outraged conscience and guilt. At 27, this junk heap was on his way to the junk yard-- lost, drunk, ruined, disillusioned, bitter, broke, and alone in the world "having no hope, and without God" (Eph. 2:12).
A country Baptist preacher named Hugh Pyle led him to Christ in the radio station that morning. In less than a month, he was studying the Bible. In less than a year, he was preparing for the ministry, and that depraved sinner (who had tried everything short of murder and suicide to attain his ends) has been preaching and teaching the living words of the living God for more than 28 years. What he could not find in two universities, three religious systems, four years of Government service, and every hell hole from Bourbon Street (New Orleans) to Hell's Half-acre (Honolulu, Hawaii), he found in God's Book!
Many a man who had worn out his constitution is living on his by-laws, or as an octogenarian said: "If I'dda known I was gonna live this long, I would have taken better care of myself!" There are physical wrecks on this earth, social wrecks, financial wrecks, and spiritual wrecks, but our God is a "junk specialist," and He can take a physical wreck like the man in Mark 5:5, or the woman in Mark 5:26, and restore their health.
He can take a religious wreck like Paul [Saul Of Tarsus] and make a flaming evangelist out of him.
He can take a scholarly wreck like R. A. Torrey or B. H. Carroll and make them preach the Virgin Birth, the Blood Atonement, and the physical Resurrection.
He can take a social wreck like the Samaritan woman of John 4:18 (or Mary Magdalene) and make her fit to dine with princes and angels (Rev. 19:9)!
And there has been many a "wreck" salvaged by God, who went on to greater service in the Lord's vineyard than the smooth, slick, flawless, keptand -cared-for "late models," like the "elder brother" of Luke 15. Many of these "cultured" Christians (Luke 7:39) thought that because they had morals, money, property, education, and prestige that God was obligated to use them; sometimes God will use an INSTITUTION when He can't find a man in it that He can do anything with by himself. "Corporative Christianity" and Communism are very popular these days, and when you hear many of these smooth, slick, professional motivators bragging about "THEIR" work, they are often referring to 10-200 Christians who are doing the work in their stead, paying the bills in their stead, teaching the converts in their stead, and working on slave wages to promote the "work." 1 Corinthians 3:13 will iron a lot of things out.
RFD-- Rescued From the Dump. "His flesh shall be fresher than a child's: he shall return to the days of his youth...he shall pray unto God...he shall see his face with joy...He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life SHALL SEE THE LIGHT" (Job 33:25-28). And God works these things "OFTENTIMES" (v 29) with man!
from THE BIBLE BELIEVER'S COMMENTARY ON THE BOOK OF JOB, by Peter S. Ruckman