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Nov 20, 2016
Preacher: Paul Mahan
Passage: Isaiah 57:1

The Righteous Perish and Merciful Men Are Taken

The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.

 (ISAIAH 57:1)

John Owen once wrote: ‘When God is bringing evils, distressing evils, upon a church, upon a people, in the ordinary way of His providence, He doth take away beforehand many of those who are most eminent and most useful. When in a particular manner “the righteous perish, and merciful men are taken away,” it is a time when God is bringing evils certainly. So, when God was bringing evils upon Jerusalem and the land of Judah, He gathered all the good figs, and laid them aside (JEREMIAH 24:1-10). Josiah is an instance of this, whom some think Isaiah here speaks of: “Josiah shall perish; he shall be taken away.” To what end? . . . “That I may bring evil, saith God.” God takes away, gathers in, righteous and merciful men, to make way for the bringing in of great evils, distresses, and destruction, few or none shall either lay it to heart or consider it. It is part of God’s displeasure, part of His judgment, that we are not more awakened by it. God be merciful to this poor church, or we are lost!’

Such a sad, sobering, and solemn time as the passing of our dear brother, surely ought to make us take these things to heart and carefully consider what we are about. It ought to make us realize how vain everything in this world is, how sinful and foolish this world is, how sinful and foolish we are, and cause us to more earnestly seek His face, seek His Kingdom, seek peace and pursue it, be committed and concerned chiefly for the cause of seek the things of Christ and not our own; and love each other as brethren. Before our Lord, that righteous and merciful man, was taken from His disciples; sending them into a hostile world, He said: “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you . . . that a man lay down his life for his friends” (JOHN 15:12-13). When we see how fragile we are, how short our time together, our common cause; and yet we see wars and fightings, schisms and divisions, even amongst ourselves; O’ shouldn’t we take to heart and consider that we are brothers; who war against a common foe who strives to make us enemies. As Abraham said to Lot; “Let there be no strife . . . for we be brethren.” David lamented as Isaiah: “Help Lord; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men” (PSALM 12:1)

“Blessed are the meek”, this describes our departed brother. “Blessed are the peacemakers”, this describes our brother. “Blessed are the merciful.” This describes our beloved brother, and the Lord hath taken him from us. Let us pray that we may fill the gap, take up the mantle of mercy and service, and fight the good fight of faith as loyal servants to our Lord and each other; as our brother was so faithful in doing. Just as our Lord’s death united us to God, may our brother’s removal be the means of uniting us for the same cause. Surely the time is short and the evil is upon us.

Pastor Paul Mahan, of Central Grace Church, Rocky Mount, Virginia wrote on the passing of our dear brother: "Brother Cody Groover has gone home to his Lord. Our prayers and deepest sympathy are for Winna, Andria, Austin, Cade, Walter, Betty, Lisa, Desta, Gina, Kevin, David, Pat, ...yea, all who knew and loved him so. He will be sorely missed...but not forgotten." [Amen. Pastor]


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