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Jehovah Rophe

(6)

Sermon shared by Chip Van Emmerik

April 2005
Summary: We all face disappointments, discouragements in life, even great tragedy. Why does God allow these things into our lives? There were times when Israel faced life threatening circumstances as well, and God’s dealings at these times provide insight for us.
Series: Names of God
Denomination: Baptist
Audience: General adults
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I want you to think back to Saturday, May 20, 1978. What, you can’t remember that day? Most of us have no idea what we were doing that day. I was only 7 years old. Some of you were not even born yet. For millions of people it was just another day. But for John and Brnda Vaughn, it was a day that changed their lives.

John was a young pastor. He had served 8 years in the airforce and then gone to Bible college. He had only been at his church, Faith Baptist Church, for a few months. He and Debbie had been married for about 10 years, and they had three kids, Debbie was 9 Johnny was 7 and little Becky had just turned 2. They also had a 12 year old girl staying with them for the week.

The Vaughn’s were about to sell their house and move into a bigger place to accommodate their family. Because the church was so small, John had been running his own lawn care business on the side to make ends meet. That day, Joh went to visit some of his people who were in the hospital, and he visited some he did not know s long as he was there. About 8:50 that night, John was on his way home, planning out the bulletin he still had to make before church the next day. Brenda was in the kitchen making a special cake for the next day’s lunch. The kids were all playing.

Becky wandered through the kitchen and stopped for a minute to watch her mother work, then disappeared. Brenda did not really think about it until a minute later when she suddenly smelled gasoline. Instantly, she knew Becky had gotten into the utility room and opened a stored can of gasoline. John had put it in there that morning so the neighborhood kids did not get into it, and planned to put it back outside that night when he got home. Brenda turned to look and saw the spilled gas spreading into the kitchen. She knew there was serious danger. Becky was sitting in a pol of gas in the same room as the gas water heater, and now the gas was spreading toward the gas oven in the kitchen. She quickly called to the other kids to bring towels to mop up the gas, and ran into the laundry room to get Becky. Just as Brenda reached the door to the utility room, there was an explosion. Instantly she was engulfed in flame.

Brenda could hear Becky crying. She made her way through the fire and the smoke to where Becky was, and grabbed her off the floor. Both of them were covered in flame. Brenda dashed outside to escape the flames where she met neighbors who were already coming to help. One took Becky and began putting out the flames that covered here body. Another helped Brenda drop and roll as well. Someone called 911 and fire and ambulance personnel arrived quickly. This was the scene john found when he arrived home.

Brenda received 3rd degree burns over 65% of here body, and 1st and 2nd degree burns over 20% more. Becky had almost 100% of her little body covered in 3rd degree burns. For Brenda, there were months of operations, pain and therapy ahead. For Becky, it was amazing she was still alive. Both would survive. Both were scarred for life. Becky lost her fingers and was disabled because of her injuries.

Why do these things happen? We all face disappointments, discouragements in life, but rarely of this magnitude. Why does God allow these things into our lives? That is what we are going to talk about this morning. There were times when Israel faced life threatening circumstances
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