Joe Hobbs - Hot Springs, South Dakota Gospel Meeting - March 28, 2010

Hymn 68, "Is There No One To Help Us"


Ananias was told in Acts 9 by Paul, he had seen a vision that one would come to help him and fill his need.  Verse 11, “And the Lord said unto him, 'Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus; for, behold, he prayeth.'”  I think that thought would have been very outstanding to Ananias.  Now the change is there that the Lord is looking at a spirit that a feeling of need has been evident.  He, in all his zeal and all his purpose of doing what he was, found himself recognizing, "Something is amiss in all my searching and all my efforts.

We recognize prayer is a feeling of need.  Formality is not a need of prayer.  Paul knew a great deal about that.  Feeling the need of prayer.  He had not uttered words the Lord felt were a recognition of a feeling of a need of the Lord in his life.  Luke 18:1, “ ought always to pray, and not to faint..”  Need to utter words in sincerity and with a purpose.  It is what brings heaven nigh. 

We hear people say, “Where is God?” and “How can I get to know God?”  Knowing God is speaking and we hear that message for ourselves.  My mother went to the preacher when she was young and asked him, “How do I get to know God?”  He said to just believe.  She said she did, and he said, “Well, that is salvation.”  She knew she didn’t know God in the way she felt she should know Him.  One thing she got from that visit is that he didn’t know God either.  It didn’t deter her from seeking God out.  A few years later, she had that grand opportunity, and made use of that opportunity.  She believed the message she was given in recognition that God was a living God.  It changed her life as it changed Saul of Tarsus’ life.  “Men ought always to pray, and not faint.” 

Verse 3, “And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, 'Avenge me of mine adversary.'”  She went to a judge who should have been capable of giving her what she needed.  She continued to come, and the judge was moved by not so much by her need, but by his own feeling, "She won’t cease and I’ll become weary of her continual coming.He looked at it as a release for his own benefit.  Just wants and wishes wouldn’t produce that.  Wishing doesn’t move us to desperation – it is just a whim of the moment.  He could see this woman wasn’t like this.  He could feel her desperation and had the power to avenge this situation. 

Verse 7-8, “And shall not God avenge His own elect, which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?”  If we are in quandary and wonderment of how can we reach the heart of God?  That is the answer – appealing to Him in our need.  God can hear the faintest sigh and the anxious cry.  He does answer the sincere soul.  True prayer will reach the heart of God and present the favors of God. 

Verse 8, “..will He find faith on the earth?”  The question was not whether He would find religion on the earth, but will He find FAITH on the earth.  That is what He will be looking for when He returns.  The righteous and just will be walking in faith and keeping the faith.  Those are the ones He will be looking for – the chosen of God.  True sincerity in praying will assure this.  Earnestness in prayer.  Answering the need in prayer. 

Verse 35-43, the blind man.  A person who was in a definite need – he was blind.  He was asking help from those who were passing by, to have mercy on him in his perplexed need.  A picture of a person who is in search of help for their soul – looking for an answer for their plea.  He must have had some understanding of the scriptures, because he said, "Jesus, Thou Son of David.”  He knew He would be the Messiah, bringing peace to mankind.  The woman at the well said, “I know the Messiah is coming, and when He comes, He will tell us all that we need.”  She knew that – she had been reading the scriptures.  Those that went before, rebuked him and tried to quiet him.  There are those who would try to silence us in our need.  But it says he cried out all the more, “Jesus of Nazareth, have mercy on me.”  He found an answer for his quest, and help for his need.  That we wouldn’t be feigning a pretense or form of need.  This man was granted according to his wish.  He could have asked for many things, but he asked to receive his sight.  It is a spiritual insight that enables us to see things that are true and eternal. 

Ephesians 1, that we might know some things.  We wonder sometimes why some people can’t see, but we read of God blinding the eyes of those that believe not.  The Lord doesn’t open their understanding – they remain blind because there is no insight and no life.  They see, but they can’t see; and they hear, but they don’t hear.  Prayer that was heard and prayer that was not heard is what we read here.  We can utter desperations of need and it reaches heaven.  We can seek to know our own need.     

Hymn 93, "Only One Life To Live"