Sunday, February 27, 2022

Lessons from the Wilderness Vol 49-A story Continued_My ode to Homopher and to all who mourn. Part 2


Lessons from the Wilderness, Volume 49: His story continues, an ode for my brother. Part 2

 ©2022, David E. Robinson: At the Gates of Yerushalayim Ministries 

Go to Part One.

Go to Part Three

 Lessons from the Wilderness, Volume 49

…He Loved His God…[i] [ii] [iii] [iv]


Is this the end of His Story?


To my readers: thank you for allowing me to share in three posts, my tribute to my brother, Homopher Reselap, who went home to be with God 5 February 2022. I miss him so much, but his life held so much meaning, that one post is not enough, because his story continues. He touched lives, and no matter how much he will be missed, I thank God for he now lives in the Kingdom and will always live in our hearts.

I want to thank today, on this solemn occasion, Homopher’s wife and children for allowing me the chance to say a few words. I am humbled by their trust; I pray that I am up to the task.

 I would like to begin with prayer:

 Oh most gracious and mighty God, may You do today as Your words say in Isaiah and Father, allow me paraphrase here:

“…The Spirit of the Yahweh Adonai is upon me To bring good news to the afflictedHe has sent me to bind up the brokenheartedTo proclaim the favorable year of the LORD To comfort all who mourn, To grant those who mourn in Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, The oil of gladness instead of mourning, The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of heaviness…they will be called oaks of righteousness, The planting of Adonai, that He may be glorified…

 In the name of our Messiah, Amen and Amen.

 Today, our hearts are heavy. Today, it is hard to see light in this darkness of loss, of sorrow. We have all experienced a wave of loss, here, in Oregon, and Hawaii. I just want to acknowledge those losses also, for all who hurt and mourn. Today, though, may we concentrate on the loss before us, my dear brother, Homopher.  

In light of all that is going on in the world, fear is gripping our hearts. There is fear of tomorrow. Fear of plague. Fear of war. And fear, is what I want to address today, and how the man of God we honor here today pushed back against fear his whole life. There is one fear, one that we all share, the sum of all our fears. What fear is that which overcomes all who live, our perhaps, greatest fear of all?

It has but one name: death.

We, as humans, are afraid to die.

We are afraid when death takes away from us one that we love,

And we are afraid of what happens next, to ourselves and to them.

This life we live, whether or not we live it for the glory of God, or for the glory of ourselves, has but one end, in that it is short and so uncertain. James the brother of Jesus wrote:

 “What is your life? You are just a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes…” [James 4:14]

Jesus Himself said something similar to us in Luke 12:22-26:

 And He said to His disciples, "For this reason I say to you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. "For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. "Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds!  "And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life's span? "If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters?

 Our lives are a story, filled with many emotions, joy, anger, sorrow, pain, even fear.

But never forget, it is God who writes this story, a perfect story of our lives.

Death is not the end to our story.

Not for those who know the Lord.

 And Homopher knew his God. How do I know this? I know this because he loved his God. This is how he pushed back against the fear.

 Death does not win in the end; only love does.

The teacher in Ecclesiastes, chapter 3, wrote that:

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;

a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;

a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

For us here today though, it is a time to mourn, a time to heal, a time to weep, and a time to love.

If I could only sum up Homopher’s life in one word, in my humble opinion, it would be relationships, those he made first with God, then Jesus, then his family, then his friends. In his relationships, he invested time. He invested himself. He gave his heart and soul to his God; this allowed him to give his heart to his family.

We can see this in 2 Corinthians. In the scriptures I am about to read, we can understand how there is a hope in facing death and all its dark fears, no matter what they be.  We will start in 2 Corinthians 4:7-12, 16-18, and continue in chapter 5, verses 1-9:

 2 Cor 4:7-12 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.  We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So, death is at work in us, but life in you...

2Co 4:16-18 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

2Co 5:1-9 For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened--not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So, we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So, whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.

 We can see our hope rests in the resurrected Christ. If one has a relationship with God and His Messiah, if we love them and keep their words, then our story does not end – in fact, our real story is just beginning. Homopher loved -loves his God and is known by Him. What does this mean? It means simply, the blessed hope of Messiah should change the way we look at death. We have been looking wrongly, what I call the ‘17 degrees of separation’. We think we are looking at something that is true, but our perspective is skewed, we are missing the target.

 It is the same as in Moses’ day:

Exo 33:8-11

  “…And it came about, whenever Moses went out to the tent, that all the people would arise and stand, each at the entrance of his tent, and gaze after Moses until he entered the tent.  9  Whenever Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent; and the LORD would speak with Moses.  10  When all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would fall on their faces and worship, each at the entrance of his tent.

11  Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend…”

The people, they knew of God, His presence and power. Moses though, knew God, and God knew him, as a friend, as one to speak to face to face. The power of relationship. Either you have it, or you do not. Those in the wilderness never got to enter into the Promised Land, for they knew not God. Even Moses failed to get into the Promised Land at that time; though later, God did send him and Elijah at the Messiah’s transfiguration. This relationship with the living God and His Messiah [or Christ] transcends, surpasses, goes beyond religion. It is greater than church, it is better than denominations. Those three things, religion, church, denomination, all stand between you and God. To have a relationship means there is nothing between you and the one true God and His Messiah Jesus. The Holy Spirit leads you to truth; this is the truth.

Do you, have it?

 All praise to God and Jesus, Homopher did.

 Death is not the end.  Death is not evaporation: you just do not vanish.

Death is not separation, but a continuation of your story. Death is a trade in. 

God gives us a new body for the old worn out one. This means then:

No more hatred; but while we are still on this side of eternity, remember, the world hates Christ, it will hate you; just be prepared.

Upon our own resurrection, it will be to a better world – a world of:

No more sickness. No more sadness. No more death. No more tears.  

But for us to have resurrection, we must die. So where does that leave us for now, while we still live in this fading tent? We still have fears, trials, and troubles. As we age, as we get closer to that realization that we are just one breath away from eternity, what are we to do? 

Hope. Hold on. Do not give up. Our salvation is nigh, nearer now than it was for the Apostles. Please, I am not talking this way to frighten anyone, or make it seem that our loss of a dear husband, father, grandfather, and brother, has no meaning. Our perspective, our view has to be on something greater than loss, than death.

God will not let death win.  Even in death, believers Win!

Rev 12:10-12

“…Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night.  

11  "And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.  

12  "For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them…”  

The world will tell you to fear death. They all try hard to extend their youth, from plastic surgery, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, exercise till you drop, to God only knows what else. Diet and exercise are not bad things, as long as your motivation is not fear or shame. The world wants you to be afraid, afraid of a virus, a vaccine, or no vaccine; they want us to be afraid of something that no one alive can ever escape.  

Remember, Death is not the end of the story for those who know the Lord!  

From all the fears associated with death, one of the greatest must be that we will die alone and forgotten. The pandemic made the most vulnerable among us isolated in nursing homes, hospitals, and care facilities. Many died alone. How sad and frightening it must be to die alone. Trapped in a distant place, apart from family and friends, how much worse must it be to pass from this world with no one to comfort you, with no one near to say goodbye. How lonely it must be to take your last breath, and no one hears. No one to wipe your tears, no one to say, “I love you.” Sometimes this happens without warning, but it is not the way it should be. No one should suffer and pass alone. When I hear these stories or read about them, only one thing comes to mind, John 11:35:

“…Jesus wept…” 

May we weep also. May the Son of David be with these souls, may He have dried their tears and brought them into their rest, Amen.

 Because of the relationships he had, those he prayed for and the ones he prayed over, those for his wife, his children, his grandchildren, his brothers, and sisters, Homopher left this world blessed because he was not alone; they were by his side. When it was time, he left to be with those who passed before him, father-Otto mother-Ursila, brothers Ophin and Bernis, sisters Aster and Sandrina, and many others that he cared for, to enter into the kingdom of the God he loved. There, he stood, or more likely, he fell to his knees before the Jesus who loves him. I believe that is when he heard those words “Well done, thou good and faithful servant…enter into the joy of the Lord”. He is now with the Lord, and that great cloud of witnesses that went before. 

One final though. If Homopher could speak to us all today, what would he say? I think, but I do not know, that he would ask us all: 

“Where do you stand today? Do you know our God, and are you known by Him? Are you ready?” 

Do we know Him my brothers and sisters? 

Homopher got to come home, to his family, so that he could go home to God and his family. God be praised, he was not alone. For that matter, neither are we, if we believe. One day, we all must face the inevitable as Paul tells us in 1st Corinthians 15:22:

For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ, all will be made alive. 

And that my brethren, is our hope, the hope of all who believe. As I wrote earlier about Homopher, I told him I would not say goodbye. I will just see him later, God willing.  

O death, where is thy victory?

O death, where is thy sting?

One day, we will see and be with those who stood and said:

“We love our God and are known by Him.”

Our stories will never end.  

May the Lord bless you and keep you all, my beloved. Amein


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[iv] Author’s note:  Throughout this study I may be using the NET Bible® and the NET Notes®: within the notes you will see symbols like this: (א B Ψ 892* 2427 sys). These are abbreviations used by the NET Bible® for identifying the principal manuscript evidence that they (authors and translators of the NET Bible®) used in translating the New Testament. Please go to and see their section labeled “NET Bible Principals of Translation” for a more complete explanation on these symbols and other items pertinent to the way the NET Bible uses them.


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