"I once was lost, but now I'm found," newly appointed Oklahoma Baptist University President David Whitlock told students and faculty at OBU's weekly chapel service Wednesday, Nov. 12. Whitlock explained how the infinite wisdom of God bridges the gaps of life.
"Between lost and found, there is the Wisdom of God," Whitlock said. "Between death and life, you will find the wisdom of God. Between being an enemy of God and a child of God, you will find the wisdom of God."
Dr. Whitlock's message continued the theme of OBU's chapel series titled, "Lost and Found: Reclaiming the Knowledge of the Holiness of God," based on the book written by Christian preacher, author, magazine editor and conference speaker A.W. Tozer, "The Knowledge of the Holy."
Whitlock then gave a brief testimony of his salvation. Coming to faith in Jesus Christ as an adult in Durant, Whitlock boiled down his testimony to a simple phrase, "I once was lost, but now I'm found."
The foundation of Whitlock's message came from Exodus 17:1-7, summarized by verse 2, which says, "Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, 'Give us water to drink.' And Moses said to them, 'Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the LORD?'"
Whitlock explained that even though God had proven His power and wisdom time and time again, the Israelites still doubted Him. The Israelites had seen that anything was possible through God with the miraculous rescue at the Red Sea, God providing daily food (manna) and other miracles. However, they did not have faith enough to trust God or His servant Moses; in fact, they wanted to kill Moses.
Despite their lack of faith, God performed another miracle, providing water from a rock that was sufficient enough to quench the needs of millions of people and livestock. It wasn't a trickling stream of water, Whitlock pointed out, but it was a huge miracle gushing forth - life-giving water from God. Whitlock also explained that the Scripture indicates when Moses struck the rock, Jehovah Himself stood on the rock.
"God's wisdom was once again grace and mercy," Whitlock said. "In God's wisdom, He saved Moses by the rock. The rock was struck so Moses was not. ... Moses' life was spared because Jehovah took a hit."
Whitlock said several lessons can be gleaned from the story in Exodus. First, he said, people need to learn that no matter what the situation, God already has an answer. He said the story also provides a warning about testing God: God proved He will not be mocked or manipulated. Instead, God can be trusted, and He has a plan for each person.
"We're here for a reason," he said. "He has a role for us in His Kingdom. Whatever the role, it's not for you to get glory, but for Him to get glory."
Whitlock also emphasized God's wisdom in the salvation of man. Jesus Christ - the Living Water, the Rock - is God's plan to solve the problem of sin.
"Because Jesus was struck, we're spared, we live," Whitlock said. "I'm saved because Jesus took the hit."
Preceding Whitlock's sermon, OBU's chapel choir, "Cantare Capella," performed "Shine On Me" under the direction of Dr. David De Seguirant, OBU associate professor of music and director of choral activities.
As part of his message, Whitlock also reminded those in attendance that it is the responsibility of Christians, no matter what their political ties, to pray for the leaders of the country. Whitlock challenged students and faculty to follow God's command and pray for President-elect Obama.