Editor’s Note: This article was first published in September, 2006, shortly after Amos’ death. Amos was the first editor of Bible Helps, and wrote a number of short essays for publication in its early years. Several of these are included below, preceeded by a poem he wrote, and an essay by his son, Robert. Robert followed in his father’s footsteps as editor of Bible Helps.
When the Lord Shall Return
The sun shall be darkened,
The moon give no light,
The heavens be shaken,
The stars fall from sight;
Then two shall be working
In harvest alone,
The one be left standing,
And one taken home;
Two women grinding
Their corn at the mill,
One bent on pleasure,
One on God’s will;
And two shall be lying
Together in bed,
One taken to glory,
One spiritually dead.
Let’s therefore be watching,
We know not the hour
When our Saviour returneth
With glory and power.
Reflections upon the Life of Amos Lehigh
by Robert Lehigh
My father was a man of vision, faithfulness, and humility. He was born September 10, 1917 into a godly home and grew up in a conservative church congregation. He went to be with the Lord on July 14, 2006.
Early in his life, my father came to the realization that he would not grow up like other boys. He felt a special call of God upon his life, and earnestly sought God’s will in following that call. Many conservative church leaders passed through the Lehigh house, and my father heard many conversations about spiritual things.
Along with being raised in a home where faith in God was very real, there were several other significant factors which shaped my father’s life. He lived through the Great Depression and the years following when the family thought their farm could be taken by the sheriff at any time. He worked in a secular setting for approximately twenty-three years, which provided insight into the priorities held by those who were not Christians. Also, my father had two dreams or visions which he never forgot. The first was a vivid dream about people falling into Hell similar to the way the water in the Niagara River runs over the Niagara Falls. As the people became aware that they were doomed for destruction, they would cry out for help, but it was too late. The moving masses of people behind them pushed them off the edge of the chasm into the eternal destruction of hell-fire. The second dream was of the rapture of the saints in which he dreamed that he and his wife (my mother) were suddenly ascending towards Heaven. He cherished these dreams, and they helped him follow what he felt was the Lord’s plan for his life.
My father attempted to carefully balance his time between his job in the typesetting department at Doubleday, the ministry of Bible Helps, being a husband and father of two boys, and church work. We seldom went on family vacations, but now and then would take a short pleasure drive and stop for some ice cream cones. Occasionally my father would come home from his job at Doubleday and announce that his boss required that he put in an extra three hours yet that evening. In spite of the demands upon his time, my father somehow found time to play with us boys. He had a keen sense of humor and often had us all laughing.
An important survival skill which my father acquired was the ability to make the best of the situation in which he found himself. During the years following the Great Depression there were many dreary days of very hard work on the farm. But my father and his brothers would break up their days with rotten tomato fights and then cool off by jumping into the farm pond fully clothed during the hot, humid summers after a full day’s work. This ability served him well during the last two years of his life when he was confined to a nursing home due to his failing health. He really didn’t like being there and especially resented the cost. But he chose to make the best of it, and even in his twilight years touched many lives. I thank God for the rich spiritual legacy he left, and am determined to do the same for my children.
Thanks, Dad, for being a great father. I’ll be seeing you soon! (Have you heard the latest news about conditions in the Middle East?) Until then, let us together continue praying for lost souls as we spread the message of God’s love and provision for redemption.
Sincerely in Christ,
Robert S. Lehigh
(first printed October 1951)
We all like to be happy. But happiness does not always last. When I was a wee boy I wanted a tricycle. I thought it would make me happy. When I finally got a tricycle I discovered that it only made me happy for a very short while.
All through life I wanted a lot of things: a bicycle, a wagon, a new suit, a typewriter, a piano, and finally an automobile. Although there was much satisfaction in possessing some of these things and in using them for my pleasure, they never brought real joy, so my desires increased. I wished for a million dollars. That desire was never granted, nor would it have given me real joy had it been.
But one time I was in trouble. I was very unhappy and my natural possessions could not help me. I needed a special Friend who could understand, comfort, and direct my life better than I could do it myself. I had made a failure out of myself and could not go on alone. I realized I needed something beyond natural power.
There are several different kinds of prayers. One is a prayer made when it is time to pray. Another occurs when a deep felt need is pressing upon one to such an extent that he really needs to pray. That is when we enter into our closet and shut the door. That is when we pray in the haymow, in the shop, in the automobile, or almost anywhere when we are alone with God. That is the time we pray in the midnight hour or through the long hours till dawn. That is when we promise our all to God, for our lives are worth nothing to us. That is when the tears flow down our faces when we remember our useless lives, our many sins, and how careless we have been. Then the correct posture in prayer is no question with us. We fall down before our Maker; we bow before Him in the most humble way we know how. We never give that a thought. And then God is near. We feel His presence and are filled with joy. We know that heaven is our goal and we are going there. He reveals Himself to us when we seek Him as a little lost child seeks his parents. We find Him and we are happy. Trials here seem light, for God is our Father and heaven is our home.
If you would have true joy that will last forever, seek God while He may be found.
Will You Pray?
(first printed April 1951)
A few days ago I walked into a large factory and was impressed to see the great machinery at work. Each man knew his task, and perfect order and efficiency prevailed.
But in mingling with the men I was much impressed to see how thoughtless they were of their souls. There was evidently no thought of eternity or eternal things among them, for profanity and evil talking were prevalent. It made me feel sick at heart to realize that so much of humanity is continually thinking evil. How grieved the Lord must be that His creation are so thoughtless.
“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5).
When we think of the condition of the world today—how the nations are ready for war, how the Jews are gathering back to Palestine, and how great are the inventions of man—we know that the second coming of Jesus is very near. Oh, how we should be getting ready to meet Him instead of talking and thinking of evil things. We want to be watching, living holy lives, and every day wondering if He will come in the clouds of heaven before nightfall.
But our greatest burden and thought should be for the unsaved. It is just too bad that anyone should be left behind when Jesus comes. So, Christian friends, we should pray as we have never prayed before. “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into the harvest” (Matthew 9:37-38).
It is our prayer and desire that this little paper will reach the homes and hearts of many unsaved persons and cause them to think of eternal things. You may help by sending in names of friends you think might care to read it, and by praying that this effort might help to influence careless and indifferent humanity. You may help by talking to some sinner, and by praying for those you know ought to be saved.
The Glory of the Resurrection
(first printed July 1951)
The resurrection from the dead will be the most glorious event in the history of God’s children—an event earnestly looked for in all ages of the world, when we shall pass into the stage of immortality, with all the attendant blessings, to return to corruption no more. This blessed event will occur at the second coming of Christ.
“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52).
After the resurrection every one will be perfect in feature and in limb. There will be no cripples in the resurrected state, nor blind, nor deaf, nor dumb, nor deformed in any way, nor any lacking mental or spiritual capacity. The glory of the resurrected saints will be unfading, and their joy eternal.
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Revelation 21:4).
When the former things have passed away, better things have come in their place. That is why God’s children are so anxious to live for eternal things. That is why we should be willing to sacrifice anything; money, sinful pleasure, friends, social position, or anything that is necessary to live a true life for God. The world may turn us down now, but it cannot help us when Christ comes, so we choose to live for Him rather than for it.
How dim and fleeting, indeed, are the earthly things. The beauty of youth soon vanishes and becomes wrinkled and aged. The finest mansion must continually be repaired or it will crumble into a mass of ruins. All our modern conveniences and inventions are soon worn out and obsolete. The great kingdoms of the earth, the mighty men of fame and renown have vanished away. The glory of the nations is but for a little while.
What a contrast the best things of this life are to the things that are prepared for those who love God and keep His commandments. Of God’s eternal kingdom there shall be no end. It shall be a glorious kingdom where the law shall be love. No one will be tempted to sin or do any wrong, for there will be no tempter there. No sorrow or disease can come for sickness and sorrow are caused only by sin, not always by the sin of the one who suffers, but because of sin and Satan who is the author of sin.
Just think what a thrill it would be to meet the President of the nation, or even the Governor. Would it not be nice to be his personal friend, to be invited into his home and talk with him? Ever so much more so, then, will it be glorious to sit with Christ on His throne, to eat with Him at the great marriage feast, and to live with Him forever more. But more than all this our glory will be to be like Him, and “When he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). Now we see dimly through a clouded glass, but then face to face. Then every longing desire, every wish, and every hope shall be reality. Then we shall seek no more, we shall be satisfied.
The mind of man cannot conceive the glory of the place Jesus is preparing for the saved ones, but God reveals it unto those who diligently seek Him. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).
The glory of the place, the glory of the light, the glory of God and of the Lamb, and of the angels, and the glory of the redeemed through all ages to come, are wonderful glory indeed, and ought to inspire everyone with a determination to redouble his diligence to make his calling and election sure, so that he may take part in the glory of the resurrection of the just.
The Final Parting
(first printed August 1952)
This phase of the resurrection is a sad one, but a true one, and duty prompts us to present it, as did Christ and the apostles, with the hope that its appalling sadness may prompt some wayward souls to flee the wrath to come. After the resurrection will be the judgment. At this judgment all must appear. “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).
According to the Scriptures, however, we cannot believe that the saints will fall into judgment, for the Bible teaches us how to live so we will not fall into judgment. “For if we would judge ourselves we should not be judged” (1 Corinthians 11:31). Judging ourselves by the standard of truth, and living thereby, the same standard will acquit us before the Judge. The saints’ names written in the “Lamb’s book of life” entitles them to a right to the tree of life, and to “enter in through the gates into the city” (Revelation 22:14).
But it is absolutely necessary that there be a just judgment held, that the many who have been wronged in this life may have justice done them, and that the crooked things be made straight, and the hidden works of darkness be exposed to the glaring light of God’s eternal truth, and that the wicked be severed from the righteous and be punished as they deserve. After the judgment has ended the separation will take place. “And he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats” (Matthew 25:32).
All partings are sad, but the sadness of most partings is somewhat relieved by the hope of meeting again. One of the saddest partings on earth is that of the prisoner at the bar of justice when the sentence falls from the lips of the judge: “The prisoner is guilty, and is sentenced to imprisonment for life.” Kindred and friends may gather around him to console him as best they can, and weep bitter tears over his sad doom as he is led away from their society, from home, from liberty and happiness to toil within the gloomy walls of his place of confinement all the days of his life. Sad as this condition is, how much more sad and heartrending will be the parting, for the sinner, in that great day, when the Judge of all the earth will say to those on the left hand, “Depart, ye cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41).
The sorrows and lamentations of the wicked will be vastly intensified by the wide contrast between them and the righteous. The righteous will go into life eternal with all the honor, glory and happiness of heaven, and the commendation of the Judge, while the wicked will go away into eternal punishment “with weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:42). To add still more to the horrors of the wicked in torment, they will have wicked associates. Not one righteous person will be there to appeal to for comfort or prayer during that dismal, eternal night of suffering. The Savior, in describing the distress of the final parting of the wicked, had a purpose in view—and that purpose, no doubt, was that all persons might be duly warned as to the punishment that will be inflicted upon the hard-hearted, disobedient, vicious, corrupt, and unpenitent part of the human race—those who had the opportunity of being saved, but would not embrace the opportunity. Being thus forewarned, the sinner is the author of his own condemnation, and God is left free from all blame.
The separation of the sinners from the righteous, and the penalty of suffering, ought to prompt everyone, while the opportunity is at hand, to flee the wrath to come, and live a life of obedience and devotion to God, until the end of his days, so that all might be accepted in the day of final retribution.
Our Refuge in Troubled Times
(first printed March 1951)
Many people are worried because of the conditions in the world today, and truly we are in troubled times, for we know not when a great war will break out with a release of mighty energy such as man has not seen before. Yet we have a comfort that sustains us and a hope that is sure.
The Lord Jesus is coming for His true followers to take them out of the world of tumult and fear into eternal peace and light. The dead in Christ shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed from natural, sickly, weary, fading bodies to beautiful, everlasting, never dying bodies.
Everything Jesus said concerning the last days is beginning to be fulfilled. Soon the trumpet will sound and Jesus will come. Should we not take time from our busy natural lives to prepare to meet Him? Do we remember that the Bible is our Light and Life? Jesus is the very Word of life, and we have the opportunity to read His Word daily. “He that cometh unto me,” He said, “I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37).