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Sermon Area Basic Introduction

Not Even Death

Not even death can keep a preacher from preaching. A godly preachers words come from fire in the bones. But if I say, “I will not mention him or speak any more in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot. (Jeremiah 20:9)



On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight.

There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting. Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead.

Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “He’s alive!” Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left. The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted. (Acts 20:7-12) 

The sermons normally lasted 45 to 60 but do not grumble that my sermons were long. True by today’s milk toast entertain me Christian standards they are lengthy. But not long when one considers the days are evil and that ignorance floods the church. …making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:16)


Preach The Word


I never preached about the Word of God. Rather I was led by the Holy Spirit to preach the Word.

Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction. (2 Timothy 4:2)


 

Sermon Transcript
Grumbling, Part 1


And do not grumble, as some of them did–and were killed by the destroying angel. These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. (1 Corinthians 10:10-11)

Sin of Grumbling Introduction


Spiritual Leadership – Bad Congregation

Seldom does one hear that there is such a thing as spiritual leadership but a sinful congregations.

One reason is there are far more grumblers and faultfinders than godly leadership. There are whole “ministries” devoted to enflaming by inviting  “discernment” grumblers against true godliness through Jesus.

True, most situations are the blind complaining about the blind. That is, blind leadership with blind congregations complaining about how leadership is blind.

Fact is the grumblers did not go away when they died in the desert under Moses’ leadership. They reinvented themselves as “discernment groupies.” The best thing to do is get very close to Jesus, let Him plow up unbroken ground, obey more by the Holy Spirit and you will be on their watch list.

Don’t be paralyzed spiritually by the grumblers fear-mongering and spiritual whisperings that deceive and defile. Every once-in-awhile it is the congregation that is at fault. Be careful not to fall for the “discernment” trap and become ashamed of the Truth.

This is why God left one huge lesson about the first congregation. The 1st Church of Moses Desert Church to be exact.

Whatever the case on that situation keep in mind that as the cross nails you down and the suffering becomes long and hard not to sin by grumbling.

Rather humble yourself and God will give you the grace and joy in due time – if you are obedient.

Deny your sin that wants to grumble, ignore and refute the grumblers and do as Peter instructed.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. (1 Peter 5:6)


Death by crucifixion is a slow dragging on process. A person dies by inches. Slowly, painfully and embarrassingly.

When one is suffering time appears to move much slower.  If sitting in the dentist chair having a tooth drilled upon seems to take forever, how much more when we are being crucified with Christ on many levels by the will of God.

This is why it is vital to rejoice always and give thanks in all circumstances.

Those who fail to obey this glorious command by having faith to see beyond their sufferings begin to grumble and run the very real danger in God of being disqualified from entering His rest.


Sin of Grumbling, Part 1

This sermon transcription has been edited to a reader friendly format.

Every effort has been made to be true to the speaker’s original message. Any mistranslations are unintentional.

Grumbling, Part 1

Today we will start a series on the sin of grumbling.

1 Corinthians 10:9-11 – We should not test the Lord, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel. These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come.

We are going to go all the way back to Exodus to look at the Israelites as they began to participate in salvation and as they began to walk with the Lord. The one thing that became their undoing was grumbling. It led to unbelief, and all kinds of sins.

1 Corinthians 10:12 – So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!

The sin that he is talking about here is grumbling. It is grumbling that leads us so often to all kinds of other sins. We are going to end this whole series by looking at God’s people who are supposed to be a people that do everything without complaining and arguing. Whatever the world asks us to do, whatever we ask one another to do or whatever we do in our families, we are to do everything that is asked of us without arguing, complaining, or grumbling because it leads to all kinds of sins.

1 Corinthians 10:13 – No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.

Again, what we are talking about here is grumbling and testing the Lord. He is able to give us enough grace and enough power so that in every circumstance and every situation we don’t grumble. The problem is, we have all of our reasons and our excuses to why we grumble, and we feel the need to voice those opinions and ideas of why we should be allowed to grumble.

1 Corinthians 10:13 – But, when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

There is no reason why any of us cannot do what Scripture says, which is to rejoice always and to give thanks in all circumstances. Yet, as we look at our own lives and conversations, how we behave and conduct ourselves, usually we are anything but praising the Lord. That is an exceptional day. We will need to turn the other way around. When we begin to grumble and complain we recognize that as sin because we have been rejoicing so much before the Lord and giving thanks in all circumstances that we recognize it easily when we are beginning to complain.

Let’s go through the series of events in Exodus. I looked up the dates for this by those who have put it in chronological order, and I don’t want to get into a debate as to whether the dates are correct or not. It is worth looking at and noting, but it is not worth dying for. They put down the date of this as January 1463 B.C. We will see why this is important in a moment because we are going to find that we are just like the Israelites. At one moment of the day our faith is strong and it is fine, and the next moment we are complaining, whining and we’re in total unbelief. And, that sometimes happens in a matter of days.

Exodus 4:30 – …and Aaron told them everything the Lord had said to Moses. He also performed the signs before the people…

Aaron came in before the people, and began to declare that God is concerned for them. He tells them, “God is going to deliver you. He is going to rescue you from your enslavement and your bondage. He is going to forgive your sins. And, this is how he is going to do it.” He began to demonstrate in very small ways the miracles that are going to take place. So, God is showing them before hand everything that is going to happen. We have the same thing in our own lives. Can we not read in scripture and know exactly how things are going to end? Can we not read in scripture that God is going to give us victory in every circumstance? We can, of course! We can go to the Book of Revelation and find out how things are going to end, how we are going to win and triumph over every circumstance and every situation as long as we have faith in God. So, in the same way the Israelites are receiving a preview of coming attractions. This is what is going to happen. This is God’s plan. This is how he is going to work. This is how he is going to maneuver. This is how he is going to glorify his name. So we’re not left in ignorance. It is not as if God comes along and says, “Just trust me and we will just see how things unfold.” God has basically shown us. We can go to the Book of Revelation and see all of the saints in the past. We can know that God will always work good, in every circumstance, can’t we? We are without excuse.

Exodus 4:31 – …and they believed.

When you first talk about the gospel call with people and you tell them that God is concerned for them, that he has a love for them, he is going to rescue them, and that he is full of power and might. He does miraculous things and answers prayers. He does all these things. People believe. We are the same way. When we first began to preach the message of the cross, people were excited about it. “This sounds good” they said “it is going to free me. It is going to deliver me.” I heard, “I want this. This is great. I’ve been waiting for this for years.” they begin to believe in the message of the cross. They begin to believe in God’s power to deliver us from sin. Then he begins to work that cross and to glorify his name. That is a whole different situation, isn’t it? It goes on to say:

Exodus 4:31 – And when they heard that the Lord was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped.

So, we hear the response again. We see what is happening. God comes to us and he says, “I love you. I’m concerned for you. I bring you good news. I’m going to deliver you. My son died for you. Here is the message of the cross. Pick it up, and it will free you from all of your sin. It will give you the deliverance that you say that you want.” We praise God and give thanks, that he is concerned for us and has turned his attention to us. We bow down and worship. We say, “Thank you, O Lord.”

Well, then we move to March 1463 B.C. two months later. The contest is set up and God begins to work the deliverance. Now, we’re just talking two months from seeing the miracles that are going to take place. God is concerned for you, and then He moves to work that. We are going to see what happens to the attitude of the people and how quickly it sinks. We are going to read through the whole story to get a feel of what God is working and what he is setting up.

Exodus 5:1 – Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Let my people go, so that they may hold a festival to me in the desert.’”

We take the message of the cross to Pharaoh, and say, “We’re willing to be delivered from this. We are going to celebrate the Lord. We are going to rejoice before him.” So, God begins the process to deliver us.

Exodus 5:2 – Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord and I will not let Israel go.”

The contest is set up. Moses asked for a small thing. Does he ask for complete deliverance of the people? What did Moses ask for? He asked for the privilege to just obey the Lord in a small thing. Look at it again:

Exodus 5:1 – …This is what the Lord, the God of Israel says: “Let my people go, so that they may hold a festival to me in the desert.”

In fact, in verse 3, this is what Moses says:

Exodus 5:3 – …The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Now let us take a three-day journey into the desert to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God, or he may strike us with plagues or with the sword.

They say, “The Lord requires that we be obedient in this, and if we aren’t obedient in this, he will become angry with us. So, give us the permission that will allow us to go out and worship the Lord, just in a three-day journey and hold a festival to God.” Well, Pharaoh knows and Satan knows that if you begin to obey in one thing, you are going to obey in all things, and if we disobey in one thing, we will disobey in everything. He is not going let the people go.

Exodus 5:4 – But the king of Egypt said, “Moses and Aaron, why are you taking the people away from their labor? Get back to your work!”

Pharaoh begins to put the pressure on. He wants them to continue to labor for him and to work for him in every fashion and in every way. He says, “You are not going to obey in this little small thing. You are not going to go and do this. There is another motive going on here.”

Exodus 5:5 – Then Pharaoh said, “Look, the people of the land are now numerous, and you are stopping them from working.”

“What you are seeking to do is to create a people who are lazy and don’t care about doing their job.” He attacks them with a false accusation. He begins the battle.

Exodus 5:6-7 – That same day Pharaoh gave this order to the slave drivers and foremen in charge of the people: “You are no longer to supply the people with straw for making bricks; let them go and gather their own straw.”

Now he makes them work harder and more difficult. This is the nature of the gospel call. Not only do we have Satan fighting against us, but the minute that you say, “I’m going worship the Lord,” the work will become harder and more difficult because Pharaoh doesn’t want to let go. Satan doesn’t want to let go either. There are people in our own lives that do not want us worshipping the Lord because of who they belong to. Understand clearly what is going on in this contest. Either we are going to grumble and say, “Okay, the minute I begin to serve God, things get more difficult and I don’t want to do that,” or we are going to consider that none of the pain or opposition is going to amount to anything. If we just persevere, and have some faith we will be able to eventually go out and worship before the Lord. God is testing and refining to see if we really love him.

Exodus 5:8 – But require them to make the same number of bricks as before; don’t reduce the quota. They are lazy; that is why they are crying out, “Let us go and sacrifice to our God.”

He wants them to get busy and be distracted from the commands that God has in mind. There are a lot of people that say, “Well, I’ve got to go do this,” or “I’m busy doing that so I can’t come to church,” or “I can’t worship the Lord,” or “I can’t be obedient in this.” We have an excuse set up. Pharaoh said, “This is the rule that is set down and this is what you have to do.” There are people that say, “Well, Pharaoh said that, so I have to do it. I can’t worship the Lord in that manner.” What God is looking for are people that will stand up and say, “No, you will deliver me from this situation. You will deliver me from the demands of Pharaoh. You will deliver me from the demands of my flesh so that I can go worship you.” Rather than grumbling and complaining about what Pharaoh sets down and what he tries to enslave us with, we are to rise up and say, “Okay, Lord, I trust you to deliver me from that.” Pharaoh begins again with a false accusation. He says, “They are lazy and that is why they are crying out “Let us go worship the Lord.” And so, your motives are always called into question, and Pharaoh wants to sidetrack you from what God is demanding. He wants to cause us to grumble, complain, and say, “This is just too difficult. I’m not going to go. It is not worth the battle. It is not worth the fight.” It says:

Exodus 5:9 – Make the work harder for the men so that they keep working and pay no attention to lies.

Pharaoh wants to get them so busy and so focused in their misery and enslavement that they won’t pay any attention to the gospel call. That they won’t listen to God, to make them have an attitude that says, “This is just not worth the battle. This is not worth the effort. I’m not going to strive to do this. There is more opposition when I begin to do this and so I won’t go worship the Lord.“ He begins to call it lies.

Exodus 5:10 – Then the slave drivers and the foremen went out and said to the people, “This is what Pharaoh says: “I will not give you any more straw. Go and get your own straw wherever you can find it, but your work will not be reduced at all.” So the people scattered all over Egypt to gather stubble to use for straw.

They don’t yet have the faith to cry out to God to solve the problem, do they? But, you can just see everybody out there, and all the self-effort and the striving they can, to try to meet Pharaoh’s demands. There is still too much of the heart that wants to please Pharaoh. Because God has already said “I will deliver you from Pharaoh.” So, there was no need for them to try to comply with this. All they needed to really do was stand still and let God deliver them. Can you picture all of these people running all over Egypt trying to solve the problem, trying to make their lives a little bit easier? We are going to see that this attitude of “wanting my life to be comfortable, easy as I follow God” will plague them all the way to the point that they cannot go into the Promised Land. God is revealing this before he works deliverance. “This is what I have to purge from you. This is what I have to cleanse from you. Every time the pressure is on, you run out into Egypt trying to solve the problem. You try to look for straw to make your bricks and your labor a little bit easier. Instead of crying out to me, with thanksgiving and rejoicing in the situation that I have created, you are out here trying to gather up straw. Instead of calling a prayer meeting, you are out here in all your effort trying to solve the burdens of your daily life.” Pharaoh is never going to make it easy for you to leave, and he wants to keep you busy gathering straw instead of worshipping the Lord. There has to rise within us an attitude that says, “I will worship the Lord no matter what Pharaoh does, no matter what the world does, no matter what other people impress on me to do, I will stand and worship the Lord. I will not cave in, no matter what. I’m not going to gather straw. I’m going to go pray and worship the Lord.” It is that simple!

Exodus 5:11-13 – “Go and get your own straw wherever you can find it, but your work will not be reduced at all.” So the people scattered all over Egypt to gather stubble to use for straw. The slave drivers kept pressing them saying, “Complete the work required of you for each day, just as when you had straw.”

God comes with good news to deliver people and Satan begins to put on the pressure to make their lives miserable. We’ve seen it a hundred times. You invite people to church and then, all of a sudden, people come from the woodwork inviting them to do things, family obligations, maybe it is work, maybe it is everything else—anything to get them distracted from worshipping the Lord.

Exodus 5:14 – The Israelite foremen appointed by Pharaoh’s slave drivers were beaten and were asked, “Why didn’t you meet your quota of bricks yesterday or today, as before?”

Most of us at this point would have been saying to God, “I thought this was good news. You come and you promote deliverance, and then all of a sudden we are being beaten for listening to the gospel.”

Exodus 5:15 – Then the Israelite foremen went and appealed to Pharaoh:

Here is the grandest mistake of all, here is what they never learned and died to. This is the sin that they never saw and confessed.

Exodus 5:15 – Then the Israelite foremen went and appealed to Pharaoh:

Why should they appeal to Pharaoh when God has said, “I will deliver you”? Why should they seek an allegiance of mercy from Pharaoh? Why should they go to world for understanding? And yet, that is, who they go to, and they begin to debate and dialogue with Pharaoh as if somehow we can work out a compromise. Somehow we think we can go worship the Lord and still come back. We will still do the labor. We will still do the work. We’re not lazy. They never come before the Lord.

Exodus 5:15 – Then the Israelite foremen went and appealed to Pharaoh: “Why have you treated your servants this way?”

In other words, “What have we done?” They are trying to defend themselves to Pharaoh, and Pharaoh is not interested in their defense. Do you understand? No matter how perfectly they could demonstrate that they are not really opposing Pharaoh, he doesn’t really care. He only knows that if they obey God in one thing, they will obey God in all things and he will lose the worship of himself. Yet, we are just like this. We spend so much time and so much energy explaining to the world why we do what we do. We are trying to get people to understand and accept us, because we don’t want our lives to be a burden, or to have people oppose us. We always go to them and say, “I’m not really opposing you and why are you treating me this way?” and they don’t care. Let us learn that well. Let us not run to Pharaoh for relief, let us run to the Lord.

Exodus 5:16 – Your servants are given no straw…

Who are they looking for mercy from? Not from the Lord! Who are they looking for relief from? Not the Lord. They are asking Pharaoh for mercy. I think God overlooks it at this point because they are so despondent in their sin that he understands. But, as we move through this whole series, we will see that more and more, as situations come up, God will not allow them to excuse themselves because they should be growing out of it. They should be becoming mature. Their face should be rising up. They have more evidence to say, “I know that God will deliver and God will work.” When someone first comes to the Lord and it begins to become very difficult, they begin to grumble and complain, there are a lot of times that God just overlooks that because he knows where they are. But, you can’t carry that excuse forever.

Exodus 5:16 – Your servants are given no straw, yet we are told, “Make bricks!’“

Let us not run to Pharaoh and ask for mercy. Let us not even pick on Pharaoh because Pharaoh isn’t to blame for this problem. Who is to blame? God is to blame. He is the one that set up the battle. He permitted it to happen. He could have just miraculously taken the whole Israelite camp and just stuck them out there, and it would have been over with in thirty seconds. But, God chose this way to set up battlegrounds to purify the people and to glorify his name, so the troubles that come our way are there to refine us and to glorify God at the same time. So, when you begin to grumble and complain, who are you grumbling and complaining against? Not Pharaoh, but God himself.

Exodus 5:16 – Your servants are being beaten, but the fault is with your own people.

We always want to blame somebody else. They are beginning to grumble, and complain against Pharaoh, but it is really God who has allowed it to happen and that’s who they are really grumbling against. In verse 17, of course, Pharaoh in all of his compassion, mercy, and love says:

Exodus 5:17 – Pharaoh said, “Lazy, that’s what you are—lazy!”

 

He is distracting them with false accusations, sidetracking them and their energy, trying to undo this. “No, Pharaoh, we’re not lazy. We’re not this way. We really do want to serve. We really do want to help. We like being in Egypt.” They want to explain themselves, and so he just keeps them distracted. And, as long as he keeps them distracted, he has them in his hands. Well, praise God! Even many times when we are distracted, God still delivers us in spite of ourselves. We still find ourselves delivered and freed, and we don’t even know how we got there because we fought it the whole way along.

Exodus 5:17-18 – Pharaoh said, “Lazy, that’s what you are—lazy!” That is why you keep saying, “Let us go and sacrifice to the Lord. Now get back to work. You will not be given any straw, yet you must produce your full quota of brick.”

You will not find mercy from Pharaoh, so quit asking. The world is not going to make it easier for you. Satan is not saying, “Gee whiz, I understand. You just want to worship the Lord. Well, go right ahead and do it.” He is going to make it more difficult. Quit asking him to understand you and accept your situation or to ease up a little bit because he knows when you come in asking for that, he has you, where he wants you. The next step is unbelief or grumbling.

Exodus 5:19 – The Israelite foremen realized they were in trouble when they were told, “You are not to reduce the number of bricks required of you for each day.”

Yes, they realized they were in trouble. This gospel call produces trouble. The minute a man sets his eyes to be freed by God or God sets his eyes to free him, and then all hell breaks loose. Pharaoh becomes upset and the battle is set up, and it begins. It dawns on them, that there is no way out. Now, in verse 20, I can relate to Moses and Aaron in a lot of ways. It says:

Exodus 5:20 – When they left Pharaoh, they found Moses and Aaron waiting to meet them…

They want to find out where the people are at; where the Israelites faith is at, what kind of stand do they have, what kind of relationships—because Moses and Aaron have brought good news in. They are saying, “You can be delivered,” and now they are hoping that the people come out from Pharaoh and realize what folly and how foolish it was to go into Pharaoh and to ask for help. Moses and Aaron are hoping that the relationship can continue, but that is not what happens. Look at how they respond in verse 21. They go from bowing down, worshipping, and rejoicing in the Lord to this.

Exodus 5:21 – And they said, “May the Lord look upon you and judge you!”

Oh, now they get religious and spiritual and now they want God on their side. But, it is to judge the very ones that are bringing them the freedom and the good news to be delivered from their sins, is it not?

Exodus 5:21 – …May the Lord look upon you and judge you! You have made us a stench to Pharaoh and his officials and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.

“It is your fault that I am in this situation.” The statement is true. It is their fault that they have this kind of pressure going on in their lives. It is Moses and Aaron’s fault that the gospel put their lives in a position where Pharaoh wants to kill them. In other words, they are saying, “You have given my enemies the tools, the weapons, the means, and the excuse to do me harm.” That is the nature of the gospel call. What happens is that the message of cross is preached, laid out, then God moves your life into a situation and you begin to grumble and complain. You don’t see it as the hand of God doing the deliverance, but you are going to come back upon leadership, and attack them. Now, this is not a sermon to say you can’t talk to the leadership, voice a concern or somehow they are so holy you can’t come to them. Moses and Aaron are there to meet them. The point is that when God begins to bring the good news into your life and he begins to arrange things, there are situations that will arise, that are beyond Moses and Aaron’s control. Do you think they want this to happen this way? Would they rather not have just automatically been out there and the problem over with? I can tell you for sure, they would have. But, the nature of the gospel call, the good news of Jesus Christ and the message of the cross is such that situations are going to arise that are totally beyond the control of those who preach it. If you are going to lay hold of Jesus Christ and you are going to follow him on the narrow road, then you are going to put yourself in situations. Pharaoh is going to come after you and you have given him the means and the excuses to come after you. What you don’t want to do is verse 21.

Exodus 5:21 – May the Lord look upon you and judge you! You have made us a stench to Pharaoh and his officials and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.

You see, a “rejoicing always” comment would have been this. “May the Lord bless you for putting us in this situation because our deliverance is close at hand.” And, “Pharaoh is going to see his day coming very, very soon. Thanks, Moses! Thanks, Aaron!”

Exodus 6:1-2 – Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh: Because of my mighty hand he will let them go; because of my mighty hand he will drive them out of his country. God also said to Moses, “I am the Lord.”

You see, Moses is also learning, too. Later on, Moses will be held accountable for responding to the grumbling of the people with a wrong attitude. In the beginning, God is very patient, but don’t confuse his patience with an allowance of sin. Do not think that ten years from now God will put up with the same amount of grumbling and complaining as you had when you first came to the Lord. Do not think that you can come to Him with the same questions, doubts, and concerns as you had in the beginning. God will not permit that. That shows you have not grown and you have not died to self, you have not surrendered any more. You have just followed God, because you had no choice.

Exodus 6:3 – I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the Lord I did not make myself known to them.

Again, he is reminding Moses, “This is who I am and this is how I appear and this is how I work.” Later on, Moses will find himself on a mountain before the Lord for forty days, neither eating nor drinking, experiencing the presence of God, and that is why Moses becomes more and more accountable as time goes on, because he experiences more and more of the Lord. It will be the same for you. God will deliver. He will work. He will rescue you from Pharaoh’s grip, but you cannot use that as an excuse to say, ten years later, that you are permitted and that God will excuse you for the same disobedience you had back then. He will not.

Exodus 6:4-5 – I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, where they lived as aliens. Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered my covenant.

So, God speaks very tenderly to Moses. He reminds him to have faith in him, and Moses will try to convey that faith to the people.

Exodus 6:6 – Therefore, say to the Israelites: I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment.

He is just repeating the same thing he said in the beginning. And, look at the grand promise in verse 7.

Exodus 6:7 – I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God.

That should be the calling. That is what should arouse within us a love that wants to endure everything, for the grand privilege of fellowshipping with the living God. This is the test of the desert—that “I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God.” For most people, that is not enough. They have to have all of the blessings of the world and God. But, they don’t just fall in love with God, that no matter what the world does to oppose them, that they will still continue to worship him, love him, and fall in love with him, because he is worthy.

Exodus 6:7 – …and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.

You see, later on, they are going to wish for that yoke and that slavery. They consider the bondage with Pharaoh a greater blessing, than freedom with God and following him into the desert, all because their flesh will want something. Their flesh will want some meat, comfort, or water, or they’ll want just an easy life. So what we tell God when we grumble is, “I want my comfort more than I want you. I want my rest and relaxation or my fun and family, or whatever it might be, more than I want fellowship with you.” And, that is what grumbling declares.

Exodus 6:8 – And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob.

There is a long history of promise. Doesn’t he repeat it over and over again? Don’t we have a whole cloud of witnesses telling us that the Lord is worthy to be trusted, that he will deliver and work in every circumstance? That, no matter how difficult it becomes, no matter how hard it becomes, he will work good, he will deliver, he will refine, he will rescue his people. There is never ever an excuse for grumbling, complaining, or doubt — never! What it amounts to is, that when we find ourselves in situations that are uncomfortable, it is not really unbelief; it is we just want out from under the circumstance. We want God to bow down to us and give us what we want.

Exodus 6:8-9 – “I will give it to you as a possession. I am the Lord.” Moses reported this to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him because of their discouragement and cruel bondage.

At this point, again, there is an excuse. God understands. He is a God of compassion. He just doesn’t come along and say, “Trust me. As I create all of these problems and all these things in your life, just trust me.” He gives you reasons to trust him. He gives a cloud of witnesses. He gives you the Holy Spirit. He speaks to you. He comes in the most tender, loving way that a father can speak to a child and says, “Trust me,” no more than we would go to a little child say, “Okay, just trust me,” and then put him in some of the most difficult situations. We stand there with him. We hold his hand. We know everything will be fine and we keep whispering to him. We keep holding him saying, “Trust me, everything will be fine.” The child has to learn to trust you so that when the situations really become dangerous, when it really becomes difficult, they can rejoice and give thanks knowing that they have all of this evidence in the past that says you are worthy to be trusted. So, you can rest and fellowship. No matter what everybody else is doing around you, no matter what Pharaoh is saying, no matter what he accuses or does, you are at peace because you are able to fellowship with the living God. That is a faith that rests, that is, self, crucified. That is the flesh not wanting its way.

Exodus 6:10-11 – Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the Israelites go out of his country.”

I want you to notice Moses’ reaction, because what gets Moses in trouble later on, the reason Moses cannot enter the promise land, is because… the people break him down to the point that he sins. When we have a grumbling attitude within the church and within the body for the things that are happening in our life, we drag other people down whether we mean to or not. When we are negative and complaining when we are saying, “This is so hard and this is so difficult, I don’t know if I want to do this,” and we have doubts and wonder if God will move. Grumbling slowly begins to drag down those around you.

Exodus 6:12 – But Moses said to the Lord, “If the Israelites will not listen to me, why would Pharaoh listen to me, since I speak with faltering lips?”

Moses, at this point, can’t even rise up in faith. He can’t even dialogue with God in a position of faith. Oh, he is obedient! He denies himself in that and says, “I will worship the Lord. I will be obedient.” God, again in his mercy, overlooks what Moses is saying because Moses himself is learning and growing.

This situation happens a year later. God has brought about the miracles. He is beginning to free the people. The date they have is April 17, 1462 B.C., which happens to be a Sunday by this reckoning.

Exodus 14:21 – Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided.

And so again they see the miraculous powers of God in a very dramatic way.

Exodus 14:22 – And the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.

God comes in this powerful fashion and he shows that he can be trusted. He will do that a lot as we begin to walk with God. He will answer our prayers quickly. I’ve seen this happen in people’s lives, especially young Christians. They will pray and ask for it, and then all of a sudden the prayer is answered quickly. They are impressed and, so am I, for that matter. But, then as time goes on, God wants more and more faith, and obedience based on trusting him in a relationship, not on the fact that God will deliver quickly and easily. Then the test begins to set in. And this, the Israelites never could do. They couldn’t last more than a day without grumbling and complaining.

Exodus 14:23-30 – The Egyptians pursued them, and all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and horsemen followed them into the sea. During the last watch of the night the Lord looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion. He made the wheels of their chariots come off so that they had difficulty driving. And the Egyptians said, “Let’s get away from the Israelites! The Lord is fighting for them against Egypt.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch our your hand over the sea so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen.” Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea went back to its place. The Egyptians were fleeing toward it, and the Lord swept them into the sea. The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen—the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived. But the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. That day the Lord saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore.

A pretty dramatic deliverance! While walking along the shore sin is washed away. There the guilt is removed from my life. There is trouble and pain that God has washed away. It is a baptism of all baptisms. It is a walking along the shore and looking at the mighty and powerful hand of God and his deliverance, and that is why in verse 31 it says:

Exodus 14:31 – And when the Israelites saw the great power the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.

But, this is the whole problem. When things are going well and when they are delivered in this dramatic fashion and when everything succeeds quickly and easily, they will trust God and they will trust in his servant Moses. Now they are saying to Moses, “Blessed are you, Moses.” Well, let’s move to three days later. You would think that this grand event would still at least be in their mind. Let’s go to Exodus 15:19. We are now up to Wednesday, April 20, 1462 B.C., three days later from this event. This is why all of the outward things mean very little in Jesus Christ. What has to change is our hearts. What has to rise up in our hearts is faith and rejoicing always, giving thanks in all circumstances, and then our fellowship in the body will be what it needs to be. Can you imagine if all of us came in here together rejoicing in the Lord and fellowshipping with one another? We then wouldn’t grumble against one another as scripture says, let alone grumble against the Lord. Three days later…

Exodus 15:19-21 – When Pharaoh’s horses, chariots and horsemen went into the sea, the Lord brought the waters of the sea back over them, but the Israelites walked through the sea on dry ground. Then Miriam the prophetess, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women followed her, with tambourines and dancing. Miriam sang to them: Sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted. The horse and its rider he has hurled into the sea.

 

Now, I want you to see all of the joy, the excitement, and the worship that is taking place, all to be reduced here in a moment because of grumbling and complaining. So we come to church we rejoice, worship and we give thanks to God. We have faith in him because everything is fine and everything is well. We sense his presence. We sense his deliverance. He is talking to us. He is fellowshipping with us. We see him answering our prayers. Then all of a sudden a hardship comes up and we don’t know whether God is going to work or not. I want us to see how fickle the sinful nature is, how quickly our flesh can change. We can be at the height one moment rejoicing before the Lord and the next, fighting against the God who is going to deliver us. All because some want comes into our life that we can’t meet, or some difficulty arises that we can’t overcome with the snap of our fingers.

Exodus 15:22 – Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea and they went into the Desert of Shur. For three days they traveled in the desert without finding water.

In a spiritual sense, that means maybe God doesn’t give you a taste of the living water at that moment. Maybe for three days you wander about a little bit. Well, what are we going to do? Begin to panic? “Oh, where’s God! I can’t hear his voice. I’m lost. He has deserted me. He is nowhere to be found.” The difficulty is here. Our faith lasts for an hour or two, or maybe a day or so. Then we run off to find living water. We read our commentaries. We try to grab a scripture, or listen to a sermon tape. We try to grab onto something that will build ourselves up. We don’t wait upon God to deliver. We seek to deliver ourselves again. We tried to go to Pharaoh. We learned that didn’t work, and now God hides his face a little bit. He is leading us around. The difficulty is arising, so we run off to a commentary, a devotional, a scripture, or even a brother or sister. We say, “Pray for me” and panic just totally sets in. Our prayer meetings are nothing more than panic meetings.

Exodus 15:22-23 – For three days they traveled in the desert without finding water. When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter. (That is why the place is called Marah.)

Not only could they find no deliverance, but they also could find no refreshment in the dessert. I mean, they are just asking for a little bit, just a glass of water. Just something cool to drink. And so, some difficulty arises and you can’t find immediate relief and God doesn’t seem to answer, you wonder where he is. Then that which you do find is bitter. “We have been praying. We’ve been seeking. I’ve been trying to have faith in God. I’ve been claiming these promises. I’m marching out in the desert and now I get to this situation, which is worse than when I started. It would have been better to do without water totally than to come on this situation, God. What are you doing and why are you doing this, Lord? I don’t understand.” So the reaction is usual, predictable, and repeatable.

Exodus 15:24 – So the people grumbled against Moses…

“It is your fault that we are in the desert, wandering around, and when we finally came upon water it was bitter.”

Exodus 15:24 – So the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What are we to drink?”

There is a way to ask that question in faith, and there is a way to ask while grumbling and whining. No doubt if Moses would have said, “You are grumbling,” they’d have said, “No, we’re just asking a question. What are we supposed to do?” So, our grumbling comes out in the easiest of conversations. Our lack of faith becomes clouded with nice sounding words. “What are we supposed to do now? You told me to share this. You told me to pass this out. You told me to declare this. You said if I had faith I would be in this situation or this would happen. You’re the one who gave me the advice. We are out here because you said this is where the Lord wanted us to go.”

Exodus 15:25 – Then Moses cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became sweet.

A small taste of the cross, the cross that makes everything sweet, even bitter water has become holy and has become sweet. Even the most corrupt situations in our life, the most difficult things can become holy and a blessing and sweet water to drink if we will partake of just a little bit of the cross of Christ.

Exodus 15:25 – There the Lord made a decree and a law for them, and there he tested them.

That is why in Luke it says that in the time of testing they quickly fall away. What God does, he comes along, and he brings the people—instead of learning the lessons, what do they do? They are just thankful to be delivered from the situation. But, here God leads them in the desert, showing that he could be trusted. Even when you come upon bitter water, and it looks like it is an impossible situation for any good to be worked. If you will take but a small measure of the cross, “If you will trust me in a small fashion,” you will discover that bitter water will become sweet. This is not a game where we just call miserable situations grand when they are not. You will discover what is grand about the miserable situation and you will be able to drink from that in a sweet fashion. You will be able to grow in trust, and then you will be able to say, “Well, that’s why I need to obey this scripture.” Notice what it says? “There the Lord made a decree,” just one. He leads them out. He comes along, and says, “Here is the living water that I have produced. If you will trust me, I will work good in all circumstances. Here is the decree. Just begin to obey this. Accept a little bit more of what my scriptures have to say. Begin to be obedient to them.” That is what God is trying to work. Think about it now as we dialogue about scriptures with one another. Isn’t so much of our conversation a lot of debate about the trustworthiness of that scripture? In other words, you’ll say, “This situation is here. This person says this.” I might say, “Well, scripture says this,” and you say, “Yeah, but…” so you discount the scripture. God is trying to open your heart up so that you will run to the scripture and understand what to do in every single circumstance. Because you’ve learned, “That decree is trustworthy. My opinion may be this, but God’s Word says this. I think I know what I’ll trust now. I used to trust my bitter waters of opinion and self, of grumbling and complaining and doubting, but now I’ll trust what God has to say.” If God says this is why a man does what he does, then that’s why he does what he does. If God says he can be trusted in this situation, then I will trust him in this situation because that is what he says, not what the circumstance says or my opinion says or what Pharaoh says. Indeed, you will be able to say, “Pharaoh said this, but God totally delivered us from that, so why should I doubt here at this little, small problem?” Do you see what verse 26 says? Do you see what the lesson is here?

Exodus 15:26 – He said, “If you listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God…”

You know, we tend to think of all this in terms of old law written on stones, but here God is pleading for them to listen to his voice, to pay attention to what he is saying to their hearts. “If you walk upon bitter waters,” God is saying, “you will hear my voice say, ‘This is sweet.’“ If you’ll listen to my voice and not the voice of Pharaoh, if you will listen to my voice and not the voice of your flesh…” Who wants a child that is growing up in your household always demanding, always wanting, and always taking? You can’t fellowship with a child like that at all because they use you for what they can get. In the same way, what God wants most is that selfless kind of love that says, “I would rather listen to your voice than have my flesh fed.”

Exodus 15:26 – He said, “If you listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.”

God reminds them of the judgments on Pharaoh, but what he appeals to is love. How does he end it? He ends it by saying, “I am the one who heals you. I am the one who rescues. I am the one who can take the bitter waters in your life and turn them sweet. I am the one who can take all of your mistakes and all of your sins and by the time I’m through with it, you will think it was my plan. That is how good I am at it.”

Exodus 15:27 – Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and they camped there near the water.

So they came to place of rest and peace. Do you see what God did, and how he does it with us? He delivers you from Egypt and you go through this tremendous battle to get the Lord. How many of us had to go through all that battle just to get to God? I mean, getting someone saved is a massive amount of work. Usually you have to tell them, “I know you went through all that to get to the Lord, but let me tell you, now it is starting. You just thought you went through it,” but that is a whole different sermon. And so God leads you. He delivers you. He gets you out in the desert. He brings you on to this trial of trials. It comes on and hits you heavy. You are in thirst. He makes it bitter and sweet, and then what does he do? He leads you to a quiet place where you can sit down and think about what you just went through. He takes you by the palm trees. He takes you to a place where you can sit down. He says, “Now, look and listen! Think about what it means to listen to my voice. Think about my decrees. Think how I deliver. Think how I work. Look at what I have done. Look at what I will do. Consider what I did for Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all of these people. Look at their lives and consider how I have blessed and how I work good. Will I not work the same with you?” He wants us to sit down and he wants us to contemplate instead of running off to play or saying, “I’m glad that’s over with.” He wants you to consider. He wants you to pray and say, “God, put that faith in my heart. Don’t let it slip from me. The next time I’m in that same situation, don’t let me begin to grumble again, especially in the beginning of my Christian walk. That is exactly what I would do! I’d grumble and complain, and then I’d find deliverance and then I’d grumble and complain again. It was a vicious cycle. Sit down and camp, and enjoy the quiet time God gives you to contemplate and think about who he is and how He works and delivers. This is a month later, May 15, 1462 B.C.

Exodus 16:1 – The whole Israelite community set out from Elim and came to the Desert of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had come out of Egypt.

So often this happens with us. Someone comes to the Lord. They get delivered from Pharaoh. They face some trials. And, in between the law and the commandments and understanding what God requires, you have this sin that has to be dealt with. Verse 2 is one month later.

Exodus 16:2 – In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron.

Always it comes back to attacking the message, attacking the leadership. And again, I want to repeat—this isn’t to say that you can’t come and talk. This isn’t like leadership is so anointed that you can’t go to them. I don’t know where that nonsense came from. Let’s just say, let us be holy. Let us be careful. Let us come before one another with rich faith in God and not so quick to point and say, “You said,” or “You put us here,” or “We are in this situation because you did this. If you’d just shut up or if you’d have just done this or if you had just kept quiet or if I just didn’t bring you along, I wouldn’t have this problem.”

Exodus 16:2-3 – In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, “If only…

 

Now look at what they say, and I want you to see the wickedness of how grumbling can come out.

Exodus 16:3 – If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt!

This is how wicked grumbling begins. We begin to complain and we ask, “Oh, God, just kill me. Just take me out of this situation. We would rather be dead than be out here in the desert with you.” We would rather be in any other church with any other message with anything else going on than to be here.

Exodus 16:3 – If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt!

And here is the core of the problem, and always, always with grumbling you can trace it back to something your flesh wants. Usually it is pretty minor. You are thirst and you just want a glass of water. “I’ve had it. I’m out of here. This is just too difficult. They were mean to me. I told them the gospel and they got mad at me and stormed off. That’s it! I’m tired of this.” We aren’t even talking about any real suffering or persecution like so many go through.

Exodus 16:3 – There we sat around pots of meat…

King James says, “flesh pots,” which is a much better description.

Exodus 16:3 – There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted…

What an exaggeration anyway! I doubt they just sat around pots of meat, and just ate all they wanted to and played all day long. They thought, “Oh, man, I wish I were back there. Life was sure a lot easier.” Then it becomes glamorized. Pharaoh wasn’t all that bad! “Yeah, I know we were in slavery. I know he beat us, but we basically ate what we wanted and did what we liked to do.”

Exodus 16:3 – There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.

“Moses, you’ve got some ulterior motive! You are the cult leader of all cult leaders. You showed us all of the miracles. You promised us all these things. But your only real motive, the end result was, you wanted to watch all of us starve to death while we’re out here.” How do you reason with someone like that? How do you recover from that? How do you go to them and say, “No, my motive isn’t to do that.” How do you say “It is better to starve to death in the desert than to be in slavery under Pharaoh,” when their attitude isn’t even close to that?

Exodus 16:4 – Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions.”

God is always trying to test them to see if they’ll just love him and be obedient. So, to know if you are overcoming grumbling or not, is to ask yourself, “Is my obedience increasing after the trial and after the confession of grumbling, or is it still the same?” Did you learn the lesson? Did you see the sin?

Exodus 16:5 – On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.

I mean, God is so hard! He is going to give them a Sabbath rest. They don’t want to rest. They want to sit around pots of meat. They would rather be enslaved feeding their flesh than sitting around worshiping the Lord.

Exodus 16:6 – So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “In the evening you will know that it was the Lord who brought you out of Egypt.”

It is like he has to keep reminding them of this fact. It is not logic that will ever convince them to believe and trust God. You can preach until you are blue in the face, “The Lord is good, he does all these things, and he delivers.” I know when you get in those despondent moods, because I have been there myself, and no matter what logic somebody presents to me, that God is good, that he can be trusted, I say, “Yeah, yeah, yeah.” Usually you can tell when I’m grumbling because I am very quiet. I think I’m noble because I don’t want to grumble and lead everybody else into sin, because I can lay out the facts and then everybody else is in trouble. Everybody grumbles in his or her own fashion and in his or her own way, and there is no reasoning with us when we are in that kind of mood.

Exodus 16:7 – …and in the morning you will see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your grumbling against him.

You don’t grumble against your leaders, you grumble directly against God. And, Moses said:

Exodus 16:7-8 – Who are we, that you should grumble against us?

“We didn’t bring you out here by our own choice and our own will and our own power. We’re out here because this is where God has us, and we can’t change a single thing about the circumstances.” When you get yourself so far out there in serving God that there is no way to go back, there is no where to go back to you either trust God or begin to grumble and complain about the situation. Now, look at verse 8 again and notice the words “grumbling,” “grumbling” and “grumbling.”

Exodus 16:8 – Moses also said, “You will know that it was the Lord when he gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morning, because he has heard your grumbling against him.”

Now, do you know what the problem here is with the sinful nature? They think their prayers are being answered. They are not learning. They are thinking, “Okay, we grumble, God hears, and we get meat. Great! We got meat.” So, all they are concerned with is that they got what they wanted. So, in a very sinister form and fashion, we think, “Okay, God forgave me here. He allowed me to grumble, and he worked good. Therefore, I can always continue in this pattern to grumble and complain, and get what I want.” What God is trying to show them is that, “I can be trusted, and I will feed you, and I will take care of you.” We are supposed to feel ashamed for grumbling. We are not supposed to justify the grumbling and the pouting, and say, “Oh, okay, I pouted and I grumbled, and God gave me what I wanted. Next time when I get in a situation too difficult, if I just grumble and complain a little bit, maybe he will deliver me a little bit early.”

Exodus 16:8-9 – Moses also said, “You will know that it was the Lord when he gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morning, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we? You are not grumbling against us, but against the Lord.” Then Moses told Aaron, “Say to the entire Israelite community, come before the Lord, for he has heard your grumbling.”

Moses confronts them with their sin and says, “This sin is grumbling and it has to go. Don’t be fooled by the fact that you find food in the morning. Don’t you see that God would have provided you the food and whatever you needed if you would have praised him? In fact he would have provided a lot more.” They got what they wanted when they grumbled and complained, but how much more they could have tasted of him had they rejoiced instead of complained.

Exodus 16:9 – Then Moses told Aaron, “Say to the entire Israelite community, Come before the Lord, for he has heard your grumbling.’“

When we have grumbled, let us come before the Lord and refuse the meat and the bread that he provides and say, “God, change my heart. Let me see the good at the bitter waters.”

Exodus 16:10-12 – While Aaron was speaking to the whole Israelite community, they looked toward the desert, and there was the glory of the Lord appearing in the cloud. The Lord said to Moses, “I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites.”

It is like God has to repeat the sermon and Moses has to repeat it over and over again. Now, the warning is beginning to go out, for the repeating of the same sins. It has to do with their bellies. It has to do with their flesh. God delivers in another time with meat, only this time his anger is going to break out because he has to repeat himself to you. “This is the message of the cross. This is the message of the truth. This is what it means to follow me. This person needs to be judged. This needs to be declared.” If he has to keep repeating it over and over again, you are on the verge of putting yourself in a position of judgment. Because what you are doing is grumbling about the circumstances, the word, and the offense of the cross. You hope God will change some aspect of it, so you keep checking in to see if he will do that.

Exodus 16:12 – I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, “At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.”

It still hasn’t dawn on them! They are with the Lord! The cloud is there. The fire is there. But inside they don’t know him as Lord. God works. He delivers. He does miracles. How many people are experiencing all these grand things of God, but they don’t know God as the Lord all because they grumble, doubt, and test.

Exodus 16:13-16 – That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, “It is the bread the Lord has given you to eat. This is what the Lord has commanded: Each one is to gather as much as he needs. Take an omer for each person you have in your tent.”

Then he begins to explain the Sabbath rest of God—the Sabbath they never could keep, never could discover. That is why Hebrews says, “Let us enter the Sabbath rest.” Do you know what a Sabbath rest is? It is a life of complete trust in God. It is a sitting down in our heart and our spirit saying that no matter what the circumstance, no matter what the situation, no matter how vile men become and no matter what the cost is about the message, He is on the throne and he is God. He will deliver and work good in his fashion and he will give grace and power. It is to be at peace with him. It is perfect faith. It is an acceptance of the commands. It is an acceptance of what God’s Word has to say and if God says this is the truth about a situation or a man or a circumstance, we are at peace with that. If God says, “These are the blessings and this is what it means to belong to me. These are the grand things that are in me,” then we rest in that, also. We don’t have to grab. We don’t have to demand. We don’t have to have people accept us. We don’t have to have all these things, because we are sitting on his lap. We are sitting in his Sabbath rest. We are at peace with him and we have all things. To test them, refine them, and to show them he can be trusted. Enter in His rest. This is why, when they finally get all the way to the end, what does he say? “They will never enter my rest,” not so much because God kept them out of the promise land. Their hearts were so stubborn and so hard by that time; they will never have the faith to enter in. They will never be able to just sit down and rest in the Lord. They will always have to do something. They will always have to pray. They will always have to work. They will always have to do this. They will always have to go to Pharaoh. They will always have to make their situation better. They will always have to feed their flesh. They can’t ever just sit and be at peace all because they grumbled.

Let’s go ahead and pray.

Father, speak to us and show us in our hearts the sin of grumbling and complaining and testing you. And, let us never say, Father, with our lips or in our hearts, that it would have been better to die by your hand in Egypt than to be in the desert with you. Let us say with David and the Psalms, Father, that though we make our bed in hell that you are with us and we can be content there. For Father, you are worthy. Deliver us, Father, in every form and fashion from grumbling and complaining spirits, that we might love you and we might give you praise, Father. Amen.

This transcription has been edited to a reader friendly format. Every effort has been made to be true to the speaker’s original message. Any mistranslations are unintentional.


Not Even Death

Not even death can keep a preacher from preaching. A godly preachers words come from fire in the bones. [1]But if I say, “I will not mention him or speak any more in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary ...continue

On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight.

There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting. Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead.

Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “He’s alive!” Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left. The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted. (Acts 20:7-12) 


Preach The Word


I never preached about the Word of God. Rather I was led by the Holy Spirit to preach the Word.

Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction. (2 Timothy 4:2)


 

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Because Jesus said “sit down.”

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Everything here concerns repentance and living a holy life.
“The time has come,” Jesus said.
“The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15)

References   [ + ]

1. But if I say, “I will not mention him or speak any more in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot. (Jeremiah 20:9)