Relaxed Mental Attitude, No. 4
We continue with the Word of God this
morning in studying the matter of how to be a mature Christian.
A mature Christian, we have learned, is a person who
has a relaxed is mind is free of mental attitude sins. So the technique that we’ve been talking
about is faith rest, resting by God in faith, because this produces an
attitude of mind which is relaxed. It’s based
on claiming promises of the Word of God, on believing the doctrine of the
Word of God, and acting on prophecy. All of
these are our unlimited divine operating assets.
Here’s the basis for the faith
rest technique. We enter a plan that God
has for your life at the point of salvation, and in that plan God has taken into account all
of your needs, all of your problems, all of your trials, and He’s made
provisions for every one of them.
Now there are certain wonderful things
that stem from a relaxed mental attitude—certain vital qualities in our lives. 1) You find that your mind is free of being
dominated by mental sins—attitudes of mind that are destructive
to our souls. 2) You will find that a relaxed
mental attitude give you respect for the volition of other people, for
freedom which God has given other people to make choices, right or
respect to their personal priesthood. 3)
A relaxed mental attitude will give us respect for the privacy of
others. You will respect that if a person
is his own
priest that he can only do that if it is a private exercise.
There was a response from Abram to all
of this which was a
great encouragement to his heart. In the
New Testament we have an insight as to how he responded to this vision
alone confirming between the pieces of the sacrifice the promises that
made to Abram. Turn to Romans chapter
beginning at verse 16 this morning. We
have here the basis of the mental piece which possessed Abram’s
Romans 4:16 says, “Therefore it
is of faith.” “Of
faith,” the faith rest technique believes
the promises, the doctrines, and the prophecies that God has given. It’s a faith matter.
“That it might be by grace,” meaning it
depends on who and what God is only. “To
the end that the promise might be sure to all the seed.” The promise of Abram having his own son. “The seed” referring to the nation
Israel. “Not to that only which is
the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abram who is the
Abram was not only the racial father
of the Jewish
people. He was also the spiritual father
of all of us who respond to God by faith and who believe God as Abram
did. Now verse 17—here’s the
pattern of faith
rest: “As it is written, I have made
thee a father of many nations.” “As
is written,” back in Genesis 17:5. “I
have made (a thing that God has done in the past, and it’s true
up to now) a
father of many nations, even God who giveth life to the dead.” Abram believed that God was going to give him
a progeny—that He was going to give him a vast descendency who
would become not
only one but a number of nations.
Now it is this God that Abram believed
because Abram had
this confidence that God was the one who giveth life to the dead,
those things which were not as they were.”
Now you must remember how old Abram was.
“He giveth life to the dead.” By
the context here, and the promises to the nation of Israel through
this context is dealing with, it is evident that what we’re
speaking of up here
as to who is dead here is Abram. Now how
is Abram dead? Well he was sexually
dead. Yet God was saying, “Through
own son, from your own body, I will make you a multiplicity of mighty
nations. Abram was as good as dead. He was 99 years old before that son was
conceived. His wife was 90.
Now verse 18 says, “Who against
hope believed in hope that
he might become the father of many nations.”
What it is saying here is that humanly Abram and
Sarah were in a
hopeless situation. There was no
possibility, humanly speaking, for this 90-year-old woman to bear any
children. And the Scriptures say that as
far as Abram
was concerned at this time, he was incapable of reproducing
dead. What settled this thing in his
mind? How did he look at it?
Verse 18: “Who
against hope believed in hope that he might become the father of many
according that that which was spoken so shall thy seed be.” God had spoken, and that settled it. That’s the simplicity of this principal. When God speaks, there is no further
discussion. Now that’s resting by
in the fullest and ultimate authority that there is in the universe.
The Roman Catholic Church has taught
its people that when
the pope speaks, ex cathedra, from the throne, then all discussion
ceases. Once he speaks from that official
he is the voice of God on earth, and there is no appeal, there is no
there is no recourse from what he has declared.
That of course is contrary to the word of God, and
that is a fraud
imposed upon the catholic people against which increasingly in our day
rebellion, and discouragement in papal circles, as people are no longer
accepting the voice of God through a man on earth, but they’re
voice of God as in the Scriptures of God which He has recorded through
So Abram believed what God had told
him. You’re going to have your own
baby boy. Abram looked at himself and he
looked at his
crinkled up old wife, and he says, “Let’s paint the cradle
again and get things
ready once more.” And there was no
in his mind that, in time, they were going to need that nursery.
Verse 19 says, “And being not
weak in faith he considered
not his own body now dead.” There it
in so many words. His sexual incapacity
when he was about 100 years old, “neither yet the deadness of
womb.” He simply ignored all the
viewpoint that was indicated. We know
that after Isaac was born that the work of God was a work that was very
effective in the body of Abram because he had several other children
Isaac was born.
Verse 20 says, “He staggered not
at the promise of God
through unbelief but was strong in faith giving glory to God.” “He staggered not at the promise”
didn’t respond with negative volition because God was more real
to him than his
dead body. Now the same pattern is the
one Christians have to face in hopeless situations that seem to have no
and no way out for we are pressed to the wall.
That’s when we have to have greater confidence
in the promises of God
and in what doctrine tells us about how He operates, and what He has
us as to where He is moving than we do about the hopeless situation
Abram’s faith rest brought glory
to God. The only lapse (over the next
was when) he was about 85 when these promises were being reiterated to
the bad advice that he took from his wife over marrying Hagar, the
servant girl in order to help God produce the son.
That was a disappointing lapse, and of course
it caused a lot of trouble later.
Verse 21 says, “And being fully
persuaded that what He had
promised He was able to perform.” There
was no doubt in Abram’s mind that God was going to be able to
Now the land that was promised was
from the Euphrates on the
East and the Northeast down to the Nile River in the South. Now I want you to notice that this
declaration on the part of Abram and the promise that God had made to
people, which you remember included the fact that they were going to be
strangers, slaves, in a foreign country for a period of 400 years and
they would return. From the faith
promise example of Abram sprang the faith promise capacity and
Joseph, centuries later. Hebrews 11:22
says, “By faith, Joseph, when he died, made mention of the
departing of the
children of Israel and gave commandment concerning his bones.” It was centuries later that the fulfillment
came of what Joseph was claiming in his day.
Now in the heroes of faith chapter
here in Hebrews 11, the
stress, you note, is not upon the magnificent life that Joseph lived,
godly life that Joseph lived, but the emphasis here in this faith
upon his death. So it says, “By
Joseph, when he died (or when he was dying), made mention.” That means he recalled the prophecy that
we’ve been looking at in Genesis 15: 13-18 about Israel’s
from Palestine to Egypt.
Now the faith rest of Joseph on this
prophecy led him to
leave instructions concerning his bones when he was dying because he
that God had said, “You will be in Egypt,” and that’s
where they were—the whole
family, all 70 now in Egypt. And He
said, “You will furthermore be here for 400 years and then
Now what did Joseph do?
God said, “God has spoken.
believe it. I have to act upon it.” So he gave some instructions as to what the
people of Israel, hundreds of years in the future, were to do in
his bones when they left Egypt to return to the Promised Land. If you’ll turn to Genesis 50:24: “And Joseph said unto his brethren,
die. And God will surely visit\ you and
bring you out of this land unto the land which he swore to give to
Isaac, and to Jacob.’” Joseph
to die. He reminds the Jews of their
future rescue from the land in which they were now guests.
He swore to give this land of Palestine to
Abram. He swore later to Isaac, and also
Verse 25 says, “He will surely
visit you,” which means that
he’s applying the prophecy that they would again return. Now he commands that his bones should be
taken with them in the Exodus when they leave.
And he dies at 110 years of age.
Incidentally, Genesis 50:26 indicates that Joseph
died and he was put
into a coffin or sarcophagus in Egypt.
They didn’t put him underground.
They put him into a tomb-like structure above the
ground, and it
probably was over in Goshen in the midst of the people of Israel so
400 years the Jews could walk by and they could look at the sarcophagus
containing the bones of Joseph—the reminder that that was to them
of what he
had commanded that they were someday to do.
So Exodus 13:19 comes to the
fulfillment. Joseph has been embalmed. He has been put in this sarcophagus right in
the Jews’ camp, and when they leave in the Exodus, they take the
them. Exodus 13:19 says, “And Moses
the bones of Joseph with them for he had solemnly sworn to the children
Israel saying, ‘God will surely visit you and ye shall carry up
my bones away
from here with you.’”
And so all these years, the bones of
Joseph in the sarcophagus
had been a testimony to the power of the faith rest technique. It was a reminder to the Jews of the release
that was coming. It helped them to live
normal lives over the hardship years of these centuries.
So they expanded from 70 people to two
million. And Joseph believed in the
resurrection, and he didn’t intend to get up out of his grave in
Egypt. When he gets up out of his grave,
going to see to it that it was in the Promised Land of Palestine where
going to happen now.
So he claimed the promise of God, he
believed doctrine, and
he acted on the prophecy. This is a
refreshing example of how a faithful man in Abram acts upon faith and
those who follow him look back and say, “That’s how my
forefathers acted,” and
they pick up the signal, and they act in faith.
And Joseph was a splendid example of a man who
operated on the faith
rest technique just because God said it was so.
He learned it from his ancestor Abram.
But the people didn’t learn it. Now if you’ll turn to Numbers 13,
to look at a failure—the kind of failure that you and I can
exercising this confidence and resting by faith in God.
Here is the situation: The
Exodus has taken place. It is now one year
since Pharaoh finally
said, “Get out,” after the tenth plague had struck the land. For one year they have been moving through
the wilderness area toward the port of entry of Kadesh Barnea, which
shortest route into the Promised Land.
They are a large group of about two
million ex-slaves. During this year
they’ve had certain
experiences out in the wilderness. These
were to teach them that they could trust God.
Remember they had the problem of crossing the Red
Sea, so God opened it
up and let them cross on dry land. They
had the problem of needing water, bitter water made sweet, and just a
water brought out of the rock. They had
the problem of needing food and they were supplied with the manna and
quail. They had these experiences to
teach them that they could trust God.
The biggest test of the relaxed mental
attitude was before
them. They were to see whether they
could act upon what they had learned, whether they could act upon the
of Romans 8:28 that all things, because God is in them, work together
divine good. That they could act upon 1
Peter 5:7 that they can cast their cares upon Him because He cares for
us. That they could believe that the
the Lord’s. That they could act in
that God is faithful (1 Corinthians 10:13), and therefore He is to be
trusted. The biggest test of all was now
They’re at the port of entry. God says to Moses, “Before you go in, I
you to send out a reconnaissance patrol.
I want you to pick twelve outstanding men, one from
each tribe except
from the tribe of Levi”—that was the priestly tribe. The tribe of Joseph was made up of two
half-tribes which made the twelve.
And so he says in verse 1 of chapter
13, “The Lord spoke
unto Moses, ‘Send thou men that they may search the land of
Canaan which I give
unto the children of Israel. Of every
tribe of their father shall ye send a man, every one a ruler among
them.’” Now I want you to
notice in verse 2 that God
says they are to “search out the land which I give unto the
Israel.” Here again, there is no
in God’s mind what He’s going to do. He
has already told Abram centuries before what he was going to do. Joseph believed Him and saw that his bones
were taken with them at this time.
Now the spies are not being sent out
to see whether they can
take this land. The spies are being sent
out to reconnoiter it for certain pieces of information.
They’re simply to determine how they’re
to go about to enter the land, and how they’re best to proceed to
deal with the
people that are in there. And
going to have to have some information.
Faith acts on knowledge and not on blindness.
Verse 17 says, “Moses sent them
to spy out the land of
Canaan and said unto them, ‘Get you up this way into the Negev
(that is, the
dry desert area in the South), and go up into the mountains.” He tells them, “As you make the patrol,
out into the desert area and then move up into the high ground on the
because that’s the vantage point for patrol to observe
Now they were to bring back certain
information. When a patrol is sent out on
expedition, the commander says, “I want you to go out there into
territory, and I want you to conduct the patrol in this way in order to
out this, this, this, and this. You are
to avoid contact with the enemy. You are
not to get into a firefight. You are
simply to observe and bring back the information that we need.”
Now the information that Moses needed
was spelled out to
these people. He said, “See the
what it is. I want information about the
terrain—what kind of a land we’re going to be passing
through; what our situation
will be moving this body of people through this territory.
And I want you to see also the people who
dwell therein, whether they are strong or weak, few or many. I want information concerning the enemy, the
distribution of his population and the strength of his forces.
And verse 19: What
the land is that they dwell in, whether it is good or bad; and what
are that they dwell in, whether in camps or in strongholds. Moses said, “I also want you to bring me
information on their fortifications. I
want to know whether they’re in camps, whether they’re in
we’re going to approach the problem of taking the land.
Then he gives them one final word
before he sends out this
patrol of twelve men for its 40-days recon mission.
In verse 20, he says, “What the land is,
whether it is fat or lean, whether there is wood therein or not, and be
good courage.” One more word: be ye of good “courage,” and bring
of the land. Now the time was the time
of the first ripe grapes. A small patrol
moving into deep into enemy territory is going to have to maintain its
nerve. Moses says, “It’s going
frightening. Don’t crack up. You have nothing to worry about.
Just get out there. Hit
the high ground. Keep your eyes open. Get the information, and get back.”
So they did. They
moved out and they executed the mission.
Ten of these men proved cowardly.
Two of them proved courageous.
The difference was due the fact that in Joshua and
Caleb was found the
faith rest technique, and the other ten (noble men, religious men,
perhaps, but not functioning on this technique). And
what they found in the land was
giants. And the giants were such as to
cause great fear in their hearts. They
didn’t realize that the giants, once God had spoken, were nothing. And as a matter of fact, the giants were a
test and a preparation for their confidence in God.
Just like the giants have in our lives—the
people who bug us, the circumstances that tear us up, the irritations
we lack some detail of life. But the
giants teach us that God is greater than all of them.
So they moved out.
Verse 21 says, “They searched the land from
the wilderness of Zin unto
Rehob, as men come to Hamath.” And
23 says, “And they came unto the brook of Eshcol, and cut down
from there a
branch of one cluster of grapes, and they bore it between two upon a
they brought of the pomegranates, and of the figs.”
And verse 25 says, “And they returned from
searching the land after 40 days.”
Now verse 26: What
kind of report are they going to make?
Here’s the report. Moses’
headquarters is at Kadesh. The two
million people are spread out over the wilderness of Paran, in their
campground. The spies come back and they
make their report to Moses and to the people.
They displayed the fruit that they brought back, and
telling about the things that they had found.
They’re making their report.
Verse 26 says, “And they and
came to Moses and to Aaron and
to all the congregation of the children of Israel unto the wilderness
to Kadesh, and brought back word unto them and to all the congregation,
them the fruit of the land.”
Verse 27 says, “And we came unto
the land to which thou
senteth us, and surely it flows with milk and honey, and this is the
it.” They said that everything God
told us about this land was confirmed.
It was exactly the way God said it would be.
But, in verse 28:
Now what do you
think is the problem? All agreed that
God told it like it is. There was a
problem. They found some facts as a
result of their reconnaissance mission, and now these facts affected
thinking. They saw some facts that
contradicted the faith that they could have in the promise of God. Strong people, fortified cities, the people
of Anak—these people were giants. Every
man was ten to thirteen feet tall. You
can imagine that if you were just going to play a game of football, and
walked out on the field and everybody on the side was ten to thirteen
tall, it might give you pause to consider.
Now when you find hundreds and hundreds of them like
that facing you,
that does stagger faith. Those
ten-to-thirteen feet tall warriors are nothing to scoff at.
Furthermore, they took a look at the
people. Now this is 1441 B.C.
And here were some impressive warriors of
that time. The Amalekites in verse
29—these were people who lived in Negev, and they were very
crafty people. They Hittites—they
used chariots in
battle. The Jebusites were a fierce
warrior people that for almost four hundred fifty years, Israel was not
conquer them and take the city of Jerusalem, which was their
headquarters. It wasn’t until 1000
B.C. under David that
they finally took Jerusalem from the Jebusites.
The Amorites who lived in the mountains, and the
Canaanites along the
sea—these were the people that confronted them when they came in.
So verse 30: Caleb
steps up. He sees what this report from
the majority has done. He sees the
people are shaken. So Caleb steps up and
he stilled the people (in verse 30) before Moses and said, “Let
us go up and
possess it for we are well able to overcome it.”
Caleb is saying, “Forget the facts. Remember what God has said.” And that’s very important if
you’re going to
learn how to build a relaxed mental attitude.
You’re going to have to forget the facts
sometimes. It is sad when Christians are
with the facts over against what God is leading you to do, that
you’re sure you
can’t do it because the facts indicate otherwise, and you go down
If God said it’s their land,
then Caleb says, “Let’s go
up. We are well able to overcome it no
matter what the facts say.” And the
majority reacted and called the people to unbelief.
Verse 31 says, “But the men that went up with
him said, ‘We’re not able to go up against the people for
they are stronger
than we.’ And they brought up an
report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel,
‘The land which we have gone to search, it is a land that eateth
inhabitants thereof, and all the people which we saw in it are men of
stature. And there we saw the giants,
the son of Anak, who come of the giants, and we were in our own sight
grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.’”
After all, the facts speak for
themselves. They rejected doctrine, they
promise, and they rejected prophecy.
They were not going to go up to face people against
whom they were as
grasshoppers, no matter what God said.
Now what would you do in a situation
like this? What do you think you would do
if this was
your mental attitude that you couldn’t really believe God, or you
had a doubt
that maybe you understood God right. You
don’t want to say, “Well, I guess God’s not telling
the truth.” You say, “Well
maybe I didn’t understand God
when He made that promise.” And you
at the facts: “Well, I don’t
know. The facts don’t seem to
confirm what God
said. I don’t think I really
Him.” So what do you think you would
Well, you put yourself in their
position. You’ve been a year out of
Egypt. You’re quite a ways from
now. You’re at the port of entry to
land that has these frightful in it. God
has said, “Just walk in. I’m
give it to you.” And you can’t
yourself to do it. What do you think you
If you don’t have a relaxed
state of mind, you’ll do what
they did in Numbers 14:1: “And all
congregation lifted up their voice and cried.
And the people wept that night.”
They sat down and they cried all night long. When was the last time you cried all night
long? That’s pretty exhausting to
all night long. It’s pretty
to cry just for a little bit. And
exhausting to be around somebody else who is weeping and wailing. So here are all these people who are weeping
and wailing at each other all night long.
Can you imagine what a campground that was? We have enough trouble on our trip camp when
the kids want to talk all night long after we try to put them to bed,
if they were to cry all night long. I
realize now that it’s not so bad that they’re talking all
night long. It would be worse if they
cried all night
long. The exhaustion of this!
Well, this is their response. Why are they crying? A
night of tears. Excessive weeping because
they have gone
negative toward doctrine, promises, and prophecy. The
result is a loss of a relaxed mental
attitude because weeping is triggered by something that is in your mind. Any time you cry, it is showing something
about your mind. These people were so
totally disoriented in their thinking that their human viewpoint led
tears and to bemoaning the facts that they saw.
So here you have the scene: two
Now this brings us to a certain
doctrine that we ought to pause
and look at a little bit. The doctrine
of weeping. Is it alright for a
Christian to cry? Crying stems from
what’s going on in the mentality of your soul.
As we look at the life of the Lord Jesus, we find
that on three
occasions the Lord Jesus Christ wept.
Since He if the perfect God-man, any time that He
cries is an indication
to us that whether you’re a man or a woman, there’s a
legitimate time that you
may weep. He lived for thirty-three
years, and He was not only perfect but he was impeccable.
The word “impeccable” is used in
theology to indicate
that He couldn’t be anything but perfect.
He wasn’t able to do wrong.
Alright, He cried three times. Once at the tomb of Lazarus in John
11:35. He came to the tomb of Lazarus
and He wept. He wept why?
He wept because a man he loved as a personal
friend had died. This is apart from the
fact that He loved him as God as He loves humanity, but just for the
he was a personal friend, and a personal friend had died, and Jesus
it. Now this is a normal and a right
expression of grief to express a sadness in our souls.
Here a loved one dies. We
realize that in this world there is a
permanent separation. You’ll not see
this person again. There is a sadness
that enters the soul, and it is legitimate to express it outwardly with
tears. This weeping is not wrong. It is not effeminate, nor is it
Secondly, the Lord Jesus wept over
19:41). He saw this privileged and great
city but in His mind’s eye, as He looked at this city which had
He saw this city as it would be in August of 70 A.D. when the Roman
would come in and tear the city apart, block from block, brick from
brick. And he saw the totally destroyed
that would be Jerusalem and its temple.
He was saddened by the discipline, the tragedy of
discipline that His
people had brought on themselves by their negative volition. This is true and legitimate for us that when
we see those that we love that are dear to us and we see them acting in
negative volition, it is legitimate that we express our sadness with
This is what Paul did in Philippians
3:18: “For many walk of whom
I’ve told you often
and now tell you even weeping that they are the enemies of the cross of
Christ.” And in Acts 20:31, Paul
there for even those
who are outside wept for those who were not Christians.
In Acts 20:31 he weeps for those who are
believers: “Therefore watch and
that for the space of three years I ceased not to warn everyone night
with tears.” So the apostle wept for
those who brought discipline upon themselves by their negative volition. He was weeping for the nation.
You and I may weep for our nation
because our magnificent
national heritage is being destroyed before our eyes today. Under communist influence in this country
we’re accepting the idea that socialism is the solution for human
problems. This liberal madness is
permitting the erosion of every kind of freedom that is among us. If you’re a knowledgeable American and
have some idea of the Word of God and where history is moving, you have
to sit down and weep for a magnificent nation that will come to a place
it is eventually nothing on the scene of the world’s history.
Then there was a third time when Jesus
cried, and this was
at the cross. Hebrews 5:7 says, “Who
the days of His flesh when He had offered up prayers and supplication
strong crying in tears unto Him that was able to save Him from death
heard in that He feared.” This
on the part of the Lord Jesus was in response to physical pain which He
bearing to a degree that nobody ever has experienced before or since,
actually bore in His own body our sins.
Psalm 22 describes the cries of His agony. He experienced the pain of judgment of the
Father as He was placed under our sins.
He experienced the pain of separation of spiritual
death. It is legitimate to cry under the
of life in physical pain. And Jesus
Christ was under maximum pressure at this time and He wept.
Now there are legitimate times for the
cry). One, there is a time for tears
that’s compatible with the spiritual life when it’s an
expression of sorrow for
loved ones who have died (1 Thessalonians 4:13). There
is a legitimate time of weeping for
your country. These are in the pattern
of what Jesus did (Jeremiah 9:1, Lamentations 1:16).
Then there is a time of tears for physical
pain on the part of the Christian. It’s
legitimate to cry then as per the Lord’s example.
In Revelation 21:4 we’re told that God
wipe away all tears from their eyes and there shall be no more death,
sorrow or crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former
are passed away.” There’s
coming a time
when God will remove all those tears.
Now there is a time of expression of
compassion. John 11:35-36 says,
“Jesus wept,” this
concerning Lazarus. “Then said the
‘Behold how He loved him.’” It
expression of compassion as well as sorrow over the loss of a friend.
Then there are tears that are an
expression of appreciation
of joy in the soul. Appreciation. We speak about this as tears of joy. Weeping for joy. There
is a legitimate expression on our part
then. There’s one thing about
weeping. You might find perhaps other
categories in time in Scripture, but here are some basic ones that the
indicates are legitimate times for Christians to cry.
But the thing that always guides legitimate
crying is the fact that it stops. Psalm
30:5 says, “For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favor is
may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”
So the Christian has to remember that
there is a time to
stop crying. Any time you go beyond the
point of legitimate weeping, you have now entered a condition of sin. Sinful weeping, excessive prolonged
weeping. We have the incident in 2
Samuel 18:33 where David is weeping over the death of his son Absalom. Absalom has been killed in battle, “and
King was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And as he went thus he said, ‘Oh, my son
my son, my son Absalom. Would God I had
died for thee. Oh, Absalom, my son, my
Now you remember that Absalom was the
son who had tried to
remove his father David from the throne.
He had created a rebellion against his father and
had sought to win the
favor and the loyalty of the people.
Every now and then in the local church you have some
leader who rises up
and gathers around him a few malcontents in the congregation and
try to create a following in order to create a division among the
believers. This is exactly what Absalom
did. It’s a Benedict Arnold trick
it’s as dishonorable as can be, and it was a permanent stamp of
Absalom and led actually to his death.
Now this is the son that David is
grieving over. But here was the problem. When the soldiers returned who had done
battle with Absalom and his soldiers, in the process of which Absalom
killed: When these soldiers had returned
from this victory over Absalom, they felt guilty when they heard about
king’s sorrow. So the Bible says
came back in the town stealthfully as if they had come from a defeat
Now Joab didn’t like this one
bit. He was in charge and he went to David
rebuked David for allowing his personal grief to become so abnormal and
excessive that he thought more of the life of the rebel Absalom than he
the men who had died and who had hazarded their lives in defending
David. 2 Samuel 19:5 says that Joab came
house to the king and said, “Thou hast covered with shame this
day the faces of
all thy servants who this day have saved thy life and the lives of thy
of thy daughters, the lives of thy wives, the lives of thy concubines,
thou lovest thine enemies and hatest thy friends. For
thou hast declared this day that thou
shouldst regard neither princes nor servants, for this day I perceive
Absalom had lived and all we had died this day then it had pleased thee
well. Now therefore rise.
Go and speak kindly unto thy servants, for I
swear by the Lord, if thou go not forth, there shall not tarry one with
this night, and that will be worse unto thee than all the evil that
from thy youth until now.”
Now those are pretty strong words from
an assistant to the
commander-in-chief. Joab was simply put
out with this treating of a rebel, a Benedict Arnold, with greater
respect. Of course people in a local
church do it. You can think of your
Benedict Arnolds and your rebels within your circle of acquaintance,
next time you meet them, how will you meet them? You
will meet them with open arms. You will
meet them with cordiality. You will meet
them with smiles. You will meet with them
with comradery. You will socialize, and
you will forget that
the Absalom and the Benedict Arnold is still there.
It has simply moved on to more bold
adventures elsewhere, walking across the heads and the bodies in a
sphere, to higher achievements; but walking over the heads and the
the shoulders and the backs of people who are innocent enough not to
that they’re just another tool in the progress of
somebody’s personal success
who doesn’t mind being an Absalom or a Benedict Arnold.
This is one of the things that
Benedict Arnold discovered
after his treachery. He thought he would
be welcomed in England, but nobody would have anything to do with him. A traitor is a traitor. David,
because of his excessive grief, and
you know why he grieved: He realized
that he had failed in the rearing of his son in a very dramatic way. You can read about it in 2 Samuel 14:24, 28,
that he forgave Absalom for one of his adventures, but he said,
to come into my presence.” So he
didn’t forgive the boy. For two
Absalom sat around and he never could see his father.
He never could get to him, and it propelled
Absalom to play the role of a full rebel and a full traitor.
Now if you’ve got any spiritual
sensitivities, you’ll never
get over the fact that a traitor turns a certain nauseous feeling
being, and you never say, “Well it happened so long ago. Now we can pretend that it never
happened. Now we can forget that it ever
existed.” Joab came up to David and
said, “You’re acting as if it had been alright if all of us
had been killed and
the rebel had survived.”
Now there is another illegitimate kind
of weeping on the
part of a Christian, and that is hysterical weeping in catastrophe. You have this in 1 Samuel 30:4.
Here’s another occasion in which David and
his soldiers experience a disaster in that they were off on a campaign. The Amalekites invaded Ziklag where they had
left their families and taken their families captive and taken them off
them. So when they came back and the
soldiers discovered what had happened, they turned to hysteria. 1 Samuel 30:4 says, “And David and the
who were with him lifted up their voice and they wept until there was
power to weep.”
Now when you get to the point where
you’re just gasping for
breath and you can’t even bring tears, you have gone to hysteria. And that’s what these men, the military
personnel, when they discovered their families had been taken, were
there in complete hysteria, and even David was joining in with them. They were so disoriented that they wanted to
kill David, to stone him for the matter.
And the weeping was wrong because it didn’t
solve their present problem.
What it did was switched off
mentality and turned them into self-pity which was wrong.
Finally David pulls himself together and he
begins to pray. God tells him what to do
and they rescue their families.
So hysterical weeping is wrong. Weeping at the wrong time in an excessive way
as David did is wrong. Weeping for the
past is wrong. In Ezra 3:12-13 you have
the story of the second temple going up.
And the old-timers we’re told are disappointed
and they’re in tears
because the second temple is smaller than the first one.
They’re weeping against what God has given
because they’re looking at the externals.
Their spiritual viewpoint says the thing that is
important is not how
big the temple is, but the spiritual caliber of the people who came
captivity and are rebuilding this temple, and they were a magnificent
lot. They should have rejoiced over that.
Or to cry for what is gone forever as
Esau did in Hebrews
12:17. There are a few more places. The weeping of a drunk in Joel 1:5. That’s illegitimate weeping.
What a drunk does is he begins with a
psychological substitute with the booze, and then this gets out of hand
disrupts him emotionally. Studies
recently have shown that alcohol robs your blood cells of oxygen, and
it is that
lack of oxygen in blood cells that makes you silly.
When people get a reduction of oxygen in the
blood cells, it makes you act ridiculous, just silly—silly is the
word. If you take anything in your system
substitutes for the oxygen, like maybe breathing a bad exhaust out of
it’ll make you silly. The recent
indicated that this is what makes people get old—not having
oxygen in adequate
quantities with each blood cell. So some
of you need to start breathing deeply. I
noticed some of you did just then. But
that’s what makes you grow old—the lack of oxygen.
Now there’s another crying from
human viewpoint in Numbers
14:1. This is what we’ve been
at. The giants are there, and we
whip them, and so we’re going to weep.
That was illegitimate.
There is a weeping of unbelievers in
judgment in Matthew
8:12, 25, 30, the gnashing of teeth.
That’s illegitimate. There
a time for no more weeping (Revelation 21:4).
None of the things that go with weeping will be
there—sorrow, pain, and
death. There may be tears in heaven but
they’re not going to be tears for adverse reasons.
They’re going to be tears of joy.
Isaiah 65:19 says that for Israel in the
millennium there will be no more tears.
So there is a time to weep and a time
to refrain from
John E. Danish, 1971
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