The Facet of Inner Happiness, No. 2
We are looking at a second segment of
the subject of the facet of inner happiness. Negative
volition to the Word of God is expressed in various ways, but all of
these are ways that seek to dignify the spirit of unbelief. One
expression is the declaration, "Well that's just somebody's interpretation."
That's one of the most beautiful expressions of
negative volition, and when you hear somebody say that, you want to recognize the problem that
they are struggling with within their soul.
"That's just somebody's interpretation."
What they really mean is I don't like
what you say because it counters and scuttles my plans. Now
it seems very intellectual and a kind of open to the truth remark. But the Bible is a book which declares the
mind of God in words which are identifiable in their meanings relative
to their original Greek and Hebrew and it's presented it in grammar which
defines the thoughts that God expresses, and it gives this to us against a
background of history and culture of the times, both of which we know in considerable
degree. So with these elements, we are
able to take the language on the page of Scripture and to make an interpretation
that arrives at the meaning that God had behind what he wrote.
The challenger defends himself with a
position which in
effect says that God incapable of making known to us what He thinks. That is identically the position to which the
liberal has come. In time he will arrive
at the full rejection of Scripture which the liberal has done. He insults God as being incapable of setting
up a means for believers to arrive at an understanding of divine
So God has given us a system. We call it the grace system of
perception. It's a divine provision
whereby Christians can come to the point where they know the mind of
God. And this system is not dependent, I'm
to say, upon IQ. Immediately this puts
everybody on an equal basis. Now God had
to do it this way or it could not be grace.
Grace says it has to be everybody equal so this
can't be dependent up
your human IQ. Otherwise there's merit
on what you learn relative to Scripture.
God has given us this grace system of perception and
it has several
First of all, it begins with God, and
God has a mind. God says, "I'm going to
tell you what I
think." Doctrine, when we use the
word doctrine, we are using a New Testament term which means teaching. Doctrine is the way that God does
things. It's His modus operandi. So God gives us His mind.
God recorded that in the Bible.
We call it the canon of Scripture.
The canon means the rule or the rod whereby
through the working of the spirit of God, believers judge which books
writings were indeed inspired of the spirit of God and which were mere
expositions and did not bear upon them the stamp of inspiration. And in time the canon was completed with 66
books. Now we have a completed
3) God has provided a pastor-teacher
as an expositor of the
Word of God, to the local assembly, an organized grouped of believers
gather at organized stated times for the explicit purpose in order for
people to be fed spiritual food which is the Bible, via expository
preaching--preaching that the pastor-teacher uses to explain the Bible
mind of Christ.
Now the believer is capable of
receiving this exposition
under the filling of the Holy Spirit.
That means all of his known sins are confessed so
that God the Holy
Spirit controls him. That's what filling
means. He dominates him and therefore is
able to guide him in his thinking, so the believer is able to
analyze, and to understand what the pastor-teacher has said. It doesn't mean he believes it.
It doesn't mean he doesn't believe it.
All it means is that he is capable of
comprehending it as of the moment that he listens to that exposition.
5) And then the Christian reacts. He either goes positive or negative in his
will, or what we call volition. Then, at
that point, the truth either becomes usable in his life and in his
if he's gone positive, or it become neutralized if he goes negative, if
rejects it, or if he rejects it or he doubts it, that's the same as
Now we do interpret the Word of God. We make no apologies for that.
But we have a means through language and
through grammar and through the background of Scripture on which to
accurate interpretation, and God has set up a system by which you may
Scripture interpreted. You may come to
understand them, and you can come to a point where you yourself can
increasingly read the Scriptures and be able to understand what God has
Now you don't start off in the
Christian life fully capable
of understanding the Word of God. You
have the capacity to understand it but you need some basic groundwork
training so that you come to the point where the Bible become a
for you. God has brought us to a point
of spiritual maturity through another provision He has made. We call it the pentagon of the soul because
there are about five facets that constitute a spiritually Christian. We call this the spiritual maturity structure
of the soul, and it is based on doctrine in your human spirit. That is, what you have heard explained and
Now everybody here this morning is in
various places in the
development of his own spiritual maturity structure.
Some of you people are very well oriented to
grace. Some of you have a few struggles with that.
You still chew over some taboos.
You still gag on thinking in terms of a
relationship to the Lord rather than spirituality in terms of what you
don't do. You realize that what you do
or don't do comes out of your relationship to the Lord, and that's when
Some of you are pretty relaxed in your
mind. Some of you have some pretty nasty
attitude sins, so you have fractures and weaknesses in this wall of
structure. Some of you have a very good
mastery of the details of life. Some of
you sit here the day after Christmas very miserable because you haven't
mastered the details of life and you hate everything you got yesterday. Some of you have developed a real capacity to
love. You know to love God.
You know how to love your mate.
You know how to love your friends, on a
Now we're looking at inner happiness. The Bible tells us in Philippians 4:4,
"rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice."
A mature Christian is a Christian who is
filled with joy and gladness on a stable basis.
But we found in the Word of God that this is related
to a relationship
to God, and not to the externals in the form of a person or a thing or
situation. Genuine happiness is a stable
condition and it's part of this pentagon of spiritual maturity in your
soul. It comes from meeting certain
1) A habitual status of being filled
with the Spirit. That means all known sins
2) Daily functioning under this grace
system of perception,
under the system which God has provided in order for you to be able to
in doctrinal divine viewpoint.
3) Breathing out full knowledge of
doctrine toward God and
people, as a result of your positive volition toward what you have
4) Developing all facets of our
spiritual maturity structure
that we just looked at.
Sources of Inner Happiness
Now these are basic for inner
happiness. There are three sources of
happiness. Perhaps we should look at
those for a moment too. Where does inner
happiness come from?
1) Regeneration - If you are to be
happy, you must be in the
plan of God. You cannot be happy when
you are outside of the plan of God. And
the plan of God begins with salvation--regeneration.
2) The second source of happiness is
the filling of the Holy
Spirit. The only way you and I can
function under the grace system of understanding spiritual things is
the filling of the Holy Spirit. That's
how we secure the mental attitude of God.
3) Number three is our spiritual
maturity structure. That becomes a source
of our inner
happiness. Only a spiritually mature
believer has permanent stable happiness.
A spiritually immature believer has only (an)
external type of happiness
which fluctuates. It's an up-and down
situation. And it is dependent on these
externals. God is constantly testing the
facet of our spiritual maturity structure of inner happiness. He is testing with troubles and with trials
and suffering which puts our inner happiness status into a position of
experience, where we are able to experience this quality of inner
put it to a test to see just how much there really is there.
We looked at the example last week of
Solomon and his inner
happiness. Solomon, we indicated, had a
spiritual maturity structure when he began his reign, so he had inner
happiness. This was indicated by what he asked God to give him and the way God
prospered and blessed him as he began his reign as an 18-year-old boy. But in time Solomon fell out of fellowship
and he spent years seeking happiness in externals.
Ecclesiastes 2:10-11 says, "And
whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them.
I withheld not from my heart any joy for my
heart rejoiced in all my labor. And this
was my portion in all my labor."
He says that whatever I wanted to do,
whatever I wanted, I
didn't deny myself a thing. And he says
I got kicks from it. But notice verse
11. "But then I looked on all the
works my hands had wrought and on all the labor that I had labored to
behold all was vanity." Emptiness,
nothing. "And vexation of
spirit." Feeding on airs is what
that means. "And there was not
profit under the sun." Solomon
said, "Sure, while I was doing it, it was fun. But
then when I finished putting up this
building, when I finished something I was studying in the course of
learning." He pursued psychology,
you know, for a while, and different things.
He says, "Then, it was nothing.
I look back and say, 'What is this?'"
And he discovered he had been feeding on
air. There was a hollowness within his
being. What had happened to him was that
he had moved out of fellowship.
Now what happened to his spiritual
maturity structure when
he moved into carnality? Now this fellow
had a splendid structure to begin with.
He had become quite a mature young man in the Lord. In carnality, your spiritual maturity
structure isn't giving you any guidance.
It has just been blanked out. And
neither is it reflecting the glory of God any longer.
It's simply hidden. So
what you could be is suddenly no more
because you're off the track. You're out
of functioning in God's plan. So what
did Solomon do? The same thing you'll
do. He turned to human viewpoint of
society, and he started producing human good.
Now don't somebody come up and tell me
that there's nothing
wrong with social action and human good because nobody said there is. And don't go telling me that you have a lot
of bright boys at college who are student leaders that you respect and
honor social action and production of human good, because we respect
them too. What we are saying is that what
under the impetus of the old sin nature, and don't forget there is a
your old sin nature that produces good, and that's where human good
from--that God says He treats as filthy rags, when it comes to value
rewarding. There is a human good which
is produced by human capacities. There
is a divine good which can be identical to the human good.
The very identical thing in the way of social
action produced from divine viewpoint is now divine good because it's
by God the Holy Spirit rather than your old sin nature.
And this God honors, and this God can bless,
and this works in the lives and in the experience of society.
This is why our culture is fractured,
because it's all of
our brainy people operating out of the strong side of their old sin
producing human good that doesn't work.
But the same thing produced by God's people through
the impetus of God
the Holy Spirit produces wonders.
So Solomon did a lot of good. He did a lot of magnificent things. But when he got through he says, "It's
been the strong side of my old sin nature cranking this out. And it's vanity. It's
It's productive of exactly nothing."
So the conclusion of it all is in
Ecclesiastes 11:10. Now here's this man
who has spent years. He's an old man. He has looked back. He
has come to his senses. He has returned to
fellowship so God can use
him to write portions of three books of the Bible.
The conclusion in Ecclesiastes 11:10 is,
"Therefore, remove sorrow (self-induced misery) from thy heart (your
and put away evil (mental attitude sins) from thy flesh (by confession
sins) for childhood and youth are vanity."
They’re nothing. "Childhood
and youth" are nothing.
Now that's sad, to say, "... childhood
and youth are
nothing." That's what his was. That's the way he spent his.
That's why in Ecclesiastes 12:1, the very
next verse, he says, "Remember now thy creator in the days of thy
youth. While the evil days come not, nor
the years draw near, when thou shall say, 'I have no pleasure in
them.'" Now if you're a young
person, and you don't want to look back like Solomon did and say, "I've
spent my life in unhappiness, really," the answer is doctrine. The answer is responding to the Word of
And we've got people around here who
are both kinds. We have people who miss a
service and hound
us for a tape and say, "I have to hear what I missed."
We have college students that if the tapes
don't keep coming, they start complaining to their parents back home,
parents let us know, and that's a good thing.
And when they see us, they lodge their protest with
There are some that couldn't be less
interested. I think it would be good for
you to take
Solomon's advice and say, "Start remembering your Creator in the days
your youth," and you'll only remember Him as you have information about
Now in looking at this subject about
inner happiness, we
again have an example of how this works, on the people of Israel on the
occasion of the Exodus of 400 years of enslavement in Egypt. So will you turn back to the book of Exodus,
in chapter 14? And we're going to look
again below the surface at what was functioning in the lives of these
that reflected their situation relative to joy and gladness. Exodus chapter 14, (and) we're going to begin
at verse 5.
The Jews had been taught divine
viewpoint by Moses. There were three
reactions to the doctrinal
instructed that Moses was giving the people before they left Egypt and
they had moved out of Egypt and toward the promised land.
One reaction was that some people didn't
attend the studies of the Word of God.
They saw little point in attending Sunday School or
There was a second group that did
attend, but they learned
very little because they were negative toward what Moses was teaching
Word. They kept yelling, "That's
your interpretation, Moses. That's what
you think. That's the way you say it
is." Or they gave one of these
(other) negative responses.
Number three, there were some who
attended and who grew in
divine viewpoint because they were positive toward the Word that they
being taught. There were very few in
this group. Most of the people who
walked out of the land of Egypt were on negative response systems
and toward what they were being taught.
But, God's patience was such that He
was going to give them
the chance. God says, "I know
you've been slaves. You've been in a
backward retarded situation. I'm going
to teach you some things. I'm going to
show you some things that are going to be so spectacular that if you've
response at all in you, you will turn to Me, and you will open your
hearts." God was going to spend a
year giving them a chance to switch from negative to positive. Now the lack of the response of most of these
Jews was not the fault of their good teacher Moses, but of their own
attitude. These Jews were unable to love
God, and so they were unable constantly to appreciate Him and to act in
rest. It's one thing to be saved, and
it's another thing to be an informed and responding believer.
Well, the Jews during the first year
of the Exodus expressed
regular unhappiness. (On) occasion after
occasion after occasion, these people were unhappy.
While they were in Egypt, they probably had
many ideas as to what would make them happy--usually something the
had that they wished they had. However,
most people discover that when you get something that other people
doesn't make you happy, and then you discover also that the people who
aren't happy with it either, because happiness is not a matter of a
person, or an event. Happiness comes
from a relationship with God which these Exodus Jews lacked. What was the relationship?
They couldn't appreciate God.
Your inner happiness this morning is
dependent to the extent
that you can appreciate God. To the
extent that you can really love God.
That you look at Him and He is number one with you. As you are aware, this fits with the other
of maturity too.
Now these Jews, no doubt, of all the
things that would make
them happy, they thought, "If I could just be free.
I'm sick and tired of getting up in the
morning, going out here and making these bricks, (and) having the crack
taskmaster's whip on my back. If I could
just be free. That would make me
happy. Freedom." And
that's very reasonable. So they got their
freedom. We're going to see in a moment
that they were
just as unhappy as they could be.
But picture that moment when they were
walking out of
Egypt. What an exhilarating moment. Four hundred long years--four generations had
been in enslavement. Now the final
moment had come. The Passover had been
observed. And Moses passed the word down
to about two million people, "Let's move out." Finally
the last, the tenth plague had so
devastated Pharaoh, and the people of Egypt ... couldn't wait to get
rid of the
Israelites. The Israelites asked for
gifts, and God moved the heart of the Egyptians to freely give them
they asked. They gave them a tremendous
paycheck, four hundred years wages all in one check.
So they moved out.
What an exhilarating moment. You
can just see them walking along, and you see this guy... say, "Hey
isn't this great? Here we are walking
out of here... we've been looking forward." And
he says, "You bet, Mushai. (I) could
hardly wait for this thing to get
started. And here we go."
And then Morris looks over and he sees his
friend Abby, and he says, "Hey, Abby, did you get a good
paycheck?" And Abby says, "Oh,
not so bad. You know how it is. It's a living." And
Saul says, "You've got to watch that
Abby, boy, he'll Jew you down any time you do business with him." And everybody's really excited, and isn't
this great. They're walking out and
they're on their way. Freedom. Freedom.
This is what they waited for. Are they happy? Well,
inner happiness is based on positive
response to God's thinking. It's
breathed in in doctrine and it's breathed out as a relaxed mental
the form of faith rest, and in the form of love and appreciation for
God. And you cannot exhale doctrine toward
until you have first inhaled. No baby is
born by exhaling first. First he gets a
slap, and he gasps his first inhale, and then he's got something to
And we have forever Christians running
around who are
saying, "Oh, I just want to serve the Lord. I
just want to do such things for the
Lord. And we have forever great
movements that are organizing vast numbers of Christians because they
leaders who are in nationally influential positions, or in positions of
structure (and) finances. And they're
gathering great numbers of students and people in all walks of life
with great enthusiasm for doing great things for God within the next
years. And I've heard one of those
leaders contemptuously make remarks to a man who a teacher of doctrine,
he considered only that the evangelist as being worthy of being called
servant of God. And he's a big
high-powered man running big high-powered operations that all of you
constantly hearing about. But doctrine,
breathing in the word. That's held in
And so, thousands of young people, and
thousands of adults
are conned into thinking that they've got some real genuine significant
relationship to the living God, when whey all they (have) is an
at a bunch of meetings they're going to be attending in a big
and another convention there, in a little seaside sunset service in
send them out with inspiration. Until you
breathe in, you have nothing to breathe out.
And if you want to run around and
think you're running
around serving the Lord with any significance, you're mistaken. And if some of you are bothered by the fact
that you don't feel that your lives are counting very much as a
Jesus Christ, it's in all likelihood that you haven't breathed in
enough of the
word of God to have anything to breathe out.
And you will not exhale what you have not first
inhaled. That is a principal of the
spiritual life. And when you come under
the pressures of
life, whether the pressures of a student or the pressures of the
anything else, it tends to stifle your opportunities for inhaling the
Word. You substitute other things for that. So you begin skipping that part, and
consequently your love for God, your relaxed mental attitude, your
spiritual maturity structure is fractured.
And your inner happiness goes right out the window. Most Christians, I'm sad to say, suffer from
shortness of spiritual breath as indicated by the hysteria they express
they come to a crisis situation.
Now that's what you have with the Jews
here. They came to the trial of a water
barrier. In Exodus 14 beginning at verse
5, we find that Pharaoh finally had let the people go.
He was told that they had fled, and then he
turned against the people, and changed his mind. He
said, “Why have we done this that we have
let Israel go from serving us?” And
made ready his chariots and took his people with them.
He called out a military force and said,
going after those slaves and we’re going to bring back all two
them. I don’t know why we let them
the first place.”
Now Pharaoh had built up a
negative… response to what God
was telling him through the plagues.
Pharaoh had built up spiritual callouses on his soul. Consequently he was unimpressed by all that
God had done. When we commit spiritual
callouses to develop on our souls, we become stupid.
And he became stupid. You’d
think he would have known enough after
these ten experiences what God was like and whom it was that he was
with. But God’s very information
gave to Pharaoh about Himself set the condition for Pharaoh to harden
soul. That’s what verse 8 tells us,
the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh the king of Egypt, by the
that He gave him.
So Pharaoh was in a condition where he
could not see what
God was really like. So he became bitter
and vindictive and decided to pursue the slaves. The
latter part of verse 8 tells us that the
Jews left Egypt under a high hand, that is under the hand of almighty
God. They were under His protective care. But the negative volition of these Exodus
Jews had destroyed their appreciation for the Lord.
So the callouses on their soul made the
freedom that they received the important thing.
Here’s the distinction. They
exhilarated by the fact that they were finally moving out of Egypt. But what were they excited about?
That almighty God has kept His promise made
to Abraham so long ago, that for 400 years we would be in slavery and
would be let out? That …
promises (were) now being fulfilled here before our eyes, blessed be
of the Lord? Praising God for what He
was doing there in that moment? No.
They were getting their kicks out of
the freedom. Out of the fact that they
weren’t going to
have to wake up to be slaves tomorrow morning and start working for the
taskmasters. And their eyes were set on
the gift and not the giver. And
the key to inner happiness. If you want
to be happy, your eye is on the giver and not the gift.
Now you may have received something
that you didn’t particularly care about.
And if your eye was on the gift, you were
disappointed. You were indifferent. You hated it.
But if your eye was on the giver, you appreciated
the person and (the)
kindness behind it. It didn’t matter
what you got. It didn’t matter what
gift was. It didn’t matter whether
needed it, or didn’t need it, or cared for it, or didn’t
care for it. If you appreciated the giver,
counts, and you’re happy over what you got.
To the extent you’re unhappy with what you
received, to that extent you
don’t appreciate the giver.
That’s exactly the condition
that these Jews had here. They left here
under the high hand of the
protective care of God. But in a
mature believer whose soul inhales the doctrine, the giver becomes more
important than the gift. We can only
experience real happiness as God’s gifts are put in their proper
place. We appreciate Him.
Then we can appreciate and enjoy the
People want to be happy but
they’re so spiritually
disoriented that the focus their attention on a person, an event, or a
and say that’s what makes them happy, rather than the God who is
person, the event and the thing. Doctrine
orients us so we’re able to appreciate what the Lord gives. So whatever He gives, we can enjoy it if we
have it, we’re happy with it, and we’re happy without it
because we appreciate
the giver and not the gift.
Well, these Jews came to the Red Sea,
a fantastic water
barrier, and they panicked. Verse 9
tells us that the Egyptians pursued them.
Verse 10 says, “As the Pharaoh drew near, the
children of Israel lifted
up their eyes, and behold the Egyptians marched after them, and they
great fear, and the children of Israel cried out unto the Lord.”
Now they could have still been just as
as they were when they walked out of Egypt when they were punching each
and making their cute remarks to each other about their freedom, and
out. Now all of a sudden, no more jokes,
no more fun, no more happiness. Now
crying out unto the Lord, and by this context you will see that what
is that they were rebuking the Lord.
What’s the idea, putting us in this position?
Now they were in a rather panicky
position because they were
faced by two miles of the Red Sea, and on each side of them were
behind them was breathing down their neck the Egyptian army. In verse 10 they were in great fear which is
a mental attitude sin. Obviously God is
not going to ask them to do combat before they’re ready, though
it is an
illustration that once national freedom has been won, you’ll
always have to be
prepared to fight to keep it. They had
no sooner won their national freedom than they were going to be faced
battle to retain it. But in this case
they were not ready to do combat so God was going to have to do it for
In verse 11 they turn and they rebuke
Moses also, and they
make a smart remark to him and chide him with something to the effect
he think there weren’t enough cemetery lots in Egypt that he had
to bring them
out here to the desert to open up a new edition. “And
they said unto Moses, ‘Because there
were no graves in Egypt has thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? Wherefore hast thou dealt with us to carry us
forth out of Egypt?’” How’s
that for a
question? “Why have you dealt with
like this, Moses? Why have you taken us
out of Egypt? Well, why had he done
And you can just see Moses trying to
be patient and feeling
like turning to these people and saying, “I took out here to give
you bunch of ding-a-lings. What do you
think I took you out here for?” He
bring them out here to fill cemetery lots.
He brought them out here to give them freedom. And here they’re saying, “What did
us out here for, Moses?” When you
disoriented to the Word of God, you become weird, as well as stupid. And these people, exhilarated because their
eyes were on their freedom, were now on the blues when they were faced
this boxed-in position.
Verse 12 says, “Is not this the
Word that we did tell thee
in Egypt saying ‘Let us alone that we may serve the
Egyptians,’ for it had been
better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the
wilderness.” Now they reveal
something about themselves
here. They’re saying, “We told
Moses. You remember that when you were
negotiating with Pharaoh, we told you to lay off and let us stay as
slaves.” Which is interesting that
all the while Moses
was speaking and executing God’s plan, they were reflecting their
response there and telling Moses, “Forget, we’ll stay
slaves. Better red than dead.
We don’t want you to be upsetting the apple
cart on us.” It’s strange how
will insanely champion the very opposite of the mind of God. Women who are prone by nature to be emotional
in their orientation are particularly susceptible to championing the
opposite of what God wants them to do, or wants other people to do.
These people decided that they were
doomed to die, when in
fact God was leading them to the greatest happiness in the Promised
they had ever experienced. That’s
He had told them He would do. But the
Red Sea was a chance for them to demonstrate and to experience their
Verse 13 and 14 say, “And Moses
said unto the people, ‘Fear
not. Stand still and see the salvation
of the Lord which He will show to you today.
For the Egyptians whom ye have seen today ye shall
see them again no
more forever. And the Lord shall fight
for you and ye shall hold your peace.”
He exhorts the people not to fear because this is a
sin. He tells them that they will see
these Egyptians no more and that the Lord will do the fighting for them. Their fear was a result of the callouses that
they had built up on their souls. So
they were unable to breathe faith toward God or respect even toward
leader Moses. Moses says, “Stand
and do nothing.” That’s the
solution. Just exhale doctrine toward
You know what he said.
“I’ve been telling you what He’s
going to do. I’ve been explaining
the Word to you. Now act upon what you
have been taught.” That’s how
you breathe it back out toward
God. And the result will be that you
will see the salvation that God will bring.
He will deliver you from the Egyptian army. But first, if you’re going to see that
deliverance, first you have to see it with the eyes of your soul. And if your soul is not operating on divine
viewpoint, you’re going to be blind. You’re
going to look at these circumstances here, the mountains on each side
the sea in front of us, the Egyptians behind us. This
is what you’re going to see, and you’re
going to say, “We’re hopeless. We’re
doomed.” But if you see the Word of
with your soul and you see this situation from God’s perspective,
stand still and you will say, “Now Lord, what’s the next
move? How are you going to get me out of
this? What is your plan?
And I’m sure glad that I’m in your plan
this point.” Happiness would have
their lot. Their physical situation was
bad, but since they were operating on human viewpoint, they saw the
chariots as invincible.
Later when they saw the Lord’s
deliverance, they weren’t
able to appreciate it. They weren’t
to enjoy it because they couldn’t appreciate the Lord. They were happy only in some event. Knowing the Deliverer is more important than
knowing the deliverance. But Christians
want to center on the deliverance rather than the deliverer. Then when God does deliver us, we go
sentimental for a while. We sing a hymn
of praise. Then we return to our
negative capacities so we’re not prepared for the next crisis. If you want inner happiness and you want to
be happy in life, the time has to come where you fall in love with the
God. And you start appreciating Him
through His Word. Then you start living. And then you’ll start going for doctrine
daily study basis.
Well the Lord in grace was going to do
the fighting for them
(the Israelites). Verse 19 says that the
Angel of Jehovah, which is the pre-incarnate Jesus Christ, stopped the
with a pillar of cloud. Verse 21 says
that Jesus Christ opened up the passage through the Red Sea for the
they walked across the two miles. Verse
23 and the verses following tells how the Egyptian army was wiped out. Verse 29 says that the Jews crossed safely,
dry-shod. Verse 31 (says) they saw the
Lord’s deliverance so they’re happy again.
And everybody was rejoicing. They
sang a hymn of praise when they got over to the other side. But we’re going to see in a moment that
didn’t go very long before they were down in the dumps and
singing the blues
because there was another crisis—two crises as a matter fact, one
at Marah and
one at Rephidim. Look in Exodus chapter
15, beginning at verse 22. So they left
the Red Sea and they move out into the wilderness for three days, and
found no water in root. Verse 23 says
they came to Marah and they couldn’t drink the waters of Marah
for they were
bitter. They were undrinkable. Therefore the name of it was called
bitterness or undrinkable. The Jews
needed water urgently so they are facing a crisis.
Mind you that this is just three days journey
from what they saw took place at the Red Sea.
They moved out into this position. Now if their eyes are on the Lord, how are
they going to act? Should this crisis
now be a problem to them after what they’ve just seen God do? Should they have learned now that they can
trust him? Well you’d think that
would continue with some inner happiness and a relaxed mental attitude
this new situation, but they did not.
Verse 24 says, “And the people murmured
against Moses saying, “What
shall we drink?” They again revealed
they still had the callouses there and they were still negative and so
still lacked inner happiness, and they’re complaining to Moses.
In verse 25 Moses takes the problem to
the Lord. God points out a tree to Moses,
that had fallen. He tells Moses to throw
it into the water. He does, and the
water becomes drinkable. God takes our
bitter life experiences and He makes them sweet when we throw true
into them. The testing and the
discipline become blessing thereby because this is what it says, that
tested them, at the end of verse 25. God
was showing these Jews that while they were on His path, God was
step-by-step. They were following the
cloud. They were in exactly the route that
God intended them to be. They were right
on force. And when they got to this
point they should have known that they were still on course and that
God had a
way to meet this crisis.
Verse 26 says that the basis of
happiness, whether in the
desert of their land, is going to be this, “If thou wilt
diligently harken to
the voice of the Lord thy God.”
Diligence means the daily regular response to the
Word of God as
spiritual food. “Listen to the voice
the Lord” is doctrine. “If
thou wilt harken
(listen) to the voice of the Lord thy God and wilt do that which is
right in ty
sight.” “Do that which is
positive volition toward the Word learned.
“Wilt give ear to His commands and will keep
His statutes, I’ll put none
of these diseases upon thee which I have brought upon the Egyptians for
the Lord that healeth thee.” Here,
interestingly enough, God says, “I will not only care for you but
I will give
you physical good health when you say, ‘Yes’ to doctrine. I will give you physical well-being. You will fight physical debilitation. Your physical stamina will rise and will be
maintained as you are positive to the principals of divine truth.
Verse 27 says that they came to Elam. There were twelve wells, one for each of the
tribes, and 70 shade trees on the campsite.
Then they came to another trial, in Exodus 17, the
verses. This was the trial of no
water. The Jews were traveling the
route. They came to Rephidim.
And it says they came there according to the
commandment of the Lord. Exodus 17:1
says, “And all the congregation of the children of Israel
journeyed from the
wilderness of sin, after their journeys according to the commandment of
Lord, and encamped in Rephidim, and there was no water for the people
to drink.” The word
“Rephidim” means “refreshment.”
Here you have another situation. They come to a place called
they look it over and there’s no water.
A campsite with no water. Any
you that have ever been camping know that that’s not a good
situation. How could they be in a place of
when there was no water? Well, again,
they were in the plan of God so their eyes had to see things from
perspective. You would think that now
again they would be prepared to see Him work.
But what did they do?
Verse 2 says, “The people did
strive with Moses and said, ‘Give
us water that we may drink.’ And
said unto them, ‘Why do you strive with me?
Wherefore do you put the Lord to the test?” They complain to Moses. Moses
rebukes them and warns them that God
will discipline them if they keep pushing with their negative responses. They’re all unhappy again.
They can’t appreciate God, so there’s no
happiness. Their situation makes them
happy or unhappy.
Verse 3 says, “And the people
thirsted there for water. The people
murmured against Moses and said, ‘Why
hast thou brought us out of Egypt to kill us and our children and our
with thirst?” Well, God never said
was bringing them out to kill them.
Moses never indicated that’s what he was going
to do. And yet, here again, because they
Moses, on their negative volition, they accuse him of doing the very
of what he was going to do and what his intentions were.
Moses was responding to God and they were
not. This was an irrational reaction on
their part but it seemed reasonable to them.
Why? Because they had
on their soul. It seemed reasonable to
them that he had brought them out to a deathly situation.
In verse 4, Moses, who has a spiritual
structure, takes it
to the Lord. The people are ready to
kill him. After they had seen the
plagues. After they had seen the Red
Sea. After they had seen the Marah. After they had seen the manna.
They come around and they’re ready to kill
God’s man. Now joy in people will be
roller coaster experience, up and down for you unless your appreciation
the Lord who works a divine good through them.
This is what Moses had to learn.
So if you’re happy in people
over the Lord’s work that they
do, you’ll be unhappy with them when they cast it aside. You have to be happy because of what the Lord
is doing. Your appreciation has to be
for the Lord. If your joy is in Him, He
who produces the good works, then whether the people cop out or not
make any difference, and you’ll continue serving with complete
Moses had to face the angry mob with
his rod. He was told to strike the rock in
6. And water came forth, the rock which
pictures the cross which gives us the living water of eternal life. Moses struck the rock and the water was
there. Then Moses gave some names to
this place. Verse 7 says he called the
place Massah which means “testing” and Meribah which means
“complaining.” The callouses
on the eyes of the Jews made
them even question the intention of the Lord Himself.
Well, here’s a summary on the
matter of inner
happiness. In Deuteronomy 1:19-46, Moses
reviews, in retrospect, their experience.
He’s about ready to turn the command over to
Joshua. All that he says indicates once
this people, the original generation, could not come into the land
did not appreciate God so they could not experience happiness. Now whatever the land of your happiness is,
if you get it you won’t enjoy it unless you inhale doctrine so
appreciate God. Yet Christians think
that, “If I just had this thing or that thing, I’d be
Here’s the way it works:
1) The plan of God for this life is
that we share His
2) God’s plan of happiness for
you was designed in eternity
past and it covers your life from salvation to your death.
3) A person with spiritual callouses
on his soul cannot be
happy. He has momentary passing
experiences of joy and gladness that are attached to externals.
4) The gifts of God are perfect for
us, but can’t be enjoyed
means to do so which is Bible doctrine.
That’s what gives you your perspective to
appreciate God and to see
things how He sees them.
5) Only daily intake of doctrine
(inhaling) and the exercise
of appreciation for God (exhaling) will produce inner happiness with
6) Bible doctrine thus, with positive
volition, is the means
for appreciating God, and thus for enjoying what He provides, and thus
the maturity of inner happiness.
John E. Danish, 1971
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