Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin
Tree of Life. A weekly Review.
Dispensation of the Mosaic Law. Part 12.
Adversity is inevitable, stress is optional.
Exo 14:10-14 has been our subject.
Exo 14:10-14, And as Pharaoh drew near, the sons of Israel looked, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they became very frightened; so the sons of Israel cried out to the Lord. Then they said to Moses, “Is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you dealt with us in this way, bringing us out of Egypt? “Is this not the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’?
For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” But Moses said to the people, “Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. “The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent.”
Once again we begin with fact that because they refused to operate in the faith-rest drill, this generation of Jews, with a few exceptions, were excluded from ever setting foot into the promise land. And, it wasn’t a matter of their salvation but the fact that they could not handle stress, they could not handle pressure.
And even though God did phenomenal things in grace for them, they failed to use the shield of faith. They were blessed in every possible way, including logistics, which means that God provided them food, clothing, water, shelter, protection and the greatest Bible teacher in the entire Old Testament. But they had one major problem which led to many more - fear.
2Ti 1:7, For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and discipline or a sound mind.
And so, as a result of their fear, they failed and did not use the shield of faith. Think about it! In the last couple of weeks these Jews had just experienced the following:
Plague 1 - Water turning into blood resulting all the fish dying;
Plague 2 - The plague of frogs.
Plagues 3 and 4 - Then God sent a plague of flies, gnats, and biting insects and wild animals.
Plagues 5 and 6 - After that all the animals in Egypt were plagued with diseases.
Plague 7 - Thunder Storms - fiery hail.
Plague 8 - Locusts.
Plague 9 - Darkness for three days.
Plague 10- Death of Firstborn
They saw the omnipotence or the power of God. They experienced deliverance from the love of God, yet, they forgot everything God had done for them.
They needed to think divine viewpoint, such as what David said in Psa 103:2, Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits;
As the prophet Isaiah said in Isa 5:4, “What more was there to do for My vineyard that I have not done in it?
Now, don’t judge them because the majority of believers today, in all stages of spiritual growth, find themselves in panic palace even to this day, because of adversity. And always remember the principle; Adversity is inevitable, stress is optional. Adversity is what someone or something does to you, stress is what you do to yourself. Adversity is an outside pressure in life; stress is an inside pressure of the soul.
Stress is what you do to yourself; adversity is what the circumstances of life do to you. However, it’s important to note that it is not adversity which destroys the spiritual life, it is stress. Stress in the soul destroys the spiritual life of the believer. And for the Jews, it was the sudden stress that got to them. In our passage the Jews have just been freed from slavery and therefore their big problem is gone. And as they moved out from Egypt and they are rejoicing and filled with all kinds of happiness, then “all of a sudden” a situation of adversity came to them and they became filled with a lot of stress.
Now, do you know what they wanted to do when the stressful situation came in? They wanted to go back to Egypt! They wanted to return to slavery even though they had just been delivered by Jehovah Elohim and they also had one of the greatest leaders in all of human history, Moses, leading them.
As soon as the sudden stress was there, the Jews wanted to go back to slavery because they had the slave mentality.
The slave mentality is that the individual would rather have security rather than freedom. They wanted to go back to Egypt or, for the believer, back to dependence upon the world system.
Remember what Isaiah the prophet Isaiah said in Isa 30?
Isa 30:1-3, “Woe to the rebellious children,” declares the Lord, Who execute a plan, but not Mine, And make an alliance, but not of My Spirit,
In order to add sin to sin; Who proceed down to Egypt, Without consulting Me, To take refuge in the safety of Pharaoh, And to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt! “Therefore the safety of Pharaoh will be your shame, And the shelter in the shadow of Egypt, your humiliation.”
They would rather be slaves to Egypt (world) then to be free in the desert (or really the spiritual life). This is what we call the slave mentality.
They wanted to go back to letting someone else think for them. They wanted security rather than liberty.
If they were alive today, Hillary would have won the election. Many people vote for those who will give them security rather than freedom. They want the easy way out of a tough situation. One of the main problems the Jews faced in this dispensation of the Law is that they forgot what God had done for them. And therefore what has happened in this time of disaster?
Their rate of forgetting exceeded their rate of learning. And therefore they became instant cowards. They could not think under pressure. However, we have at least three exceptions at this time. Moses, Joshua, and Caleb.
Moses continued to concentrate on doctrine in this disastrous situation while the majority of his congregation is also guilty of the blackout of the soul. Therefore, this was actually a test from God to reveal who was listening to the doctrine Moses taught and who was not!
Now we’re ready for Exo 14:10, And as Pharaoh drew near, the sons of
Israel looked, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they became very frightened; so the sons of Israel cried out to the Lord.
The word for looked is the Qal imperfect of the Hebrew verb nasa which means that they kept on staring. They did not look unto Christ, instead they concentrated on Pharaoh’s army. What they should have done is what
Heb 12:2 says, “Looking unto Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
And by looking I mean to concentrate on Him, His plan for your life. They were concentrating but they were concentrating on Pharaoh’s army, they completely forgot the grace of God and the power of God....and the marvelous deliverance that they had experienced just a week or so before.
They concentrated on the wrong thing. They concentrated on the problem.
They concentrated on the problem rather than the solution. And they not only panicked but they began to do something which all of us have been guilty of at some time. “They began to murmur and complain.”
Here is the principle of spiritual authority and the fact that if a leader cannot take it, he ought to get out of the kitchen, because he will inevitably be blamed by the majority. Think about it, even God was blamed for the fall. We’re close to the passage so we might as well look at it.
In Gen 3:9-13, after Adam and the woman sinned we read, Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of Thee in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.”
And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” And the man said, “The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.”
Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said,” The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
This is the same type of thinking that is our today, if God is such a loving God then “WHY” do children suffer? Why does the baby die? Why the widows, why are marriages destroyed, why do orphans exist? Why the earthquakes? Why disease and sickness?
The point is whenever you are in a position of authority, there’s always someone who points the finger at you! Whether you’re the husband in authority. Or whether you are a parent, a teacher, an officer, an employer, a deacon or a pastor, you better learn how to handle the accusers! Remember where that spirit comes from.
Look at Rev 12:10, And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them before our God day and night.
Notice that the apostle John says Now, salvation, power, and the principle of authority has come. Why? Because the who questions these things, salvation, power, and authority, is Satan himself who accuses God’s people before God day and night. Now, think of it, Satan wants you to question “salvation”! Satan wants you to question the “power”. And he wants you to question “authority!”
And so, we know why he wants you to question salvation because he wants you to question, Eph 2:8, For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
Questioning the power has always been an issue as noted in Rom 10:3 when the apostle Paul said that the Jews, Not knowing about God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.