Dispensation of the Mosaic Law. The purpose of bitter trials and the faithfulness of God.

Grace Bible Church
Pastor Teacher
Robert R. McLaughlin
Weekly Review
Week ending 010817
Dispensation of the Mosaic Law.
The purpose of bitter trials and the faithfulness of God.

We have now spent enough time concerning the Jews and how they failed their second water test at Marah when they failed by becoming involved with the emotional revolt of the soul resulting in the manifestation of being in bondage with bitterness.

Because of the manifestation of bitterness, they still have not grown up spiritually in spite of all the signs and the miracles that they say in Egypt!

Illustrating why it is that our Lord said more than once in the Gospels,
MAT 12:39 “An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign;”

Remember that in the last days, Satan will use signs and wonders to deceive the inhabitants of the world, REV 13:13 And he performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men.

REV 13:14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life. Satan is the MMM – the master magic magician.

It’s so easy for him to deceive. Think of the magicians in our day and age who can trick their audience (whether live or on TV.) And there have been many times that Satan has an easy time revealing his super-natural power.

If an unbeliever opens up himself to demonism and possesses him, all that Satan has to do as the leader of the KOD is command the demon to leave and it looks like whoever does that has performed a miracle.

My whole point is that signs and wonders never really accomplish what we have been created for — Rev 4:1.1 They had adult bodies, but spiritually they had never grown up.

They were shallow and superficial and totally dependent on entertainment, dependent on signs and wonders, although the signs and wonders accomplished absolutely nothing!
And therefore when they came to the waters at Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah.

There were springs of water all over the place, but they could not drink the waters of Marah.
Because the waters were bitter and that’s why they called it – Marah.

Now, this is another test!

As we have noted, they flunked the “too much water test”, at the Red Sea, now they are going to flunk the “Wrong kind of Water” test, where they had plenty of water but the wrong kind.

So, notice where we are in the beginning of the dispensation of the Law.

EXO 15:22-25, Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness and found no water. And when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter; therefore it was named Marah. So the people grumbled at Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?”

Notice what Moses did after the children of Israel failed and complained in their bitterness.

EXO 15:25 Then he cried out to the Lord,

What did he do?

This is what our Marahs or our “bitter situations” are designed to do which is to drive us to the Lord like Deu 23:5 says the curse is turned into a blessing.

And notice that I said “drive us.” You see, as in the natural realm so in the spiritual, bitter pills may have blessed effects. Therefore, we must all realize to take the bitter with the sweet and not allow ourselves to become filled with bitterness. Look at it like this. There are times when you need to get a certain prescribed medical shot to protect you from a virus that is prevalent in the world.

Do you know what that medical shot contains? It usually contains the very virus that is out to train your body to handle the virus. The body is a magnificent vessel and a manifestation of the omniscience (knowledge) and the omnipotence (power) of God.

Look at PSA 139:13, For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother’s womb.

When David says “Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother’s womb.”

In other words, God does work in the building of the physical body and then when the physical body or the fetus is ready it comes forth from the womb and God breathes into it “Neshumah” the breath of life and it is now a person.

PSA 22:10 Upon Thee I was cast from birth; Thou hast been my God from my mother’s womb.

Life begins when the fetus emerges from the womb and God gives to that fetus, neshamah, “the spark of life,” not developed in the womb, but is given by God at birth.

PSA 139:14-18, I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Thy works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from Thee, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth. Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Thy book they were all written, The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them. How precious also are Thy thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with Thee.

The point is that there are certain situations that God brings His people to drive them to the Lord.

I say drive because the tragic thing is that most of the time we take the Lord for granted and we forget where we came from and what we are really like without Him.

Remember REV 2:1-5, what happened to the church at Ephesus? “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: The One who holds the seven stars in His right hand, the One who walks among the seven golden lampstands, says this: ‘I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot endure evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary. ‘But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you, and will remove your lampstand out of its place unless you repent.

Never forget where you came from and what you were like before the Lord reached out to you
Or as Rev 2:5 says Remember therefore from where you have fallen.

Sometimes it good to remember where we came from and what we were like before our Lord reached out to us.

JOH 15:16 “You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask of the Father in My name, He may give to you.

Let’s prove this principle in the scriptures.

PSA 107:4-28, They wandered in the wilderness in a desert region; They did not find a way to an inhabited city. They were hungry and thirsty; Their soul fainted within them. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble; He delivered them out of their distresses. He led them also by a straight way, To go to an inhabited city. Let them give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness, And for His wonders to the sons of men! For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, And the hungry soul He has filled with what is good. There were those who dwelt in darkness and in the shadow of death, Prisoners in misery and chains, Because they had rebelled against the words of God, And spurned the counsel of the Most High. Therefore He humbled their heart with labor; They stumbled and there was none to help. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble; He saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, And broke their bands apart. Let them give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness, And for His wonders to the sons of men! For He has shattered gates of bronze, And cut bars of iron asunder. Fools, because of their rebellious way, And because of their iniquities, were afflicted. Their soul abhorred all kinds of food; And they drew near to the gates of death. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble; He saved them out of their distresses. He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions. Let them give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness, And for His wonders to the sons of men! Let them also offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, And tell of His works with joyful singing. Those who go down to the sea in ships, Who do business on great waters; They have seen the works of the Lord, And His wonders in the deep. For He spoke and raised up a stormy wind, Which lifted up the waves of the sea. They rose up to the heavens, they went down to the depths; Their soul melted away in their misery. They reeled and staggered like a drunken man, And were at their wits’ end. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, And He brought them out of their distresses.

Now back in our main passage.

EXO 15:25 Then he cried out to the Lord, [and then notice what our did] and the Lord showed him a tree or a piece of wood; and he threw it into the waters, and the waters became sweet. There He made for them a statute and regulation, and there He tested them.

Now it doesn’t say how he picked it up but you must remember that Moses was a very strong individual. d so the Lord showed Moses him a tree and he threw it into the water and the waters became sweet.

The bitter waters have now become drinkable.

This is Rom 8:28, Deu 23:5; Gen 50:20.

In other words, whatever it was, it was Moses alone who did something…but he didn’t do it on his own.
There was no secret ingredient in the tree which made the water sweet. What was it that turned a bitter situation into a sweet one? It was Moses obedience to the Lord’s commands.

And Moses was a genius, he didn’t argue with the Lord…he didn’t say…it doesn’t make sense…he just obeyed what the Lord told him to do. And so notice once again God uses a miracle with these people. The tree or the wood represents then the divine solution. And this is always one.

The wood depicts the doctrines and the promises of God, but the wood itself is meaningless.
It was what Moses did.
He obeyed the word of the Lord.
Now today the Lord speaks to us in an entirely different way —- through His word.

The point however is that Moses was a one man pivot who could pick up the shield of faith under pressure.
So the tree represents to us promises from God, doctrinal rationales, and it represents a divine command. And, by the way, a divine command that seemed to have nothing to do with the solution, but it had everything to do with the solution. The tree is also a picture of the branch, Jesus Christ.

Just as the tree was cast into the bitter water, making it sweet, so TLJC heals the bitterness in those who invite His presence.

Then Moses goes on and still the congregation and the majority are judging him.

EXO 15:26-27, And He said, “If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the Lord, am your healer.” Then they came to Elim where there were twelve springs of water and seventy date palms, and they camped there beside the waters.

Now, remember we really not have chapter breaks in the original language so notice what happens next in Exo chapter 16.

Once again we will see God’s grace to them and once again, no sooner are they the beneficiaries of God’s grace, what do they do?
They complain. They are critical. They are filled with the emotional sins.
This was one of the worst periods in all of history as far as believers are concerned.

And all of this time they are the beneficiaries of God’s grace in a fantastic way.
Now before we go on in Exo 16, we need to review a not an indebt study of the doctrine but just concise doctrine which reveals the procedure the Lord is using in dealing with the children of Israel.
Two verses are relevant to our subject in the book of Psalms

PSA 78:38 But He, being compassionate, forgave their iniquity, and did not destroy them; And often He restrained His anger, And did not arouse all His wrath.
PSA 107:20 He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions.

Therefore let’s get a quick review of the doctrine of the faithfulness of God. The doctrine of the Faithfulness of God. Turn now to Lamentations 3.

Point 1 definition.

Faithfulness is the consistency and stability of God. Faithfulness is the perfection of God’s essence and the fact that He cannot be inconsistent or compromise His essence. Faithfulness is the fact that God cannot change his essence and be unfair to anyone. God is consistent with Himself; therefore, He is faithful and consistent with us. God keeps his word.

He has never made a promise He has not kept. So, there is only one person who is totally faithful to you and related to you, and that is God. He can only be faithful to you because of his perfect character. Divine faithfulness is God’s grace expression to the believer using His perfect character as the basis for expression.

Faithfulness hinges on the essence of God.
God is perfect, fair, and stable to Himself, and He will be all these things to you as well, Lam 3:21-25.

Lam 3:20-25, “Surely my soul remembers and is humbled within me. This doctrine I recall to mind; therefore I have confidence. The Lord’s grace support [logistical grace] never ceases; His grace expressions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul; `therefore I have confidence in Him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, To the person who seeks Him.

Now, God can be faithful to you because of propitiation which means that God the Father is satisfied with the sacrificial ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross on behalf of you.

His faithfulness, therefore, does not depend upon your spiritual status.
Propitiation removes any compromise to the essence of God.
Divine faithfulness also manifests itself in divine discipline to the carnal and reversionistic believer and in blessing to the mature believer.

Now, all faithfulness in the human realm resides first of all in the soul.
Faithfulness is an attitude to something in life which you love, respect, admire, or recognize its authority. And the fact that you are alive plus everything you have is a matter of God’s faithfulness to you. He is faithful and loves you every moment.

Point 2, God is faithful to us in rebound.

1Jo 1:9 “If we acknowledge our sins, He is faithful and righteous, with the result that he forgives us our sins [known sins] and cleanses us from all unrighteousness [unknown sins].”
Name the sins you know and God forgives all the sins you’ve committed.
This same principle is taught in 1Co 11:31; Jer 3:13; Psa 32:5, 38:18.

David set the pattern in PSA 32:5 I acknowledged my sin to Thee, And my iniquity I did not hide; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”; And Thou didst forgive the guilt of my sin. Selah. God knew our sins in eternity past. He imputed them to Christ on the Cross and judged them. And God is interested in the fact that Jesus Christ took our place as our substitute. God is justified to forgive us because He has been propitiated by the sacrifice of His perfect Son.

Therefore, there is no compromise to His integrity when He faithfully forgives us when we name our sins.
So in PSA 38:18 David said again For I confess my iniquity; I am full of anxiety because of my sin.

JER 3:13 says ‘Only acknowledge your iniquity, That you have transgressed against the Lord your God And you have not obeyed My voice,’ declares the Lord.
Only acknowledge your iniquity.

In HOS 14:1-2, Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God, For you have stumbled because of your iniquity. Take words with you and return to the Lord. Say to Him, “Take away all iniquity, And receive {us} graciously, That we may present the fruit of our lips. That’s rebound!

Now, a very important principle, there is no merit in naming a sin. Legalism says you must feel sorry to be forgiven but grace says that how you feel is not the issue. When we name and cite our sin, God faithfully forgives us regardless of how we feel. Therefore, you can forget the sin and move on immediately.

There are four mechanics involved in rebound:
A. Name it, 1Jo 1:9
B. Isolate it, Heb 12:15
C. Forget it, Phi 3:13
D. Keep moving, Phi 3:14

And this is a big problem with the legalist and those who are influenced by self-righteous arrogance.
Only arrogant people say you can commit a sin which will cause God to abandon you and not forgive you. However, as we noted in the doctrine of grace, grace forgiveness is never a license to sin but is the motivation to press on to spiritual maturity.

Point 3, God’s faithfulness is manifested in His perfect plan,
1Co 1:9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
We were “called” in eternity past when God was aware of all our failures.
And God found a way to take us through His grace plan without any compromise of His essence.

Knowing every sin, every human good deed, and every evil thing we would ever do, God still selected us to have human life at birth, and elected us to equal privilege and opportunity at the new birth.

PSA 100:3 Know that the Lord Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; {We are} His people and the sheep of His pasture.

As a part of His faithfulness, He has provided for every believer His very own plan in which to function as the basis for equal opportunity to reach spiritual maturity.

Point 4, God’s faithfulness is manifest in logistical grace provision and supergrace blessing, 1TH 5:24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.

You should never worry about the basic necessities to sustain your life.

God will provide everything you will ever need.

PSA 100:5 For the Lord is good; His grace is everlasting, And His faithfulness to all generations.

Remember that it was harder for God to find a way to save us than it is for God to bless us in time.

If He could do the most for us at salvation, it follows, a fortiori, that He can provide the lesser blessing of logistical grace support in time.

ROM 8:32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?

God’s perfect faithfulness to you in eternity past inevitably leads to His perfect faithfulness to you in time.

There never was a time when God wasn’t totally faithful to you.

If God was faithful to you in eternity past, He can only be faithful to you in time and eternity as well.

Point 5, God’s faithfulness is revealed in testing, 1Co 10:13;
2Co 4:17; Rom 8:18.

God will not allow us to be tested or tempted beyond our capacity and capability to pass the test or say no to the temptation.

1CO 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.

2CO 4:17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,

ROM 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

We are even tested in the area of logistical grace support from God to see if we are going to trust in His faithfulness.

LUK 12:27 “Consider the lilies, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these.

LUK 12:28 “But if God so arrays the grass in the field, which is {alive} today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more {will He clothe} you, O men of little faith!

LUK 12:29 “And do not seek what you shall eat, and what you shall drink, and do not keep worrying.

LUK 12:30 “For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things.

LUK 12:31 “But seek for His kingdom, and these things shall be added to you.

LUK 12:32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.

We are also tested regarding our love of doctrine versus social life, loved ones, our failures, other distractions, and our families.

Remember that prior to the different stages of spiritual growth, we must all pass through the different forms of suffering that the Lord brings in

Even in spiritual maturity, we face testing, as did Abraham when he was commanded to offer his only son, Isaac, as a sacrifice.

So you are tested in all stages of spiritual growth, but never beyond your capacity.

And as a part of God’s faithfulness, He always provides the doctrine or the opportunity to get the doctrine necessary to pass each test before it comes.

Therefore, Bible doctrine is your way of escape from each test, and that doctrine is provided by the faithfulness of God.

God will never give you something for which you do not have the capacity, be it blessing or testing.

Point 6, God is faithful to the Royal family of God, Heb 10:23-25.

HEB 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;

HEB 10:24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,

HEB 10:25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.

You have the most fantastic escrow blessings on deposit for you, protected by the faithfulness of God.

And the more doctrine you have in your soul, the more you see God’s perfect character, and the faster you will advance to spiritual maturity.

And this results in the things around you which were formerly distracting to your spiritual growth becoming less and less important.

Point 7, God is faithful to the apostate believer, 2TI 2:13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful; for He cannot deny Himself.

Since God has perfect character, how can He not be faithful to us even if we reject and deny Him?

God cannot be anything less than He is.

In fact, God is faithful in keeping the degenerate believer alive for discipline.

That same believer still goes to heaven after an entire life of rejection of Bible doctrine just as surely as the apostle Paul went to heaven.

Point 8, God is faithful to the believer in the realm of the angelic conflict.

God is faithful to protect and guard you in the midst of the unseen angelic battle which is fought daily all around you, 2Th 3:3

2TH 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.

Point 9, God’s faithfulness becomes a reality as you advance to and reach spiritual maturity.

HEB 11:11 By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised;

How refreshing it is to know that in spite of all the evil in the world, there is one who is faithful.

Faithful in all things, at all times, even unto the end!

DEU 7:9 “Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God,”

This quality is essential to His being, without it He would not be God.

Now, it is one thing to accept the faithfulness of God as truth it is another thing to act upon it.

God is faithful to us and He is not only faithful to tell us the best but He is also faithful to tell us the worst.

He has faithfully described the ruin that negative volition toward doctrine leads to.

He has faithfully diagnosed the terrible results and effects of sin.

And so God is faithful in all things.

The Bible states many ways in which God is faithful.

For instance God is faithful in keeping His promises, 2CO 1:20 For as many as may be the promises of God, in Him they are yes;

NUM 23:19 “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

Think of all the rebellion that the children of Israel fell into and yet God was faithful.

Many times they were faithless but He was faithful!


Because in HEB 10:23 He who promised is faithful;

The permanence of God’s character guarantees the fulfillment of His promises.

In 1Pe 4:19 to those who are going through undeserved suffering Peter says 1PE 4:19 Therefore, let those also who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.

Therefore, the faithfulness of God is a truth to be acknowledged by us, not only when we are at ease but when we are in trouble

To agree with this means that we humble ourselves before Him even if we’re under discipline and owe up to the fact that we fully deserve His correction and instead of any murmuring or complaining, we thank Him for it.

PSA 119:75 I know, O Lord, that Thy judgments are righteous, And that in faithfulness Thou hast afflicted me.

God is not only faithful in stopping affliction but in sending it as well.

PSA 89:33 “But I will not break off My lovingkindness from him, Nor deal falsely in My faithfulness.

God the Father is faithful in Jam 1:17.

TLJC is faithful in Heb 13:8.

While the holy spirit is faithful to indwell us Joh 14:16 and to teach us, 1Jo 2:27.

Understanding these principles will preserve us from worry.

To be worried and concerned is to reject this doctrine.

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