Friday, June 30, 2023

John Bible Study: That Ye Might Believe - John 14 The Upper Room Discouse


John 14-16 The Upper Room Discourses with Jesus

Out line
John 14: Jesus And Our Peace
    Vs. 1-6 The way, truth & Life
    7-11 Father Revealed
    12-14 Answered Prayer
    15-18 Another Comforter
    19-24 Indwelling of God
    25-31 Christ’s Peace
John 15:1: Jesus Our Life
    1-8 The True Vine
    9-17 Love & Joy Perfected
    18-27 World’s Rejection
John 16:1: Jesus And Our Future
    1-4 Warning of Offense
    5-15 Work of the Holy Spirit
    16-24 Sorrow turned into Joy
    25-33 Overcoming the World

John 14 Jesus and our Peace
Vs. 1-3 What is the tone of Jesus words to the apostles?
Comfort and command.

What does the word mansion mean?
A dwelling place from the Grk. mone meaning a staying, abiding, dwelling, abode.

On this night before the crucifixion where was Jesus going and how would he prepare a place for the disciples?
He was going to the cross.  The preparation would be his sacrifice for us.

Does this verse of scripture support the belief that we will all dwell in luxurious mansions once we arrive in heaven?

Vs 4-14 Explain the way and the place where Jesus was going?
The place is heaven the way is the cross.

How does Jesus’ answer reveal our own way to heaven?
He is our way. Only through faith in Jesus can we be saved. We must trust in, and only in, what He did upon the cross. He is exclusively the way, truth and life.

Vs. 12 How were the apostles and later us able to do greater works than Jesus?
Since Jesus is returned to heaven, He is not limited to one place but can work through all of us. “Greater” is in the quantity but never in quality.

Vs. 13-14 What does it mean to ask in Jesus' name?
It means to ask as Jesus would ask. It means to act in His power and will, not my own. It is a spiritual “power of attorney.”

Vs. 15- 18 Another Comforter
Why is obedience and love of Jesus coupled in the same paragraph as the giving of the Holy Spirit?
Without the Spirit both are impossible.

Vs. 15 Jesus promises the apostles “another comforter.” In Greek there are two word for another; ἀλλον, allon (another of the same kind) and ἑτερον, eteron (another of a different kind.) Which word do you think was used by Jesus?
Allon, another of the same kind, the same as Jesus their first comforter.

The comforter is translated from the Greek word paracletos; literally it means one called alongside to help.  Other words that define it are advocate, helper, strengthener, and comforter.

Vs. 17 The Comforter is called the “Spirit of Truth” and Jesus says that the apostles “know him for he dwells with you and shall be in you.”  What did Jesus mean?
The Holy Spirit though with them was not yet indwelling them. That would happen with the promise of the New Covenant.

The comforter is translated from the Greek word paracletos. It has many facets of meaning in the Greek: helper, advocate, strengthener, counselor.
Literally it means one called along side to help. From para (along side) and kletos (to call)

The word comfortless in vs. 18 is a different word. Translated literally it is orphans from ὀρφανός orphanos.
Vs. 22-23 Judas (note John’s identification) asked how He would be seen by the apostles but not by the world. What was Jesus' answer?
That the Father and the Son would be with those who love Him.

The Twelve Apostles

Matthew 10:2-4 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus (Judas); Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.

Mark 3:16-18 And Simon he surnamed Peter; And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder: And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus (Jude), and Simon the Canaanite, And Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed him: and they went into an house.

Luke 6:14-16  Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew,  Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes, And Judas (Thaddaeus) the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor.

Vs 25-31 Christ’s Peace  

What was one of the tasks of the Holy Spirit after Jesus was gone?
To remind the apostles and teach them all the things which Jesus had said unto them.  This is both a promise of inspiration in the writing of the New Testament and a promise to all believers of the Holy Spirits guidance in understanding scripture.

What is different about the peace that Jesus gives and the peace the world gives?
The world’s peace is temporary and superficial.  Jesus’ peace is eternal and fulfilling.

Vs. 28 Why should the apostles have rejoiced at Jesus departure?
Because they loved Jesus and He is reuniting with His Father.

Vs. 29 Is an explanation for all the Upper Room Discourse. What was that reason?
When all would come to pass, as Jesus taught, then the disciple’s faith would be stronger.

Vs. 31 “But that the world may know.” How would the world will know?
Though Satan had no claim or power over Jesus, He would do as the Father commanded. So, they leave the upper room and begin the journey to the cross, the proof of His love and obedience to the Father.

“Apparently, the group arose and walked out into the night and the rest of the talk and prayer was in the shadows on the way to Gethsemane.” - A. T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament


In the upper room Jesus prepared His apostles for their greatest loss and greatest gift; the loss of His physically being with them, but the gift of the Holy Spirit. He tries to prepare the apostles for the events that will define the rest of their lives and eternity itself.
Like the apostles, we are sent by Jesus, and often don’t fully understand what Jesus is doing in the present. Like the apostles we can’t rejoice in His future promises because of our present pain. In those times we must cling to those promises, believing that one day we will see them fulfilled in our lives and even though our pain.

Monday, June 26, 2023

Exodus Going With God: Going In God’s Providence - Exodus 16


Exodus Going With God: Going In God’s Providence - Exodus 16

Three Texans and Providence

Three Texans go across the Rio Grande to Mexico one night, get knee-walking drunk, now I don’t know exactly what that means but it sounds pretty drunk. They wake up in jail the next morning...only to learn that they are to be executed that same day, but of the Texans can remember what they had did the night before to deserve execution in an electric chair.

The 1st Texan is strapped into the electric chair, and asked if he has any last words?  He says, "Yes, sir. I am a graduate of the Baylor University School of Divinity, and though I have backslidden far, I still believe in the providence of almighty God on behalf of the innocent." They throw the switch, and nothing happens, so the Mexican officials figure God must not want this man to die, and they set him free.

The second Texan is strapped-in, and in response to the same question replies, "I am a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, and I believe that justice will prevail." Again, they throw the switch, and again nothing happens.  The jailers figure that the law is on this guy's side, so they let him go too.

The third guy is strapped-in, and he says, "Well, I am a Texas Aggie Electrical Engineer, and I'll tell y'all right now ...ain't nobody going to electrocute nobody if you don't reconnect them two little wires right there."

Now that pretty bad story, of providence which is the subject of our sermon this morning. Bad example but a great doctrine. Our modern age doesn’t really talk about the providence of God anymore. We are the fast food, microwave, 10 second attention span, Tik-Tok video generation. When it comes to spirituality, we want signs and miracles now not trust and faith for eternity. And yet the vast majority of time covered in the Bible contains no sign or miracles but only the people of God trusting in the providence of God. So, what is providence exactly and what does it have to do with Exodus 16 and the bread God rained from heaven? Let’s turn there and find out.

Providence and Need - Exodus 16:1-12

And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt.

Hebrew’s Need Met By God’s Provision

At this point in the Exodus narrative, the Hebrews have been on the road for 2 months. The supplies they had brough with them are running out and hunger is becoming a serious problem. There is no place to forage, hunt or fish. Even if they could do those things the logistics of hunting for over 2 million people would be impossible.

To feed 2.5 million people just two pounds of food and four pints of water per day would require around 2250 tons of food, and around 1.25 million gallons of water, per day! This does not take into account the fodder and water for their herds of sheep, goats, and cattle.

Over the forty years of the Exodus, it would have required at least 33 million tons of food and 18,000 million gallons of water just to sustain the people. In comparison, the miracle of parting the Red Sea doesn’t seem like that big a deal.

The Hebrews have not yet learned to put their full faith in God. They haven’t learned to be patient and wait on the Lord, but instead try to force their own will upon Him through Moses, to get what they need. They sound a lot like this generation.

Vs. 3 And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness:  And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.

They missed their fleshpots the Bible says. We would say they missed their crockpots and their instapots. The call out, complaining and wish that God had killed them back in Egypt, at least they would have died with a full belly. They fondly remember their slave food, but they conveniently forget their slave sorrow.

The LORD, despite their complaining, meets their need by sending bread from heaven in the morning and quails or partridges in the evening. Yet there is a condition, they must collect only as much as they can eat that day, except on Friday when they must collect twice the normal amount and most importantly they must not look for any manna on the Sabbath day. This is a test, God says, to see if the people will obey Him. Exodus 16:4 Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no. vss. 11–12 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God.

The bread from heaven and the quails from the wind that God sent was not a last-minute solution to an unforeseen crisis but was always what God had planned for the Hebrews as they traveled across the wilderness. The manna and quail was to be the daily proof of God’s providence for His own people according to His plan.

Blessings In Our Need

Today we also have needs as important as those of the Hebrews, needs in our family, our church, our finances, our health, or our future. We need to understand that God meets our needs according to His providence and that His providence today is as sufficient for us as it was in wilderness when He rained bread and blew in the quails.

Definition for Providence: We need a good definition of providence as a work of God.  

It comes from the Latin, “Pro” means “before” and “video” means “to see” (did you know you were speaking Latin every time you say “Lets watch a vi-de-o on You-tu-beo. Rodeo, btw, in Latin means “watch where you step.” Google it when you get home.)

Providence, “to see before” in our relationship to God means He sees before the need and He plans to meet the need according to what He sees.

According to Biblical scholar Walter Brueggemann, providence is "the hidden, patient, sovereign enactment of God’s overriding purpose beyond the will and choice of human agents."

Theological Definition- Henry Thiessan “Lectures in Systematic Theology”

The Doctrine of Providence - The Christian view affirms that God has not merely created the universe, together with all its properties and powers, and that He is preserving all that He has created, but that as a holy, benevolent, wise and omnipotent being, He also exercises sovereign control over it. This sovereign control is called providence.

Etymologically, the word “providence” means foreseeing. From this basic idea has developed the meaning of providing for the future. But in theology the word has received a more specialized meaning. In this field, “providence” means that continuous activity of God whereby he makes all the events of the physical, mental, and moral realms work out His purpose, and this purpose is nothing short of the original design of God in creation. To be sure, evil has entered the universe, but it is not allowed to thwart God’s original, benevolent, wise and holy purpose.”

As you can see from that definition, trusting in God for our daily bread is but a small part of providence, though it may be the part that impacts me the most as it did the Hebrews. Hey, I also want and need my bread and quail, or tortillas and beef, today whatever the case may be. Even cornbread and armadillo as we found out last night.

But, we need a larger perspective of this great doctrine, we need to expand our faith by understanding it better. Yes, providence is trusting God for my needs today but even more importantly it is trusting God in His providence not just for me today but for all His people for all time and for all of eternity.

Trusting God through the death of my friend Larry Jones.

Let me give you an example of the need to trust God’s providence. I have spoken many times about the death of my good friend pastor and missionary Larry Jones. He served the Lord faithfully for over 40 years. He was been devoted to the Lord’s work, the Lord’s church, His family and at the end of his life, the Amazing Grace Orphanage in Mexico City. And he was such a great friend to me, when I needed a friend the most. Now he gone.

I cannot comprehend why God didn’t allow him to be healed. If anyone deserved and needed a miracle it should have been him. I will never know why, but I do know that God’s providence met the needs of Larry as he moved closer and closer to His God. God had foreseen Larry’s death as He has foreseen the death of countless saints and servants before Larry and He has and He always will provide. I trust in that providence. I trust that God’s Will shall be done even in death and loss. I don’t have to understand how. I just have to believe that it will. That is how providence works in the people of God.

I wasn’t there when Bro. Larry preached his last few messages, but in one of them, he shared this. "When we first glimpse the light of the eternal day, the disease which was our intractable enemy and finally slew us here will become our great friend. The friend who hurried us to this place. This wonderful unspeakably beautiful place."-- Pastor Larry Jones. That is God’s providence, that is God giving to Larry something that you and I have not yet fully understood, that is a small but vital part of providence.

Lets go on and look closer at God’s will as it works through providence.

Providence and Faith - Exodus 16:13-21

 And it came to pass, that at even the quails came up, and covered the camp: and in the morning the dew lay round about the host.  And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground.  And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat. This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in his tents.  And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less.  And when they did mete (measure) it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating. And Moses said, Let no man leave of it till the morning.  Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank: and Moses was wroth with them.  And they gathered it every morning, every man according to his eating: and when the sun waxed hot, it melted.

God’s Will Reveals His Providence

The Hebrews are told how to handle God’s blessing of bread from heaven, the manna. Which means, “what is it?”

They were to gather it every morning early with the dew. They were to gather an omer (which in case you’re not up on your ancient OT dry measurements and omer is1/10 of an ephah, is that clear? Well what if we say about 2 liters, or 2 quarts). They were to gather about 2 quarts of manna for each person and take it home. They were told not to gather more than they needed nor try to store it for later use.

And yet, and yet, many ignored God’s word and tried to hoard as much as they could. I bet they regretted that the next day when their tents spelled like a rancid chicken carcass and maggots were crawling all over the place.

This was probably they way they acted while slaves back in Egypt. Grab all you can when you can and hoard it. You know exactly what that is like because we went through the great toilet paper hoarding of 2020.

But God wants them to realize they are no longer slaves and they need to quit acting like they still are. When they ignored the warning, when they disregarded God’s revealed will, then the manna they had hoarded bred worms and it stank. (Some words sound just like what they are. Stank needs no description.)

So, after that first morning they gathered only as much as they needed except on Friday when they gathered enough for the Sabbath day, a miracle within a miracle. And the Bible tells us that when the sun rose high in the sky, the manna, just like the dew evaporated. Incredible.

Blessings In God’s Will

There are some wonderful principles about God’s will in this passage which we can apply to all of God’s provision and blessing in our life.

First, Go to God, early to gather His blessings.

Second, take as much as you need for the day and trust Him for the rest.

Third, God’s blessings, like manna, are poured out daily, you can’t hoard them.

Fourth, Ignoring God’s will results in busted blessings.

The purpose of the manna was not just to feed the people but also show them God’s will, it was to teach them to trust and obey him and it was to test his people so that through that test, they could be blessed by their obedience.

Those purposes have not changed, God still tells His Will through His word and then pours His blessing upon us so that we may learn to trust Him. And yes part of that process is that we will be tested in the way in which we will handle those blessings, the way in which we follow God’s will.

With each blessing, be it in faith, family or finances, God has given principles that will sustain and multiply the blessings. Just like manna from heaven. If we ignore His revealed will, if we think we can receive the blessings of God without obedience, without submission, without repentance, then that blessing is diminished or even removed. Just like the Children of Israel instead of sweet manna we will wake up to worms and rot.

Let me give you an example in something we all experience, the family.

 God’s blessing of the family turns to a curse if we don’t follow His will.

God provides the family to be a blessing. It is our place of shelter, safety and security. If we follow God’s will for the family, if we apply His rules for how the family should be run then it is one of the greatest blessings we will ever experience in this life.

God says in Psalms 127: 3 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.4  As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.5  Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

That is a blessing, children are God’s heritage, they make a family strong.

But notice what the Bible says in Ephesians 6:4  And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

There is a warning in Ephesians 6:4 that if we are not careful as parents we can provoke our children and drive them to wrath. With the blessing of family, God sends the principles to handle that blessing. If we ignore the guidelines then the blessing can turn to wrath for our us and our children. We have all seen it, time and time again.

So, don’t lose God’s blessings in your life by ignoring God’s will. God’s providence is the outworking of His will and it includes both the blessings and the curses. It is up to us to choose the blessings.

Let’s look at the final aspect of God’s providence in this chapter.

Providence and Rest - Exodus 16:22-31

 And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, Tomorrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.  And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein.  And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye shall not find it in the field.  Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none.  And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none.  And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?  See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.  So the people rested on the seventh day.  And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna: and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey. (Mmm, mmm, good)

God Provides Rest

God in his providence and the gift of manna, also established the Sabbath day rest for the people of the Exodus. They probably had not been allowed to practice this in captivity. There are no days off for slaves, but as we have said, God’s people were no longer slaves. Now God, their creator says, you need a full day of rest. God knew, they needed manna and quails, God knew they would need two days worth on Friday because God knew what was needed for the entire journey to the promised Land and beyond. In His providence He would provide, and the Hebrews needed to realize, by these things, to trust Him more.

So, on the sixth day, they would gather twice the amount of manna and the seventh day, the Sabbath of the Lord, they would be blessed in the rest that God had provided. God made provision on that day that the manna would not rot but would remain until the following day. (miracle within a miracle, isn’t God amazing.)

Well what do you think happened? Did they all take the morning off? Take time to just worship the Lord, and enjoy a fellowship meal that didn’t have to go out and? Not really, some of those same people are unable to trust Him fully. They get up, gather their baskets and go outside looking for manna on the Sabbath day. They didn’t trust God for the days when there would be no bread from heaven.

Blessing In God’s Rest

I wonder, if we had been there with the Hebrews on that first Sabbath Day or rest, would we have been with those resting in our Lord provision or would we have been seen outside our tents scrounging for manna that wasn’t ever going to be there? I’d like to think I would be kicking back fully assured of God’s word and enjoy time with my family and getting read to worship the Lord. That’s what I’d like to think, but I’m almost afraid that though I wouldn’t grab a basket and run out to look for manna, I might have still crept to the tent flap and peeked out to make sure there was no manna. That’s just me, I’m sure none of you would have your eye to the tent flap.

I need this lesson and so do you. I need to understand that God in his providence has given us rest. There is much more that God wants to give to us than just what we think we need. The Israelites needed rest, but they didn’t know it, they didn’t ask for it. All they could see was empty stewpots but they needed more than food. God knew they needed rest and they needed to learn how to rest in God’s promises.

We may think that we just need to bring our list of necessities to God and faith begins and ends with the asking and the waiting for His answer, but true faith goes far beyond what we can see and know in the here and now. This is the doctrine of Providence and it leads us to true faith.

True faith realizes that God is eternal and that He sees beyond today and tomorrow and right on into eternity. That He sees and knows all things that pertain to us and beyond us. True faith realizes that trust is based upon knowing God not just knowing His blessings. True faith learns to rest upon the Lord and finds that eternity begins even before we die. True faith looks for and longs for the rest that God will provide though Jesus Christ, here and now and throughout eternity.

Listen to the way Paul taught this in  Hebrews 4:1-11 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

Oh how I want to move from simple dependence on God for my needs today to true faith in My Lord for all days and all things. I want to move from faith to faith. I want to move from expectation to complete trust. I want to move into the reality of the “rest” of God. I want to truly live and act according to my understanding of the Providence of God.

I think the song, Dwelling in Beulah Land is about the rest and providence of God. It describes an attitude of faith and overcoming based up God and his provision for us.

Far away the noise of strife upon my ear is falling.
Then I know the sins of earth beset on every hand.
Doubt and fear and things of earth in vain to me are calling.
None of these shall move me from Beulah Land.

Viewing here the works of God, I sink in contemplation.
Hearing now His blessèd voice, I see the way He planned.
Dwelling in the Spirit here I learn of full salvation.
Gladly will I tarry in Beulah Land.

Refrain: I’m living on the mountain, underneath a cloudless sky.
I’m drinking at the fountain that never shall run dry.
O yes! I’m feasting on the manna from a bountiful supply,
For I am dwelling in Beulah Land.


Are You Able To Trust in the Providence of God this morning?

This is not just a stale theological definition. It is not just a label we use for the good things in our life. This trust is the path that leads to a greater experiencing and knowledge of God in our lives!

Listen to what David says in Psalms 139?

Psalms 139:3-5 Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.  Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.

That’s providence! This morning, do you trust that God has provided for you?

Do you trust Him to provide what is needed in the circumstances of your life now and what you will need for eternity?

I can’t leave this subject without telling you of God’s greatest act of providence. Listen to what Jesus said in John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

God’s providence didn’t stop with the miracle of the Exodus, He provided salvation through His own Son, Jesus, is the Bread of Life. Your need for a savior has been met in Him. Will you put your faith trust in Jesus Christ to provide for your eternal life? This is the greatest test of all time and eternity.

God in His providence knows your need and has made provision for it, but you must step outside your tent of fear and in faith gather the manna. You must act, you must make the choice to trust that God has provided today, tomorrow and for eternity.

Sunday, June 18, 2023

Things My Father Taught Me Proverbs 4

Things My Father Taught Me
Text: Proverbs 4

For research this past week, I read 5 or 6 articles with the same title as my sermon, “Things My Father Taught Me.” They were all pretty good, they promoted good values like saving money, getting a good education, and putting family first. But after reading the last article I noticed something was missing and it made all the values from all those dads fatally flawed. You can probably guess what it was. Only one mentioned anything about faith and even that one was talking more about the Catholic church than a personal relationship with God. None mentioned the Bible, none mentioned salvation, repentance or forgiveness, none mentioned much about honesty or morality. They were more about personal goals, not giving up, getting an education and putting family first. All good things but fatally flawed.
Those of us over 40 years old probably all remember the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster. It happened on a cold day in January 28, 1986, the Shuttle broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, killing all seven crew members aboard. The spacecraft disintegrated 46,000 feet (14 km) above the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 11:39 a.m. Some of the most dedicated, driven, smartest people in the nation were on that flight. On the ground were people just as smart, educated and goal oriented. All the right values and knowledge you need to fly a multi-million dollar spacecraft into outer space and back. But there was a fatal flaw in the shuttle, an O-ring that failed when it was too cold. It leaked and that leak caused the fuel tanks to explode and all those good, smart people died and the space program was never the same. Just one fatal flaw and so much was lost.
All the values that a Father can pass on to his children can also be lost, if the father doesn’t guard against another kind of fatal flaw. Not a physical flaw but a spiritual one. The greatest thing that a father can teach his children is not about the values of this world but the value of preparing for the next world. That is what we find in Proverbs 4, the instructions of Solomon as he passes on the moral and spiritual wisdom of his Father David to the next generation.

Solomon Passes On Wisdom

1Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. 2 For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. 3 For I was my father's son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. 4 He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words:
keep my commandments, and live.

Children, Listen To My Father’s Wisdom

Chapter 4 is the last chapter before the collections of proverbs begins. When you look at the organization of the proverbs you can see that

The first 5 chapters deal with the Gaining of Wisdom as a life’s greatest Goal. We read verses like Proverbs 3:13-17 Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. 14 For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. 15 She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. 16 Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour. 17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
Chapters 6-9 personify wisdom as a righteous woman and wickedness as a sinful harlot.
10 - 22 are single verse Proverbs collected by Solomon.
23 - 24 are Thirty Collected Wise Sayings
25 - 29 are proverbs edited by Hezekiah’s authority.
Chapter 30 contains the Words and Wisdom of Agur
And finally, 31 is the words of Lemuel’s mother dedicated to the Virtuous Woman

Chapter 4, where we are today, falls under Solomon’s instructions on wisdom and chapter 4 is his personal exhortation to his children and it is specifically about the wisdom that came to him from his father David.

He begins by tell the children to hear his instructions. This is the first time that Solomon does not say, “My son” but instead speaks to sons or to all his children. What he first says is “pay attention” “Hear children. Attend to know understanding.” What I’m saying is important and you must work at listening and taking it in.

Pay attention, Solomon says, because I’m giving you good doctrine. The word here is
לֶקַח, leqaḥ, and it means something received. Other places it is translated learning, or air speech. Here is wisdom, instruction given but it must be received and it can only be received by paying attention, by listening carefully and closely.

Then Solomon tells of a chain of wisdom that was passed to him from his parents, and especially from his Father, David. You can see this chain of wisdom here in the opening verses, by the use of the word “For”

Proverbs 4:1-4 Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. 2 For (because) I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. 3 For (because) I was my father's son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. 4 He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.
Solomon is passing on the wisdom of his father and the love of his mother and because of this family chain of wisdom, instruction and love, children take the gift I am giving you and in turn one day, you also will say to your children, “Hear ye, children the instruction of a father.”

Dad’s Duty: Forge the Chain

These opening verses contain one of the most important lesson about fatherhood. It is not hard to understand but it is getting harder and harder to see it happening in our society today. One of reasons that our society is failing is because Father’s are failing in this duty, this responsibility, this purpose that God gave every Father.

That duty is simple to pass on the good doctrine, the wisdom, the learning that was passed to you from your parents and especially from your Dad. The principle here is that that every family, but especially every father in his lifetime must by instructing and teaching his children, forge the links and weld them to a chain of wisdom that was been given to him by his father.

With each lesson, with each instruction another link is hammered into that family heritage chain that extends back probably further than any of us can possibly imagine. And is your duty, your God giving purpose to make sure you pass it on.

One of the reasons God chose Abraham, Genesis 18:19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.

David wrote about this in Psalms 34:11 Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

Ephesians 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

After Solomon tells his children to listen, pay attention to him, he then tells them three life lessons about Wisdom and Wickedness and the Way they should walk.

Seek After Wisdom - Proverbs 4:5-13

5 Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. 6 Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. 7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. 8 Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. 9 She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee. 10 Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many. 11 I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths. 12 When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble. 13 Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.

Children, Seek Wisdom

Solomon tells his children, Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from my words. Do not forsake wisdom, she will keep you; love wisdom, she will guard you. Prize wisdom, and she will lift you up; she will honor you if you embrace her. She will place on your head grace and she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.”

Wisdom is supremely important, so we better understand what Solomon means by wisdom. We can find this in the early chapters of Proverbs where he describes and explains wisdom. There is no insight in the Hebrew the word simply means wisdom or wise. 145 in the OT that is exactly how it is translated. But we can see what Solomon meant by wisdom by reading his description of what wisdom is and what wisdom does.

Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge. (Wisdom is the honoring and respectful reverence of Jehovah)

Proverbs 2:4-6 4 If thou seekest her (wisdom) as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; 5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. 6 For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. (Wisdom is a treasure that is found when you got to the Lord. He gives wisdom, knowledge and understanding.)

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Wisdom is fully trusting in the Lord and letting him lead you through life)

Job talked of wisdom this way in chapter 28 Job 28:12-23 But where shall wisdom be found?
and where is the place of understanding? 20 Whence then cometh wisdom? and where is the place of understanding? 23 God understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the place thereof.
David, Solomons fathers spoke of this kind of wisdom in Psalm 51:6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.

Wisdom, true wisdom is a moral quality. A lesson taught throughout life, that teaches us how to live a good life and it is taught by the Lord who established what is good, moral and wise.

 Dad’s Duty: Follow The Lord

Father’s if you want your children to have a good life, if you want to protect them from the world that wants to destroy their joy, strip them of their divine purpose, rob them of eternity, then you must follow the Lord and you must bring your children with you.

Take them to church, take them to Sunday School, take them to Bible Study. Read the Bible with them, pray with them. Talk to them about your Lord and Savior so that He may become their Lord and Savior. There is no other advice or lesson that you can give them, that is more important nor will have such an eternal impact.

This is how you fulfill Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. You train them by showing them, by going with them. You teach by the example of your own life.

Yes, teach them a skill, and plant in them good values but do not neglect or leave for others the lesson of walking with the Lord.

Now Solomon moves from seeking true wisdom to the opposite, shunning sin.

Shun Sin – Proverbs 4:14-19

14 Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. 15 Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. 16 For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall. 17 For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence. 18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. 19 The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.

Children, Shun Sin

Listen to the adamant language Solomon uses. Proverbs 4:14-17 Don’t enter the path of the wicked, don’t walk in the way with evil men. 15 Avoid that patch, don’t even pass by it, turn from it, and walk away. 16 Evil men don’t go to sleep until they have hurt others, they can’t sleep unless they cause someone to fall. 17 The wicked eat wickedness for bread and drink violence for wine. It is their sustenance and nourishment.

Then Solomon gives a stunning contrast, one that can’t be more vivid in showing the extreme difference between wisdom and wickedness. Here he says is the path you should walk, Proverbs 4:18-19 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. (But) 19 The way of the wicked is as darkness (thick impenetrable blackness, like a night with no moon and a fog that conceals the stars): they know not at what they stumble.

Dad’s Duty: Warn The Ones You Love

There are many wicked, sinful, destructive, terrifying things in this world that want to groom your children and then drag them down the darkest paths or pain and regret that can be found in this world. The only darker paths will only be found in hell itself.

Dads, you got to warn your children about those paths. Brother Russ preached on this while I was gone Matthew 7:13-14 13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

The Lord Jesus warns us of the world’s wide gate, of sins broad way. Those paths are wide because they are popular, sin is always popular, but those paths lead to destruction, both in this life and in the next. One of the duties of a Dad is to warn your family of the popular path and the destruction that is their destination and point to the gate that is small and the path that is narrow, because at the end of that path is life, a full life now and an eternal life when it ends.

One last lesson in the Father’s Day chapter of Proverbs.

Secure Your Life – Proverbs 4:20-27

20 My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. 21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. 22 For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. 23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. 24 Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. 25 Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. 26 Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. 27 Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.

Children, Secure The Future

Solomon once again calls for his children to pay attention to what he is about to say, “Attend to my words, incline your ear to what I’m about to say.” Not only pay attention but also to hold on to these words of wisdom. “Don’t take your eyes away from them, keep them in the very center of your heart.” He tells them. These word, words that were passed to me from my father and passed to him from my grandfather Jesse, these wisdom chain words, “are life and they are health even to your physical body.”
Then here is the last word of wisdom this father gives to his children in this section of Proverbs. He says, “Keep your heart with vigilance, like a guard standing outside the door of a treasury. It is a living treasure, for out of you heart, flows the springs of life.

Then Solomon moves from the heart to the mouth, “Put away crooked, deceptive talking, put it far away” Then the eyes, “Always look directly ahead” Then the feet, “Think about the path you walk so you will always be sure where you are going. Don’t turn out of that safe, secure path, turn away from evil.”

Dad’s Duty: Point and Protect

Here is the last Father’s day advice for fathers from this father. Time to go home and let you family pamper you, or if you’re not a father, time to go home and pamper your dad. So here it is, Dad’s, granddad’s, and uncles Point the way that children should go, because this is the only way you can hope to protect them from a vile, evil, wicked agenda that is working nonstop to take them down another path.

There are many verses in the NT that we could remind you of that speak of guarding our words, our heart and our feet, you know them as well as I do. I just want to share this one from Paul.

Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Paul isn’t talking to Fathers but to followers of Christ, but his words apply to Christian fathers and their children. Tell them to “Forget the things that are behind and stretch out your arms to the things God has for you going forward.”

Fathers, tell them as C.S Lewis once said, “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”

Tell them, Keep looking forward toward eternity. That is where all of us will be one day and only what you believe and do today will determine that kind of eternity you will experience. So, as Paul continues…
“Press toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Fathers, tell you children to keep their eyes on the prize for they are called by God to run a race. They are not here to be popular with the world but to fulfil their purpose in Christ.

My Dad On the Day I was Saved

I’ve already told you that my Dad had his problems being a proper Dad, doing all the things we’ve talked about today. But let me share with you one time that My Dad, Sammy Don Minefee, fulfilled his fatherly role in the most important way.

I was 7 years old on the day I accepted Jesus as my Savior and it was one of the few time that my Dad attended church with us. My Grandfather, Van George was preaching and as the invitation was given we all stood and there was my Dad on the end of the pew and as I felt the call of the Holy Spirit tug on my heart, I looked up at Dad who knew I was under conviction and he looked into my eyes and gave a small nod of his head. Just the way me Dad was and with that nod he said, “Go ahead Kris, the Lord is calling you for eternity. Start walking that path.” Now that was a lot more words than my dad ever really said about things, but that nod of the head was enough. I stepped out and I pressed toward the mark of the high call of God in Christ Jesus.


Fathers, Grandfathers, I hope you will purpose in your life, to do all God instructs us in his word to do as we forge the links of wisdom, adding them to the chain that was passed to us from our fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers. Teach them what true wisdom is and warn them of the terrible destructive power of sin.

But if you don’t fully fulfill those tasks then make sure you fulfill this one, Point them down the path that will lead them to Calvary, point them to Jesus Christ who died for them, point them toward eternity. Tell them to Proverbs 4:23 Keep their heart carefully by giving it to Jesus. For, as Solomon in all his wisdom said, “out of the heart are all the issues of life.”

Monday, June 12, 2023

Exodus: Going With God #10 Going In God’s Care Text: Exodus 14

Exodus: Going With God #10 Going In God’s Care Text: Exodus 14

In New York recently scientists dug a trench do to 1000 feet. The New York scientists found traces of copper wire dating back 1000 years and came to the conclusion that their ancestors already had a telephone network more than 1000 years ago.

Not to be outdone by the Yankees, in the weeks that followed, Oklahoma scientists from Oklahoma State University dug to a depth of 2000 feet and shortly after headlines in the OKC newspapers read: "OSU archaeologists have found traces of 2000 year copper wire and have concluded that their ancestors already had an advanced high-tech communications network a thousand years earlier than the Yankees."

 One week later, Texas newspapers reported the following: "After digging as deep as 5000 feet in West Texas, Texas Aggie scientists have found absolutely nothing. They have therefore concluded that 5000 years ago Texas inhabitants were already using cellphones."

You know who really should be bragging about their past? The people of God, the fellowship of the Saints, the church of the Lord, the plain and simple saved and redeemed Christians! We have a direct link to the past, from creation through Exodus, the Kingdom of David, the captivity, the return and most importantly, to through Mount Calvary and our Lord who died for us there. The same God that created made Eden, opened the Red Sea and rolled away the stone from the tomb is also the God who will call our bodies from the grave one day. Our God, Jehovah, Yahweh, the Great I Am, who has love, power and protection beyond description. His powerful care, His providential protection of us is so vast it stretches throughout our lifetime and into eternity.

So let’s turn to one story our past and one of the greatest events recorded in the Bible, Exodus chapter14 and the Parting of the Red Sea.

This is such a powerful story, they really should make a movie about, don’t you think? Who is in the world could play Moses though? 

Protection of God Promised - Exodus 14:10-14

10 And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD. 11 And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? 12 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.

13 And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more forever. 14 The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.

God’s Promise of Protection To His People

The Hebrews call out in fear, doubt and even in scornful contempt. Vss 11 …they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? 12 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!

The people are afraid an in their fear they blame Moses the man who freed them. But notice the contrast of Moses. Vss 13 And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more forever. 14 The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.

Moses calls out in faith of God’s promise and power. And then tells the frightened tribes, “The Lord shall fight for you and ye shall hold your peace. That last phrase is interesting, in a more modern vernacular, Moses is saying, “Stand still, shut up and see God save!”

God’s Promises, Are We believing?

I think we could all use a little more plain language like that today. We need a banner written in 2-foot-high letters and stretching 10 feet wide, hanging in our homes so that we read it every morning when we get up. “Stand still, shut up and see God’s salvation.

We are so often caught up in our own strengths, our own plans and our own power and even when we succeed we are actually still failing because we are not seeing God working in our lives.

We need to stand still and listen to the promises of God and then trust in that which only He can do and then watch as He acts on our behalf, but instead, we make our own plans use our own methods and when those fail, we wonder why God let us down.

Listen to some of the promises of God for us, His people today.

Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Do you hear it? “Stand still, shut up and see God save.”

Jehovah is still God

 I watched a movie once called, “The Inn of the Seventh Happiness” it was the story of  Gladys Aylward. She was a missionary to China when Japan invaded during WW2. She stayed behind when the missionaries with families fled to care for the orphans, and the many more that came running from the Japanese army. She would not leave the children and now families behind. Finally when the Japanese army was only a village away, they also fled. With only one assistant, she led more than a hundred orphans over the mountains she nor anyone with her had every traveled toward what was left of Free China.

   In their book The Hidden Price of Greatness, Ray Besson and Ranelda Mack Hunsicker tell what happened:  "During Gladys's harrowing journey out of war-torn Yangcheng ... she grappled with despair as never before. After passing a sleepless night, she faced the morning with no hope of reaching safety. A 13-year-old girl in the group reminded her of their much-loved story of Moses and the Israelites crossing the Red Sea.

 "But I am not Moses,' Gladys cried in desperation. 'Of course you aren't,' the girl said, 'but Jehovah is still God!" 

Whatever obstacle is before us and whatever fear is behind us, Jehovah is still God. The God of the Hebrews past is our God of heaven future. The Hebrews face the Red Sea and behind them comes the army of Pharoah and now in vss. 15-20 God speaks.

Protection of God’s Presence - Exodus 14:15-20

15 And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward: 16 But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. …

19 And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them: 20 And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night.

God’s Presence Protects Israel

Listen closely to what God said, “Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward.” Again, lets update that language, God is saying, “It’s time to quit praying and start moving!”

First Moses tells the people, “Shut up, stand still, and see what God will do”. Now God, Himself bluntly says, “Quit praying and get moving!”

Now, I can understand that kind of instruction. You don’t need to study Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic or Latin to understand what God is saying. “Get moving, now!”

While the millions of Israelites and all their flocks begin to move, God’s presence hinders the Egyptians and helps the Israelites. This presence, the Bible says, was a cloud of protection behind them in front it was a light and guidance as the tribes prepared to move forward.

God’s Presence Is Promised, Are We Partaking?

Did you ever think there are times when God tells us, “Hey, it time to quit praying?”

Why would He do that? Perhaps because sometimes we are using prayer as an excuse for inaction. We are crying out to God, but we are not willing yet to go with God. To go where God is telling us to go or do what He is tell us to do. So we remain inert and we “pray.”

The Hebrews then and very often us now, need a kick in the pants, a jump start and God gave it to them in the command, “Quit praying and get going!”

If there is one thing that characterizes Christians today it is the willingness to replace action with inaction, deeds with indecision and faith with fatalism. I hear it and see it all the time.

I just don’t know what to do. I’m just going to keep “praying” about it.

Well, God hasn’t revealed His will to me yet so I’ll just keep waiting till He does.

You know everything works together for good, so I’m just going let it all work out.

I’ve seen church members putrefy in the pew and I’ve seen missionaries flounder on the field. I’ve seen pastors petrify in their pulpits and I’ve seen churches stagnate on the street where they stand, because they just won’t do anything! They keep their prayer lists and they should, but they don’t move, they don’t go, they don’t attend services, they don’t participate in the great commission. They pray but they won’t put their feet to their own prayers. There is a reason Paul says, Put on the shoes of the preparation of the Gospel of peace.” It means the work of the Lord requires action.  

When we don’t do, when we won’t move, when we won’t act, when we don’t attend, then there is no sense of personal responsibility, no outworking of loyalty, no concept of a work ethic. If we don’t all get involved then the work of the Gospel, the call of the church won’t get done and in the end you as an individual or we as a church, just wither and die.

Quit praying and start moving! Yes, God tells you to.

And when you move understand this, believe this, trust in this, that you are moving in the power and protection of God’s presence.

Jesus said, John 14:18 I will not leave you comfortless (alone): I will come to you.

Psalm 23 is a Psalm that celebrates and takes comfort in the presence of God

I have preached it at more funerals than any other Bible text but the place it meant the most to me was in a hospital bed when my wife LeeOra read it to me as I wondered whether the ulcer in my throat would stop bleeding so I wouldn’t die. I needed to know that God was there to comfort me. I needed to feel His arms of protection around me as real as I felt my LeeOra’s hand holding mine.

Read it aloud with me this morning, with the confidence and calm assurance that it was written to you the people of God for this time and age.

Psalms 23
1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul:
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

We better stop keeping God at arms distance from our lives and hearts and begin to do just what the old song says, “Now let us have a little talk with Jesus, let us tell him all about our troubles, He will hear us when we cry, and he will answer by and by.”

If you desire the power of God’s presence, then you better walk and talk with Him. His presence is power and protection, but if we are to experience it then you must spend time with him, dwell with Him in the moments of our daily lives and then go with Him where and when He tells us to go.

 Use It or Lose It

Joke: Quaker and the Cow. “Thou knowest that I cannot strike thee, but what thou dost not know is that I will sell thee to my brother-in-law. He is a Baptist and will beat the rebellion out of thee.”

I’m not a farmer but I spent time with my Grandfather who kept a milk cow. Did you know you have to milk them every day whether you want milk or not? If you don’t they will go dry and there will be no more milk.

The same is true for the power of the presence of God. You better partake of it every day or that presence and power will run dry in your life and in our church.

Back in Exodus 14 the time for words is past and the time for moving forward has come. Go to vss 21-29

 Protection of God’s Power - Exodus 14:21-29

21 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. 22 And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. 23 And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. 24 And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the LORD looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians, 25 And took off their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily: so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the LORD fighteth for them against the Egyptians. 26 And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen. 27 And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. 28 And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them. 29 But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.

God Opens a Path By Moses

Isn’t this an amazing story? Cecille B. DeMille and Charlton Heston just about got it right!

Moses stretches forth his hand and the Red Sea opens a channel through it. The wind blows through that channel and dries the sea floor so the children of Israel can pass on dry land.

When the Egyptians begin to pursue the Hebrews through that same passage, God knocks the wheels off their chariots and leaves them stranded in the midst of the sea, between those two great walls of water.

Then God told Moses “Stretch forth thine hand again” and the waters of the Red Sea collapsed and the Hebrew’s pursuers, that which they feared was destroyed.

Now just in case you needed a little scientific reasoning for your faith, I have a clipping that explains just how God did this.

  Sophisticated computer calculations indicate that the biblical parting of the Red Sea, said to have allowed Moses and the Israelites to escape from bondage in Egypt, could have occurred precisely as the Bible describes it.

   Because of the peculiar geography of the northern end of the Red Sea, researchers report in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, issued today, that a moderate wind blowing constantly for about 10 hours could have caused the sea to recede about a mile and the water level to drop 10 feet.  That would have left the land dry in the area where many biblical scholars believe the crossing occurred.

   An abrupt change in the wind would have then allowed the waters to come crashing back into the area in a few moments, a phenomenon that the Bible says inundated the Israelites' Egyptian pursuers.- The Columbus Dispatch, March 15, 1992, p. 12A

Now isn’t that nice. Some smart, well meaning meteorological scientist played with his nice, new shiny computer and came up with a nice, natural and uncomplicated way to explain away one of the greatest miracles in the Bible. Aren’t you glad?

Let me tell you what you already know, The supernatural God of nature doesn’t need nature help to save His people and the Hebrews needed more than a coincidental wind to save them from sure death on the spears of the Egyptians. They needed a God of power and protection to open a path through the impassable Red Sea.

God promised His protection and His people trusted in that promise, and God saved them with a supernatural miracle, a miracle the supersedes nature, not a convenient miracle of coincidence.

God opened the path through the Red Sea by Moses and saved His people and it was spectacular in its power.

God Opens a Path By Jesus. Will We Take It?

Let me also say that God has opened another path, this one through Jesus Christ and you better believe in a supernatural God who uses supernatural means to save because we also are facing our own Sea of Death.

We are caught between the coming judgment of our sins and the end of our life just as the Hebrews were trapped between Pharaoh and the Red Sea.

The Bible says, Hebrews 9:27  …it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.

In Romans 3:23 It says, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

In Romans 6:23 it says, “The wages of sin is death…”

We stand everyday of our lives at the edge of the sea of death and one day the coming judgment will overtake us and we will be judged for our sin and the Bible says that judgment is eternal death.

Just like the children of Israel we must stop and look for the salvation of God, for the path that He has opened.

Psalms 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God:

Ephesians 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9  Not of works, lest any man should boast.

We must stand still in our own power and then we will see the path God has opened. That path is Jesus Christ, God’s own Son. He is the path through death itself.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Romans 5:2  By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Jesus is the path that God has opened for us to pass through the valley of the shadow of death. He is the only way through the sea.

And just like God told the people who feared for their life then, now is the time to for us to go. There is no salvation standing on the shore until death the enemy comes. There is no salvation waiting until the walls of water crash down upon your head. There is only salvation when you step out in faith upon the path, the way that is Jesus our Savior.

You find salvation when you come to Jesus Christ. You find eternal protection when you come to Jesus Christ. You want to experience a miracle today? Then come to Jesus and fully trusting him as Lord and Savior find a miracle.

 A miracle of the emotions, a miracle of the mind, a miracle of the heart but much more than that it is a miracle of the soul. A miracle that takes a soul stained with sin and washes it white as snow. A miracle that takes you from fighting against God to God fighting for you. A miracle that walks you through the sea of death to the promised land of heaven.

The story doesn’t end here of course, look at Chp. 15 1-2, 11

Conclusion: Praise of Protection Exodus 15:1-2,11

1 Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying,
I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. 2 The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him. 11 Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?

Are you singing the song of salvation this morning?

How long since you have had something to praise God about? How long since you stood still and saw the salvation of God? How long since you moved in the direction God wanted you to go? I want to hear the songs of salvation sung in my life and in my church for I believe it is as much our promise as it was the promise of Moses and the Hebrews on the shore of the Red Sea