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Lights In A Dark World I - Part 2 of 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.
The Truth Network Radio
August 31, 2020 12:00 am

Lights In A Dark World I - Part 2 of 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.

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August 31, 2020 12:00 am

“That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:15).

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Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing, my great Redeemer's praise, The worries of my God and King, the triumphs of His grace.

This is LeSaire Bradley, Jr., welcoming you to another broadcast of the Baptist Bible Hour. We'll continue with our message today, Lights in a Dark World. Certainly the world in which we're living is indeed dark, and there are many portions of scripture that talk about the darkness and the blindness of those who do not see the Almighty God as the sovereign ruler of heaven and earth, and Jesus Christ as the savior of sinners. But God's people are to shine as lights in that time of darkness.

I pray that today's message will be a blessing to you. Here we find the account of the children of Israel singing a song of triumph and praise to God because of their deliverance at the Red Sea. Verse nine, the enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil, my lust will be satisfied upon them, I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them.

Notice the personal pronoun, I, I, I. Every time man exalts himself, this is what I'm going to do, this is my plan, this is my purpose, this is for me. God has a way of bringing down those mighty from their seats. Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them, they sank as lead in the mighty waters. Now the people are rejoicing, they're praising God for what has happened, and understandably so. Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods?

Who is like unto thee, glorious and holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? Thou stretchest out thy right hand, the earth swallowed them, thou in thy mercy has led forth the people which thou hast redeemed, thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation. Now you hear these people singing such a triumphant song, there was great rejoicing, giving all praise and glory to God for this mighty deliverance. You say, my, those people are going to walk humbly before God for many days to come.

It's going to be an experience they'll not soon forget. They're going to come before God in continuity with grateful hearts. They had groaned in the days of their slavery. God had heard their cry and had respect to the covenant that they made with their fathers, sent Moses to deliver them from their bondage. Now they're marching out after being in slavery for 400 years, they're free. They're fearful when they face the Red Sea. They hear the chariot wheels as they rumble down the road behind them. Pharaoh's host is coming in hot pursuit. What's going to happen? God parks the waters, they march across safely.

Pharaoh's host is drowned in the depths. Could you ever doubt God? Could you ever have any justifiable reason to be afraid? Could you ever say there's an enemy too big? There's a sea too wide?

There's waters too deep? No, heaven witnessed that. They're going to trust God no matter what, no matter what. Verse 21 says, and Miriam answered them, saying ye to the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. So Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea and they went out into the wilderness of Shur. And they went three days into the wilderness and found no water. Now get this, we're talking about what happens three days later. This isn't three months or three years where the memory of this event might fade somewhat into the background.

This is three days later. They came to Merah, they could not drink of the waters of Merah for they were bitter. Therefore the name of it was called Merah. And the people murmured against Moses saying, what shall we drink? These are the same people who were praising God for his deliverance and for the mighty victory at the Red Sea and now because they come to a place that the waters are bitter, they're saying, what shall we drink and they murmured, murmured against Moses. And he cried unto the Lord and the Lord showed him a tree which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet. There he made for them a statute and an ordinance and there he proved them and said, if I will diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, I will do that which is right in his sight and will give ear to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee which I have brought upon the Egyptians for I am the Lord that healeth thee. And they came to Elam where there were twelve wells of water and three score and ten palm trees and they encamped there by the waters. Here are people who have seen the mighty hand of God stretched out in their behalf making a path in the sea. Will it be a problem for a God like that to provide water when you're thirsty?

Obviously not. But when they come to the waters of Merah and they are bitter, they murmur and they complain. God was merciful to them and provided a way to remedy the situation. They cast a tree into the water and the waters became sweet. Just as the tree of the cross being cast into the bitterness of our sufferings here can make them sweet because in the sufferings we experience with Christ, there is a blessing to be found.

God gave them the waters they needed and then he refreshed them shortly thereafter when they came to Elam where there were twelve wells of water and seventy palm trees, a place of quietness, a place of rest and tranquility. Isn't that so often the case in our own experience? We come to the bitter waters of trial and sorrow.

We may be in deep distress at the moment. We wonder, will things ever be better? But shortly thereafter the Lord brings us to that little oasis in the desert, brings us to a place where we can drink of the wells of salvation and be shaded by the palm trees of his love and mercy. God is so good and gracious. Think about it today, how many times have you murmured or doubted or feared or complained and in spite of your failure and sin, God took care of you anyway. You were thirsty but God gave you something to drink. You had a great need but God supplied it.

And then you think about those little experiences under the palm trees. When God refreshed your soul and you were able to drink drawing waters from the deep well of salvation, hasn't he been good and gracious to you? Is it not humbling to think that in spite of your rebellion, your lack of gratitude, your fear, your lack of trust, that God was still merciful to you?

Is that not enough to bring you to the point to walk humbly before God every day of your life, every step that you take? Let's look at Exodus chapter 16 verse 1 says, and they took their journey from Elam and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of sin and which is between Elam and Sinai on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt. The whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness.

Here they are again. You think well surely now they have learned that when there is a great need, God will provide it. If God made these bitter waters sweet, he can take care of them, whatever the situation, but they're murmuring again. 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. Ye have brought us forth into the wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger. Now when they were in bondage, God heard their groans and their cries. He had respect to the covenant. He brought them out by his mighty hand. Now here they are, delivered, free men, headed for the land, but they complain, why it would have been better if we had died back in Egypt.

Oh we remember those days, the onions and the leek and the garlic, we had all of those dainties of the land. Why Moses have you brought us out here? See they really are blaming it all on God. It's your fault. It would have been better if you were going to kill us just to have killed us down there before we had to make this trip.

And let me tell you something, this is the serious issue friends. This is the reason this sin is not one of insignificance that you can shove aside and say well okay I do tend to be a little negative, I'm sometimes a complainer. No this is a big issue because ultimately when you're murmuring and complaining you're really complaining against God. You're really saying God is unfair to have let these events touch my life. God should have exalted me to a higher place. God should have given me an easier road to travel.

God should have prevented sorrow and loss and heartache from touching me. Complaints are ultimately against God. They were complaining against Moses.

Moses got the brunt of it because they could see him but God was the one they were really charging. Murmuring verse 8. And Moses said this shall be when the Lord shall give you in the evening flesh to eat and in the morning bread to the fool for the Lord heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against him and what are we? Your murmurings are not against us but against the Lord. God has heard you but in spite of your murmurings he's going to feed you, he's going to give you manna to eat but your murmurings are against the Lord.

That makes it a serious matter doesn't it? Sometimes people may complain against the messenger of the Lord when he delivers God's message. But the real issue is they don't like the message. Jeremiah was put in a pit. They despised this prophet of God. God's prophet was there delivering God's message. They didn't like him but the reason they didn't like him was because they didn't like the message God sent. These people were murmuring but they were murmuring against the Lord. Look at chapter 17 verse 2. Wherefore the people did chide with Moses and said give us water that we may drink and Moses said unto them why chide ye with me wherefore do you tempt the Lord? And the people thirsted there for water and the people murmured against Moses. At first they were murmuring because the water was bitter now they're murmuring because they don't have any water and Moses said wherefore is this that thou, this is what they are saying rather, they murmured against Moses and said wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst? And Moses cried unto the Lord saying what shall I do unto this people? They be almost ready to stone me.

My how quickly people can turn. Here's Moses, this special servant of God. God providentially spared his life as an infant when Pharaoh had demanded the death of all the male Israelite children. God watched over him and protected him when his mother had put him in that little arc down to the river, sustained him all those days in Pharaoh's house, given him the courage to say that I will suffer affliction with the people of God rather than enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, had trained him and taught him on the backside of the desert until he was now ready to go. But rather than the people respecting him, rather than people giving thanks that this was God's servant in God's place doing God's work, they were ready to stone him. That was the issue.

They were selfish, self-centered. This isn't right. Why shouldn't we have to be thirsty for a few minutes or a few hours? None of the attitude that prevails in our culture today, I demand my rights. I shouldn't have to be inconvenienced. I shouldn't have to suffer any pain.

I shouldn't have to have any problems. I'm thinking about me. I'm important.

I want what I want and if I don't get it, I'm going to make people wish they'd given it to me. I'm going to grumble. I'm going to murmur. I'm going to complain.

I'm going to demand what I want to be. We're on dangerous ground if we begin to think that way and act that way before Almighty God. Now God doesn't give out all of his judgments on the day of the offense. Day-day sometimes is delayed, but it will arrive. And for the wicked, if there's never any consequence to their action here, it's coming in eternity.

It will come. Well then we go to the book of Numbers. We think surely now after these people had been sustained in the wilderness, God had brought water out of a rock, had rained down bread from heaven, had provided every need, they will have learned the lesson. When they come to the land, the land toward which they've journeyed all these years, they surely will be ready without any hesitation to enter it. But they'd sent the spies over into the land, 12 spies, they come back, all are in agreement on it's a great land. You've never seen anything like it. They brought back a bunch of grapes that were so large, it took two men to carry it.

Oh yes, it's a wonderful land. But 10 of those men said, they're giants over there, the cities are walled up to the sky, we can't take it. Now these are the same people that knew about the deliverance of God. Many of them had been a part of that and had been living at the time as they came across the Red Sea and God had delivered them. They had seen manna rained from heaven, water out of the rock, their clothes didn't wear out for 40 years, like well if I saw that much evidence I'd never doubt God, I'd just believe Him, I'd just do whatever He said. But these 10 negative thinkers come back and say, can't do it, can't do it.

Giants over there, we'd endanger the lives of our wives and children, it doesn't make any sense, not logical, not reasonable, let's not do it. Only two said, let's go up at once and take it because God has given the land into our hand. Joshua and Caleb says, we can go because the same God that has delivered us in the past will deliver us at the present. Numbers chapter 14 verse 1 says, and all the congregation lifted up their voice and cried and the people wept that night and all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron. Why do you get the impression that these are pretty much a complaining bunch of people? God had favored them above all nations of the earth and they constantly complained, murmured, grumbled. And sometimes it seems that those who have been so especially favored and blessed become some of the worst grumblers. Suppose God had dealt with you on the basis of what you deserve. The Psalmist says, he rejoiced in the fact that the Lord had not dealt with him according to his iniquities. Suppose God had dealt with you, rewarding you on the basis of your faults, your failings, your sins.

Where would you be today? The fact that you're alive, that you're reasonably healthy and able to be here is a great mercy of God, a blessing for which you should be thankful. If you find yourself with a murmuring, grumbling, complaining spirit you know that you are displeasing your God. You're in a rebellious, sinful state of mind.

You need to acknowledge it, repent of it, ask God to forgive you, humble yourself before him. If we humble ourselves before the Lord, he will lift us up in due time but if we exalt ourselves, he will abase us, he will put us down. These people are murmuring again against Moses and Aaron and the whole congregation said unto them, would God that we had died in the land of Egypt, same old song, 40 years later. They said that way back in the beginning. First time they ran into a little problem. Would God we died back in Egypt?

Now they're saying it again. Or would God that we had died in the wilderness? We're going to die in Egypt? We died in the wilderness so we wouldn't have to come here and face this issue about going into the land and wherefore hath the Lord brought us unto this land to fall by the sword that our wives and our children should be a prey?

Were it not better for us to return into Egypt? Now they set their judgment up against the judgment of God. Would God have delivered them? Would God have sustained them? Would God have brought them on this journey if it were not according to his pleasure in accord with his sovereign and divine purpose?

Who then do they think they are to stand up and say it would have been better if God had operated differently? I think God made a mistake. God should have killed us in Egypt.

Let us die in the wilderness. But he certainly shouldn't have brought us to this place. I don't think that's fair. I don't think that's right. I don't like the way God operates.

That's basically what people are saying when they become constant grumblers. I don't like the way God operates his business. I know how things ought to be. I ought to be in charge instead of God.

I ought to be able to make plans and arrange things and decide how events are going to touch my life and how people are going to treat me and what other people attitude ought to be toward me. I think I ought to be in charge. I want to tell you, you're not and you're not going to be. You're not going to be.

Several people have tried that through the years. Pharaoh tried to indicate he was going to be in charge. God put him down. Nebuchadnezzar says, this is my kingdom, I've got my power for my glory. God put him down on his all fours, he can grasp like the oxen.

Anytime man exalts himself failing to respect and honor the most holy God, God will deal with him. Somebody told me about seeing a debate recently. Man was an atheist and he was chatting with God saying repeatedly, here's proof there is no God. If there was, I'm inviting him right now to strike me down.

See, I'm healthy, I'm alive and well. There's no God. If there was, he'd do something about it. He'd stop me. He's not stopping me.

I'd go right on, say what I want to say, do what I want to do. Well, he got by with it that day, but that doesn't mean there isn't a God. That just means that God is merciful. Probably a whole lot more merciful than you would be. If you are in the position and somebody was speaking against you in such a fashion, you might not be quite so merciful. God is merciful.

Oh, to learn from these lessons. Verse 10 says, but all the congregation bade stone them with stones and the glory of the Lord appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation before all the children of Israel. People are saying, let's destroy our leaders. Let's take up stones and stone them that they led us to this place.

Why should we have to go into a place of danger? Well, when we look at the terrible attitude and spirit that is so manifest among these people, may we not look on it with a haughty spirit as though I'm superior to that. I could never have sunk to such depths, but maybe look at it in the spirit of self-examination to say, Lord, maybe I have never verbally spoken as they did. I have never been quite so blatant, but I know the seed of that kind of an attitude is in me. And indeed there have been complaints and murmurings and I ask for thy forgiveness.

Do all things without murmuring, without grumbling. You today have maintained the idea that what you have heard preached from time to time has just not suited your taste. You've heard that God is a holy God and demands perfection and you don't have perfection to offer and that consequently there is judgment awaiting the guilty and that sinners will be banished from his presence and suffer his wrath forever. You say, I can't tolerate that idea that the God that I envisioned, the God that I believe in as a God of love and would never punish anybody. I pray that today your spirit will be broken.

I pray that today you will be humbled. You will be brought to admit I can lay no claims on God. I'm made aware of his holiness to see that God demands perfection and rightly so or he wouldn't be God and he wouldn't be holy.

He doesn't tolerate sin, he doesn't excuse sin, he doesn't overlook it, but thank God there is a remedy for it and that's through the sacrifice of his son Jesus Christ who came to die for sinners. That person who is broken and comes humbly to the foot of the cross and says I am deserving of nothing even as the thief who was next to the Savior and said God be merciful to me a sinner. When you're brought to that place you know you're bankrupt, you have nothing to offer, you lay your case totally in his hand, you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, it's an evidence then that you're one of his. Only today if you've been a complainer and a murmur against God and his word in the past this may be the day that you bow in humble submission and by faith trust Jesus Christ as your Lord and Master. We have brought you the concluding portion of a message entitled Lights in a Dark World. If you would like to get the complete message on CD request it when writing us and we encourage you if you can to help us with the support of this program so that we can continue on this station. Our address is the Baptist Bible Hour, Box 17037, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217.

Till we greet you next time this is LeSara Bradley Jr. bidding you goodbye and may God bless you. Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine, O what a poor taste of glory divine, Heir of salvation, purchase of God, Born of his Spirit, washed in his blood. Perfect submission, perfect delight, Visions of rapture now burst on my sight, Angels descending, brink of above, There comes a mercy, whispers of love, This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long, This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long. Perfect submission, all is at rest, I am my Savior, I'm happy and blessed, Watching and waiting, looking above, Filled with this goodness, lost in his love. This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long, This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior, praising my Savior, all the day long.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-21 09:44:15 / 2024-03-21 09:54:02 / 10

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