Never Look to the Circumstances

Fred R. Coulter—April 1, 2013

computer - Video | pdfIcon - PDF | Audio | [Up]

Track 1: or Download

Greetings, brethren! Welcome to the last day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Having the Feast of Unleavened Bread we learned that sin, human nature, the ways of the world and Satan the devil all represent leaven. We need to have God help us take these things out of our lives, deliver us and lead us.

On this last day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, there is a theme for this day just like there was for the Passover and The Night to be Much Observed. The theme for this day was never look to the circumstances! You need to believe, trust and have faith in God for His deliverance.

  • God will deliver us!

  • God is there!

The children of Israel are a tremendous example of what happens when people forget God. Look at what God did to the whole land of Egypt in order to deliver them from the Egyptians to take them out of the land of Egypt and take them to Himself as a people. And, of course, it was a difficult process all the way through. Look at the miracle that He did in killing the firstborn. Look at the miracle that He did in bringing them out. They were all happy and it was just a wonderful thing that they were going to have and do.

Now then, there is a little difficulty that comes along, because God wants to know what is in our heart. God wants to know through the circumstances that we come across in our lives whether we will trust Him, believe Him and obey Him all the time!

After they left Egypt, they started toward the ‘promised land.’ They had a pillar of cloud before them in day, and the pillar of fire at night. So, God deliberately took the people in a different way than they expected.

Exodus 14:1: “And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the children of Israel that they turn and camp before Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, over against Baal Zephon. You shall camp before it by the sea, for Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, “They are trapped in the land; the wilderness has shut them in.”’” (vs 1-3). God deliberately took them that way because He wanted to do something for them. He wanted to show them that only He could deliver them! He also wanted to show them that while they were happy to get rid of Pharaoh—who was a type of Satan the devil—and get away from the Egyptians, which is the way the world is and also likened to the demonic hoards that rule this world, as well, that only God can bring the complete deliverance. So, God brought them there to be alongside the Red Sea and it was narrow right along the Red Sea. It was the whole column, and God gave the reason to Moses as to why:

Verse 3: “‘For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, “They are trapped in the land; the wilderness has shut them in.” And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart that he will follow them. And I will be glorified through Pharaoh and all his army, so that the Egyptians may know that I am the LORD.’ And they did so” (vs 3-4).

We’re going to see that in spite of these circumstances—you look at circumstances and many times you think, ‘Oh no! This is never going to work. We don’t know how this is going to come about. We don’t understand what’s going to happen. How can this work out?’

Let’s see what happened, v 5: “And the king of Egypt was told that the people fled. And the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was turned against the people. And they said, ‘Why have we done this that we have let Israel go from serving us?’ And he made his chariot ready and took his people with him. And he took six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt, and captains over every one of them. And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. And he pursued the children of Israel, and the children of Israel went out with a high hand” (vs 5-8).

They figured they could hurry up and go on down there and get them and bring them back and make them serve them—wait on them hand and foot: make the bricks, build the buildings.

Verse 9: “So, the Egyptians pursued them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army. And they overtook them camping by the sea, beside Pi Hi Hahiroth, before Baal Zephon.”

The children of Israel had no idea what was going to happen. All of a sudden they hear a noise out on the horizon, they see the dust cloud of the approaching chariots, and then they began to see that it’s Pharaoh and his armies.

Verse 10: “And when Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes. And, behold, the Egyptians marched after them. And they were very afraid. And the children of Israel cried out to the LORD. And they said to Moses…” (vs 10-11). Many times in circumstances that are taking place we don’t understand them when they occur. That’s why we need to look to God.

  • don’t look to the individual involved

  • don’t look the problem of just human beings being involved in it

Just like the children of Israel, notice what they did, and here is the lesson for the last day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread; and it’s one we need to learn every year, reinforce every year. It’s something we need to keep in mind and practice, and learn and live by it.

This is why, brethren, we need study and prayer everyday. This is why in the messages that I have given leading up to the time of Passover and Unleavened Bread that the grace that God has given us,

  • we have direct connection with God the Father and Jesus Christ

  • we have the help of the angels

  • we have God

  • we are on God’s side

If we are on God’s side, then He is on our side!

Here’s what they did, v 11: “And they said to Moses… [they accused him] …‘Have you taken us away to die in the wilderness because there were no graves in Egypt?…. [there are plenty of places to bury us there] …Why have you dealt this way with us to carry us forth out of Egypt? Did we not tell you this word in Egypt, saying, “Let us alone so that we may serve the Egyptians?” for it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.’” (vs 11-12).

The circumstances looked overwhelming. Here’s the sea on the one side, here are the mountains on the other side, and you can’t go forward and you can’t go back, because Pharaoh was coming with all of his armies and so forth.

But they accused Moses! That’s what happens when you look to a man. You’ve got to look to God!And you’ve got to keep looking to God! Moses, of course, always pointed them to God, but as we’re going to understand from this lesson that we’re going to learn from the Word of God for the last day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, that we cannot take things into our own hands because the circumstances are not what we would like them to be. But we need to:

  • we need to trust God

  • we need to believe God

  • we need to understand that deliverance only comes from God

Here they are in an intractable position, v 13: “And Moses said to the people, ‘Fear not!….” That’s easy to say. Don’t fear when you look out and here come the soldiers, chariots, horses and with their spears and everything; and you don’t have anything!

“…Stand still…” That’s what we need to do; don’t run off and do your own thing.

  • stand still before God

  • stand still in the grace of God

  • stand still in the love of God

“…and see the salvation of the LORD which He will work for you today…” That’s how God is going to deal in our lives. He will take care of it. We may have a test coming along where it’s going to take a little while. Here in this case, didn’t He take a long time? This is a great deliverance for all of these people.

“…for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you shall never see them again! The LORD shall fight for you, and you shall be still” (vs 13-14). Don’t complain against a man; don’t complain about the circumstances; don’t take pitty-patty little problems and ask: Why is this happening, God? Because God wants to know:

  • Do you believe Him?

  • Do you trust Him?

  • Do you have confidence in Him?

  • Do you wait for His deliverance?

  • Do you cry out to Him for His deliverance?

“…The LORD shall fight for you, and you shall be still.” We have to ask God to fight for us:

  • Lord, this battle is greater than me!

  • Lord, I don’t know what to do with this!

  • Lord, I’ve gotten myself into some pretty difficult circumstances here and

    • I need some wisdom and understanding!

    • I need Your deliverance and righteousness to help!

    • I need Your Spirit to guide and lead!

Yes, that’s how we need to handle it.

Verse 15: “And the LORD said to Moses, ‘Why do you cry to Me? Speak to the children of Israel that they go forward.’”

  • We are to not fear!

  • We are to stand still, rather than run off and do something we want to do!

  • We then go forward God’s way, according to what He has said!

God wants to know what’s in our heart. Did not God try Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and now here is the trial for the children of Israel. So, He told Moses! Sometimes we think we don’t have any weapon that we can use, or that we don’t have anything that will be of benefit for us. So, God said to Moses:

Verse 16: “And you—lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea, and divide it….” We don’t know how deep the Red Sea was at that place; and it wasn’t way over yonder on the other side of Sinai toward Arabia—that’s a figment of the imagination of some people who do not understand what happened.

“…And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea” (v 16). Stop and ask:

  • Is anything impossible for the Lord? No!

  • Is God able to deliver? Yes!

  • Do we have to have faith in what God said He would do and that He would deliver? Yes!

That’s quite a thing! You look at that expanse of water and say, ‘We’re going across on dry ground? How is that going to be?’ It was a vast expanse, too.

Verse 17: “‘And behold, I am about to harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them. And I will get honor for Myself upon Pharaoh, and over all his army, over his chariots and over his horsemen. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD when I will be glorified through Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.’ And the angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel…” (vs 17-19), and put a barrier between the Egyptians and the children of Israel.

What happened was: Here’s the Red Sea, here are the children of Israel alongside the Red Sea. Here comes Pharaoh and his armies, and the angel came by and put up a barrier so that Pharaoh and his armies came over on this side of the barrier and they probably laid themselves out getting ready in an attack formation. They came late in the day, so they were probably going to stay over there and wait until the morning to attack.

Verse 19: “And the angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved. And he went to the rear of them. And the pillar of the cloud went from in front of them and it stood behind them. And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel. It was a cloud of darkness to one, but gave light by night totheother, so that the two did not come near one another all night. And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. And the LORD drove the sea back…” (vs 19-21). In order for them to get across in the short period of time that they got across there, it had to be a column of the children of Israel and they had to go in a flanking movement across the Red Sea.

Verse 22: “And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground… [‘Hey, look, mom, used to be water here and it’s dry!’] …And the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.” But it was stretched out quite a ways. It wasn’t the little narrow channel that you have in the movies concerning The Exodus or The Ten Commandments, because they wouldn’t have been able to get across; it would have taken them hours and hours to get across. They hurried and got across.

Verse 24: “And in the morning watch it came to pass that the LORD looked down upon the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and the army of the Egyptians was thrown into confusion. And He loosened their chariot wheels…” (vs 24-25). Yes! Look down there and Pharaoh is coming.

Verse 23: “And the Egyptians pursued and went in after them to the middle of the sea, all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.” God had a tremendous thing that He did.

Verse 25: “And He loosened their chariot wheels and made them go heavily, so that the Egyptians said, ‘Let us flee from the face of Israel, for the LORD fights for them against the Egyptians.’” God has to fight our battles for us! Sometimes there are things we can do; other times there is nothing we can do but trust God and do whatever God leads us to do.

After they were in there, and now circumstances are really getting terrible, v 26: “And the LORD said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand over the sea, so that the waters may come back…’” Can you imagine the rushing noise of the sea? The Egyptians tried to get free from it, but they couldn’t get away from it.

Verse 28[transcriber’s correction]: “And the waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen, all the army of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them. There did not remain so much as one of them.” Think about that! We are entering into a time of difficulties and problems that we see coming in the world. We’re going to have to rely on God:

  • to help us

  • to lead us

  • to guide us

  • to deliver us

We’re going to have to believe in God—believe God and what He says—and look to Him:

  • for His deliverance

  • for His help

  • for His intervention

Verse 29: “But the children of Israel walked upon dry land through the middle of the sea. And the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. So, the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians….” (vs 29-30).

Stop and think about this for a minute. As we go through our lives, as we see the things that are going to be coming on in the world:

  • We’re going to need God to save us!

  • We’re going to need God to intervene for us!

  • We’re going to need God to help us!

This is why we need to maintain our relationship with God all the time. They saw the great works of God! They rejoiced in it! They proclaimed God as a ‘man of war.’ God fought for us! This was a wonderful and complete victory!

Now let’s see what happens with human nature; how quickly that they forgot. They crossed over, they got there and went three day’s journey into the wilderness, and guess what? No water! Again, don’t look to the circumstances; look to God!

  • let Him give the answer

  • let Him lead the way

  • let Him help you

and you trust in Him

Exodus 15:23: “And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah because it was bitter. Therefore the name of it was called Marah. And the people murmured against Moses, saying, ‘What shall we drink?’” (vs 23-24). Isn’t that the way people are?

Sometime, about six weeks ago, here was this big cruise ship stuck down in Mexico, and it was amazing the reactions of people. Some were incensed! Some had problems and difficulties, swearing, cursing, bring lawsuits. Others got off and they were happy; glad that everything was worked out. I thought it was very interesting that there was a group of people there who got together and studied the Bible. They didn’t have any problems, and they didn’t have any contention and fighting and worries. When they got off everything was fine.

They learned to make the best of the circumstances that they were in. Here they are, accusing God. So, Moses again was being attacked by the people. Think of poor Moses, everything that he went through, because the people were rebellious against God and rebellious against him.

Verse 25: “And he cried to the LORD. And the LORD showed him a tree. And when he had cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet….” Sometimes there’s something that can be done. God showed here what needed to be done to make the waters sweet. Also there’s another thing here that’s interesting for us to remember and keep in mind, especially in the days we are living in with all the sickness, with all the disease, with all the problems that are coming. We need to ask God

  • for His help

  • for His deliverance

  • for His kindness

  • for His goodness

  • for His healing

“…There He made a decree and a law for them, and there He proved them…. [all of these things to prove Him] …And he said, ‘If you will diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD your God… [How many times have we understood that that is the key important thing: obey the voice of the Lord!] …and will do that which is right in His sight, and will give ear to His commandments, and keep all His laws, I will put none of these diseases upon you, which I have brought upon the Egyptians; for I am the LORD Who heals you’” (vs 25-26).

Brethren, today we need that an awful lot. We need God’s healing! Let’s be sure to pray for one another. Let’s be sure to really yield to God so that God will heal, God will raise up, God will remember His promise that He gave to the children of Israel. Remember, Jesus gave authority to the apostles over every sickness, every disease and the force of the enemy He gave them authority and power. We need to really keep that in mind. I know that I do. We send out a lot of anointed cloths and God intervenes to help and to heal. It’s not what we do; it’s what God does! It’s not because of righteousness that emanates from any of us that these things get accomplished. No!It’s what God does!He will help! He will deliver!

Now let’s look at something here that’s important for us to understand. Let’s come to Deuteronomy 1; here it’s important to understand that we do what God wants us to do. The children of Israel were told that they could go into the land. They sent out the spies to spy it out for 40 days (Numb. 14). After all of the provoking that happened, all the way through the rebellion, you can read all of Psa. 78, all of the things that the children of Israel did to tempt God! To not believe Him! To not trust Him! All of these are lessons for us, but here is an important thing for us to realize.

The 12 spies came back and two of them—Joshua and Caleb—gave a good report and all of the others moaned and groaned: the walls are high, the cities are big, the people are tall and there is no way we can win the battles.

God got angry at them and said, ‘All right, you have provoked Me these ten times; you have tempted Me these ten times. Now then, you’re not going to go into the promised land. I told you to go in, but you refused to go, so now My judgment against you for refusing to go is that you are going to wander in the wilderness for another 38-1/2 years—40 years altogether. There’s something else that’s going to happen, because all of you accused Me—God—that I was going to kill your children. Well, what’s going to happen is that all of you who are over 20-years-old who accused Me, you are going to die! All that generation from 21-years-old and up! And the children that you said I was going to kill, they’re going to go into the land take it.’

Well, the people didn’t like that! What the people did, they finally said, after they refused... This is the thing: When God tells you to do something, don’t refuse! When God’s judgment has already come, it has already come! You cannot take your own devices and think that you’re going to work it out yourself, because unless God is with you, it’s not going to happen. So, they feigned repentance.

Deuteronomy 1:41: “And you answered and said to me, ‘We have sinned against the LORD; we will go up and fight according to all that the LORD our God commanded us.’ And when each one of you had buckled on his weapons of war, you were ready to go up into the hill. But the LORD said to me, ‘Say to them, “Do not go up, nor fight, for I am not among you…”’” (vs 41-42). This is the fault that people have all the time. They think that they can do it their way, when God says, ‘No, you do it My way.’

“‘“…I am not among you, you will be beaten by your enemies.”’ So, I spoke to you. And you would not hear, but rebelled against the commandment of the LORD, and went presumptuously up into the hill. And the Amorites who lived in that mountain came out against you and chased you, even as bees do, and destroyed you in Seir, to Hormah. And you returned and wept before the LORD. But the LORD would not hearken to your voice, nor give ear to you. So, you stayed in Kadesh many days, according to the days that you remained there” (vs 42-46).

What an absolute disaster that was! Here it is God with them! Here it is God ready to bring them into the ‘promised land.’ They didn’t want to go. There are some circumstances that happen to people, and it’s difficult for us to really look to it.

Let’s come to 1-Corinthians 10 and let’s see that there is hope. God promises a way, but

  • not through rebellion

  • not through doing it our way

  • not through thinking that our devices are going to make it work

  • not thinking that our plans or schemes are the answer to what God wants us to do

    • We have to take it to God!

    • We have to look at the Word of God!

    • We have to ask for the Spirit of God!

    • We have to ask for His direction!

    • We have to ask for His guidance!

    • We have to ask for His blessing!

    • We have to ask for everything in our lives!

Paul writes this, 1-Corinthians 10:2: “And all were baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea…. [v 4]: And they all drank of the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them. And that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not pleased, for their dead bodies were strewn in the wilderness. Now, these things became examples for us…” (vs 2, 4-6). Examples in the Greek is ‘topos’ or types.

“…so that we might not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, ‘The people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.’ Neither should we commit sexual immorality, as some of them committed, and twenty-three thousand were destroyed in one day. Neither should we tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted Him, and were killed by serpents” (vs 6-9). This shows that Christ is the Lord God of the Old Testament.

Verse 10: “Neither should we complain against God, as some of them also complained, and were killed by the destroyer. Now all these things happened to them as examples, and were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages are coming. Therefore, let the one who thinks he stands take heed, lest he fall” (vs 10-12). Stop and think about that.

How many times have we seen even within the Churches of God that people get angry at something; they get bitter, they get mad and they get carnal, and BAM! they’re out of here.

  • rather than coming to God

  • rather than looking for His deliverance

  • rather than trusting Him

  • rather than believing Him

they go to their own devices just like the children of Israel did after God said, ‘Since you refuse to go in, you are not going in. Do not fight; do not go up; I am not among you.’ And they got waxed!

Well, same way with us whatever the circumstances are. You can look at them. You can read about some of the things that happened to the Apostle Paul and all of the circumstances that occurred to him—read 2-Cor. 11, all that the Apostle Paul went through. He came to count it all joy when those things came upon him. It’s difficult for us to do that, because we’re not at the same level of spirituality as Paul.

Here is a promise, v 13: “No temptation has come upon you except what is common to mankind….” That’s why we have the Old Testament to read, so we can know and understand.

“…For God, Who is faithful…” (v 13). Remember that! When you have troubles and difficulties, don’t go and complain. Praise God

  • for His help

  • for His strength

  • for His kindness

  • for His love

  • for His goodness

  • for His forgiveness

  • for His deliverance

  • for His intervention that He will help you

He calls Himself our Helper! Christ is our Helper!

“…For God, Who is faithful, will not permit you to be tempted beyond what you are able tobear…” (v 13). Sometimes there are very difficult circumstances. Sometimes there are things that are hard to handle. But God will give you the strength. Look at this way: The Scripture says, ‘All things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.’ So, it will work out!

Remember, there are always two sides to the coin: blessing on the one hand and cursing on the other hand, and the deliverance that will come from God so that we won’t be tempted beyond what we are able to bear. “…but with the temptation, He will make a way of escape, so that you may be able to bear it” (v 13).

Now let’s come and see how God is going to deliver. God will deliver us! Back to the book of Psalms. Of course the Psalms are very important in

  • helping us to have the right kind of attitude

  • learning how to pray and come before God

  • understand how to approach Him

  • understand how God delivered David

  • understand how God delivered Israel in their circumstances

  • understand how God had mercy and pity upon them

Psalm 7—notice what this does. We go to God for:

  • help

  • comfort

  • intervention

  • deliverance


  • we believe Him

  • we trust Him

  • we follow Him

Let’s see how all of this works together:

Psalm 7:1: “O LORD my God, in You have I taken refuge… [notice how he prays] …save me from all who pursue me and deliver me.” Notice refuge, salvation and deliverance!

Verse 2: “Lest he tear my soul like a lion, ripping it in pieces, and there is no one to deliver. O LORD my God, if I have done this… [whatever the sin is] …—if there is iniquity in my hands, if I have rewarded evil to the one who was at peace with me, or if I have plundered my enemy without cause. Then let the enemy pursue my soul and take it; yea, let him trample down my life upon the earth and lay my honor in the dust. Selah. Arise, O LORD, in Your anger; lift up Yourself against the rage of my enemies, and awake for me at the judgment which You have commanded” (vs 2-6). God is right there to help. God is right there to bring us deliverance, help, truth and understanding.

Right at the beginning we read in 1-Cor. 10 how that the Rock was Christ, but notice how it’s emphasized here:

Psalm 18:1: “I love You, O LORD, my strength.” That’s what we need to do. Go to God and let Him know we love Him.

  • We love you because You’ve called us!

  • We love you because You have sent Jesus Christ as a sacrifice for our sins!

  • We love you because You forgive our sins!

  • We love you because You have given us Your Holy Spirit!

  • We love you because You have opened our minds to understand Your Truth!

All of those things!

Verse 2: “The LORD is my Rock, and my Fortress, and my Deliverer…” Yes, God has to deliver us. Remember, God is the only One Who is able to rescue us from Satan the devil. Exactly in the same way that God was the only One to rescue the children of Israel there at the Red Sea and take them across on the dry land. Couldn’t have been rescued any other way.

“…my Deliverer, my God, my Rock in Whom I take refuge; He is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower” (v 2). Yes, that is a tremendous thing! Look at how David looked to God. Look at how David gave God all the glory.

  • David has his faults!

  • David has his mistakes!

  • David had his difficulties!

But God never cast him down.

Verse 3: “I will call on the LORD, Who is worthy to be praised, so shall I be saved from my enemies.” Then he goes through and shows how God dealt in the battle to help him and save him.

Verse 46—again, we have the same thing: “The LORD lives… [God has not gone way off someplace; He is not out there forgetting us. He loves us! He’s called us! He wants us!] …and blessed be my Rock, and let the God of my salvation be exalted. The God who avenges me and subdues the people under me… [God gives the deliverance]: …He delivers me from my enemies; yea, You lift me up above those who rise up against me; You have delivered me from the violent man” (vs 46-48).

Quite a thing! You read through the Psalms. David really went through a lot in his lifetime. He surely did! But he was a ‘man after God’s heart’ because he trusted in Him. Even when he sinned—in the case of Bathsheba—it was a difficult proposition, indeed! Yet, God forgave him because he repented.

Likewise with us; if we’ve done things that we shouldn’t do, things that are not right, things that are sin, then we need to confess our sins, get rid of our sins. Just like we have seen: God is there through the blood of Jesus Christ to forgive us all of our sins and all of our unrighteousnesses and to deliver us from evil!

Verse 49: “Therefore, I will give thanks to You, O LORD, among the nations, and sing praises to Your name, He gives great deliverance to His king, and shows mercy to His anointed, to David and to his seed forevermore” (vs 49-50). And we are part of that seed. That’s really a tremendous and amazing thing for us to realize.

Track 2: or Download

Now let’s continue on and see how God will help us in all our circumstances that we do not have to worry. We take it to God. We don’t fret and stew because of what happens to other people. We look to God:

  • for His blessing

  • for His mercy

  • for His kindness

  • for His goodness

that we can

  • trust in Him

  • believe in Him

  • have faith in Him

and to realize that God loves us and is for us!

Let’s come to Psalm 37—I want you to go through the whole 37th Psalm. Notice how it starts out: Psalm 37:1: “Do not fret yourself because of evildoers… [don’t get frustrated] …and do not be envious against the workers of iniquity.” Their prosperity and their advancement and their peace is in great jeopardy. God has a way of taking care of them.

Verse 2: “For they shall soon be cut down like the grass; and wither as the green herb…. [Here’s what we are to do instead of worrying about the prosperity of the sinners and the wicked]: …Trust in the LORD…” (vs 2-3). That’s the whole lesson; that’s why, on this last day of Unleavened Bread we always go to the account of the Red Sea and the impossibility of the situation for them, and how only God could deliver. Their problem was that they didn’t trust in God! So, we need to! We need to trust in God! Believe in God!

“…and do good; dwell in the land, and cherish faithfulness” (v 3). Rather than complain, moan and groan, and look at all the difficulties and problems—and there are plenty of them out there—what we need to do is have the proper perspective with God’s Spirit and His love.

Verse 4: “Delight yourself in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart…. [That’s what God will do. That’s a promise.] …Commit your way unto the LORD; trust also in Him… [“Trust in the LORD…” (v 3)] …and He will bring it to pass.” (vs 4-5). God will!

The Psalms give us an awful lot of hope, an awful lot of trust, an awful lot of confidence in God’s way and how we need to lead our lives. Here in the book of Proverbs is a wonderful and tremendous set of proverbs. Let’s apply this spiritually.

Proverbs 3:1: “My son… [Are we not the sons and daughters of God? Yes!] …do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commandments; for they shall add length of days, and long life, and peace, to you” (vs 1-2). God is offering us eternal life; to live forever! That’s why we go through the things that we go through. The false Christianity of this world believes that once you believe in the Lord Jesus, everything is smooth and nice. They just don’t understand. A lot of them are trying as best they can, but they have got to come to the same situation in their lives that we do. They’ve got to come to the point that they need to keep the commandments of God and love Him. As Jesus said, ‘If you love Me, keep My commandments.”

Verse 3: “Do not let mercy and Truth forsake you… [because that is what is going to help you] …bind them around your neck; write them upon the tablet of your heart”—the way that you think, the way that you feel. A lot of people feel more than they think! And the ones that feel more than they think need to learn to think more. Then you have those that think and don’t feel very much. They need to learn to feel as well as continue thinking.

Here’s what it will do, v 4: “And so you shall find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man…. [God will work it out.] …Trust in the LORD… [How?]: …with all your heart…” (vs 4-5). That’s what we need to do when we see these trials and difficulties come upon us, which they will.

Notice the warning, because we saw what happened to Israel when they decided to do it their way, when God said, ‘No, you’re not going to do it.’ “…and lean notto your ownunderstanding” (v 5). That’s why we need to learn to:

  • think with the Word of God

  • think and understand the Scriptures

We need to trust in God and have that relationship with Him at all times through all things. “…lean not to our own understanding.”

Verse 6: “In all your ways acknowledge Him…”

  • It is God Who has given us life!

  • It is God Who has provided these things for us!

  • It is God Who has given us His Word!

  • It is God Who has given us His Holy Spirit!

  • It is God the Father Who loves us!

We belong to Him, and Jesus Christ is our Savior and He is the Head of the Church. Notice again another warning:

Verse 7: “Do not be wise in your own eyes…” Even though it looks like it may be a profitable thing. Always remember this: Satan comes with a benefit! So, don’t be “wise in your own eyes…”

  • Be wise with the Word of God!

  • Be wise with the Truth of God!

“…fear the LORD and depart from evil…. [don’t get trapped into any evil] …It shall be health to your navel and marrow to your bones” (vs 7-8). That’s what we need. Remember what God told the children of Israel about healing, about sickness and about disease. Yes, today we’re living in a situation where we need to learn how to take care of ourselves, take care of our bodies, take care of our health.

We’re entering into some very unknown waters with Obamacare and with the healthcare that is coming. We need to learn to take care of ourselves, because they are going to try and mandate every kind of medication and procedure for every single disease under the sun. The doctors will have no say so in what needs to be. They will be told what to do. We better learn to take care of our lives and take care of our bodies the best we can.

Of course, there are many things against us, because of the way that the world is. But again, God will provide a way! Notice, if we do that, it will be “…health to your navel and marrow to your bones.”

Verse 9: “Honor the LORD with your substance and with the firstfruits of all your increase”—all your increase! We need to honor that in spite of the difficulties and times that we are going through.

{That reminds me, I forgot to pause and take up the offering. So, go ahead and do that if you haven’t done it already, or take up the offering after the sermon is over}

The message is more important than the offering, because we need the spiritual strength and we need the spiritual determination, which comes from the lesson for this day.

Psalm 31—here again, we can take a great deal of hope, but here’s how we need to commit ourselves to God. Remember as we go through all of these Psalms of David, that David was a ‘man after God’s heart’ because he trusted in Him in spite of all of his weaknesses and difficulties.

Let this also be part of your prayer. What I suggest you do, if you have difficulties and problems you’re being confronted with, you need to pray about it. You need to take the Psalms and open it up and get on your knees and start reading some of these Psalms as a lead into your prayers. Ask God for the help and intervention and blessing, which only He can give.

Psalm 31:1: “In You, O LORD, have I taken refuge, let me never be ashamed; deliver me in righteousness.” It’s not because of our righteousness. It’s God’s righteousness.

Verse 2: “Bow down Your ear to me; deliver me quickly…”

  • deliverance

  • belief

  • faith

  • trust

“…be my strong Rock, a fortress of defense to save me; for You are my Rock and my fortress; therefore, for Your name’s sake lead me and guide me. Pull me up out of the net that they have hidden for me, for You are my strength” (vs 2-4). Yes, we have to have that strength in God. He will pull you out of the net, and even though it closes up, you will escape.

Here’s a prophecy of what Jesus said, v 5: “Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O LORD God of Truth.” Keep that in mind. That is so good! That is so fantastic for us to know and understand.

It’s amazing what David must have gone through to write all of these Psalms.

Psalm 27:11: “Teach me Your way, O LORD… [That’s what we want. Not our way, not what we think, but what God wants us to do!] …and lead me in a level path because of my enemies.” Constant, sure, true, steady—that’s what a rock is.

Verse 12: “Deliver me not over to the will of my enemies, for false witnesses have risen up against me, and he that breathes out violence. I would have fainted unless I had believed… [you have to have belief and faith] …that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living” (vs 12-13).

Here is the admonition, v 14: “Wait for the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall make your heart strong; yea, wait, I say, wait on the LORD.” That’s why prayer, asking for guidance and help, is exactly what needs to be.

These couple of Psalms that we’re going to read are really something. These are prayers of David’s:

  • What we need to do!

  • How we need to think!

  • How we need to understand things!

Psalm 115:9: “O Israel, trust in the LORD; He is their help and their shield…. [We’re spiritual Israel. We need to trust in the Lord.] …O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD; He is their help and their shield. O you who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD; He is their help and their shield. The LORD has been mindful of us; He will bless us; He will bless the house of Israel; He will bless the house of Aaron” (vs 9-12)—put there the Church and the people in it.

Verse 13: “He will bless those who fear the LORD, both small and great. The LORD shall increase you more and more, you and your children. May you be blessed of the LORD Who made the heavens and the earth. The heavens, even the heavens, are the LORD’S; but the earth He has given to the children of men” (vs 13-16).

Psalm 118:5—we will find that this is really quite a Psalm here: “I called upon the LORD in distress… [Don’t fret and stew and try to work it out your way.] …the LORD answered me, and set me in a large place. The LORD is on my side… [that is IF we’re on God’s side] …I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (vs 5-6). Really, nothing! Isn’t that what Jesus said? Don’t fear those who are able to kill the body, but can’t kill the life. NO!

Verse 7: “The LORD is for me as my helper… [God will help us; claim that!] …therefore, I will look in triumph upon those who hate me. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to trust in princes” (vs 7-9). A whole lot better! God knows! God understands! He will be there and will help us!

There are many, many other Psalms. We hope to have for you soon the reading of the Psalms.

Psalm 33:12: “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD…” That’s what the trouble is with the United States today. God is no longer our God, and He’s left us adrift as a nation. We have to live in the middle of it with all the consequences going on all around us.

“…and the people He has chosen for His own inheritance” (v 12). We are the ones that God has chosen for His inheritance. That’s us! God has a special thing for every one of us beyond what we can ever, ever dream of, because Jesus said ‘the one who is least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than John the Baptist.’

Verse 13: “The LORD looks down from heaven; He beholds all the sons of men. From His dwelling place He looks intently upon all the inhabitants of the earth. Together He fashions their hearts alike; He considers all their works” (vs 13-15). Notice this: Our salvation must come from God! Our trust must be in God and not in our own devices.

Verse 16: “The king is not saved by a great army; a mighty man is not delivered by much strength. A horse is a vain thing for safety; neither shall it deliver any by its great strength” (vs 16-17). We can’t look the physical things around us; we must look to God! We can’t look to the circumstances because God can change them, but we have to look at how God wants us to handle all these circumstances!

Verse 18: “Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon those who fear Him, upon those who hope in His loving kindness, to deliver their soul from death… [only God can deliver us] …and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield, for our heart shall rejoice in Him because we have trusted in His Holy name. Let Your loving kindness, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in You” (vs 18-22).

That’s the whole meaning of the day. Quite a thing that we need to do. Now let’s see how Paul writes of this to Timothy. Quite a very interesting thing. Let’s see how we are to face these troubles and problems that come along; circumstances in our lives; how we are to do it; and God will help us and strengthen us in it because

  • He’s our Helper

  • He’s our Rock

  • He’s our Shield

  • He’s our Fortress

  • God is there for us in all circumstances

Timothy was very close to Paul. He likened Timothy to his own son. 2-Timothy 1:3: “I am grateful to God—Whom I have been serving from the days of my forefathers with a pure conscience—because I never fail to remember you in my supplications night and day.”

Just a little sidebar on prayer: There are things we need to constantly pray about every single day. In this case, day and night. A vain repetition is by rote to say something like a rosary. That’s a vain repetition; or a set prayer, but Paul prayed day and night and made supplications for Timothy.

Verse 4: “As I recall your tears, I am longing to see you, so that I may be filled with joy; when I remember the unfeigned faith thatis in you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice—and I am convinced that it dwells in you also. For this reason…” (vs 4-6).

Let’s do this, brethren: Let’s ask God to help us to do this so that we will have the strength and the power of God’s Holy Spirit

  • to help us

  • to see us

  • to lead us

  • to guide us

Verse 6: “For this reason, I admonish you to stir up the gift of God that is in you by the laying on of my hands.” How do we do that? By coming to God in prayer and study and seeing how God will help us by claiming the promises of God:

  • asking God to stir us up

  • asking God to lead us

  • asking God to help us

and He will!

“…stir up the gift of God that is in you by the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of sound-mindedness” (vs 6-7). This is what God has given to us. This is what we need to claim. This is how we need to react.

Notice how Paul always points to the goal, v 8: “Therefore, you should not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner; but jointly suffer with me forthe sakeof the Gospel, according to the power of God, Who has saved us and called us with a Holy calling…” (vs 8-9). Always understand the very thing of eternal life, brethren. That’s what God has called us for!

“…—not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace…” (v 9). That’s why we are here; that’s why God has called us. And we live at the end of the age, so we can understand how sorely this world needs the salvation of God.

Just look at things around the world. Just look at the difficulties that are at hand today. We can do this as never before in the history of the world, because we get everything instantly—don’t we? Yes, we do! Look at the troubles, the wars, the problems, the frightful things that have been happening. That’s why we need to draw close to God in prayer every single day.

Let’s come and see some other things that Paul wants us to know and understand. Let’s realize what Paul went through. Let’s understand that even the things that happened to him in prison were for the purpose of preaching the Gospel and serving the brethren. This is Paul’s last epistle and it contains many admonitions to Timothy.

“…which was given us in Christ Jesus before the ages of time” (v 9). Think about that! The next time you see a scene of a camera looking down on a busy street, say in New York City or any other big city, and see all the people coming and going/coming and going, think about this: God has called us according to His purpose, which was given to us “…in Christ Jesus before the ages of time.” Let that be an inspiration to you, that:

  • God will lift you up!

  • God will help you!

  • God will strengthen you!

Paul was writing from prison, and he knew—as you read in 2-Tim. 4—that his life was going to end real soon.

Verse 10: “But has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, Who has annulled death, and has brought to light eternal life and incorruptibility through the Gospel.” That’s why we do what we do, brethren. This is why everything is set:

  • the preaching of the Gospel

  • explaining the Kingdom of God

  • our growing

  • our changing

  • our overcoming

all of these things in our lives, regardless of the circumstances around us.

Then he says, v 11: “Unto which I was ordained a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles; for which cause I am also suffering these things; nevertheless, I am not ashamed. For I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He has the power to keep what I have committed to Him for that day” (vs 11-12). Always looking to the purpose, the goal and the end.

Verse 13: “Hold as the standard fordoctrine the sound words that you heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Guard the good thing that was committed to you by the Holy Spirit that is dwelling in us” (vs 13-14).

Now, look at Paul’s circumstances: in prison, everything against him and a lot of people he thought were those who belonged to God, notice what happened:

Verse 15: “You know this… [he writes to Timothy] …that all those who are in Asia have rejected me… [an apostle of God rejected] …of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes. May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus because he frequently refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. For when he was in Rome, he searched for me very diligently and found me” (vs 15-17). Look at those circumstances. Look at what Paul says!

Let’s see what we need to do, brethren. Like we started in Exo. 14, we’re going to end in Rom. 8. But before we go there, let’s go to Philippians 1. Let’s keep this in mind, because God is working in us, brethren, to perfect us! To bring us to the level of knowledge and understanding and love so that we can enter into eternal life.

He started a work in us and He’s going to finish it. It doesn’t matter. Someone sent me a clipping of a woman who had celebrated her 75th Feast of Tabernacles. She getting close to the end of her life, but she has been faithful. Look at all that she has had to go through and endure. Remember:

  • God will not abandon you!

  • God will not leave you!

  • God will not leave you high and dry!

  • God will not forsake you!

    • You may be tested.

    • You may be tried

    • You may have difficulties.

But God is with you even in the troubles.

Philippians 1:2: “Grace and peace be to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Direct from the throne of God to us.

Verse 3: “I thank my God on every remembrance of you, always making supplication with joy in my every prayer for you all, for your fellowship in the Gospel from the first day until now” (vs 3-5). That’s what we do, brethren. We not only need to love God, but

  • we need to love each other

  • we need to pray for each other

  • we need to encourage and help each other

—even more so as we see the day coming.

Here’s a promise, and we need to claim this, and we need to grasp a hold of it, and we need to let this be part of

  • our mind

  • our thinking

  • our heart

  • our desire

  • our trust in God

  • our belief in God

—and the assurance that He is going to complete what He started.

Verse 6: “Being confident of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” He’s going to finish it! He is going to do it!

Now let’s go to Romans 8 and let’s see what it has to be for us, how God is for us, and we can look at the circumstances and the things in the world, because we are the sons and daughters of God! We are led with the Holy Spirit of God. Just like the children of Israel were led across the Red Sea, God will lead us through all the difficulties and troubles and times that we are going to face.

  • We can do it with confidence.

  • We can do it with expectation

  • We can do it by realizing that we don’t need to look to the circumstances, but look to God

God is always greater than the circumstances!

Romans 8:28—here’s is the promise to keep in mind—we need to know this; we need to understand it; we need to realize it—this way we can handle the difficulties and cope with it.

Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things…. [everything that there is] …work together for good to those who love God…” That’s why we always emphasize we love God with all your heart, mind, soul and being, because God the Father has called you, given you His Spirit, has begotten you for eternal life.

“…to those who are called according to His purpose”—which we have been—haven’t we? His very own purpose, before the ages of time—as Paul said in 2-Tim. 1. Just think about it! God has called you to something greater than can ever happen in the entire world. So, don’t look at the circumstances,look to God!

Verse 29: “Because those whom He did foreknow… [and He foreknows us before the resurrection] …He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His own Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” We are the Church of the Firstborn.

Here’s a promise, v 30: “Now, whom He predestinated, these He also called… [you answered the call] …and whom He called, these He also justified… [you’re put in right standing with God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ] …and whom He justified, these He also glorified.” This comes in two ways:

  1. Receiving the Holy Spirit of God, you have been glorified in receiving it.

  2. He has glorified because when we are resurrected, we will receive a glorious spiritual body and spiritual mind.

Think of this: Look at all the circumstances around, v 31: “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?…. [Nobody!] …He Who did not spare even His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, how shall He not also grant us all things together with Him? Who shall bring an accusation against the elect of God?….” (vs 31-33). Doesn’t matter what they say:

  • God is there for us!

  • God will deliver us!

  • That’s why we trust in Him!

“…God is the One Who justifies. Who is the one that condemns? It is Christ Who died, but rather, Who is raised again, Who is even now at the right hand of God, and Who is also making intercession for us” (vs 33-34). And with the Spirit of God our prayers go up to God and they come right before the throne of God.

As it shows in the book of Revelation, chapter 4, 7 & 8, our prayers come right up to the golden altar of God. The 24 elders are there, who probably help answer the prayers, and are delegated authority by God to do so. But our prayers go to God, because He loves us; He’s given us His Spirit; He has called us; and Christ is making intercession for us.

Think of this; think of these circumstances, v 35: “What shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?” Yes, we’re going to face difficult times, but

  • it isn’t going to separate us from the love of God

  • it isn’t going to separate us from the purpose of God

It doesn’t matter what the circumstances are; it matters that we belong to God! And love Him! And have been called according to His purpose!

Verse 36: “Accordingly, it is written, ‘For Your sake we are killed all the day long; we are reckoned as sheep for the slaughter.’ But in all these things we are more than conquerors… [not being defeated; God is going to raise us from the dead] …through Him Who loved us…. [this is the persuasion that we need]: …For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (vs 36-39).

No, brethren, nothing will! The circumstances and difficulties of this world, we’re going see, compared to all eternity are just a flash of time. So, regardless of what it is, regardless of what we go through:

  • God loves us

  • God has called us

  • We are to stand still

  • We are to see the salvation of God

  • We are not to complain

  • We are to go forward and serve God

As this Feast of Unleavened Bread comes to an end, keep this in mind, the very importance of this day.

Scriptural References:

  1. Exodus 14:1-22, 24-25, 23, 25-26, 28-30

  2. Exodus 15:23-26

  3. Deuteronomy 1:41-46

  4. 1 Corinthians 10:2, 4-13

  5. Psalm 7:1-6

  6. Psalm 18:1-3, 46-50

  7. Psalm 37:1-5

  8. Proverbs 3:1-9

  9. Psalm 31:1-5

  10. Psalm 27:11-14

  11. Psalm 115:9-16

  12. Psalm 118:5-9

  13. Psalm 33:12-22

  14. 2 Timothy 1:3-17

  15. Philippians 1:2-6

  16. Romans 8:28-39

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Numbers 14

  • Psalm 78

  • 2 Corinthians 11

  • 2 Timothy 4

  • Revelation 4; 7; 8