I. THE DOUBLE CURSE.
A. Cursed be he that does the work of the Lord deceitfully.
1. There is another suggestion for the word deceitfully and that is slackly.
2. Paul said that they that run in a race run all but only one receives the prize, so run that you might obtain.
3. Concerning himself he said, "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
4. We can see many today who are doing the work of the Lord deceitfully. They are being exposed by the worldly media.
5. We see many today who are doing the work of the Lord slackly.
a. Many of you sitting here today are guilty of that.
b. Your commitment to Christ is half-hearted, on a scale of one to ten, it would fall somewhere under five.
c. Christ has a place in your heart, but certainly not the first place.
d. Your rating would perhaps be lukewarm, neither hot or cold.
e. It should be noted that God is not satisfied with that kind of commitment, He said that the day that you seek Him with all of your heart, in that day you will find Him.
f. For this cause God often brings tragedy into our lives to pressure us to seek Him.
B. The second curse was upon those who kept back their sword from blood.
1. Those who will not stand up for a cause.
2. It is sort of the peace at any cost mentality, even that of compromise. Evil is tolerated for the sake of peace, its a "Lets not rock the boat attitude."
3. Evil often prevails in a society because evil men are active while good men are often passive. All that is necessary for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.
II. THE CONDITIONS OF MOAB.
A. Moab has been at ease from his youth.
1. Moab occupied the high plains East of Jordan, it was blessed with rain even when there was a drought in the land of Israel.
a. In the story of Ruth we remember how that Elimelech and Naomi decided to leave Bethlehem for Moab because of a drought.
2. Moab was known as wine growing country, they had the famed vineyards of Sibmah.
3. It didn't take much effort to farm this agriculturally rich land, thus it was an easy life.
4. Moab also was away from the coastal plains divided by the great Jordan valley, thus it was not subject to attack by foreign forces. Egypt and Syria were ancient competing powers and Israel lay in between, thus often had foreign forces crossing their land. Moab was rather secure from such invasions.
5. Moab was living an easy untroubled life.
B. Moab had never gone into captivity.
1. Being isolated by the great desert on the East side, and the Jordan valley on the West she dwelt quite securely.
2. The Moabites had never been taken from the land into captivity.
III. THE CONSEQUENCES OF THIS LIFE OF EASE IS DECLARED IN WINE MAKING TERMS.
A. Settled in his lees.
1. When the grapes had been pressed, the juice was placed in jugs and set there until it fermented. During the process the lees settled to the bottom. The lees were the sediment.
2. As the lees settled to the bottom, they would then pour off the top pure wine into another vessel, and it would again be allowed to settle. Thus you had a process of disturbances that of being poured from vessel to vessel.
3. The purpose of this process was to purify or refine.
4. If this procedure was not followed, the lees would soon begin to sour, and the wine would take on the smell and flavor of the rotten lees. This is what the prophet is referring to as he speaks of his taste remaining in him, and his scent is not changed.
B. Moab had become rotten.
1. With no conflict or disturbance, they had become spoiled.
2. They are now to be spoiled, and the vessels are to be broken.
C. Moab shall cease to be a people.
1. How many of you have met a Moabite lately?
2. A once numerous and prosperous people have disappeared from the face of the earth.
D. A life of ease, with no conflict can destroy you, it tends toward rottenness.
IV. GODS REFINING PROCESS IN OUR LIVES, HE OFTEN POURS US FROM VESSEL TO VESSEL.
A. How we seek for the life of ease. So much of our research and development is for products that will make life easier.
1. We hear phrases, "Take it easy." or "Easy does it."
2. Let the average housewife compare her life with the average housewife of a hundred years ago.
3. Just in keeping her family in clean clothes.
a. Many of the clothes were home made using the treadle sewing machine.
b. They were washed in tubs of water drawn from the hand pump out in the yard, and heated on the wooden stove.
c. They had what they called the scrub board.
d. They were then hung out on the clothes line to dry.
e. The clothes had to be ironed with the iron that was heated on this same wooden stove, for they knew nothing of wash and wear fabrics.
4. Feeding the family was another time consuming task.
a. No box cereals, you cooked the old fashioned oats, they did not even have the one minute variety.
b. If you needed something, you could not jump in your car and run to the nearest super market.
c. You went out to the barn to milk the cow.
5. There was no time to think of how bad your marriage was, and to fantasize of how exciting it might be if you were only married to Tom Selleck, as you read the latest magazine of the lives of the Hollywood stars.
6. You wouldn't have the time to pollute your mind with the soaps, and then sit down in the afternoon to watch corrupted America on the Donahue and Geraldo shows.
B. An easy life can corrupt, so God sees fit to often pour us from vessel to vessel.
1. When we begin to settle in our lees, God often brings his disturbances into our lives for the purpose of purifying.
a. These disturbances can take many forms.
2. Loss of job.
4. Notice from the I.R.S.
2. The effect of these disturbances is to turn us back to reliance upon God.
3. To cause us to once again seek Him.
4. Our lives were in great danger because we had begun to trust in our own selves. In our idle time we were polluting ourselves. God will take away the idle time. I find I must go to work to help the family budget.
C. We do not like the process of being poured from vessel to vessel. I don't think that God does either, yet it is often necessary to keep us from settling in our lees and our whole lives beginning to take the taste of the world.