Summary: Out of several thousands of Jews that left Egypt, only a handful of them made it to the Promised Land. What can we learn from their experience?

December 10, 2002

A. Review

1) Theme: Journeying to the Promised Land

2) Saturday morning—In the Footsteps of Abraham

3) Saturday night—The Valley of Baca

4) Sunday night—Egypt and the Golden Calf

5) Monday night—Lingering in the Valley of Baca

B. Tonight—Scoffers in the Journey

1) We are going to come back and follow in the footsteps of God’s people as they embarked on journeying to the Promised Land.

2) On Sunday night, we learned that God’s people committed a heinous sin by making a Golden Calf

3) But God forgave them. In spite of this, the record shows that out of all who originally came out from Egypt, only two persons were able to enter the Promised Land.

a) Joshua and Caleb

b) Even Moses did not enter the Promised Land.

4) The question is why? Part of the answer is what we call “Spiritual Burnout”

C. What are some of the symptoms of burnout

1) Chronic exhaustion. The person is constantly tired without obvious reasons.

a) I am tired of church services

b) I am tired of reading my Bible

c) I am tired of participating in the church services

d) I am tired of smiling at the people all the time

e) I am tired of handing out the church bulletins

f) I am tired of functioning in the same office year in and year out.

g) I am tired of being tired

2) Detachment. The person starts isolating himself or herself from others.

a) Church is not really important in my spiritual journey towards the heavenly Canaan.

b) I can worship God in the privacy of my home.

c) The church can’t save me.

d) I don’t need other people to worship God

e) I can better worship God when I am alone

3) Pessimism. Doubts and negative thoughts start coming to our mind

a) Does God really care for me?

b) Is Christ really coming the second time?

c) Can I really be saved in spite of my spiritual conditions?

d) Is heaven a real place where God’s people will inhabit for a thousand years?

e) Are you sure that there is life after death?

f) I cannot really believe what the Bible says on unclean foods.

g) God is love. He will not really destroy the wicked.

4) Impatience. We grow weary and tired of waiting

a) Two thousand years of waiting for the Second Coming is too long

b) I have seen all the signs of the time already fulfilled. But why Jesus is not yet here.

c) I have spent all my adult life serving God faithfully, but it looks like that I am not going to see the fruits of my labors.

d) I have heard the same sermon again and again, but nothing has happened.

e) I have wasted my time serving God and his church.

5) Suspicion of being unappreciated

a) The elder does not talk to me, maybe he does not appreciate what I am doing in the church.

b) They did not announce my financial contributions to the church maybe they don’t really appreciate it.

c) When I call for a revival week, only few people are showing up. Maybe they don’t really need and appreciate my sermons.

d) I gave a wonderful clock to the church. But I don’t see the church using it. Perhaps they don’t appreciate what I gave to them.

e) When I propose that we venture on some church projects, I see only few people coming and helping.

6) Disorientation. Burnout people become disoriented with time, places, people, events, and other things.

a) We become disoriented between what is right and what is wrong

b) We make false arguments and conclusions on many clear biblical teachings.

1. “God helps those who help themselves. Therefore, if I am working on the Sabbath to help myself, then I am not really violating the provision not to work on the Sabbath.”

2. “As long as I pray for the food before I eat, it does not matter what I eat.”

3. “What was true during the time of the Apostles and the Reformers is not necessarily true today. Time had changed. Values and morals are different back then and now.”

c) We fall back into situational ethics.

7) Psychosomatic illnesses

a) We get sick on the Sabbath. But immediately after Sabbath, we are strong as a horse again. We can even stay in party up to 1 o’clock in the morning.

b) My ulcer keeps bothering me on the Sabbath. Interestingly, it does not bother me throughout the week.

c) I get migraine headache during prayer.

8) Depression and loneliness. Everywhere we look it is gloomy.

9) Denial of your feelings.

a) “I may look sad, but I am not really sad. I am happy inside.”

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