by: Dr. Bob Gray Sr.
Jeremiah 48:11, “Moab hath been at ease from his youth, and he hath settled on his lees, and hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel, neither hath he gone into captivity: therefore his taste remained in him, and his scent is not changed.”
Zephaniah 1:12, “And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The LORD will not do good, neither will he do evil.”
Moab was a small nation. Moab had been at ease from his youth, he settled on his lees or dregs. He had not been emptied from vessel to vessel, neither had he gone into captivity; therefore his taste remained in him for his scent was not changed according to the Scriptures.
God is saying here that Moab the nation has not been poured from vessel to vessel, and because Moab has not been poured from vessel to vessel he settled on his dregs and he doesn’t taste any better. His taste has not improved! His scent or odor has not improved because he has not been poured from vessel to vessel.
This ancient people had lived a passive life. They lived undisturbed! No external enemy had attacked them. No great natural national disaster had befallen them, and for this reason they made no progress. They had become a contented and complacent people; therefore, they were not a blessing to anybody in the whole world.
THE EXAMPLE OF THE NATION ISRAEL
On the other hand the little nation Israel had been and would influence the entire world for good.
- From Israel would come the Word of God.
- From Israel would come the Son of God.
- From Israel would come the New Testament Church.
Israel the nation was a blessing for Israel had a good taste and a sweet scent. Why? Because Israel had been poured form vessel to vessel.
God uses the example of making wine. When the grape ripened it is taken from the tree, put into a vat 8-foot square with little holes in the bottom. Below that vat is another vat 5 inches lower. The people would come and trample those grapes or tread those grapes. The juice would fall from the pulp and go down into the vat underneath. Then they would take the juice and pour it into a vessel. They would leave the vessel there for a short period of time. They would take the juice and pour it into another vessel. They would leave it there for a while more that way some of the dregs would be left. They would take and pour it into another vessel and keep on pouring this juice form one vessel to another vessel. Now every time they poured it, some of the dregs were taken off and it made the juice a little better. The scent was better!
God is saying Moab had not been poured from vessel to vessel, and because Moab has not been poured form vessel to vessel, she has not been a blessing to the world. However, the little nation of Israel had been poured from vessel to vessel.
The entire history of Israel is an alternation between prosperity and trouble. Under one king they enjoyed the blessing of peace. Under another king they endured the hardships of war. During one age they endured a revolution that divided them and in another age it brought the humiliation of exile. From vessel to vessel they were poured, and as a result they were a blessing.
However, Moab sat there on his lees: no disturbance, no heartaches, no problems, no burdens, and thus Moab was not a blessing.
THE EXAMPLE OF JACOB
Jacob was the man after which the nation Israel was named. His name was Jacob at first, then his name was changed to Israel, which means “prince.” This man went from out-bargaining Esau, deceiving his own father, out-smarting Laban, and he went on to become the prince of God. How does this man become the prince of God? He was poured from vessel to vessel with the disobedience of Simeon and Levi, the trouble between him and Hamor, and the death of his beloved Rachel, the mysterious disappearance of his son Joseph, the detention of Judah in Egypt, and the demand for Benjamin. All of these are God making him a prince by pouring him from vessel to vessel to vessel! God is saying, “I’m going to make Jacob a prince so I will have to disturb him with burdens, heartaches, problems, and heartbreaks.” God is saying, “I must pour him from vessel to vessel to vessel!”
No one has ever been used of God who has been allowed to stay like Moab! If God is to use His people mightily He will have to disturb them by pouring them from vessel to vessel.
THE EXAMPLE OF GREAT CHURCHES
Who are the churches that have blessed a nation the most? They are churches like Dr. J. Frank Norris’ church, Dr. G. B. Vick’s church, Dr. Lee Roberson’s church, Dr. Dallas Billington’s church and a Dr. Jack Hyles’ church.
Wait a minute! All of these churches have something in common for the hand of God has disturbed them. They have been poured from vessel to vessel to vessel. Are these churches that were satisfied with the status quo? NO! Are they churches that sat in their lees? NO! Are these churches that had arrived and not need to gain higher ground? NO! Are they churches that were comfortable and sat in their lees? NO!
The First Baptist Church of Fort Worth, Texas, under Dr. J. Frank Norris had been poured and poured and poured and poured! This church was the mother church of the independent Baptist church movement in the United States and was a blessing to a nation.
Hold it! When that same church no longer wanted to be poured from vessel to vessel, she went back into the Southern Baptist Convention and no longer was a blessing to a nation but she sits in her own dregs!
Temple Baptist Church of Detroit, Michigan, under the leadership of Dr. G. B. Vick was poured from one vessel to another vessel to another vessel for years resulting in her being a blessing to a nation. However, one day she no longer wanted the stigma of old fashioned fundamentalism and now even the Baptist Bible Fellowship is ashamed of her Saturday night rock and roll shows. That same church is no longer being poured, and she has ceased to be a blessing to our nation for she sits in her dregs!
In every case, when the pastor that pastored those churches was poured from vessel to vessel to vessel the church was a blessing, but when those men of God died, or resigned, someone came in who refused to associate with old-fashioned fundamentalism. The result was the dregs began to collect, the taste was gone, the scent was gone, and a nation went unblessed!
THE EXAMPLE OF FAMILIES
Hey dad and mom? Do you want your family to be a blessing? Then you thank God for the burdens, heartaches, trials, heartbreak, tears and pain, and let God pour you from vessel to vessel to vessel. However, the minute you decide you don’t want to fight anymore for right or struggle anymore for right, you will ceased to be blessed. When you decide to let your little pin-headed son or daughter take you out of the battle and refuse to let God pour you from vessel to vessel you will end up sitting in your own dregs. Your family life will be filled with dregs, a bad taste, and a bad smell.
God said to Moab, “I cannot use you! You will not have a good taste or scent and I can’t use you! You have been sitting there complacent in your peace, no attacks, no battles and no outside enemies.” God is saying, “Moab, I cannot use you” but I will take little Israel and I’ll pour her in this vessel and then pour her over and over again into other vessels and she, not Moab, will give us the Saviour, the New Testament Church and the Scriptures!
My mama who went to Heaven on Christmas Day of 2010 at 98 was poured from vessel to vessel to vessel. She scrubbed floors in a nursing home to help support the family. She finished her GED for high-school diploma. She went on to college and became an administrator of several Nursing Homes. She was poured from vessel to vessel to vessel. She never sat down in her own dregs and as a result she was a blessing!
THE EXAMPLE OF PREACHERS
God comes looking to seek a preacher, and he does not want Mr. Personality, Mr. Orator, or Mr. Pretty Boy, for God is looking not for the obvious leader, but a boy born in poverty with a drunken dad while being reared by a single mom. It is the Jack Hyles’ for whom God is looking. These are the ones poured from vessel to vessel to vessel who are not sitting in their own dregs. These are the ones who are a blessing to a nation and not afraid to be the off scourging of the earth, for they have lived that way for a lifetime.
These were not born with a silver spoon in their mouth! Ignorant and unlearned much like Acts 4:13, “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.”When some Reverend rails on you for being unlearned and ignorant, praise God for it!
Some of you reading this article have been poured from vessel to vessel to vessel, and I want you to thank God for it! You are sitting here reading this and asking yourself, “When will the hurt ever stop and end?” The truth is you are going to be mighty tasteful one day! You are going to have a sweet scent about you one of these days!
What preacher gave us “Pilgrims Progress?” It was John Bunyan who was poured from vessel to vessel. Check the biographies of great men and you will not find any who had it easy! The Moody’s, the Spurgeon’s, the Paul Radar’s, the B.R. Lakin’s, the Beauchamp Vick’s, the J. Frank Norris’, the Lester Roloff’s, the Lee Roberson’s and the Jack Hyles’ were all poured from vessel to vessel and were not found sitting in their own dregs.
The John Wesley’s were poured from vessel to vessel. The John R. Rice’s were poured from vessel to vessel. The Bill Rice’s were poured from vessel to vessel. The Billy Sunday’s were poured from vessel to vessel. These men were not found sitting in their own dregs. Too much pouring to have them sitting in dregs!
I must allow God to pour me from vessel to vessel so that I may be available to be a blessing! I do not say run toward suffering, but I do say if you do right and refuse to run with the compromisers you will suffer! When this happens, keep letting God pour you from vessel to vessel so you can avoid the dregs of life!
When God chooses to take a husband from your side, or a wife from your table, or a little child from your arms, or your health or the health of a loved one, never forget God is pouring you from vessel to vessel. He does this so you will taste good, so you will have a sweet scent, and you can be a blessing to the world around you!
Dr. Bob Gray Sr.