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A Brook in
A BROOK IN THE WAY
"The Lord said unto my
Lord, sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.
The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the
midst of thine enemies. Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power,
in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: Thou hast the dew
of thy youth. The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest
for ever after the order of Melchizedek. The Lord at thy right hand shall
strike through kings in the day of his wrath. He shall judge among the
heathen, He shall fill the places with dead bodies; He shall wound the heads
over many countries. he shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall
He lift up the head." Psalm 110
This Psalm looks
forward to the coming of Christ in Bethlehem. The Psalmist is projecting his
vision to the first coming of Jesus, not the second coming, although that is
included, I think. The basic outlook is toward the coming of Christ for the
first time. It pictures the week of suffering that is called sometimes the
Passion Week. (This is found in Psalm 109, too). It pictures the week of
suffering from the time that He set His face toward Jerusalem to be
crucified, buried and then to rise from the dead. It is pictured as a
journey. He was going for the last time. Oh, how he must have suffered as He
realized that His days were numbered! Then came the awful time of suffering
in Gethsemane, when the perspiration fell like drops of blood from His brow.
Then as He went on to Caiaphas' court where He was tried in a mock trial,
and on to Pilate, from Pilate on to Herod, then back to Pilate. There was
the scourging with the cat-o'-nine-tails, a long whip with nine different
prongs on it. He was hit 39 times across the back. Isaiah 52:14 says that He
was beaten so much that you could not tell that He was a human being.
Following that, the cross was placed upon Him and He was led up to Calvary.
There was the crucifixion, and there was the shame and suffering on the
cross, the nakedness and the dogs licking His wounds, the back-handing and
the plucking of His beard, the mocking, the making fun of Him as a king, the
crown of thorns on His head, and the other events that tell of the suffering
of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In this awful time of
suffering, we find an unusual statement, "He shall drink of the brook in the
way." This brook symbolizes a refreshing drink of water. That brook is a
stream that has fresh water from which one need not fear to take a drink.
This Psalm is likened
to a king in battle. There is a king leading his forces. the day is hot. The
desert is arid and dry, and the king comes to a place where there is a
refreshing brook. He says, "There is a brook in the way". the king stops on
a hot day, and gets the refreshment of the brook.
Now what is the "brook
in the way" of Christ? This brook is a little stream that runs across the
week of suffering in the life of Jesus Christ. Get the picture, very
carefully, and you will find a beautiful truth. Here is Jesus in His week of
suffering. It is not a time to laugh. There is no enjoyment as far as we can
see. Everything is dark and gloomy, the suffering of shame, the suffering of
the crown of thorns, the suffering of the agonies of the cross. It is a week
we call "a week of passion". Yet trickling across that week of passion, like
a brook in the way, something refreshed Him. Something delighted Jesus in
that week of suffering, and it is called, "a brook in the way". Like a fresh
stream would bring refreshment to a weary traveler, there was something
trickling across the path of Jesus, in the darkest week of His life, so that
it was like a "brook in the way".
What was this
refreshing oasis over which Jesus crossed, that gave him refreshment like a
brook in the way? Was it the home of Mary and Martha, where He spent His
last night before being tried? Was it the home of Mary and Martha and
Lazarus where they served Him, worshipped Him, cooked for Him, and loved
Him? Was that the oasis? I do not know. maybe it was. Maybe this brook in
the way, this little refreshing stream of water, this stream that trickled
across the path of Jesus, was the wonderful time spent with Mary and Martha
and Lazarus in their home. I do not know.
What was this
refreshing oasis? What was that refreshing brook in the way? was it the love
of Mary Magdalene, that woman whose body had been possessed of seven devils,
out of which Jesus had cast them? She, no doubt, loved Him more than anybody
on the face of the earth. She stood with Him when all others had forsaken
Him. She stood beside the sepulcher when no one else did. She was there
first in the morning when all others had fled. Was the love of Mary
Magdalene the brook in the way?
What was the
refreshing oasis that crossed the path of our Lord through the week of
suffering? Was it the thief who cried for mercy by saying, "Lord, remember
me when thou comest into thy kingdom"?
Jesus replied, "Today
thou shalt be with me in Paradise".
Was not Jesus dying
that sinners might be saved? Was not this the purpose for which he came into
the world? Even now, in his death, there cries a thief, "Lord, don't forget
me. Remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom." Was this the brook in
the way? Maybe it was.
Was it the women who
stayed until the end? Peter was out cursing in the garden. Judas had
betrayed him with a kiss on his brow. The disciples had forsaken him and
fled Thank God, a little handful of women stood beside the cross. They tried
to give him something to help his sufferings, and they did give their
loyalty. Was this the brook in the way? I do not know.
The Bible does not
tell us what it was. We do not know exactly what it was, but we do know
there was something in the week of suffering of Jesus Christ that was a
refreshing to Him as a spring would be to a weary traveler going across a
desert. It was a brook in the way. I do not know what it was, and I shall
not advance to you what I think it was, but I would like to suggest two
thoughts to you.
I. EVERY CHRISTIAN
SHOULD BE A BROOK IN THE WAY
So many times in my
life I have met such brooks. Have you in your life been withered down with
your load of heartaches and problems? Have you thought life was not worth
living? Have you wondered if you could make the day? Then suddenly in a
wonderful way, God sent to you a person who was a brook in the way. Maybe a
smile when no one else was smiling, maybe a pat on the back when no one else
would give it, maybe an encouraging word when no one else could quite give
an encouraging word, was to you like a brook in the way. Don't you think it
would be a wonderful thing to help the weary traveler, help carry his load
with a pat on the back, a smile, or an "I love you", or maybe a helping
hand? You and I should be a brook in the way for others.
I was thinking last
night of Tommy Ford. He was one of my deacons in the country church in east
Texas. He was saved shortly after I became pastor of the little country
church. I baptized Tommy shortly after I got there. What a wonderful man!
What a sweet wife! WHat a fine family! What a brook in the way! We had some
problems there in the church. Some of the people did not think I was old
enough to pastor a church. Through many heartaches Tommy and his family were
a brook in the way.
When I was pastoring
in Garland, one night after we had had a little problem which no one knew
much about, Jack Barber (God bless him) came to me and said, "Preacher, come
to our house and have refreshments after the service". We did. (He did not
know about the problem). The next time we had a problem, again Jack did not
know about it, but God had a way of telling him to say "Preacher, come to
our house tonight for refreshment." We would. In the six years and eight
months that I was Pastor there, we ate in the Barber home only a half dozen
times, but every time it was a time we were discouraged and needed help the
most. He was a brook in the way.
Everybody is having a
difficult time. There ought to be some brooks. There ought to be some people
to cheer others on the way. There ought to be some folks who are brooks in
the way. Everybody is having a tough time. Everybody is having problems.
Nobody needs your insults. Nobody needs your crabby disposition. Nobody
needs your slander. everybody is having a tough time; everybody has fear of
Communism; everybody is afraid of the atomic bomb; everybody is afraid about
heart attacks; and everybody is afraid about cancer; everybody is concerned
about Vietnam; everybody has a heat that is heavy and broken. Let's see to
it that every one of us is a brook in the way, to encourage people in a time
of suffering and sorrow.
II. HAVE A BROOK IN
What do you mean,
Preacher? I mean this: You should have a brook in the way. I know you are
having it rough. I know you have troubles and problems, difficulties and
heartaches. I know that, but have a brook in the way.
Now you say,
"Preacher, what is the 'brook in the way' for me?" One brook in the way is
the church. Every church ought to be a brook in the way. What do I mean by
that? I mean that I want the First Baptist Church in Hammond to be the kind
of a church that can be a brook in the way to all who attend. When you walk
in the doors of this church, I want you to feel refreshed. The church is a
brook in the way.
There are folks here
this morning whose hearts are heavy and broken and who are discouraged and
lonely. There ought to be a brook in the way as we stand to read the
Scripture, hear announcements, preach, fellowship, and sing.
People sometimes come
to our church and they say, "Pastor, you don't have morning worship
I say, "Yes, we do. We
just do not worship like you do. We have a brook in the way, not a stagnant
stream. We do not have a cesspool We want to have something you can drink
and be refreshed." When you come to First Baptist Church of Hammond, we want
you to have a place where you can lay your burdens down for awhile and
rejoice that we serve a living Saviour! There are people here this morning
that are sick, I mean, very sick. They do not know how long they will live.
They wonder if this will be the last Christmas they will see. I say, "Oh, my
God, let the First Baptist Church be a brook in their way. In their time of
suffering, may there appear a refreshing stream across their path like what
trickled across the path of our Lord jesus Christ." may the Church service
this morning be a refreshing brook in your path like a refreshment in a
dreary world or an oasis for a traveler on a desert. may this be a brook in
There is a family this
morning in this service whose boy perhaps yesterday landed in Vietnam. He
came by my office this last week to tell me good-bye. He is one of our own
boys. We knelt and prayed in my office and asked God to watch over him. Last
Sunday he sat in this service. His parents, I am sure, are here. Their
hearts are heavy. Oh, let us be a brook in the way to people like that. In a
time of suffering, when your heart is the heaviest, may it always be that
when you come to First Baptist Church, there will be that lilt, delight, joy
and thrill that will make the service refreshing, not some kind of funeral
where you come feeling bad and you go away feeling worse.
There are people in
this service this morning who will face a Christmas Day for the first time
without a father. There are people in this service who will face Christmas
without a husband for the first time in years. There are people this morning
who will face Christmas Day without a delight or joy, but with a dread
because someone is gone. They have burdens and heartaches. God has placed
across the path a place like this where they can come and feel the
refreshment of the brook in the way.
There are people this
morning in this service who will be beaten when they get home. As the choir
sings, as we have the Lord's Supper, and as I try to preach, may this
service be to you a brook in the way.
That is one reason why
I put a little humor in my sermons. I do not think there is anything wrong
with it. I think God is pleased. I do not think it ought to be inappropriate
or obnoxious, but I certainly think that a little laughter here and there
causes God to be pleased when His people, with burdens, heartaches, sorrows
and loads to carry, have a little trickling brook in the way over which to
cross, every Sunday morning and evening and Wednesday night.
There are folks who
have had loved ones die. They need a brook in the way. I have walked in this
pulpit time and time again when I was discouraged I could hardly face the
service or preach a sermon. As I stood to preach, the service was to me as a
brook in the way. Before I got through preaching, I was refreshed I felt
better. Why? There was a brook in the way. How I thank God for this church!
How I thank God for this place where we can come with our burdens and leave
them! You can forget them for awhile, rejoice for awhile, "Hallelujah" for
awhile and praise the Lord for awhile. A brook in the way.
As you have your
burdens, problems, heartaches, sorrows and bereavement, I hope that this can
always be a place where you can come an feel like, "There is a drink of
I trust that hungry
hearts that come to First Baptist can find a brook in the way. I trust that
people who lay loved ones in the grave will look forward to Sunday where
there is a brook in the way. I hope that those of you whose boy is in
Vietnam can come to church and find a brook in the way. I hope you aged
people who live alone find here a brook in the way. What this old world
needs this morning is a brook in the way!
Now wait a minute. A
brook is to carry water. Jesus said, "I am the living water". Are you
thirsty this morning? Are you thirsty for something this morning that you
have not found? You are thirsting for Christ and you do not know it. Have
you sought peace in the world? You will not find it there. You are thirsting
for Christ and do not know it, for He is the living Water! He is that
refreshing brook. No one has ever come to Christ and been disappointed
because Christ has always quenched everybody's thirst. "Ho, everyone that
thirsteth, come ye to the water", said God in Isaiah 55:1. In Revelation
22:17 we find, "And whosoever will, let him take of the water of life
freely". If you are thirsting for something in life, come to Christ and find
in him a brook in the way.
If you would take
Jesus Christ as your Saviour, you would find that he is your brook in the
way. He is that refreshment in the hour of trial. He is that load carrier in
times of a heavy load. He is that burden bearer in times of burdens. He is
that comforter in time so sorrow and bereavement. He is a brook in the way.
May I say this
morning, be a brook in the way.
Look all around you,
Find someone in need,
Help somebody today.
Though it be a little,
A neighborly deed,
Help somebody today.
Help somebody today,
Somebody along life's
Let sorrow be ended,
Oh, help somebody
Be that little brook
that crosses the path of sorrow. Then find in your church a brook in the
way. Then if you are not saved, turn your eyes upon Jesus. Put your faith in
Jesus, and find in him a brook in the way.
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