Posts Tagged ‘Moses’

Show Me Your Glory

January 4, 2016

“The things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of your glory and grace.”   This is a line from a chorus many of us may remember.  I wonder how focused we are on either the things of earth, or on heavenly things.

I.  Tabernacle of Meeting:  Exodus 33: 7-11

Moses took his tent and pitched it outside the camp, far from the camp, and called it the tabernacle of meeting. And it came to pass that everyone who sought the Lord went out to the tabernacle of meeting which was outside the camp. So it was, whenever Moses went out to the tabernacle, that all the people rose, and each man stood at his tent door and watched Moses until he had gone into the tabernacle. And it came to pass, when Moses entered the tabernacle, that the pillar of cloud descended and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the Lord talked with Moses. 10 All the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the tabernacle door, and all the people rose and worshiped, each man in his tent door. 11 So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle.

The tabernacle of meeting was a place for people to seek the Lord.  It had one purpose: to meet with God.  I do not think that we can make a fair comparison to our churches today.  Our churches today serve many functions. meeting with God is only one of them.  I hope that it is the most important function, but I suspect that I might be disappointed if I knew the truth.

Moses had a relationship with God that was unique.  The pillar of cloud would descend to the door of the tabernacle and God would speak with Moses “face to face”.  This does not need to mean that God took on a human appearance, but rather that this phrase reveals the closeness of the relationship.  I wonder how close we are to God in our conversations with Him?  Are we up close and personal, or are we watching from the cheap seats, or maybe even on TV?

Moses spoke with God and then left.  Joshua stayed behind.  He could not get enough of a good thing.  He loved to be in the presence of God.  I know that we have to live in the world, but how much time do we spend in heavenly places?  Do we just pop in for a quick visit when we need something?  Or do we take our time and linger for a while?

II.  Grace and Rest:  Exodus 33:12-14

Then Moses said to the Lord, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people.’ But You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.’ 13 Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people.”

14 And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

God had given Moses an important task.  He gave him the grace that was needed to do the task.  God promised to be with him as he did his work and to give him rest.

God has given each of us a task on this earth.  We have a purpose.  That task will change over time.  Things may change, but God always has a purpose for us, and a task for us to do.  God will give us the grace that we need to fulfill our task.  He has promised to be with us always.  He will give us rest.

III.  Show Me Your Glory:  Exodus 33:15-23

Then he said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. 16 For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth.”

17 So the Lord said to Moses, “I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.”

18 And he said, “Please, show me Your glory.”

19 Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” 20 But He said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.”

Moses wanted more.  He had a task.  He had the grace of God.  God had promised to be with him.  Moses wanted more of God.  “Please, show me Your glory.”

God allowed His goodness to pass before him, but Moses was human and could only handle so much.  The “face to face” reference earlier was not literal, but comparative.  No mortal could truly be exposed to the fullness of God’s glory and live.  God agreed to reveal as much as He felt Moses could handle.

How hungry are we for the presence of God?  Are we satisfied with a crumb when a whole feast is laid before us?

May we encounter the glory and the goodness of the Lord.  May our capacity for that encounter grow with each passing year.

These are the sermon notes from 12/13/15.  Any advertisements that might appear have been placed by WordPress. I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them.   

 

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A Reason for the Wilderness

November 13, 2014

We all experience difficult times.  Sometimes we know that those difficulties are a direct result of our own stupidity.  Other times we are unable to discern what went wrong.  It is nice to know that God has a reason for everything and can even use difficult times to continue His work in us.

I.  The Wilderness:  Deuteronomy 8:1-2

 “Every commandment which I command you today you must be careful to observe, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers. And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.

Deuteronomy is the farewell address of Moses.  He has led the children of Israel out of Egypt and through the wilderness for forty years.  As they are on the verge of entering the promised land Moses reviews what they have learned.  The time in the wilderness was a time of humbling.  Israel could not survive without God’s help.  We too, should accept the fact that we need God’s help to face our own wilderness.  The time in the wilderness was a time of testing.  We too, are tested by the difficulties that we experience.  Are we able to continue in faith and obedience to God when times are difficult?  The time in the wilderness was used to examine their hearts.  Did they love God?  Were they willing to keep His commandments?  Do we?  Are we?  Difficult times reveal our character.

II.  Not By Bread Alone:  Deuteronomy 8:3-4

So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord. Your garments did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years.

God allows us to hunger, so that we might recognize both the provision of God, and the need for God.  These verses were referenced by Jesus when He was being tempted in the wilderness.  We too, should remember that we do not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.  We should not find our primary fulfillment in the things of the world, but in the Word of God.

III. Know in Your Heart:  Deuteronomy 8:5-6

 You should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the Lord your God chastens you.

“Therefore you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him.

Sometimes the difficulties that we experience are used by God to chasten us, to correct us.  Sometimes we don’t listen.  Sometimes we are disobedient.  When difficulties come it is appropriate to ask God if He is trying to tell us something, or if we are being disobedient.  We should listen for His still small voice.  If we are being disobedient, then we should repent and change our ways.  We should love God, and respect Him enough to listen and obey.

When we experience difficulties we should ask God if there is something in our life that we need to change.  If not, then we can trust that it is only a test and we can hold fast to our faith in God and our obedience to His Word.  God will see us through the wilderness if we will humbly walk with Him.

These are the sermon notes from October 26, 2014.  Any advertisements that accompany this blog are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them.

A Little Help Please

September 4, 2014

Many of us celebrate our independence.  We like to be able to handle our problems by ourselves.   There are times however, when we need a little help from our friends.

I.  Sometimes We Know:  Exodus 17:8-13

Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim. And Moses said to Joshua, “Choose us some men and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.” 10 So Joshua did as Moses said to him, and fought with Amalek. And Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11 And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses’ hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13 So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

In this battle there were many roles to be filled.  Moses had to hold up his staff.  Aaron and Hur supported the hands of Moses.  Joshua was the battle leader.  Some men were selected to go into combat.  Each one was important.  Moses realized very quickly that he could not hold up the rod of God by himself.  It became evident that as his hand lowered Amalek prevailed. So he sat on the rock and Aaron and Hur supported his hands.  The problem was solved with a little help, and the battle was won.

Sometimes we know that we need help.

II.  Sometimes Others Know:  Exodus 18:13-24

And so it was, on the next day, that Moses sat to judge the people; and the people stood before Moses from morning until evening. 14 So when Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he did for the people, he said, “What is this thing that you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit, and all the people stand before you from morning until evening?”

15 And Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God. 16 When they have a difficulty, they come to me, and I judge between one and another; and I make known the statutes of God and His laws.”

17 So Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “The thing that you do is not good. 18 Both you and these people who are with you will surely wear yourselves out. For this thing is too much for you; you are not able to perform it by yourself. 19 Listen now to my voice; I will give you counsel, and God will be with you: Stand before God for the people, so that you may bring the difficulties to God. 20 And you shall teach them the statutes and the laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do. 21 Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. 22 And let them judge the people at all times. Then it will be that every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they themselves shall judge. So it will be easier for you, for they will bear the burden with you. 23 If you do this thing, and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all this people will also go to their place in peace.”

24 So Moses heeded the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said.

Sometimes we try to do more than we should do on our own.  We may not even be aware that what we are doing is not good for us, or for those whom we are serving.  There are times that we need help, but we do not recognize it.  May God give us wisdom to know when we need help, or may God bring along someone to speak truth into our lives.  May we be willing to listen to the godly council of others so that we may not bear the burden alone.

III.  All Together Now:  I Corinthians 12:12-18

For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 14 For in fact the body is not one member but many.

15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? 18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased.

Together we can accomplish the work of God.  We each have a task to perform and each one is important.  We are not in competition with each other, we are working together to build the kingdom of God.

May we each do our part, and may we accept a little help from our brothers and sisters in Christ.

These are the sermon notes from 8/24/14.  Any advertisements that may appear are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them.

 

God is Able

August 25, 2014

The children of Israel had been permitted to leave Egypt.  Then the reality of what effect the loss of all those laborers would be came into focus, and Pharaoh sent the army to bring them back.

I.  Deliverance:  Exodus 15:20-21

Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took the timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. 21 And Miriam answered them:

“Sing to the Lord,
For He has triumphed gloriously!
The horse and its rider
He has thrown into the sea!”

When the Egyptian army caught up to Israel, God, whose presence in their midst was seen by a column of smoke went between the Egyptians and the Israelites.  This prevented the Egyptians from pursuing the Israelites.  While  they were delayed by the cloud, God parted the Red Sea so that the Israelites could pass through on dry land.  After they were through the sea, the cloud lifted and the Egyptians could see where the Israelites had gone.  They followed the Israelites,  going into the divided waters.  Once they were in the midst of the sea, they began to have problems with their chariots and realized, too late, that they were in trouble.  God allowed the waters to return to their normal place, and the Egyptians were drowned.

Psalms 28:7 tells us:

The Lord is my strength and my shield;
My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped;
Therefore my heart greatly rejoices,
And with my song I will praise Him.

If God is our shield, then the only things that are able to get through to us from the outside, is what God allows to come through.  Why is is that bad things happen to us if God is our shield?

One reason is the natural consequences of bad choices.  God has given us free will and that means that we do not always do what God would want us to do.  With freedom comes responsibility, and sometimes the bad things that happen to us are our own fault.  Sometimes God will protect us from our stupidity, and sometimes He does not.

Sometimes God allows bad things to happen to us to test our faith.  It is easy to say that we trust God when everything is wonderful, but can we trust Him when our world is falling apart?

Sometimes God is trying to get our attention.  Perhaps we have not been listening to the still small voice, and God uses trials to get us to refocus our attention on Him.

Sometimes bad things happen because how we handle them can be a testimony to the world of the difference that Christ makes in our lives.

God is our shield.  We can trust Him.  God is able to deliver us.

II.  Provision:  Exodus 15:22-25a

 So Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea; then they went out into the Wilderness of Shur. And they went three days in the wilderness and found no water. 23 Now when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. Therefore the name of it was called Marah.[a] 24 And the people complained against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” 25 So he cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree. When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet.

 

God is able to provide.  The Israelites were a large body of people traveling through the wilderness.  God regularly provided manna for them to eat, and water for them to drink.  Their needs were met, yet they frequently grumbled.  They did not trust God to provide for them, and they frequently complained about what God did provide.  

Psalms 37:4 says

Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

If we are willing to put God first, then He will provide for us.  If we delight ourselves in Him, then our lives will be filled with the goodness of God.  It is important that we keep God first in our lives.

III.  Obedience:  Exodus 15: 25b-26

There He made a statute and an ordinance for them, and there He tested them, 26 and said, “If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you.”

If we truly believe that God is God, then we should be obedient to Him.  Yet, even the most avid believers are not always obedient.  We all sin.  We fail the test of obedience.  This does not mean that we completely give up and live a sinful life, but it does demonstrate that we need forgiveness.  We need a savior.  We need Jesus.

Once we have entered a relationship with Jesus.  We are forgiven and God begins the process of cleansing us, making us more like Him.  That is a lifelong process.

God is able to save us.

God is able to change us.

God is able to work both in us, and through us.

God is able.

These are the sermon notes from 8/17/14.  Any advertisement that may appear is placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them.

 

End Well

July 11, 2013

Here are the notes from the message 7/7/13.

Introduction

This past 4th, we attended the local fireworks display.  They did an outstanding job, finishing with an awesome grand finale.  Then there was one final firework that was launched just a little late.  It was not a large burst, but rather a small pop.  It was weak ending to a spectacular show.

I.  Moses:  Numbers 27:12-23

Now the Lord said to Moses: “Go up into this Mount Abarim, and see the land which I have given to the children of Israel. 13 And when you have seen it, you also shall be gathered to your people, as Aaron your brother was gathered. 14 For in the Wilderness of Zin, during the strife of the congregation, you rebelled against My command to hallow Me at the waters before their eyes.” (These are the waters of Meribah, at Kadesh in the Wilderness of Zin.)

15 Then Moses spoke to the Lord, saying: 16 “Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation, 17 who may go out before them and go in before them, who may lead them out and bring them in, that the congregation of the Lord may not be like sheep which have no shepherd.”

18 And the Lord said to Moses: “Take Joshua the son of Nun with you, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him; 19 set him before Eleazar the priest and before all the congregation, and inaugurate him in their sight. 20 And you shall give some of your authority to him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient. 21 He shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall inquire before the Lord for him by the judgment of the Urim. At his word they shall go out, and at his word they shall come in, he and all the children of Israel with him—all the congregation.”

22 So Moses did as the Lord commanded him. He took Joshua and set him before Eleazar the priest and before all the congregation. 23 And he laid his hands on him and inaugurated him, just as the Lord commanded by the hand of Moses.

Moses had served for forty years as the leader of the people of Israel.  He had been, not perfect, but faithful, through many difficult times.  As his period of leadership was drawing to a close, he appointed a leader to carry on in his stead.  He ended well.

II.  Solomon: I Kings 11:1-4

But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites— from the nations of whom the Lord had said to the children of Israel, “You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the Lord his God, as was the heart of his father David.

Solomon had started so very well.  He had been a magnificent king, widely known for his wisdom, contributing to the text of sacred scripture, serving God for many years.  How very sad that when he was old, that his heart turned towards other gods.  He is a great illustration of what can happen if we do not carefully guard our hearts.

III.  Keep Your Heart:  Proverbs 4:23

Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life.

As a person with a family history of heart disease, I read these verses in two different ways.  First, I do watch my diet, and exercise regularly so that I can continue to enjoy good health, and the productivity that may come with it.  Secondly, and more importantly, I am reminded that I must keep my heart right before God.  I certainly do not want to follow in Solomon’s footsteps, serving God for years, and then falling away at the end.  I want to finish well, and to finish well, I must keep my heart right before God.

IV.  Warning!  Numbers 33:50-52 & 55-56

Now the Lord spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan, across from Jericho, saying, 51 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you have crossed the Jordan into the land of Canaan, 52 then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, destroy all their engraved stones, destroy all their molded images, and demolish all their high places;

But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall be that those whom you let remain shall be irritants in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall harass you in the land where you dwell. 56 Moreover it shall be that I will do to you as I thought to do to them.’”

The children of Israel were directed to cleanse the land from those things that would lead them astray, to serve other gods.  Now, obviously, we are not to kill off all non-believers, and most of us are not tempted by engraved stones, or molded images.  We are however, tempted in a whole host of other ways to pursue things other than God.  Perhaps we are tempted to pursue money, power or fame.  Perhaps we become far too comfortable and entangled in the things of this world.  For each of us, the dangers may be different, but the point is the same.  Keep God first in your life and in your priorities.  This is not a challenge for a part of our life, but for all of our life.  Don’t let a passion for God be simply a phase, or portion of your life, may it be your life.  May you finish well.

 

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Hear, Obey, and Trust

January 3, 2012

Here is this past Sunday’s sermon outline.  Please get your Bible and look up the references.

God speaks to Moses.  Exodus 3: 2, 10

God spoke to Moses from the midst of a burning bush.  Most of us do not have an experience quite like that, but God does speak to us through His Word and through His Spirit.

Moses argues with God.  Exodus 3:11, 4:1,10

I think that most of us can relate to the idea of arguing with God.  We are not always immediately happy or excited about the direction that God is leading us.  It is comforting to know that even great men of God like Moses, occasionally argued with God.  However, God always wins those arguments.

Moses obeyed God.  Exodus 5:1-4 

After initial hesitation, Moses does what God told him to do.  We too, should be obedient to what God is telling us.

Things got worse.  Exodus 5:6-9 

When we are obedient. it is not always the case that things immediately get better.  The tests and trials of this life can intensify even if we are doing what is right.

Moses questions God.  Exodus 5:22-6:1

Again, it is nice to know that even Moses needed reassurance.  So to, we can question God  to confirm that we are on the right track.

Moses trusts and persists.  Exodus 7:1-6 

Once Moses was reassured, he faithfully fulfilled the course that God had laid out for him.  He trusted God to do what He had said that he would do.  We too should trust God and be persistent.

Moses succeeds.  Exodus 12:40-42

It took a while, there was a cost, but Moses succeeds in the end.  We also, will be victorious if we continue to faithfully serve the Lord.  Although we should be aware that true victory is not measured by the things of this world, but to hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Hear God.  Obey God.  Trust God.

What Do You Want?

July 6, 2010

In Exodus 33:18, Moses asks God “Please, show me Your glory.”

This is an amazing passage because by this time Moses has already experienced the burning bush, the exodus from Egypt, the revelation at Mt. Sinai, multiple miraculous encounters and the daily presence of the column of smoke by day and the pillar of fire by night.

What more does he expect?

He recognizes that, even with all that he has experienced, there is still more to God and he wants more knowledge of God.

What about us?

I am concerned that far too many of us are quite content with the little, bitty, revelation of God that we have received.  We have received a taste, and it is enough for us.

Instead of desiring more of God, we want more stuff.  We want a new computer, phone, television, or some other thing of this world.  We have an insatiable appetite for the material, but are content with a small dab of the spiritual.

That is exactly reversed from what it should be.  We should be content with a dab of the material, and hunger for more of God.

I know that I have been challenged by these thoughts, and just wanted to share them with you.