Describing the glory of God is probably one of the toughest concepts a preacher has to handle. How can I possibly explain the awesomeness of God? Exposed to a mere passing glimpse of Yahweh’s glory, Moses’ face glowed and that glowing face terrified the people who saw him afterward. The request that Moses made to God—show me your glory—was a noble and worthwhile one. God honoured it.
We too can position ourselves to see the glory of God and experience what some have called “the manifest presence” of the Lord. That’s what’s ahead of us in this tenth and final message in our Bound for Glory series. We want to see his glory both now and when the journey ends—when all genuine followers of Christ are glorified in his presence forever.
It would actually be more helpful to appreciate and not just accept God’s discipline in our lives. In fact, we should LOVE the fact that God disciplines us. LOVE it! We need God to get our attention when we stray. We absolutely need correction to become holy and righteous in his eyes.
So, a terrible but not entirely unexpected thing happens in Exodus 32. Moses had been up on Mount Sinai for so long that the people got a wee bit impatient and decided that he wasn’t coming back. Without really knowing it, they violated the second commandment and made an idol to worship. The famous Golden Calf. Needless to say, both Moses and the Lord were displeased. There was no chance that the people were going to escape their foolishness without being disciplined. The stakes were too high, and a message needed to be sent.
We’ll take a close look at all of that today as we continue our Bound for Glory series in Exodus. The principles we’ll see on the way are going to bring clarity as to the Lord’s ongoing discipline in your life and mine.
In Exodus 19-31 we see God expressing his deep love and affection for his chosen people. He calls them his “treasured possession” and goes on to give Moses a series of laws that would govern the covenant relationship between God and his people. It might seem odd that laws should be the expression of his love and yet they are because when God says “Don’t” he means “Don’t hurt yourself.” And he says so because he loves you.
We’re getting our Bibles open to Exodus 18 and a conversation that Moses and his father-in-law have about how to wisely handle the day-to-day matters that come our way. If you need some practical, hands-on wisdom from God, this is the message for you.
I think we all know we’re screw-ups in need of God’s mercy. I think we also know that we don’t deserve anything from God—well…except his judgment and wrath. We deserve that. And yet, in his grace and mercy, the Father has reached out to offer us forgiveness and provided us with a way to enter into relationship with him.
Our series in Exodus, Bound for Glory, continues this weekend as we look at chapters 16-17 where God miraculously feeds them, provides water and helps them prevail against an enemy intent on their destruction. In each case, it is an example of his grace—undeserved and unearned favour—being poured out to them. And it is an example for us to take note of because God’s M.O. hasn’t changed. He wants to pour out that same grace in your life and mine.
“It’s not whether you win or lose but how you play the game.”
What a crock! Winning is the point of playing.
In Exodus 14-15 the Jews are in the fast lane out of Egypt. By all accounts, the Egyptians had been soundly defeated, and Pharaoh, having been humbled by the death of his own son during the tenth plague, had commanded the people to leave. Then he changed his mind, and it was back on. And the people of Israel needed one more win; the final defeat of the Egyptian army. There are some solid principles in that account that will help us all claim and celebrate the victory that God has given us through Jesus Christ. We’re not just here to participate and play nice, but to win.
If you stripped everything down and arrived at the most basic needs that you have, how long would that list be? You’d have water on the list for sure. Food of some kind. Clothing and shelter. Maybe you’d have relationships on there too. Would that be it? Is everything else an extra?
In Exodus 12-13 the most devastating of the plagues or signs that God was bringing upon the Egyptians occurred, the death of the firstborn. Grief gripped them and Pharaoh, having lost his own son, finally relented and commanded that the Jews leave his land. But Israel would be leaving behind all of the security of Egypt for an unknown journey. The greatest question would be, how would they provide for themselves? Where would the basics of life come from?
Today we’ll be looking at how God provided for Israel and how he provides for us.
Did you know that it took Moses 80 years to figure out what he was supposed to be doing with his life? EIGHTY YEARS! And it took a miraculous appearance of the LORD himself to tell him what his life’s purpose was. I’d like to think that we might be able to lock that down in 45 to 50 minutes today with just the Word of God in our hands. Whaddya think? We’ll give it a go as we look at Exodus 3-4 in our series called Bound for Glory.
The well-known line by Ralph Waldo Emerson says, “Life is a journey, not a destination.” Altered just a bit, it lines up perfectly with how God sees it all: Life is a journey with a destination. The Book of Exodus plots that journey for the believer as it recounts the story of the Hebrews becoming the people of God on the way to their Promised Land. For the Jews, it was the land of Canaan, but for the Christ-follower today, it is the eternal kingdom of Jesus Christ. We are bound for glory! And along the way, God works in us to ensure that the journey is all about the destination. His promise is to shape us into his people saying, “It is an awesome thing that I will do with you” (Exodus 34:10 ESV). Today we begin a ten-week series that goes after those awesome things that God has in store for us as we make our way.