God Gets Jealous
By Bobby Blakey on December 15, 2019
God Gets Jealous
By Bobby Blakey on December 15, 2019
This is a rush transcript.
[00:00:02] Open the Bible in turn with me to Psalm 119, we are going to approach the law, the Ten Commandments together here tonight.
[00:00:15] And the truth is, some of us, if not many of us, might approach the law the wrong way when I say that phrase the law.
[00:00:26] Do you get warm, fuzzy when I say that? Do you feel good? Is that a positive or a negative connotation in your mind? You start thinking about politicians and judges and law enforcement officers or even in the Bible.
[00:00:43] If I say, hey, everybody, let's go read the law, let's study the law.
[00:00:47] Does that sound like a good thing or a bad thing?
[00:00:51] We're gonna get honest and I recommend being honest at church, especially if we're gonna be honest.
[00:00:57] A lot of people in the Church of Jesus Christ to day have a negative connotation, a negative association with the idea of the law, even in God's word. And we've got to change our minds about how we think about the law. Now, Psalm one hundred and nineteen, it's on page five hundred and twelve. If you got one of our books here and it's the longest chapter in the Bible and it's all about the Bible, what it is really is an acrostic gay. And it's every letter, the twenty two letters of the Hebrew alphabet. And you can see them. They even put the letters there in the English text for you and it's eight verses for each letter. So it equals one hundred and seventy six verses in those eight verses. They all start with that letter in Hebrew. So it's like the biggest acrostic you've ever seen through the whole alphabet. Twenty two letters each having a lines. And the whole point of this chapter of the Bible is how awesome the law is and how it should be.
[00:01:58] Such a positive connotation in your mind that, you know, you need the law. You want to learn more about the law and you're thinking if you could just figure out God's law and live it out in your life.
[00:02:11] That's the way to know happiness and joy. That's what it says in verse one. Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord.
[00:02:24] If you know the law and you keep God's law.
[00:02:27] You're gonna be blessed. You're gonna be happy. Now, I'm going to encourage everybody here tonight to read through all 176 verses and pick your favorite one to memorize it. The kids are memorizing it here at the church. Maybe you've helped some of your kids out as they're memorizing through this chapter. But we got to renew our minds about the law and look at verse 18. I'll just pick your show you some of my favorites here that get us excited here tonight.
[00:02:56] Open my eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of your law. Now, I love that prayer because it assumes that if I'm reading the law and I'm not seeing wondrous things like things that blow my mind, things that are too great for me to comprehend. If I'm not seeing those kinds of things, then I'm missing them. But there are definitely there.
[00:03:16] See, that's not how people act today. They act like, well, it was just a bunch of names or a bunch of numbers or a bunch of sacrifices. Just doesn't apply to me. No, it just went right over your head, is what he's saying here. You need your eyes opened to really see it like a verse.
[00:03:31] Twenty nine put false ways far from me and graciously teach me your law. When you hear about the grace of God, his goodness and his undeserved favor is one of the things you think, Oh, I love it when he teaches me the law, that's his grace is sweet grace right there. And now you. It comes with the assumption that the law is going to tell me things that are true and right. And I got to get those false ways out of my mind, which is why I need the law in my mind. Like a verse 34, verse 34. Give me understanding that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart. Like, if I don't get the law, it's because my fault I don't get it. So please give me that understanding. Verse 72, just skipping down a few. Verse 72. Think about this. The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces. So that's thousands of dollars. I'd rather have the law than thousands and thousands of dollars. That's real value statement. That's seeing it as a treasure. Go to verse ninety two, verse ninety two. And there's so many we could look at verse 92. Excuse me. If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.
[00:04:59] When I was going through a hard time when the holidays weren't so happy, when I was going through a real trial in my life, I would have gone down. I would have perished. But the law is what kept me going through my hard time.
[00:05:12] Then verse 97. Here's the hard attitude we should all want to have as people who who come to the law of God.
[00:05:20] Oh, how I love your law. It is my meditation. All the day.
[00:05:28] Let me ask you, does the writer of this song have a positive connotation with the idea of God's law? Overwhelmingly so. It is his passion. It is his delight. And if you are thinking that the law of Moses, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus numbers and Deuteronomy is not a delight to you. Then you're in the right place because you've got to change your mind. There is treasure and wonders that you are missing out on.
[00:05:56] If you're not getting into the law of God.
[00:06:01] And so I invite you to turn with me now to Exodus Chapter 20, which is the most famous statement of the law, really the beginning of the law. Now, as you would think of it, when I say the law, a lot of people think of a list of rules. And this is our seventh week studying through the law. It's going to take us 20 weeks to go through Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus numbers and Deuteronomy swear a book and a half into it. And this week is really when we begin the list of rules. And it starts with the most famous list of rules, perhaps in the history of humanity. The Ten Commandments. And so these commandments, they're here for us in Exodus, Chapter 20. This is page 61. And I'm going to read this for us here tonight. And I just want you to picture that God is speaking from Mount Sinai. There is thunder and lightning. It is surrounded by a cloud of thick darkness and God descends on the mountain as fire.
[00:07:06] And he speaks to the people. And this is what he says, and out of respect for God's word, I'm gonna ask if everybody will stand up and we can't go to Mount Sinai physically together tonight. But let's go there in the scripture and let's think about a voice speaking from a mountain of fire with thunder and lightning. And let us give God's law. Delightfully, our full and undivided attention here together, please follow along as I read Exodus, Chapter 20 vs. one to 21. And God spoke all these words saying, I am the Lord, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, you shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above or that is in the earth beneath or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bowed down to them or serve them, for I, the Lord, your God and a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless, who takes his name in vain. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord, your God on it. You shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male servant or your female servant, your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them and rested on the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord bless the Sabbath day and made it holy. Honor your father and your mother that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not cover your neighbor's wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that is your neighbors.
[00:09:33] Now, when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet in the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled. And they stood far off and said to Moses, You speak to us and we will listen, but do not let God speak to us lest we die. Moses said to the people, do not fear for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin. The people stood far off while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was. That's the reading of God's word. Please go ahead and have your seat.
[00:10:24] And you can see there the serious way that these 10 commands, as we summarize them. When they were spoken to, the people, the people, they were afraid and they trembled.
[00:10:37] And Moses says that the point is that you would fear God so that you would not see.
[00:10:45] Now we're familiar with these Ten Commandments and I am a maybe you've heard them before. They're probably the most famous commandments, the set of them, at least in our culture. Maybe throughout the history of the world. And we're not going to go through the Ten Commandments tonight. Every one of them, they are often broken into two sections. You can see there we got we got a handout with two points and so you could break it down. Love God. That's kind of the first four commandments and love people. That's the next six commandments. But that's not what we're going to do. We're not going to go through all 10 of them together, because what I think is that the Ten Commandments are often taken out of context.
[00:11:28] You'll notice here that it doesn't give you Ten Commandments.
[00:11:31] In fact, God doesn't even start speaking with the first command. You shall have no other gods before me. Now, let's go back to verse two and let's look at what the first thing that God said really is.
[00:11:43] In fact, a lot of people, when they grow up in church memorizing the Ten Commandments or they sing songs about the Ten Commandments. They don't even memorize this part. They just jump right into rule number one.
[00:11:58] But this is the first thing that God says. When he speaks from the mountain of smoke with the thunder and lightning, he says, I am your way.
[00:12:09] I am the Lord, your God. The reason that God is about to give a list of commands is because he God.
[00:12:21] And these are his people.
[00:12:23] And he's going to enter into here a covenant relationship with these people. And the rules are going to define the relationship. But the point is not the rules. The point is, I'm your God. That's the point. That's why we're not going to have any other gods, because we already have a God.
[00:12:44] And so this it's so sad that the entire context.
[00:12:49] Has been misplaced.
[00:12:51] A lot of times when people talk about the Ten Commandments, in fact, the reason we're having this conversation is I am the Lord, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You were you were slaves to another nation. And I came in and redeemed you and delivered you by showing my wonders.
[00:13:13] And now we're going to become our own nation. I'm going to be your God. You're going to be my people. That's the whole reason there is law.
[00:13:23] We get that.
[00:13:24] We want to be the people of the United States of America. We got a constitution. We got laws, C. Laws have to have a context.
[00:13:33] And a lot of people, they don't understand the Ten Commandments because they don't have the context of a relationship where they can say, that's my God.
[00:13:42] Now, the really the whole context is Chapter 19. You got to really set it up. And if you're caught up in the reading, this is where we just left off. Exodus 19. And if you're not caught up in the reading, hopefully you'll start reading with us in Chapter 20 this week as we go from here. But he look at Chapter 19 and Moses is going to go up. They've come now to Mount Sinai. And that's a big deal, because if you were here two weeks ago, God spoke to Moses from a burning bush on Mount Horeb or Mount Sinai. And God made a prophecy in Chapter three that he, Moses, would bring the whole people of Israel back to this same spot. And then he would speak to everybody. God promised it in chapter three. Here it is happening in Chapter 19. So before God's going to speak to everybody, he says something to Moses. I need you to see this exodus 19, verse three.
[00:14:38] This is the context of the Ten Commandments that is often forgotten or left out. And it says here, while Moses went up to God, he's going up to God here on the mountain. The Lord called to him out of the mountain, saying, thus, you shall say to the house of Jacob and tell the people of Israel, you yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians. You guys are my witnesses. Of all my miracles. My plug's the parting of the Red Sea and how I bore you on Eagle's wings and brought you to myself like I swooped down from the sky and picked you up and carried you back here to the mountain to meet with me.
[00:15:25] So that's what Moses is supposed to tell the people, verse five. Now, therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my key word of the night here, keep my what does it say there?
[00:15:35] Everybody keep my covenant. You shall be my treasured possession among all peoples. For all the earth is mine. And you shall be to me. A kingdom of priests and a holy nation, these Moses, are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.
[00:15:59] So then Moses comes down from the mountain and God gives them three days. Key, key phrase throughout the scripture. Three days to prepare for their meeting with God. No one can come near the mountain. Not a human or an animal can touch the mountain. If anybody does touch the mountain, they have to die because this is the holy mountain of God.
[00:16:18] And only if he invites you on there and you're not allowed to go there. And so here you've got three days. And don't touch the mountain. Get ready. God's going to speak to us.
[00:16:28] And and here's the thing. God's going to have a covenant with us.
[00:16:31] We're going to enter into a unique relationship with God out of all the nations of the Earth. It says the people of Israel are going to be God's treasured possession. They're gonna be a people like nobody else with a special relationship with him.
[00:16:48] That's the context of commandments.
[00:16:51] That's why he's gonna start telling the hearing here in Chapter 20. But you'll notice we stopped a verse 21. Go look at verse 22 of chapter 20.
[00:17:01] Yeah, there's more laws come in. We we don't say no. Eleven number 12. We don't just keep count. No, we only count the first ten and then a lot of people give up after the first ten. But I hope you won't. I hope you have a positive connotation and you'll read and then you'll be like, whoa. Chapter Twenty is another chapter for laws. Chapter 22.
[00:17:20] Oh, wait. Check that out. Chapter 23 three WOAK. So the Ten Commandments were just getting started.
[00:17:28] Because, God, he's saying, hey, I want to have a covenant relationship with you. That's what he's saying to his people.
[00:17:39] And a good term with me to Deuteronomy, Chapter four, I need everybody to go over to Deuteronomy.
[00:17:44] Chapter four, verse 32, it's on page one hundred and forty nine Deuteronomy. What that name means is the second telling of the law. Moss is the word for law. And due to Roe duo. Right, Deuce's. That would be too. So it's the second time through the law. That's what Deuteronomy is. It's kind of Moses, his commentary on all that we've learned in the first four books.
[00:18:12] And so one of the things they do in Deuteronomy is they tell the Ten Commandments a second time, and that's in Deuteronomy, Chapter five. But look here at Deuteronomy, chapter four, verse 32. Once again, Moses is now going to set up the telling of the law, the telling of the Ten Commandments. And before we even get to the list of commands, here's what he says. Deuteronomy four, verse 32. Are you with me? Are you guys there? OK, here it is. Ask now of the days that are passed. So Moses is going to remind them of the first time they heard the law. The days that are passed, which were before you since the day that God created man on the Earth and ask from one end of heaven to the other was whether such a great thing is this has ever happened or was ever heard of. So let's review all that we've learned before, and especially for us. What we've read so far in Genesis and Exodus. Has anything like this ever happened in the history of Earth verse 33? Did any people ever hear the voice of a God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as you have heard, and still live? Did anybody else ever get to hear God talk to them in a special way like that, verse 34? Or has any God ever attempted to go and taking nation for himself from the midst of another nation? By trials, by signs, by wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, by great deeds of terror, all of which the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes.
[00:19:49] You ever heard a God speaking to a nation out of a mountain of fire? You ever heard of how God. Or anybody win? And they took a nation out of a nation.
[00:19:59] You ever heard of amazing things like that Moses percent, verse 35 to you? It was shown that you might know that the Lord is God and there is no other God besides him.
[00:20:16] The reason we're going to get rules, specifically rules about having no other gods or no carved images or no idols or how we can even use the name of God is because we're going to have a relationship with God. If you get the rules out of relationship, you will be doing a religion and you will be doing something false. The rules have to exist in the context of a relationship between God and you. That's what we're talking about. So don't go start reading all the laws and think, why do we have all these interesting rules? No, the reason is because of a relationship with God and the rules are telling us something about how we're supposed to know him. The point is to know him. Verse 36 out of heaven.
[00:21:05] He let you hear his voice that he might discipline you. He's got to correct you. He's got to teach you.
[00:21:12] And on Earth, he let you see his great fire. And he heard his you heard his words out of the midst of the fire.
[00:21:19] And because he loved your fathers and chose their offspring after them and brought you out of Egypt with his own presence by his great power, driving out before you nations greater and mightier than you to bring you in to give you their land, foreign inheritance as it is this day.
[00:21:42] No. Therefore, today.
[00:21:44] And lay it to your heart that the Lord is God in heaven above. And on the earth beneath. There is no other. Therefore, that's why you shall keep his statutes and his commandments.
[00:22:01] Why is this Psalmist saying that he loves the law and he wants to meditate on the law all day long because it's the law of God?
[00:22:12] That's why. And the law is how he knows God.
[00:22:18] OK, point number one, it's true for Israel and it's true for you sitting here tonight. Point number one, God wants a covenant relationship with you. God wants a covenant relationship with you. If you just start reading the laws, even if you memorize the Ten Commandments, but you don't know about the Covenant, about how God is defining a a relationship, kind of a contract that you and him are going to enter into us as one of your people. And and he this is the old covenant that we're looking at between him and Israel. Eventually, there's a new covenant that comes through his son, Jesus Christ, which is what we're celebrating at Christmas. God has always been looking for a people. He's always been wanting to establish a covenant in heaven. That's the way it will be. He will be God. We will be his people. And we will exist with him in perfect community for all of eternity. That's what God's going for. That's what you're supposed to know.
[00:23:20] And if you keep these commandments, these statutes, which I command you today, see, the reason he gives us these rules is it says that it may go well with you and with your children after you, that you may prolong your days in the land the lord your God is giving you for all time.
[00:23:39] God gives you commands in his law to bless you and be good to you, not to keep you away from things you want to do.
[00:23:48] Can I get any man from anybody in the congregation? The law of God is the best possible way for human flourishing.
[00:23:57] You think you got a better way? You go try it.
[00:24:00] I guarantee you it's not going to work out and lead to a place of blessing, like obeying God's law. Go over to Chapter five where he retells the Ten Commandments. And this time and Moses gives his introduction. Look at Deuteronomy Chapter five verse to the Lord.
[00:24:18] Ah, God made a covenant with us in the Horeb, which is Mount Sinai, the mountain of fire. This is how Moses now, when he tells it the second time, he doesn't say, hey, do you remember that list of commands that God gave us at Mount Sinai? That's what we say today. That's how people talk about the Ten Commandments. Now, Moses doesn't say that when he's telling the law the second time. He doesn't say commands. He says covenant.
[00:24:49] Do you remember how we entered into a unique relationship with God and how God said, here's how this relationship needs to be? Now, Convenant, it sounds like like a biblical word, it sounds like maybe even an Old Testament word in our mind, but we are very familiar with covenant relationships. We have one that's still go on today. It's not going as strong as we would like to see it, but it's happening here at our church. Praise the Lord. We have people who are committing to one another, entering into a covenant of marriage. Raise your hand if you belong to a covenant relationship like that, although that's a lot of us here tonight. Right. So when you when I say covenant and you start thinking, what is that? Well, that sounds old school. No, many of us live in a covenant relationship of marriage. Turned back with me to Exodus Chapter 20. And let's see what God says here about himself and how he's going to be in this covenant. And I have the blessing of seeing a lot of these marriages happen. I even get the blessing of officiating some of the marriages and the ceremony. I try to keep the ceremonies short because the last thing we need at a wedding is somebody drone and on and on.
[00:26:07] You know what I mean? Anybody been been to those kind of weddings? You know, when I was a. Do you know what I mean? Right.
[00:26:12] I mean, I, I had the ceremony might be short, but one thing that I love to do is I love to talk with engaged couples and do this thing called premarital counseling. And we're doing that all the time. I already got people there hit me up almost on the daily. When are we going to meet next? It's December. They're getting married in April and they want to learn about it now. They want to talk about it now. What is this relationship we're going to enter into? How is the relationship defined? What does it mean to be a husband? What does it mean to be a wife? What is this unique thing where we're going to become one and we're going to be long, long together?
[00:26:50] And what God has joined together let no man separate.
[00:26:55] We got to get into that, what is that all about? There's a lot to learn there. I mean, literally there is at every wedding, you may not notice it. It happens behind the scenes. There is a legal contract. There is a license.
[00:27:11] And even in the state of California, whatever you may think about it, a biblical principle still being enacted to this very day. You need two or three witnesses to make that a legal document in the state of California. And people have to sign it. And it has to be turned in. It's it's a covenant. It's a promise that people are making before God and all of the witnesses that they can afford or that they choose to invite to come and be there with them. Right.
[00:27:39] That's what it is.
[00:27:42] Now, when you go into a relationship. You have certain expectations. One of the things that you expect, something that I think every marriage expects is the commitment of both parties to that relationship.
[00:27:59] That this is going to be a unique, singular relationship in our lives. This is the same thing that God is expecting from his people. God wants to have something unique with his people.
[00:28:13] If he is going to be your God and you're going to be one of his people, then no other gods can be involved in this relationship. And God says something here in the Ten Commandments that's so fundamental, but people don't focus on it enough. Look at what he says in verse three. He says, you shall have no other gods before me.
[00:28:35] I will suffer no rivals, is what God saying, I will not be equal with anyone else in your life. There there can be no competition for first place in your soul. I will be first place or I will be no place. This is God defining the relationship. These are his expectations. You cannot call me your God and then worship something else in your heart. There's nobody else competing with me.
[00:29:04] In fact, he says in verse war, you shall not make for yourself a carved image or any likeness.
[00:29:11] And it can't be like anything that you might see flying in the sky. It can't be like any animal you might see on the earth. Can't be like any sea creature you might see swimming around under the water. Like you, you cannot define me with an image. Don't make an idol of something.
[00:29:29] Don't try to box me into anything that I am not. If you're going to make idols or carved images, you shall not bound to them. Don't worship them. Don't serve them for eye the Lord, your God. And what kind of God does he say he is?
[00:29:48] All right, husbands. All right, wives.
[00:29:52] Let me ask you a question right now. Is it good to be jealous when you've committed to a covenant relationship?
[00:29:59] So it's it's the right thing. It's the natural thing.
[00:30:03] We understand this. In fact, one of the commands specifically later on is going to be you shall not commit adultery.
[00:30:13] Mean one of the clear understandings that not only Christians have about marriage, but even the world has about marriage in even the world understands that if you say you're with someone, you shouldn't be with someone else.
[00:30:27] And we are living in a very perverted time, very immoral time here in America, where people even talk about things like open marriages and even people when people say that, they know that's messed up. That's not the way it's supposed to be. It's one man. It's one woman. Nobody else. God's saying same thing with me.
[00:30:49] One God in your heart. Nothing else in your heart. You're going to worship something else. You're going to back down to something else. You're going to. I'm going to get mad about that. I'm going to get angry about that. I am not going to be OK with it, because here's something I want you to know about me. Says God. I am jealous.
[00:31:09] This is God speaking about himself. Allow me to introduce myself. I'm not okay with you seeing other people. That's what God says to his people. That's why there's rules.
[00:31:22] The major theme of these rules, they're going to have the two categories. Your relationship with God, your relationship with other people, and sometimes God's going to say specific things about how the Israelites can interact with other nations or other groups of people. And you're gonna think that's harsh. They can't intermarry.
[00:31:40] Is that racist? No. You've got to get your mind in the context, in the context.
[00:31:46] Every nation on Earth had multiple gods that they worshiped and they worship them through carved images of creatures from the sky, from the land and from the sea. Like every nation has many different gods that they are bowing down to and they are serving. And the reason God is saying, hey, you got to be my people and you can't intermarry with those people is because I'm your God and I'm jealous, like if you can get this idea.
[00:32:15] So many of these laws will start making sense to you.
[00:32:19] Because it's God's saying it. Yeah, that's crossing the line. That's going too far. That's not worshiping me. That's starting to worship. Something else that's starting to cheat in your heart was something else.
[00:32:31] And it's got to be me and you. I can be your God, but I got to be your only God.
[00:32:37] President Jealous.
[00:32:41] Now, when God. Eventually, we're going to read this week, we're going to read all the way to Chapter 31 32.
[00:32:48] So we're going to read through all these chapters if you're with us. And at the end of Chapter 31, after God gives all this instruction to Moses, and he's gonna give a lot of laws and then, you know what God's going to talk about is God's going to say, hey, Moses, I want you to build a tabernacle.
[00:33:05] You're gonna read chapters about the Tabernacle this week if you do the reading.
[00:33:10] So they just get out of Egypt. They get to the mountain. God starts defining his relationship is covenant with them. And immediately, the people of Israel get into their first building project. Everybody, that's what happened.
[00:33:23] Which was like a we're going through a building project right now here at our church. All right. And so you're gonna read about it. And it's amazing what God says. If you keep reading, hey, I want everybody to give so we can have enough to make the tabernacle. Everybody should just give whatever is on their heart. You go read it, says it here in Exodus about them building the tabernacle. Same way we've said it here at our church this year when God opened up the door for us to have Compiz Circle. Do you know that the people of this church have raised over one million dollars for CompassHB circle this year?
[00:33:55] Everybody who we praise the Lord for that. Praise the Lord. You're gonna see the people of Israel. They do the same thing. Hey, we're gonna build a tabernacle.
[00:34:03] A special way that God can come and meet with us because we have this unique covenant relationship with him. And so everybody go ahead and give. And you're going to see that happening happen and God's going to give these plans of how he wants this tabernacle to be built, and at the end he's going to take these Ten Commandments and he's going to write them down on two tablets of stone inscribed with the finger of God.
[00:34:31] And so the first thing that really gets written down, the first scripture, as we think of it, is not the five scrolls of the law of Moses.
[00:34:40] No, they're really the first written revelation is written by God on tablets of stone. And it's the Ten Commandments. And if you're going through the Ten Commandments, it starts with I'm the Lord, your God, who brought you out of Egypt. There can be no other gods, no images or idols. And then God says, because I, the Lord, your God may challenge Scott. So today, do you realize that a lot of times we're coming at God backwards today, because if you study God today, maybe in the study of all the attributes of God, maybe they'll put jealousy in there. And if they do, it's like, whoa, edgy. We're talking about God being jealous. I don't think Oprah would agree with this. Whoa, this is edgy, right?
[00:35:25] I mean, it's like that's kind of. Well, that's kind of intense. God's getting jealous. God doesn't put it at the end. He doesn't act like it's weird.
[00:35:35] He doesn't act like, oh, here's something you may not know about me. He says front and center, let me ride it with my own finger on a tablet of stone. Here's something I want you to know about me.
[00:35:43] God says I'm jealous for you. And if you're worshiping idols of your love and something else in your heart. You and I are not going to be OK.
[00:35:56] This is what God wants you to know about him. If you have a relationship with him, he has to be your one and only.
[00:36:06] You got to get this. John, we've been to Joshua, Chapter 24, look at what Joshua says here, look at how this plays out for the people of Israel. Joshua, 24, it's on page 198 here. Hey, sir. Joshua is the man.
[00:36:24] Who gets the law from Moses? Moses hands the law to Joshua and he says, Don't let this book of the law depart from your mouth. Tell this to everybody.
[00:36:34] And Joshua is the one who actually leads the people of Israel into the promised land. And this is the end now of the Book of Joshua. He has led them and so he gathers them all together. Look at this with me, Joshua. Twenty four, verse one.
[00:36:52] Says here, Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to check him. And he summoned the elders, the heads, the judges, the officers of Israel, and they presented themselves before God.
[00:37:03] And Joshua said to all the people, thus says the Lord, the God of Israel.
[00:37:09] Long ago, your fathers lived beyond the Euphrates terror. The father of Abraham and of Noor. And they served other gods.
[00:37:18] Then I took your father, Abraham, from beyond the river and led him through all the land of Canaan and made his offspring many. I gave him Isaac and to Isaac. I gave Jacob an Isa and I gave E saw the hill country of Sair to possess. But Jacob and his children went down to Egypt and I sent Moses and Aaron and I plagued Egypt with what I did in the midst of it. And afterward I brought you out.
[00:37:44] Then I brought your fathers out of Egypt and you came to the sea and the Egyptians pursued your fathers with chariots and horsemen to the Red Sea.
[00:37:52] And when they cried to the Lord, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians and made the sea come upon them and cover them. And your eyes saw what I did in Egypt. And you lived in the wilderness a long time.
[00:38:06] And then he goes on. And so the parts that's what we've read so far. He goes on and and shares the history of what he continues to do after that that we're going to read in the rest of the law.
[00:38:15] So here's God saying what he did to start this relationship.
[00:38:21] Skip down to verse 14. Here's the conclusion, here's what Joshua wants to stick to the people of Israel, because this is always the sticking point when it comes to a relationship with God. Now, therefore, fear the Lord. Serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness, put away the gods that your father served. Beyond the river and in Egypt and serve the Lord.
[00:38:46] If it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your father served in the region beyond the river or the gods of the AMA rights and whose land you dwell.
[00:38:59] But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
[00:39:04] That's a famous quote. As for me in my house, we will serve the Lord. That's put it back into context. Who else might you be serving?
[00:39:13] Because it's a choice.
[00:39:15] You're either going to serve God and therefore keep the commandments that he gives to define the relationship, or you're going to have other gods who let you do whatever you want and you're going to serve them.
[00:39:28] Now, this is not some ancient thing. Yes, the world has changed since the time of Joshua. Every nation does not have many gods, many carved images or idols that they bowed down to and in worshiped.
[00:39:45] But idolatry has not gone anywhere. People are serving many other things, in fact, idolatry for a lot of people is just an unnecessary middle man. Why would I serve some some idol when I could just serve myself? That's really what idolatry was about, it was about allowing you maybe to do things that you might want to do.
[00:40:09] Well, God, who didn't define the relationship, who wasn't holy and jealous and righteous and just no the God that you could make up, he could be like you, actually.
[00:40:20] He was just something you made up in your image or in the image of an animal. And he allowed you to do what you wanted to do.
[00:40:30] That's what it was about.
[00:40:32] See, God. God's saying you gotta serve me. You can't have any other gods. You can't have any image.
[00:40:42] I wonder what competes in your heart with God's place. I wonder what you worship besides God.
[00:40:50] If you don't think you have idols, then then you're probably an idolater. You're not choosing like I have to reject this to be committed to my relationship with God.
[00:41:02] Then maybe you're actually giving your heart to something else besides God.
[00:41:08] What is it? When, when when Joshua says, choose this day, whom you will serve, what comes to your mind, what are the things that want to creep in and take the place that a covenant relationship with God should have in your soul?
[00:41:21] Because Joshua says we're choosing one or the other. Now, the people they've gathered together, OK. This is an assembly. Joshua is a righteous guy. In fact, the name Yeshua in Hebrew is Jesus. Later on in the Greek. So Joshua the Lord is Salvation Jesus. It gets his name because he came to save us from our sins. I mean, Joshua, he is a righteous guy. And when he leads the people of Israel, the people of Israel, they worship God. He's a good leader.
[00:41:49] So when. Look what the people say in response to Joshua. Like when Joshua was there, given the pep talk, rallying the troops. People are.
[00:41:57] And then the people answered. Far be it from us that we should forsake the law to serve other gods. Yeah, we're with you, Joshua. We're not going to worship these other gods that these other nations worship. We're gonna be set apart from the world around us. We're not going to become like everybody else. We're not going to blend in. We're not going to do what everybody else is doing. We're not going to carve it and compare ourselves to other people. Now we're going to worship God. Yeah, you're right. For it is the Lord, our God, who brought us and our fathers up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, yeah, we remember the Covenant, we remember he's the Lord.
[00:42:28] He's our God. He delivered us. He did those great signs in our side.
[00:42:32] He preserved us in all the way that we went in among all the peoples whom we passed and the Lord drove out before us, all the peoples, the Amritsar who lived in the land.
[00:42:41] Therefore, you're right, Joshua. We also will serve the Lord, for he is our God. Yeah, we like what you're saying, Joshua. We're with you.
[00:42:49] I want everybody to pay attention to what Joshua says back. This is Joshua, 24, verse 19.
[00:42:56] But Joshua said to the people, you're not able to serve the Lord.
[00:43:01] Now that I love that right there, that's called keeping it real. Hey, you guys aren't going to do that.
[00:43:09] You're not able to devote your whole heart to God. You're not going to be exclusive in your worship just to God and stop pursuing all the things that the world has to offer you.
[00:43:22] I mean, literally, that's what he says. You are not able to serve the Lord. Here's why he is a holy God. He is a jealous God. He will not forgive your transgressions or your sins.
[00:43:39] Here's Joshua getting real with the people of Israel. You're taking this way too casually. You don't realize what you guys are saying. You don't realize what you're committing to.
[00:43:54] When you say, I want to know God, I want to have a relationship with God. I want to know. Jesus, I want to be saved. I want to be a Christian.
[00:44:02] You're not able to be a Christian. That's what he said. This is way more serious. Then you realize.
[00:44:13] If you start worshiping other gods, that's not just going to be okay with it. He's not just going to forgive you.
[00:44:20] You go and give your heart to some other love besides God. You go pour out your life for something that you think is going to satisfy you, but it leaves you empty. And here's the one who can't satisfy you. And you've turned away from him. You think he's gonna be OK with that?
[00:44:36] If you guys go worship other gods, if you bowed down to idols, God, he's holy. He's jealous. He's gonna be angry. He's not going to just forgive it if you go and worship something else as anybody else ever read the rest of the history of Israel.
[00:44:52] Do they serve the Lord or do they keep going after idols? Which one?
[00:44:56] Let that be a lesson to us here tonight.
[00:45:01] Would you say that Christians in Southern California in the year of our Lord 2090? Right now. Right here.
[00:45:09] Two people have a very serious view of a relationship with God, like God is jealous, or do people have a very casual like I can be committed to God for a while. I cannot be committed.
[00:45:20] But he's cool with me the whole time. Joshua's saying he's not cool if you love other people. He's a holy God, he's set apart from all of that.
[00:45:30] He's a jealous guy, as James is gonna go on to say, hey, you can't be a friend of the world and a friend of God.
[00:45:39] It's either God or it's the world. Take your pick. But if you're entering into a covenant with God. He's your one and only there's nobody else. Now, I want to ask you a question. I'm talking to you right now.
[00:45:54] Can you say here tonight that God is your one and only and there is no cheating going on in your heart? Because if you can't see that, here's what you need to understand. God is jealous right now.
[00:46:06] He's not okay with.
[00:46:10] I mean, think about that. Think of that. I mean, think about it in a real context as a husband, as a wife. How we would feel if our spouse was talking to somebody else. That is how God feels about you seeking life somewhere besides him.
[00:46:28] He feels that way right now. If you've been doing that.
[00:46:34] We have a jealous God. This is how he wants us to know him.
[00:46:41] He wants all of our hearts.
[00:46:45] And he wants it always for the rest of our life, until death do we get to be with.
[00:46:51] That's what he wants. And Joshua, he's throwing it down.
[00:46:58] True would be in First Corinthians, Chapter 10. First Corinthians, Chapter 10, because this is not just something that happened in the time of Israel.
[00:47:05] If you're not careful, this is something that will happen to us. We can have this this beautiful idea of Christmas that God would send his son Jesus God with us Jesus would come to save us. Give us a relationship with God.
[00:47:19] What a beautiful story. What a beautiful backdrop. Even more beautiful than what God did to deliver him to his people out of Egypt is what God did to send his one and only son to save us all from our sins. What a beautiful story. It's Christmas time.
[00:47:33] We got the choir. We got the handbells. We're praising the Lord.
[00:47:38] Maybe you could even be during Christmas season worshiping something else besides God. We could be doing the same exact thing that the people of Israel did over and over and over again. I mean, this is how bad it is. All right. You're going to read this this week if you do the reading. We start with the Ten Commandments. We got fire, smoke, thunder, lightning. People are like Moses. You better speak because we can't handle the truth from God. Then Moses is gonna be like, all right, all speak, and he's gonna go up and get some words from God and then eventually you're gonna read it. Moses will go up on the mountain for 40 days and nights and the presence of God.
[00:48:20] The people can't even last 40 days and nights.
[00:48:24] Gay God's up there, given Moses these detailed instructions. He starts talking about the Tabernacle Building Project and read through all of it, dove into it. You've got questions about it. Throw them up on our Web site. All answer it. Let's get into it. Let's study the law. Let's study the tabernacle. But you'll see by Exodus 32, Aaron, and the people down not upon the mountain with Moses and God, but the people down on the land, away from the mountain.
[00:48:52] They make an image. We're talking 12 chapters, everybody, that's how long it lasts. They make a golden calf so that they can worship.
[00:49:02] And it says they rose up to play. And it tells us a little bit what that means here in First Corinthians, Chapter 10.
[00:49:11] Look at this, first Corinthians 10, verse one. For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud. OK, they saw the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. That was the presence of God.
[00:49:27] They all passed through the sea. They walked through water on one side. Water on the other side were walking through on dry ground. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, they all aid the same spiritual food. They all drank the same spiritual drink. We got manna fallen from heaven. We got water coming out of Iraq for they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them. And the rock was Christ.
[00:49:51] Nevertheless. With most of them, God was not pleased for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
[00:50:01] These people were firsthand witnesses to many mighty miracles of God's salvation.
[00:50:08] Yet many of them, God was jealous.
[00:50:11] Now, these things took place as examples for us. These are not ancient stories just for the Jews about the nation of Israel. These are examples for Christians to study in the Church of Jesus Christ. Right now, this is an example for you.
[00:50:26] That we might not desire evil as they did. Do not be idolaters as some of them were.
[00:50:35] As it is written, the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play. That's a quote from Exodus 32 that we're going to read this week. They build the golden calf. They rose up to play. What does that mean, that they wanted to play verse eight? We must not indulge in sexual immorality, as some of them did. And 23000 fell in a single day.
[00:50:58] Play means drunkenness. It means immorality.
[00:51:03] It means party time is how we would say it today. It means worldliness.
[00:51:09] Kate, you're going to live your life one of two possible ways, worldly or godly. Those are the two options.
[00:51:17] Idolatry at at this time, in both the time of the church here and First Corinthians in the time of Israel, idolatry was just a way to blend in with everybody else in the world.
[00:51:29] That's what it was.
[00:51:31] And he says, hey, you better not be idolaters like they were. You better not be sexually immoral like they were. There's going to be a lot of laws about God's sexual ethic only between a man and a woman in marriage.
[00:51:49] First night, we must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did, and were destroyed by serpents nor grumble as some of them did and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now, these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction on whom the end of the ages has come.
[00:52:07] Therefore, let anyone who thinks that he stands. Take heed lest he fall, you think you don't have a problem with idolatry. Check yourself.
[00:52:17] You think you might not be the kind of person who makes God jealous? You watch it.
[00:52:24] No temptation is overtaking you. That is not common demand, the Israelites experienced it. The Corinthian's experience that we experience in.
[00:52:32] God is faithful, he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability. But with the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape that you may be able to endure it.
[00:52:43] Therefore, my beloved. Flee from idolatry. Okay, so if we if we're going to learn something.
[00:52:52] From the people of Israel in our reading this week who get a covenant, they get the commands. But before they can even get all the commands, they're already making an idol, which was the first one.
[00:53:05] No other gods, no idols. Well, or break breaking those ones. We're going right to it.
[00:53:12] It can't even last 40 days from when God says on the mountain of fire. Ideology is a real and present danger for your soul. In fact, there probably is some of us here tonight where God is jealous for us right here right now. And it says you've got to flee from idolatry. And it's gives a strong warning here about idolatry. Look at verse 22. Here's the question that you and I need to ask ourselves. Maybe you've never asked yourself this question before. Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Shall we provoke the Lord, is he your only God? Is he your only thing your soul is seeking satisfaction in? Is he the only one you're giving your life to?
[00:53:59] I can remember very clearly the first time I ever felt jealous in my life, as some of you may know, I grew up on the mean streets of San Juan Capistrano, where the swallows fly.
[00:54:10] Anybody know what I'm talking about? I mean, I grew just just the mission was just right over there. Right.
[00:54:15] And I was in San Juan Capistrano. I was one of the Blakey is my dad's name was Bruce. My mom's name was Berta. I got two brothers, Bill and Ben. We lived on Brookside Lane.
[00:54:25] That's how bad it was. All right. And we had a cat named Bunky.
[00:54:31] Now, who likes cats here? Raise your hand if you're proud of cats. Who likes dogs? Now, we just divided our church right there. That wasn't a very smart thing. All right.
[00:54:41] But we had Bunky, all right? We had Bunky and I, I got it. I got to get real. I didn't pay a lot of attention to banks, OK? I wasn't I wasn't like, you know, super in love with Bunkie.
[00:54:52] I'm just being honest. All right. Don't hate me for it. OK.
[00:54:55] And but then I found out. That bunky. Was going down the street. And some other family down the street down Brookside Lane. Was feeding Bunkie. And I met these people and they did love Bunky. And that was the first time I ever felt jealous.
[00:55:21] I was like, that's my cat.
[00:55:24] Bunky, come on back. I know I didn't feed you as much as I should have. And I started remembering that one day when we were having a barbecue in the backyard at the picnic table.
[00:55:36] And this one of these killer bees, you know, those black bees that you can hear buzz in, they came in terrorizing us. And I just remember Bunkie leaping out of nowhere with her paw. Just taken that bee down. Right. And I'm like shedding a little single tier for Bunkie right now, because that family loves her more than I do. That was the first time I ever felt jealous right there. And then I realized that the reason that Bunky went with them is because we got Boomer the dog. And Bunkie was jealous because we all loved Boomer more than Bunky. You see how deep this goes.
[00:56:16] K, now, that's how we're gonna connect back to the seriousness of God's jealousy from the.
[00:56:24] See, I don't think sometimes we think about God as a real person. Who has feelings and emotions, and he's just as much a part of the relationship as you are.
[00:56:37] I want you to remember maybe a time when you felt jealous.
[00:56:42] When you felt like that person supposed to love me?
[00:56:48] I got to ask you, does God feel like that about you right now?
[00:56:52] Like right now, are you actively pursuing in your heart something besides God that would cause him to feel like you're my person?
[00:57:02] You're one of my people.
[00:57:05] Why are you acting like that when we have a covenant relationship? When I've said this is how our relationship is going to be? Why are you pursuing life outside of our relationship? Don't you remember what I did for you? You're going to worship an idol at Christmas time and you're not going to think that God gets jealous.
[00:57:31] So we have way underestimated. The jealousy of our God.
[00:57:38] Next time you hear somebody and you'll hear somebody say, yeah, I was insane, but it's all right because God will forgive me. You tell them God's jealous for you right now. And you better make it right. It's not. All right. You better make it right, just like you would in any other relationship.
[00:58:00] Because God's a real person. And he feels jealous for us.
[00:58:06] Look what Jesus says in John 14. I need everybody to see this connection in John Chapter 14, verse 50.
[00:58:18] Because the old covenant that God sets up at Sinai is not what we're living in today, we're living in the New Covenant. And when Jesus Christ came, he held up the cup and he passed it around to his disciples and he said, this is the new covenant in my blood. And it's through the body of the Passover lamb, it's through the perfect, precious blood of Jesus Christ. When he died for us on the cross. It's through that sacrifice that we now have a new covenant relationship and God's no longer writing laws on tablets of stone. God is now writing his laws on our hearts.
[00:58:55] And he puts his Holy Spirit inside of us to teach us his laws, to cause us to walk in his ways. God is more serious about our obedience now than he was at Mt. Sinai. And a lot of people, they don't see that because Mount Sinai, there's fire, there's fear, it's intense Jesus. He's the glory of God put on flesh.
[00:59:19] He's what he seems like one of us.
[00:59:23] And so people like Jesus. He seems very casual, seems very friendly. Seems like we can get really close. Let's just see what Jesus said about this, John 14 verse fifteen, Jesus said, and he's establishing the new covenant through the Holy Spirit is instructing his disciples, If you love me, you will keep my word.
[00:59:43] OK. Let's get that down for point number two. If you love him. Keep his commandments.
[00:59:50] That's how it works, everybody.
[00:59:55] You get married. We would expect that your life would change. That you would be committed to that love. And there are many things in your marriage. Hopefully husbands and wives that you do because of that love. Jesus wants that relationship, in fact, the picture that we're familiar with of marriage is just a picture of the real relationship that we have with Jesus Christ. Let's just define the relationship that you have with Jesus. There's expectations. There's commands. There's things that you're going to do to worship him.
[01:00:30] And he and he has a lot to say about it here. He says, I will ask the father and he will give you another helper. This is the introduction of God's spirit. This is the understanding of the new covenant. The helper will be with you forever. Even the spirit of truth whom the world cannot receive. See, there's gonna be a big difference between us and the world around us. The world cannot receive because it neither sees him nor knows him.
[01:00:54] You know him. For he dwells with you and will be in you, I will not leave you as orphans. I will come to you. Yet a little while in the world will see me no more, but you will see me because I live. You also will live in that day.
[01:01:07] You will know that I am. And my father and you and me and I knew that we're all going to have a relationship through me to the father.
[01:01:14] Whoever has my commandments and keeps them. He it is who loves me.
[01:01:24] Let's just think about it like this. Somebody is married and they commit adultery, would you be able to say that they love their spouse? Someone's married and they're coveting their neighbor's wife. Would you be able to say that they love their spouse? Someone's a Christian and they're pursuing the things of the world. Would you be able to say that they love Jesus?
[01:01:49] Jesus is defining what your love for him will look like in your relationship. And it looks like keeping his commandments. It looks like loving his law. It looks like meditating on a. Day and night and whatever my God says.
[01:02:06] That's what I want to do. Because I love him.
[01:02:10] See if you are married, if you were in a covenant relationship.
[01:02:14] One of the things that you've learned, and this is something we all learned the hard way in marriage. Is that what you do? Dramatically impacts the other person that you're in a covenant with.
[01:02:28] And maybe when you're first married or if you don't have premarital counseling, if you don't really understand it, when there's conflict, you might be tempted to think. That the conflict is because of the other person.
[01:02:41] But as God opens your eyes to see wondrous things from the law.
[01:02:46] You realize the conflict. It's because I'm not able to serve the Lord.
[01:02:55] They'll see the conflict is because of me. And when I. Don't do what I should do in the Covenant relationship. I actually really hurt the person I love the most.
[01:03:07] And I wonder how many of us. Worshiping Jesus at Christmas time.
[01:03:13] Are actually hurting the one who loves us the most.
[01:03:20] Because we're not keeping his commandments. And we're causing him Jesus. To be jealous.
[01:03:31] First question I have is, do you know that you have a covenant relationship with God? Have you entered into a committed worship of God where you're going to give your whole heart to him?
[01:03:43] And nothing else.
[01:03:46] Jesus was very clear. You cannot be my disciple unless I'm your number one relationship. Unless you love me more than you love yourself. Unless you renounce everything that you have. You cannot be my disciple. So have you committed yourself? By trusting in the death of Jesus Christ, by turning from all of your sin. Have you committed to a covenant relationship with God? I bet we got some people here right now. You don't have this relationship.
[01:04:20] You haven't said God's gonna be your one and only and you're going to live your life for him and him alone.
[01:04:26] He wants that relationship with you. That's what Christmas is all about. He sent his son. To die for your sin.
[01:04:35] So that you could be right with him and have a relationship with him. Now, if you have that relationship, if you know, yes, I'm in the Covenant, I've committed to following God, I'm living my life for him.
[01:04:46] How's that relationship going right now? He's got jealous for your love. Or does he know that he has your love? Because you do what he tells you to do. Because you keep his commands.
[01:05:01] God has a very clear love language, and his love language is holiness. His love language is obedience. When you hear the commands of God and you do that.
[01:05:12] God knows that you love him. That's why there's the Ten Commandments. Let's pray.
[01:05:28] Father in heaven, we come to you. Father, we have to confess. We have have other gods before you. And then we have. Sort out life and the things of this world. Things that are against you, things that you tell us not to do. So, Father, we confess that we have broken your commandments. I got I pray that you would remind us all here today how much you love us. How much you want to have a relationship with us? And that we would confess our sins and turn to you with our whole hearts, with everything that we have. Father, I pray for those who don't know you.
[01:06:14] They haven't entered a covenant into you. I pray that you will show them clearly that doing whatever they want in this life, making up their own list of rules, will not satisfy them, will leave them empty and will not lead to their good and their flourishing. God help them to believe that you know better, that you know what is best for us. That's why you gave us your law to bless us, to be good to us. That it may go well with us, that we may live long. So I pray for all of us who have committed to a covenant relationship with you that you would search our hearts right now. God, as we're sitting here for a moment together. God, if you would, just revealed to us how you feel about our relationship.
[01:07:03] God, give us this idea. Are you jealous right now? Are we disobeying your commands? Are we searching for things in this world? Are we not going to your word to get to know you, to find you, who is our life?
[01:07:22] Got it. If we're making you jealous right now, just let us hear you say that you are the Lord, you are our God and you are a jealous God. And let us turn from all the idols of our hearts. Let us turn from all our worldly ways. And let us say that this Christmas, I'm going to worship Jesus, I'm going to love him by keeping his commandments.
[01:07:45] I'm going to give him my whole heart.
[01:07:47] I'm going to meditate on his law. Day and night because I love Jesus Christ.
[01:07:54] I want to live my whole life with him for him. For all of my days.
[01:08:02] God, I pray that you would just forgive us, even people who worship you at church, even people who want to believe in you, who want to live by your word and follow you. Got even us. We underestimate who you are and we act like you're not jealous when you really are.
[01:08:18] So please forgive us. God opened our eyes to see you. That you will love us so much. You actually grieve and hurt when we love something else besides you.
[01:08:30] God help us to see how personal it is for you. And let us be a people who can say, you are my God. And we have no reason to provoke you to jealousy in our hearts. Please God, do that work in our church. We pray this in Jesus name. Everybody, said a man.
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