Who Is God?
By Bobby Blakey on December 22, 2019
Who Is God?
By Bobby Blakey on December 22, 2019
This is a rush transcript.
[00:00:00] You picked a good day to come to church, you may not have known you were making such a wise life decision when you woke up this morning.
[00:00:09] But out of all the days you could come to church, this was the one to do it because today God is going to tell us who he is. He is going to introduce himself. It's not going to be what I'm saying about God. God is going to speak to us and reveal his character. God wants you to know him.
[00:00:29] And so let me let me just talk to everybody who's here, like some of us, we would claim to be Christians now for a long time. If you've been a Christian for a long time, would you just raise your hand right now? I mean, there are many of us here are brothers and sisters in Christ. And I just got to ask you, as a brother sister.
[00:00:48] Question is not how long have you known the Lord, but how well do you know the Lord?
[00:00:54] Can you tell me that this Christmas. Twenty nineteen.
[00:00:58] You love Jesus and adore him more now than you ever have before.
[00:01:03] That is the only thing that matters right there and not how long you've been.
[00:01:08] But can we say that you are growing in your knowledge of God, your maturing in your relationship with him? Now, we've got some people who come to this church every single week. They are some of our most faithful attenders. And yet when I talk to them. They know that they don't know God. That is happening with many people who are regular attenders at our services that day. They like coming to this church, but they also will know that there is something missing in this into me intimacy that we describe between God in us, through his son, Jesus.
[00:01:46] There there's something they don't experience and they know that maybe they even know the specific sin that is holding them back from really knowing God. And yet they keep coming week after week and they keep walking out week after week and there's no real change.
[00:02:04] We got to do something about that, we got to stop.
[00:02:08] God is speaking to you and he wants to know you and he wants you to respond to him and you need to do that. Today is the day for you.
[00:02:18] Maybe you're thinking, well, I didn't even pick to come here today. My family dragged me here. I don't even want to be here right now. Let me tell you, God picked for you to be here today. And we've been praying for you here today because God wants you to know who he is.
[00:02:34] And so I'm going to pray for us right now and then we're going to hear from God and he's going to speak directly to you as one of his creation as a soul that he loves. Selimi, pray for us. Father in heaven, we come to you and Gawa, we're asking you were begging you that today you will make yourself known to us here in this place.
[00:02:56] God, that you would open our eyes so that we could see you, that you would open our ears so that we could hear you God. That our hearts will be stirred up. And there will be a profound response as your spirit speaks to our spirit and moves us. So please God, encourage my brothers and sisters to love you more as our father in heaven. And encourage those who don't know you that this is the day. Now is the time. And that you are speaking to them. We pray this in Jesus name a man.
[00:03:30] I invite you to open your Bible and turn with me to Exodus 33, picking it up right where we left off with the people of Israel. And if you've fallen behind in your reading of Exodus, I want to encourage you to keep going. In fact, we have built into the schedule a reading week next week so that all who are behind can catch up.
[00:03:54] Can I get a man from anybody on that one? Yeah. Merry Christmas, everybody. That's her eye.
[00:04:00] OK, we're gonna have a week. This is our last week kind of preaching and reading through Exodus. But if you're behind, there's all week to keep working on it. Before we get to Leviticus.
[00:04:12] And so when we last left the Israelites in Exodus 32, they had fashioned the image of a golden calf and committed the sin of idolatry by worshiping it and rising up to play in immorality.
[00:04:30] And this was right after God had given them the command and established a covenant with them to have no other gods before me, because I the Lord, I am your God. And he was given them the commandments. He was telling them about the tabernacle and the priests. And before Moses can even get back down the mountain to tell them everything that God is saying, they already have turned to worship an idol.
[00:04:58] And as we pick it up here in Exodus 33, we're going to see the white hot anger of the jealousy of God. He is not OK with his people worshiping someone else besides him.
[00:05:11] And he says here to Moses in Exodus 33, verse one, this is page 73.
[00:05:15] If you got one of our Bibles, the Lord said to Moses, depart, go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought up out of the land of Egypt.
[00:05:28] So God is basically here now sending the people away. And notice what God does here, how he says. Yeah. Moses, these are your people.
[00:05:37] You're the one who brought him out of Egypt. God is distancing himself here, kind of like us. Parents might do sometimes when we've got some trouble with our kids and we look at our spouse and we say, well, they're your kids. What are you going to do about it? I don't know if you ever had one of those moments, but that's basically what God's doing with Moses here. Like, you take the people that you brought out of Egypt and these people are your problem, Moses. And he says this inverse to your gods clearly not going with him anymore because he's angry and he says, I will send an angel before you. So you need to notice there. God's not going. He's not leading the way anymore with his pillar of cloud by day and is pillar of fire. By now, I know he's going to keep his promise to give them the promised land, but it's going to be an angel lead. No way. Because he's out with these idolatrous people. And he says in verse two, I will send an angel before you and I will drive out the Cain and Knights. The AMA writes the Hittites, the parasites, they have rights and the Jabu sites. And this weekend, the Jedi Knights go up to a land flowing with milk and honey.
[00:06:46] He says, you guys want to go up to the land. I promised you the land. It's a beautiful land. It's got everything you want. You guys go have it. But I will not go up among you.
[00:06:56] And here's God telling us how he really feels. Lest I consume you on the way. For you are a stiff necked people.
[00:07:03] I can't go with you because I might break out in judgment against you. And so he's sending Moses and the people away.
[00:07:10] And I wonder how you would respond to that if God said, hey, everything you want in life, you can go and have it. You just don't have me. I'm not going with you. Would you just take everything you want in life or would you be like, no, the thing I want in life is, God, I want you.
[00:07:27] Well, the people look at how they respond. Verse four, when the people heard this disastrous word, they mourned. And no one put on his ornaments there, and they don't want to go without God.
[00:07:41] So, yes, the people of Israel committed idolatry, but now you can see there is a real sorrow over their sin and they want to be restored in their relationship with God. And this is where we see Moses really be a leader of God's people. And Moses. Now, in Exodus 33 is going to intercede between the people of God and God himself.
[00:08:04] And there's this description. You need to picture this in your mind, starting here in verse seven. It talks about a tent of meeting, it says in verse seven. Now, Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp, far off from the camp.
[00:08:20] And he called it the tent of meeting. And everyone who sought the Lord would go out to the tend to meeting, which was outside the camp.
[00:08:27] And whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people would rise up and each would stand at his tent door and watch Moses until he had gone into the tent. So think about that. You got a whole a nation with all of their tents. And there's one tent that's way out there outside the camp.
[00:08:49] And as Moses goes out there to that tent of meeting where everybody knows Moses is going to go talk with God about how they sinned against God with idolatry and about how God's sending them to go without him. And here walks Moses to go talk to God. And you can now picture all the Israelites at their tent watching Moses watch. Walk over to this tent where he's going to meet with God.
[00:09:16] And it says here in verse nine, when Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend, representing the very presence of God. It stands there at the entrance of the tent, and the Lord would speak with Moses.
[00:09:26] And when all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would rise up and worship each at his tent door. Thus, the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face as a man speaks to his friend.
[00:09:45] Now, if you want to have a relationship with God, if you want to know God, if you seek God in the secret place where it's just you and him and you read his word and respond in prayer, if you want to really learn how to talk to God, what happens here in these next few verses, starting in verse 12, going all the way down to verse 19, these verses are an example of how to pray. You can learn a lot from Moses example here if you want to be a person who prays to God.
[00:10:16] And Moses, he's going to now intercede on behalf of the people in the presence of God. And notice what he says, verse 12, Moses said to the Lord. See, you say to me, bring up this people.
[00:10:30] But you have not let me know whom you will send with me.
[00:10:34] Yet you have said, I know you by name and you have also found favor in my side. Now, therefore, if I have found favor in your side, please show me now your ways that I may know you in order to find favor in your side.
[00:10:55] Consider, too, that this nation is your people.
[00:11:00] So one of the things that Moses does as he goes before our father in heaven is like a child might say, Hey, Dad, remember when you said you would do this?
[00:11:15] That's the approach that Moses takes to God, believing that God will be true to his word and that God wants to answer his prayer and be good to his people. He says, Remember how you said I found favor?
[00:11:29] Remember remember how you said that you know me by name? Well, since that is true.
[00:11:35] Therefore, you've got to show me how you want me to go into this promised land. And I want to know you.
[00:11:43] So he quotes God's own words back to him. All of us who are serious about praying to the Lord, here's something you need to be doing, is take the promises of God, the word of God, and say, God, since you have said this, please now do this. That is a way that you will have real power when you pray, when you ask God to do what God has already promised to do. And Moses approaches God that way here. And you can see in verse 14 and he said, my presence will go with you and I will give you rest.
[00:12:21] So now we're not sending them away with an angel, now God's saying the pillar of cloud by day, the pillar of fire by night, the symbol of his presence will be with them going to the promised land. But Moses, that's not enough. And he continues in verse fifteen. And he said to him, if your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here.
[00:12:42] Of course we need your presence for how shall it be known that I have found favor in your side? I and your people. Is it not in your going with us so that we are distinct I and your people from every other people on the face of the earth? Hey, wasn't that the whole point of why you delivered us out of slavery in Egypt? Why you provided for us in the wilderness? The manna from heaven, the water from the rock isn't the point that we would be your people and you would be our God. And every nation on planet Earth would know there's no one like us because of who you are.
[00:13:17] God is. Isn't the whole point. You're gonna go with us. And the Lord said to Moses, again, listening to what he says, this very thing that you have spoken, I will do. Just think about that statement for a second.
[00:13:31] God in heaven is saying he's going to do what a man on earth said to him.
[00:13:38] That's what prayer. That's a power of prayer right there.
[00:13:42] You said it. I'm going to do it. Moses. Wow. What an amazing statement. And then he reaffirms what Moses was praying for. You have found favor in my sight.
[00:13:51] And I know you by name. Yes. What you're saying Moses is true and I will do it.
[00:13:58] And now Moses, he goes for it here. And he boldly says to God, in verse 18, Moses said, Please show me your glory.
[00:14:08] He quotes God's words to him and God agrees that his presence will go. He says, no, it has to be you going with us. God says he will do it. But now we're even beyond God going with them to the promised land. Now he just wants to know God.
[00:14:23] He wants to see God. He wants to have an experience of the glory of God.
[00:14:29] Please show me your glory.
[00:14:33] And again, God answers him.
[00:14:35] Verse 19, and he said, I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you, my name, the Lord, or your way. So God actually agrees to show Moses his glory.
[00:14:53] And he actually says that you can't really see my glory. No man can see me and to live. And so God says that he's going to bring Moses back up on the mountain. He's gonna hide him in the cleft of the rock. And as God passes before him, Moses will just get a glimpse of the back of God when he's going by, because that's all that Moses can handle and lived to physically see the glory of God. He can just get a glimpse of kind of the afterglow of the glory of God. And let's just jump ahead. Look at chapter 34, verse 29 after Moses has this glimpse of God's glory. Look what happens here. And this is now he's coming back down from the mountain. He brings up two tablets of stone and they get the Ten Commandments now on these tablets of stone. And he comes back down the mountain here in verse 29, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand as he came down from the mountain.
[00:15:52] Moses did not know that the skin of his face shown because he had been talking with God, Erin, and all the people of Israel saw Moses and behold the skin of his face shown, and they were afraid to come near him.
[00:16:14] Moses just gets a glimpse of God's glory, and when he's coming back down the mountain, nobody wants to come and say, Hey, Moses, what happened up there? Because his face is like a light bulb radiating the glory of God.
[00:16:27] So one thing that we cannot see if we saw it, we would die is the glory of God. There is a radiance. There is a brilliance of light that comes off the presence of God. God dwells in unapproachable light.
[00:16:41] Maybe you've tried to stare down the sun. Maybe you've had a staring contest with the sun in the middle of the day and you found out that didn't work very well while seeing the glory of God would be even beyond that.
[00:16:54] No man can see God and live.
[00:16:58] And so Moses, when he just gets a glimpse of the of the back of God's glory, his face is lit up and they have to put a veil over his face because he's radiating the radiance of God's glory. Now, what we need to see, though, if you go back to verse 19, is God doesn't just say that he's going to see something. He says, I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name.
[00:17:26] So that becomes the emphasis is not just what you can see about God, but God actually revealing actually introducing himself. Moses, you want to know me? Allow me to introduce myself.
[00:17:39] Let me tell you who I really am. So this proclaiming of his name. God's name is all of his character. It's all of his attributes. It's who he is. God is now going to introduce himself to Moses and tell him who he really is. So point number one, if you're taking notes here today, we want to be holds his glory. And it's not just seeing radiant splendor and what his glory might look like. Now, as we hear God describe himself, that's how we're really going to get to know who God is.
[00:18:15] And all of his majesty.
[00:18:17] And so what I want to do for us now is as we come to Exodus 34, I want to start in verse four and read all the way through verse 10 as God describes himself on Mt. Sinai to Moses.
[00:18:32] It will really be God introducing himself to you and out of respect for God's word. I'd love it if everyone could stand with me as we have this scripture reading from Exodus 34, starting in verse four, going to verse 10.
[00:18:46] And this is this is not some pastor saying who he thinks God is. This is not some Bible teacher teaching you who God is. This is no man's opinion. This is God referring about himself.
[00:19:01] This is God speaking himself, telling you who he is.
[00:19:07] And so it says in Exodus 34, verse four. So Moses cut two tablets of stone like the first, and he rose early in the morning and went up on Mount Sinai as the Lord had commanded him and took in his hand two tablets of stone. The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there and proclaimed the name of the Lord.
[00:19:31] The Lord passed before him and proclaimed to the Lord the Lord, a God. Merciful and gracious.
[00:19:39] Slow to anger and abounding and steadfast love and faithfulness. Keeping steadfast love for thousands.
[00:19:47] Forgiving iniquity and transgression in sin. But who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children to the third and the fourth generation. And Moses quickly bowed his head toward the earth and worshiped. And he said, if now I have found favor in your side. Oh Lord, please let the Lord go in the midst of us, for it is a stiff neck people and part in our iniquity and our sin and take us for your inheritance. And he said, Behold, I am making a covenant before all your people.
[00:20:31] I will do marvels such as have not been created in all the Earth or in any nation, and all the people among whom you are shall see the work of the Lord, for it is an awesome thing that I will do with you.
[00:20:47] That ends the reading of God's word. Please go ahead and have your seat. And you can see there when God passes before Moses.
[00:20:56] Moses isn't focused necessarily on what he can see about God, but what he hears about God.
[00:21:02] Introduce himself and he falls down to worship God and God agrees here to forgive the sin of his people, to be renewed in his covenant with them, and to show his glory not just to Moses, but to all the people of Israel.
[00:21:20] And so we want to zero in on verses six and seven, and we want to make sure we really understand who God says he is.
[00:21:31] We want to make sure that what you think about God matches what God thinks about himself and what you think about God is going to be the most important thing about you. It's going to determine how you live the rest of your life, what you know about God. And so you've got to be careful. You've got to be sure is what is going on about God in your head a match? Who God says he is right here.
[00:21:59] And you can see in verse six when he's passing before Moses, he proclaims his name and two times he says, the Lord, the Lord, your way, your way.
[00:22:11] That's his name. Anytime you see L.O., R.D. capitalized like that in our English translation here, that means it's the Hebrew name Ja Way, which is similar to the idea we saw back in the burning Bush and Exodus three.
[00:22:27] I am that. I am. That's God's name your way.
[00:22:32] Two times he says that to begin with here. And then he says, I'm a God. Merciful and gracious, so merciful means God withholds judgment.
[00:22:45] Mercy is when God does not give you what you deserve. Gracious is God giving you his goodness. God is giving you favor. He's giving you good things. So he's not giving you what you do deserve. And he's giving you things that are better than what you deserve. Anybody want to say a man that you've been treated better than you deserve by God?
[00:23:08] That's that's all he says. Merciful and gracious. That's every single person can understand that, that they have not been yet judged for their sin. That judgment has been withheld by God's mercy. And they have received and said good things in their life out of the grace of God.
[00:23:28] And then he goes to say that he is slow to anger the way this has often been translated, his long suffering.
[00:23:36] The idea is that God is very patient when people sin against God, even people that are sinning specifically in defiance against God, people who are taking his name in vain, or even people who are hating on God, openly taunting God, mocking his people who follow him even though they might be motivated by rebellion against God.
[00:24:01] God does not necessarily respond to them right away with his judgment or his anger.
[00:24:06] No God is slow to anger. God is very deliberate about how he's going to enact his judgment, in fact. Second, Peter, chapter three, verse nine says that God is so patient.
[00:24:18] He doesn't want any one to perish. He's he's delaying the judgment. He has not sent his son back to judge the world and to reign because he is patient, not wanting people to perish, but that everyone would reach repentance.
[00:24:35] It is God's great desire that people would turn from their sin before it is too late and the judgment calms. And so God is being patient. Now, a lot of people mistake the patience of God or this kindness of God for weakness. And they think that because he's patient, there's not going to be really a judgment that comes.
[00:24:56] But no, don't mistake the patience of God for weakness.
[00:25:00] No, his kindness there is meant to lead you to repentance so that you would turn from your sin.
[00:25:08] So is that that he might be so slow to anger, so patient? And aren't we thankful here celebrating Christmas in the year of our Lord? Twenty nineteen that for 2000 years now, God has been patient with people so that we could be born. And even though we send to God against God, he was patient with us and now has brought us to repentance so that we could be saved. Romar Saints praise God for being slow to anger.
[00:25:39] But then he says this, and I really want you to think about this. He says, Abounding and steadfast love and faithfulness, and you got to see how when it's written here and you can see it in the English.
[00:25:51] That's all one concept. There's no comma between steadfast love and faithfulness. No, the comma actually comes after faithfulness. The point that it's making here is that God is a bounding years and numerable.
[00:26:06] He has an endless amount of steadfast love, the Hebrew word has said, and faithfulness. Or you can translate it. True, the Hebrew word Emmett. He wants you to know that he has a bounding, steadfast love and faithfulness, that these two things go together in the character of God, that he is both of these things.
[00:26:30] OK, so the steadfast love the Hassid is sometimes translated loving kindness. And it's the idea that God wants to have a covenant relationship with you.
[00:26:40] God wants. He prefers to forgive you for all of your sins, to cleanse you from your iniquities and bring you into a relationship with himself. Yet at the same time, God is faithful to everything he has said. He is true to his character and to his word, and he is going to hold everyone accountable for what they do in this life.
[00:27:05] He's full of both of these things, you cannot separate them.
[00:27:08] In fact, look at how it goes on to say in verse seven, it says, keeping this steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin. He is ready to forgive everybody who comes to him in confession, but who will by no means clear the guilty.
[00:27:27] And then this really intense statement here, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children to the third and the fourth generation.
[00:27:38] So when you think about God.
[00:27:40] You need to understand a God who is abounding in steadfast love, is ready to forgive, and it uses some strong words here, like iniquity transgression in sin. It doesn't matter what you've done or how many times you've done it. If you come to God, he has a steadfast love that is ready to forgive you for all of your sin to enter into a covenant with you. Psalm 51, verse 17, is very clear that anyone who is broken over their sin, anyone who is contrite in their spirit, genuinely sorry that they have sinned against God and anyone who turns from that sin to God in repentance and they confess their sin will God is faithful and just to forgive us for our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Anyone who comes to God. Ready to confess, they're saying he will not despise them. He will not cast them out. He is ready to forgive anybody and enter into a covenant with them because of his abounding, steadfast love.
[00:28:45] But at the same time, if you don't come to God and confess your sin, he's going to judge you according to what you have done.
[00:28:52] And you will be held accountable for all of your guilt.
[00:28:56] In fact, it says that he is even going to take this throughout generations.
[00:29:01] It goes on to say. That's how serious he is about judging Sen..
[00:29:08] The guilty will be punished. Nobody's getting away with it. That's what it's saying right there.
[00:29:14] So you've got to you got to think this through. Do we have a God who is ready at any moment to save a soul in the name of his son, Jesus Christ, and take them forever in heaven to be with him? And do we have a God who is ready at any moment to hold someone accountable for what they have done so that they would perish apart from him for all of eternity?
[00:29:32] The answer is the answer is God. Is both of these things. All of the time.
[00:29:37] Perfectly the reason there is a place called heaven and a place called hell. It all flows from the character of who God is. The guard is ready to forgive and welcome anyone to himself, but he will hold people accountable for what they have done. And if you're only thinking of God as one of these things or the other, you right now in your head have a wrong view of God. God is not one or the other, he is not love or faithfulness.
[00:30:10] He is abounding in both of these things all the time. And these things that might seem like they contradict or are a paradox from our human perspective. That to God is perfectly and completely.
[00:30:25] So I wonder what kind of view do you have to you have this complete and full view of God or do you often think about God? Only knows one way is your mindset of God, that he's very harsh and he's very judgmental and he's very strict in his rules and he's going to stick it to all of us.
[00:30:43] Or do you have this easy going God who doesn't think sin is that big a deal? And he's going to kind of overlook a bunch of things and everything's going to be okay in the end. Neither one of those have views of God is the right view of God.
[00:30:58] As he introduces himself here.
[00:31:01] I see it's so important that you think rightly about God, it's so important that you take him at his word and you learn to think about him as he tells you who he is because other people are going to get an impression of who God is from the way that you live your life.
[00:31:17] Your view of God will reflect in the way that you conduct yourself and it will make an impact on your family and your friends, other people at church. They will all get how you view God. By the way, that you act towards them.
[00:31:32] For example, if you go to one of our fellowship groups, if you go to one of our small groups, you're going to meet different kinds of people. Here it is at the church of one of the kinds of people you're going to meet here at CompassHB Bible Church, Huntington Beach is we've got some people around here that are Zellous for the truth of God's word. Have you seen these guys? They don't saunter around the halls. They marched down the halls. Right. They're one of the soldiers in the Lord's army. You know what I'm saying? And when you sit in your fellowship group and they see that you haven't filled out the questions on your worksheet, they're looking straight at your soul. They're not looking at your body.
[00:32:05] They're looking at your soul. You start offering some comment that they don't think is biblical.
[00:32:10] You can feel the gaze of their eye staring at you as they are zealous for the truth of God's word.
[00:32:19] And they will have no problem saying to you or anyone, anywhere, at any time what the Bible says.
[00:32:25] In fact, they're ready right now. If you were to die right now, do you know where you're going right now?
[00:32:36] You know you know what I'm talking about, I'm not talking about a stereotype person, you might know their name, you know what I mean? We got some brothers and sisters zealous for the truth.
[00:32:43] Then we've got some people who are given away free hugs. You know, these brothers and sisters. They got smiles for miles, right.
[00:32:51] You could sit next to them in the small group and you could know you're in sin. Everybody in your group could know you're in sin. And this person, they would never bring it up with you.
[00:33:00] They would just love you. They would just be kind to you.
[00:33:05] Your life could be falling apart and they would not want to say any words of truth. They would just want to show you that they love you. And be friendly to you and hope that somehow their friendliness and their smiling face is going to communicate to you that you need to repent of your sins and believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ as they just keep beaming at you from across the room. See, the way that we act directly reflects what we think about God, and I want to suggest to you that many of us have an immature perspective on God.
[00:33:38] We have a skewed view of God. We put one of these things as more important than the. And God says, I'm abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. That's what he wants you to know about himself. I'm ready to forgive.
[00:33:54] I'm ready to forgive anybody who comes to me at any time, but hate the guilty aren't getting away with it. And people who continue in sin, they will be judged according to that sin.
[00:34:05] That's who God is.
[00:34:08] And it's not even like we need to have a balanced view of God. It's not even like I need to see myself as God is 50 percent love and he's 50 percent faithfulness. No, God is 100 percent abounding in steadfast love and 100 percent abounding in faithfulness and truth. And I need to get over what I think about it and worship him for who he really is.
[00:34:28] And if I don't know them like this, I don't know them at all. I mean, you might even see this with the way you treat your family. Are you are you, like, giving it to your kids, like you're going to train them up, or are you just loving your kids and letting anything go?
[00:34:43] So that might reveal to you that you have a wrong perspective on God. So we got it. We got to understand. God. That he has this love and this faithfulness.
[00:34:57] And we saw how he's ready to forgive. Look at this phrase with me here where he says, But who will by no means clear the guilty. Now, this might come across in our culture as really intense here.
[00:35:07] The guilty are not going to go unpunished. God's saying, in fact, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, what does that mean? That God's ready to see sin played out over generations?
[00:35:19] If we want to really understand what that means, we're going to need to do some digging in scripture. And let me just tell you, if you're a Bible nerd and you like digging for treasure God's word and you like trying to find cross references. Merry Christmas, everybody. This this is this. If you want to go find your own cross references. This is the mother lode of all treasure that we're giving you here today. This description, what these two verses of what God says about himself to Moses right here. This is taken throughout the rest of the law, throughout the prophets, throughout the writings, even into the gospels. This is taken as the definitive definition of the character of God.
[00:35:59] And it is quoted and in whole or in part all over the place.
[00:36:05] So if you want to really go look for that phrase abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, go look for that throughout the scripture. And you're going to find just. Time after time again that this idea that this is who God is is spread throughout all the prophets. Joel's talking about it, gentlemens talking about it. The soulmates are singing about it. Your steadfast love reaches to the heavens. Your faithfulness stretches to the skies. That the steadfast love and the faithfulness of the Lord have met each other and they have kissed one another, that these two seemingly contradictory characteristics have come together beautifully in the name of God.
[00:36:44] It's throughout the Bible and here, if you want to figure out what this means, that God's going to visit the iniquity of the fathers on the children. Let me give you two passages you might want to look up and read. One is Ezekiel, 18 and Zeke, 18 is going to make it very clear that God has no grand kids. Everybody's going to have to have their own relationship with God.
[00:37:06] So if your father was wicked and your father disobeyed the commands of God and did not live his life for the glory of God, did not want to know God in a relationship.
[00:37:17] Well, if you turn from your sins and turn to God and seek him first and obey his commandments and want to know all of his ways, God will forgive you for all of your sin and he will not judge you according to the sins of your father. Every man stands before God on his own.
[00:37:36] That's a clear message of Ezekiel 18. In fact, it even says the opposite. Did you have a godly dad? Did you have a dad who actually knew God and worshiped him and gave his life to him and turned from his own sin, turned from idols, and really sought to keep the commandments of God with all of his heart?
[00:37:52] Well, if you had a godly dad, don't think that that's going to work for you and go live your own way and turn to wickedness. No, your godly dad can't save you. You're going to be responsible before God yourself. So Ezekiel, 18, clarifies that. What this is not saying is that every every man is somehow a going along with what his father did know. Every man stands alone before the presence of God. In fact, Ezekiel, 18, would make it very clear that if you are wicked here today and you are still continuing in a practice of sin, you should turn to God right now because he is ready to forgive you right now, today, and you should turn to him before it is too late and the day of judgment comes. And you'll wish you had turned to him today. No, if you're in sin, you should turn to God right now.
[00:38:39] And if you're walking in God's ways as you sit here today, if you're one of God's people, don't you dare go turning away into sin. Because if you turn away into sin, even though you might think you're one of God's peoples now, he will judge you according to your sin. If you turn from him and go into it.
[00:38:55] That's what a secular teen says. But Jeremiah, 32, is another passage you might want to write down in Jeremiah, 32.
[00:39:03] It is announced that King Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon are going to come and destroy Jerusalem, the city of God's people.
[00:39:11] They're going to destroy the temple. Going to break down the walls.
[00:39:15] And the reason it says that God has raised up King, Nebeker, Nasr and Babylon to judge his people is because the children of Israel. And now he's referring to them in a generational like four generations. The people of Israel have been disobeying his commandments, turning away from God to idols. And now, because of this collective sin of the people over generations of turning away from God, there is going to be a judgment that comes upon them that God is bringing upon them. Because do not be deceived. God is not mocked. You are going to reap what you sow, even if you're his chosen people.
[00:39:58] And so he destroys the northern kingdom of Israel through the nation of Syria and he destroys the southern kingdom of Judah through the nation of Babylon, the people here in Exodus that God is ready to forgive. And he renews his covenant with. And he leads them with his own self into the promised land. Later on, he does have to end up judging these people because they continue in sin. Generation after generation against him.
[00:40:22] And he asked to have his own people wiped out, because even if you are one of his chosen people, according to the nation of Israel. No, he's still by no means clearing the guilty.
[00:40:35] This is who God is.
[00:40:37] And this is how he wants to be known, so point number two, you got to know his character. You got to know his character. You got to know it in the fullness of who he is.
[00:40:48] And we all need to examine ourselves and check our hearts. Do I have a skewed view of God?
[00:40:55] Do I think of God as someone ready to judge, but not as much ready to forgive, or am I so that God is ready to forgive that I don't really think he's going to judge? Do I understand that right now here on planet Earth? People are dying. Their physical bodies have reached their end and their souls are departing from those bodies. And some of those souls have been ransomed by the blood of Jesus to go be in the presence of God. They've been forgiven of their sin and they're entering glory. And some of those souls are going to a place of death where they will be held accountable because they are guilty of sin before God.
[00:41:33] Do you believe that do you understand who God is?
[00:41:36] Does your view of God match his introduction?
[00:41:40] You got to make sure that you know his character and you need to see that when God says this to Moses and Moses comes down the mountain with his face shining, radiating this glory of God, the people of Israel, they really respond here and they respond to God in the right way. We talk a lot about the Israelites grumbling against God. How they turn from God to worship idols. But this is a situation where the people of Israel are genuinely sorry about their sin against God. And when God forgives them for their sin and he communicates to them through Moses that he still wants to have a covenant relationship with them.
[00:42:17] In fact, he doesn't want the tent of meaning to be outside the camp. He wants to tabernacle there among them. He wants them to build this structure and these items and to have priests. And he wants to have a way that he has a holy God can interact with these sinful people and they can have a covenant relationship. And he tells the people through Moses, I want you to build me a tabernacle. And here's what I want you to construct for me. And we're going to take it everywhere we go together so I can be there as your God and you can be my treasured possession, my people.
[00:42:49] And when the people hear about this tabernacle that God wants them to build this way, that God wants to have a relationship to them, see the people here respond when God tells you who he is, when God makes himself known.
[00:43:04] He wants you to respond. Do you want to know him? He's revealing himself. What is your response?
[00:43:11] Look at chapter 35. Verse 20. You need to see here a positive example of the people of Israel. This is how people should respond to the revelation of who God is. Exodus 35, verse 20.
[00:43:26] Then all the congregation of the people of Israel departed from the presence of Moses. Moses tells them what's going on. He tells them about the tabernacle. And they came verse 21. Everyone whose heart stirred him. Everyone whose spirit moved him. And they brought the Lord's contribution to be used for the tent of meeting and for all its service and for the holy garments.
[00:43:54] That's a great description of people responding to God. God says, here's what I want for the Tabernacle. Anyone whose heart wants to you can give all the resources that we need to build this tabernacle. And right away, it says many people, they go to their houses, their tents, they get whatever stuff they have and they're bringing it back. And the reason that they're giving in this building project that they have with the Tabernacle, that's the rest of Exodus from 35 on is about the building of the tabernacle, the establishing of the priesthood, how God's going to relate to his people through this structure that they built. And it says the people, their hearts are like stirred, like something's going on, on the inside, in their soul.
[00:44:40] Their spirits are moved. They have seen who God is. God has forgiven their sin. And they have to do something about it.
[00:44:52] And so they want to give and the people, they give so much that they have everything they need to build this glorious tabernacle for God to dwell right there among them. So that description right there in verse 21, it is that you is that you in response to what we're learning about God in Exodus, is that you? In response to God sending his son at Christmas.
[00:45:15] Can you say here today that your heart is stirred within you? Your spirit is moved in response to God.
[00:45:23] So you have to do something about it.
[00:45:26] That's the kind of response that God is is looking for. Point number three, you need to see him tabernacle. The point of God revealing himself.
[00:45:36] Is God wants to have a relationship.
[00:45:39] That's why this whole Tabernacle thing that we're reading about is just going to be the mechanism, the structure of how God is going to have a covenant relationship with his people. And I'm here to tell you today that as we study this description, that God introduces himself to Moses and the people are forgiven for their sin. They turn from their sin and they respond to God. This is not just something God wants us to study about Moses or the Israelites. God wants to have a relationship with you.
[00:46:12] He wants your heart to be stirred up. He wants your spirit to be moved. OK.
[00:46:18] And you and I. The way we're gonna relate to God. We're not going to see his radiant glory with our eyes. We're not going to go up on some mountain and meet with him. We're not going to reconstruct the tabernacle in the parking lot when you come back next week. We're gonna get Levitical around here, everybody. It's not it's not going to happen the way you and I are going to know God is through his son, Jesus Christ.
[00:46:41] That's how he reveals himself now. That's the new covenant. The way God wants to make himself known. Just like this to you. Is through Jesus.
[00:46:53] This is why our study of Exodus and the season of Christmas go hand in hand, because everything that God is revealing here is all made manifest.
[00:47:04] It's all shown to us. Do that little baby in a manger through that man dying on the cross through the risen Lord.
[00:47:12] Who is right now at the right hand of God.
[00:47:14] Ready to return with eyes like fire and face shining like the sun in full strength through Jesus.
[00:47:23] Is God showing us the radiance of who he is? The exact image.
[00:47:29] Turn with me to John 114. You really need to see this connection. John, one 14 that the apostle writes this verse. He is clearly referring back to how God just revealed himself to Moses in Exodus 34. OK. So, John, when he writes his gospel, the good news of Jesus, when John writes his eyewitness account of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, he doesn't start with Jesus being born in Bethlehem like Matthew and like Luke.
[00:48:00] He doesn't get into Mary and Joseph. There's no shepherds.
[00:48:03] There's no weizman. The way that John wants to teach you about the birth of Jesus is he gives this introduction here and he refers to Jesus as the word of God.
[00:48:16] Jesus is the expression of God. Jesus is how God is making himself known. The book of Hebrews is very clear that in the old days, God spoke to us through prophets like Moses. But in these days, God speaks to us through his son, Jesus Christ. He is the word of God. You want to know God. There's only one way. One truth. One life that's gonna teach you. Who God is. And his name is Jesus. And that's why Christmas is a big deal. Because it's God revealing himself to us through his son.
[00:48:52] You got to look at John one 14. You've got to think through every word here, because John is clearly taking what we just learned in Exodus 34 and applying it to our Lord Jesus Christ. He says and the word the expression of guy became flesh.
[00:49:12] And dwelt among us.
[00:49:15] And we have seen his glory.
[00:49:19] It's the glory as of the only son from the father full of grace and truth. He says.
[00:49:27] So we haven't really even filled out our outline yet. If you want to behold his glory, you got to see it in the flesh. That's that's the real point. Number one there. Behold his glory in the flesh.
[00:49:40] The way that you are going to see the glory of God is not on some mountain. It's not some radiant light. No, you're going to see the glory of God revealed in the face of his son, Jesus Christ. When you, John Sandhamn know Moses. But when I saw Jesus, when I saw how he was, I saw the glory of the father and the son. Jesus Christ. That's what John wants everybody to know. You want to see who God is. Look at Jesus and then notice how he describes him. He says it's the same glory as of the father. And then look at the phrase he uses at the end of the verse. Full of what? Grace and truth. So what did it say in Exodus?
[00:50:28] Translating the Hebrew abounding in steadfast love. Has said and faithfulness and that right truth. Well, here he's just saying it now.
[00:50:38] But from the Greek language that God is full, he's overflowing with grace because he's ready to forgive you at any moment. But truth because he's by no means clearing the guilty like, hey, the same thing that God described himself to Moses.
[00:50:55] I saw that character, those attributes. I saw them in Jesus. I saw the grace of God in Jesus and I saw the truth of God and Jesus.
[00:51:09] He was full of them, just like the father.
[00:51:13] I guarantee you that nobody on planet Earth has ever been more zealous for the glory of God, more zealous for the truth of God's word than his son, Jesus Christ.
[00:51:23] The passion that Jesus had for his father's house, that Jesus would get a whip and he would go through the temple chasing out the money changers, overturning the temples. No one has ever called people out like our Lord Jesus Christ, calling the Pharisees hypocrites to their faces.
[00:51:44] Jesus Christ pronounced woe on cities because they saw his miracles and would not believe in him and would not repent of their sins. He pronounced WOA judgment upon people.
[00:51:57] You want to talk about the truth? Let's talk about Jesus. And yet at the same time, our Lord Jesus.
[00:52:05] He would go to Jerusalem and this is the the city that had stoned so many prophets. This is the city where they would shout out as a mob, crucify him, crucify him, a city full of people who wanted to kill him in their rebellion against God and Jesus. When he looked at the cities, said, o Jerusalem. O Jerusalem. I wish I could be like a mother hen and gather all my little chicks under my wings because of how much I love you, because of the compassion I feel for you. Jesus could chase you out of the temple with a whip and then feel like he wanted as a mother hen to gather you under his wing.
[00:52:47] To Jesus was.
[00:52:50] When they nailed him to the cross, they were mocking him.
[00:52:54] They were saying, you saved others, save yourself. There's a whole crowd around making fun of him as he is dying.
[00:53:02] They want him killed. They want him dead. And he is up there. Even as he's bleeding out from his head and his hands. It's forming a pool of blood at the feet of the cross there at the foot of the cross. And Jesus is saying about these people who are against him.
[00:53:19] Father, forgive them for they know what they do.
[00:53:27] So if you have this thought in your head, this lie that gets told in churches like this one in Southern California in the year of our Lord 2019, that God used to be really intense in Exodus. And now he's really loving at Christmas. If you think there is any change in the character of God, you need to put that lie away today because our God Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.
[00:53:55] He has always been and he always will be full of grace and true. He will always be ready to forgive the sinner who comes to him and the sinner who does not come to him will always be judged according to what they have done. Heaven and hell will exist for all of eternity as testimonies that are God is abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. And he will be known for who he is.
[00:54:26] John said, I saw that in Jesus everything that God said to Moses. It was right there in him. So you got to know his character. Point number two. And his character is of the father. There is no difference between the father and the son. It's the same glory. And he uses the way to describe Jesus the same way that God describes himself to Moses, that I am full of grace and truth.
[00:55:02] So, Johnny, he's telling you, hey, if you want to know God, you got to see who God is here in Jesus Christ. You've got to behold his glory in the flesh. You got his Noah's character, that of the father looked back at John 114 real quick.
[00:55:18] Look what it says right here when he says the word became flesh. That's the incarnation. That's what we're going to celebrate on Tuesday. The fact there's God in a manger in the form of a baby.
[00:55:31] And then it says this. The word became flesh and dwelt among us.
[00:55:36] That word for dwelt. There it's this Greek word, Schiano. And when you're trying to use in the Greek language to express the Hebrew idea of a tabernacle, the Greek word you use is Sakinah. It literally says that the word became flesh and tabernacle among us.
[00:55:57] The reason? God sent Jesus is he wants a relationship with you. He wants to dwell with you, he he wants to be known by you.
[00:56:11] Point number three, you need to see him tabernacle among us, the people of Israel are an example to us. Jesus was sent among us unto you, this scripture says.
[00:56:27] There has been borne a savior who is Christ Lord. This is good news of great joy for all people. And I'm here to tell you today that you're one of those all people.
[00:56:38] And God sent Jesus because he wants to know you.
[00:56:45] Turn with me to Romans Chapter three, and we're gonna have a time of communion. I need you to see this from Romans Chapter three, because Jesus, when he was born, he came to earth from heaven to earth, and his mission was very straightforward. He came to seek and save the lost. Jesus Christ was born as a baby, to die as a man.
[00:57:09] And he came to die as the sacrifice to pay for your sin.
[00:57:16] See, it says here in Romans three that all of us have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. If any of us stood before God on our own, we would be found guilty. And God is by no means clearing the guilty because he abounds in truth. And he will be faithful to what he has said.
[00:57:36] We would all get judged if it was just us before God. But in the old times, God passed over. God had divine forbearance for sins. But in the present time, God did something to judge sin. Look at Romans chapter three, verse 26. It says it was to show God wants to show his glory.
[00:57:57] He wants to show his righteousness at the present time so that he God might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. This is what's so amazing about our God, that our God is just he always does what is right. And yet he is also the justifier, which means he declares you righteous. God always does what is right himself, but he can also at the same time make someone who is a sinner and declare them righteous. How can he do those things? How can faithfulness and steadfast love meet and kiss each other? It's at the cross of Jesus Christ.
[00:58:42] When you look at the cross and you see Jesus nailed there and you see him bleeding out, offering his body as a sacrifice, shedding his righteous blood to purchase your soul, to wash you clean of your sin, when you look at the cross, you can see that God so loves you, that he gave his one and only son. Or you can see the wrath of God that he must judge sin.
[00:59:05] And he is pouring out that wrath. That white hot anger because of your idolatry, because of your transgression. Because of the sins that you have said and thought and done. God is angry and he is judging Jesus Christ. He is pouring out all that wrath. And Jesus is crying out. My father. My father. Why have you forsaken me? And the reason that the father forced took his son is so that you would not be forsake.
[00:59:36] So all of your sin could be paid for.
[00:59:39] I promise you this, based on the words of our God, that he is going to judge your sin and you will either look at Jesus on the cross and you will trust in Jesus that he got judged for your sin and you will believe in him or you will still be judged for years.
[00:59:57] Who God is demands that.
[01:00:00] You either put your faith in Jesus, you either trust in him that he's already paid for your sin.
[01:00:08] Or you will still have to pay for it yourself.
[01:00:13] We have a God who is a bounding and steadfast love and faithfulness. This is amazing about God.
[01:00:19] He Izabel just and the justifier. And it's all to the one who has faith in Jesus Christ. Have you trusted in Jesus to save your soul from sin? That's what Christmas is all about.
[01:00:34] And if you've trusted in Jesus, we want to remember that right now as we celebrate communion. So I'm going to call the ushers to come forward. The band's going to come up here and they're going to sing a song.
[01:00:44] And this is for all of us to remember that the steadfast love and the faithfulness of God, they met there on the cross that he loved us to give his son is a sacrifice, but that also he, he judged, are seen on Jesus. There had to be a sacrifice, blood had to be shed to pay as an atonement for our sin. And so God was just when he judged Jesus for our sin. But now we can be justified, declared righteous because of Jesus Christ. So if you believed in Jesus, let us celebrate. Let us remember what God has done for us through his son. And if you have not yet trusted in Jesus, I'm here to beg you. I'm here to plead with you. You do not want to be guilty before God.
[01:01:33] He has given you a way out of judgment. He has provided a way of escape through the cross, through the gift of his son, Jesus.
[01:01:42] And you must transfer your trust to Jesus so that you can be justified or a just God is going to judge you.
[01:01:51] And I don't know what you're waiting for, some of you.
[01:01:55] I mean, there are people that I pray for at this church by name who have told me that they do not know God. And every week I wonder, what are we waiting for? Again, in 2020, we're going to start this All Souls class because we need souls to respond.
[01:02:13] If your heart is stirred, if your spirit is moved, if you're sorry about your sin, you need to come to God right now. You don't need these elements to remember Jesus. You need Jesus right now.
[01:02:27] You need to cry out to God.
[01:02:29] You need to come to him as a sinner, ready to confess, and you will find him ready to forgive you. And you will experience his steadfast love and he wants a covenant relationship with you through his son Jesus, so let me pray and then we'll all get the bread and the cup and hold onto it. We'll take it all together. Let me pray. Father, we thank you for revealing yourself to Moses on the mountain. You are a God who abounds in steadfast love and faithfulness, and we thank you for revealing yourself to us through your son Jesus, the fullness of your glory. Put on flesh full of grace and truth.
[01:03:11] And God, I thank you for all my brothers and sisters. Who saw Jesus there on the cross?
[01:03:18] And knew that we were guilty before you because of our sin.
[01:03:21] And we trusted in Jesus as our substitute.
[01:03:26] As the one who took that wrath for us and there we saw on that cross your glory, you saw your love that you would offer your son and your justice, that he would pay for our sin. And we knew who you were.
[01:03:43] Got afraid that we would remember.
[01:03:47] Go yet so distracted by wrapping gifts and giving gifts and receiving gifts and family get togethers that we forget, sometimes the gift has already been given. When you gave your son Jesus Christ, I pray that we would remember that he had to sacrifice his body. He had to shed his righteous blood so the guilty people like us could go free of punishment and be forgiven.
[01:04:14] And we could know you. We could have a relationship with you. We could experience steadfast love, a covenant forever.
[01:04:22] God, please stir us up, move our spirits.
[01:04:26] Let us worship you. Thank you for the gift of Jesus Christ.
[01:04:31] And Father, I just pray for those who know they don't know you, that you would reveal yourself, that you would make yourself known and they would not just take communion guy. They don't need communion to remember.
[01:04:43] They need Jesus Christ. They need to cry out right now for your salvation.
[01:04:50] God, please.
[01:04:52] We ask you as CompassHB HP altogether. Right now we ask you, please, God, show us your glory.
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