Staff Picks of the Week:
Memorial Day 2013
Memorial Day 2013 Preaching Bundle »
Greater Love Video Illustration » Everlasting God Worship Music Video »
Sabbath Sabbath Preaching Bundle »
1 Outta 7 Video Illustration » Before The Throne… Worship Music Video »
What if God stood before us this morning and said: ďCome closer!Ē Would you do it, or would you take off running the other way? Although we canít see him, God is urging us to come closer to him. Through an experience the prophet Moses had weíll see that this is both a holy command that frightens, and a gracious invitation that comforts.
After leading the Israelites across the Red Sea and out of slavery in Egypt, Moses guided them to the foot of Mt. Sinai where the two million refugees spent the next eleven months. The time at Mt. Sinai was no break for Moses. He made numerous trips up the mountain to speak with God and then went back down again to tell the people what God had said. Thatís the way the people wanted it because when they first arrived at Mt. Sinai God had spoken directly to them and it scared them to death (Hebrews 12:18-21). It wasnít just Godís voice that was frightening; the way God appeared was terrifying too. God descended on the top of Mt. Sinai in fire and billowing smoke. The mountain shook. Lightning flashed and thunder boomed while the sound of a trumpet growing louder and louder could be heard (Ex. 20:18, 19). It would have been scary enough to witness any one of those things but when you put them all together itís not surprising that Moses himself said: ďI am trembling with fearĒ (Hebrews 12:21b).
Why did God appear in such a frightening way to the Israelites? Isnít he a God of love? Werenít the Israelites his chosen people? What game was God playing? Was he frightening the Israelites to get them to do what he wanted them to do - like the coach who thinks that if he screams and yells at his players he will get results? No, God wasnít playing games. He was simply highlighting a couple of his characteristics. He appeared in fire and smoke to impress upon the Israelites his power and his holiness.
If you had been there at Mt. Sinai, how would you have felt if God said to you: ďCome closer!Ē Would you have done it? I might as well ask whether you would run into or away from a fire because thatís what the glory of the Lord looked like (Ex. 24:17). We would run away from a fire wouldnít we because we wouldnít want to get burned? So when God says: ďCome closer!Ē this is a holy command that should frighten unholy people because just as fire canít help but burn straw, a holy God canít help but consume sinful people.
So did you feel scared when you came to church this morning? Did you fear for your life knowing that you were approaching a holy God? Probably not and thatís too bad. The reason we donít always fear God is because we donít always fully appreciate our sinfulness and Godís holiness. Had we murdered someone this week, cheated on our spouse, or gotten so drunk that we couldnít remember the things we did the night before,
- All Sermons on Holiness
- Text Illustrations on Holiness
- Video Illustrations on Holiness
- PowerPoint Template on Holiness
- Scripture on Holiness
Join the discussion