Summary: Thise sermon deal with the need for Christians to make seeking the face of God thier top priority in life.
A Life Changing Look
October 17, 2004
(Exo 33:12-16 NIV) Moses said to the LORD, "You have been telling me, ’Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ’I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people." The LORD replied, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest." Then Moses said to him, "If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?"
I. We see and anxious Moses plead for help. God, you tell me that to lead these people but you don’t tell me who’s going with me. Are you traveling with us or not? If you’re not going with us then let’s call the whole thing off.
A. Really, you can’t blame him. He was surrounded by grumbling Israelites who wanted to go back to Egypt. He was surrounded by a dessert full of parching winds and blazing rock.
B. Not long before this he had been a simple shepherd and now he was a leader of people, and commander in chief.
C. He needed assurance. He needed to know that he was not in the task alone, much like all of us are at times. And he got his assurance. God said I will do what you ask because I know you and I am pleased with you.
D. You’d think that would have been enough, but it is usually not enough for us so it shouldn’t surprise us that it wasn’t enough for him.
E. Moses hung around, maybe he was thinking about what God had said, "hmmm He did say I will do what you ask....maybe God will grant one more request", so he swallows hard, and makes his request.
F. What would you think he would ask for? He apparently has God’s attention, and God seems to be willing to hear his prayer. It does say that the Lord spoke to Moses face to face.
G. He senses the opportunity to ask for anything he wants, what will he ask for?
H. There are about a million things he could ask for, because that is about how many Israelites he saw when he looked back.
(Exo 12:37 NIV) The Israelites journeyed from Rameses to Succoth. There were about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children.
I. If there were about six-hundred-thousand men there were at least a million adults. A Million stiff-necked, unappreciative, cow worshiping, ex-slaves who grumbled with every step. Maybe Moses thought about asking if God would turn them all into sheep...at least sheep follow without grumbling.
J. I can almost see Moses thinking ahhh sheep. It was only a few months before that Moses was in this same dessert, near this same mountain, watching a flock. It was definitely different this time.
K. Sheep don’t make demands, and they don’t make a mess out of blessings. And, they don’t talk about going back to Egypt, and they don’t make Golden cows for sure.
L. And, what about the battles that are coming with the Hittites, and Jebsusites and all the other "ites" and a we complain about termites and cellulite.
M. Moses had to be asking himself, can I make an army out of this grumbling bunch of Pyramid builders?
II. Moses snaps out of it, what do I ask...first thought....can you just beam us to Cannan and have all the people there leave before we get there...nope better not ask that.
A. Moses knew what God could do, and the whole Middle east was still talking about Aaron’s rod becoming a snake, and him being crazy enough to pick it back up.
B. They remembered the Nile river running with blood, and gnats so thick that you breathed them, and frogs filling up all the houses, blackness in the middle of the day, and the funerals of the first born.
C. Everybody knew about the Red Sea parting, and the Egyptian army being wiped out.
D. I’m sure Moses hadn’t forgot about the very mountain that he was standing on moving. The mountain shook and I am sure that Moses’ knees did too, so Moses didn’t doubt what God could do.
E. But he didn’t doubt what these people were prone to do either.