Sermons

Summary: Experiencing God’s Glory.

Alive to God

October 8, 2006

Exodus 33:12-23

The author Max Lucado writes:

One of my favorite childhood memories is greeting my father as he came home from work.

My mother, who worked an evening shift at the hospital, would leave the house around three in the afternoon. Dad would arrive home at three-thirty. My brother and I were left alone for that half-hour with strict instructions not to leave the house until Dad arrived.

We would take our positions on the couch and watch cartoons, always keeping one ear alert to the driveway. Even the best "Daffy Duck" would be abandoned when we heard his car.

I can remember running out to meet Dad and getting swept up in his big (often sweaty) arms. As he carried me toward the house, he?d put his big-trimmed straw hat on my head, and for a moment I?d be a cowboy. We?d sit on the porch as he removed his oily work boots. As he took them off I?d pull them on, and for a moment I?d be a wrangler. Then we?d go indoors and open his lunch pail. Any leftover snacks, which he always seemed to have, were for my brother and me to split.

It was great. Boots, hats, and snacks. What more could a five-year-old want?

But suppose, for a minute, that is all I got. Suppose my dad, rather than coming home, just sent some things home. Boots for me to play in. A hat for me to wear. Snacks for me to eat.

Would that be enough? Maybe so, but not for long. Soon the gifts would lose their charm. Soon, if not immediately, I?d ask, "Where?s Dad?"

Or consider something worse. Suppose he called me up and said, "Max, I won?t be coming home anymore. But I?ll send my boots and hat over, and every afternoon you can play in them."

No deal. That wouldn?t work. Even a five-year-old knows it?s the person, not the presents that makes a reunion special. It?s not the frills; it?s the father. (Max Lucado, Chapter 25 beginning, When God Whispers Your Name.)

Moses, the man in our text knew this. Moses in our text was adamant on seeing God, the Father. He wasn?t asking for the things of God, blessings from God, God to do certain things for him. No in our text, Moses desires to see and experience his Father. He wouldn?t settle for less. When I began to study this text, it seemed a bit peculiar to me. Why would Moses, this man who had as much as and seemingly more of God than most in the Bible, throughout these 11 verses keep asking for God. Moses, give me a break.

You encountered Him at the burning bush.

You were guided by God by fire.

You experience God?s power in the plagues.

You witnessed God?s abilities to turn a staff into a snake.

A river into a road.

A hard rock into liquidy water.

Two stone tablets into engraved pieces of law.

Moses, when I go over your life as recorded in our Bible, I see numerous encounters with God. In the desert, on the mountaintop. In the tent of meeting on the open plain. Moses you seem a bit greedy. Moses, nearly every page of the Book of Exodus records a situation when God is revealing himself, his purposes or his ways to you.

And yet in our text this seemingly

God drenched.

God saturated

God immersed man hungers for his Father.

He is at a point when he needs to see His Father.

V. 18- "Now show me your glory."

I think that he is at this point because he is tired. Disappointed. Lonely. Lacking the courage to lead the Israelites anymore. He?s been leading this wandering/grumbling/murmuring people for years. Judging the people?s attitudes and behaviors, one could say they hadn?t matured much. Seemingly little progress has been made. If you look at chapter 32, just 1 chapter before our text, these people who had been saturated by God.

rescued by his power.

cared for by his grace over years and years became anxious when Moses is gone from them. And their anxiousness leads them to make a big bad decision. They make a god. They form a golden statue of a cow. And claim that this lifeless human shaped thing will lead them. The people exchange their living God for a dead, golden 4 legged bovine.

When Moses returns to the camp, chapter 32:19 says, his anger burned and he threw the tablets (2-10 commandment tablets) out of his hands, breaking them to pieces . . . he took the calf they had made and burned it in the fire."

Moses is disgusted.

He has every right to be.

He is at wits end, but unlike the people who created their own god when they felt this way, Moses goes to, approaches the one who created Him saying vs. 18 "Now show me your glory."

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