Summary: God is our rock, trust him, let his glory be reflected in you in this world of darkness
God our Rock in a Hard Place
Exodus 33: 1 - 23
Consider the Context
• Moses in a 1 to 1 meeting with the Lord, how amazing, just after the golden calf incident, the smashing of the first tablets of stone with the ten commandments written by God on both sides of them (would n’t you just want to see these!)
• Aarons shame after being led up the wrong path by the people and trying to lie his way out of the hole (I put the gold in the fire and this calf came out, just like that..) and 3,000 put to death as Moses tries to restore order to the people
• Have you ever had one of those meetings with the boss or even the CEO when one of your projects has gone over budget still years from completion and no obvious end game in sight, these are classified as Career Defining moments
• I’ve had a few, so did Moses also known as refinement your friends will tell you unless of course it happens to them then it’s a trial
• The Lord is grieved with the rebellion and the stiff necked attitude of the Israelites, Moses had just stepped into the breach for them, God offered to wipe them out and start again and let Moses lead this new people
• Moses pleaded and made the case to persist with them, God relented (as he wanted to do) and loved Moses heart, God knew this mans heart and loved it. This is an amazing relationship going on here between God and Moses against the backdrop of rebellion and sin
• Hebrews 3: 15 - 19"Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion."
Consider the text
• The Lord does not want to go with the Israelites as he might destroy them, tells them to strip off their ornaments and the Israelites mourn that his presence would not go with them
• Remember the gold and precious things the Egyptians gave the Israelites on their way out of Egypt, this was their back pay for the hundreds of years of slavery and service,
• Ex 3 "And I will make the Egyptians favourably disposed toward this people, so that when you leave you will not go empty-handed”
• Now they had used this blessing and promise from God, for make false idols and separate themselves from their God
• Remember you become like that you worship, what sits on the throne of your heart today?
• Due to their idolatry and sin, these people were now faced with life without the presence of God it does not get worse than that, call it hell it would be for me
• Consider the text again, all the tribes of Israel and Moses are back at mount Horeb, the scene of the burning bush all those years, all those wonders, all those miracles, all the pain, all the hardship and still their hard hearts and wrong attitudes led them back to the starting place were they ever going to make it?
• No spiritual progress at all, more of a corporate backsliding in reality
How fortunate we are
• We who have homes, electricity, water on tap, available food, computers with internet access, cars, schools, not living in an active combat zone and healthcare are part of the privileged top 10% of the total global population, that’s right the top 10% even the so called least of us easily passes the grade
• Yet for all our apparent blessings is our society and country rich morally are we a fragrant offering to the Lord or more of a stench on occasion
• Are not many of our fellow citizens following the idolatrous ways not dissimilar to these stiff necked and rebellious people who have grieved God so much in the text we read?
• Things are changing all around us at an ever increasing pace. Sin is no longer considered sin. Wrong is no longer wrong.
• But the motto of the day is do what pleases you, its all about me see. The words in Isaiah “woe to those who call good evil and evil good” fall on death ears and self pleasure seeking hearts
• If you were God looking at our nation at the people around us, at us what do you think he would think?
• I can tell you he is in pain, the pain of a parent wanting his children home, wanting to find a way to make new relationships to share his love and blessing freely, he is a God of Love what else could he do but love
• He so loved the world he sent his son Jesus to pay the price for us all