Summary: Trust in the Lord: 1. to be a righteous God (vs. 1-9). 2. to be a jealous God (vs. 13-19; 23-24; 32-33). 3. to be a generous God (vs. 20-26 & 31). 4. to be a meticulous God (vs. 27-30).
Moses on the Mountain with the Lord - Part 5
Sermon by Rick Crandall
McClendon Baptist Church - June 30, 2010
*The LORD God of the Old Testament who appeared to men was God the Son, the pre-incarnate Jesus Christ. We are studying these appearances because the same Lord is here with us right now. Each of these appearances has something to say to us.
*Nobody in the Old Testament had more meetings with the Lord than Moses. Tonight we will take another look at Moses’ fourth meeting on the mountain with the Lord. (1)
*In Exodus 20, the Lord spoke out loud to all of the people, and it scared them to death. So in Exodus 20:19, “They said to Moses, "You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.”
*That’s when Moses went back to the thick darkness where God was. And the Lord began to give Moses many specific details of the law.
-Tonight let’s begin by reading Exodus 23:1-8.
*This Sunday is the 4th of July, and we will celebrate our freedom in a time of uncertainty. Yet, the fact of the matter is, we can always trust in our God!
*Francis Scott Key stressed this truth in a seldom sung verse of “The Star Spangled Banner.” Remember that Key was held captive on a British ship in Chesapeake Bay during the Battle of Baltimore in 1814.
*Through the night he strained his eyes to see if our army in Fort McHenry had survived the battle. And in the morning he rejoiced over the victory won. Then he wrote these words:
“Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "IN GOD IS OUR TRUST."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!” (2)
*And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
-Trust in the Lord!
1. First: Trust in the Lord to be a righteous God.
*Vs. 1-8 remind us again that our God is a righteous God, and this reality should affect all of our relationships. Last week we began to focus on the fact that God cares about relationships. God cares about how we treat Him, and how we treat other people.
 And when the Lord began to speak to Moses about this in Exodus 21, He started on the right way to treat slaves.
*This was an eye-opening passage for me, because it reveals to us that the slavery in the Bible was very different from the slavery once practiced in our own country. Old Testament slavery was voluntary. Poor people sometimes sold themselves for a temporary period of time to keep their families from starving. And God wanted these slaves treated kindly.
*Slavery from the 1600 to 1800’s was very different. African warlords and kidnappers sold captives to Europeans. The captives were usually force-marched to coastal ports on the west coast of Africa, where they were held for sale to the European or American slave traders.
*Historians estimate that between 9 and 12 million slaves arrived in the New World. Typical slave ships contained several hundred slaves. They were often stacked in like chord wood, like you see in this picture, and 2 to 4 million died on the way. (3)
*But in Exodus 21:16, the Lord told Moses, "He who kidnaps a man and sells him, or if he is found in his hand, shall surely be put to death.”
*No wonder former slave captain, John Newton wrote:
“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.”
*Our God is a righteous God! -- He cares about the way we treat slaves.
 And He cares about sincerity.
*This is the main focus in the opening verses of Exodus 23:1-3:
1. "You shall not circulate a false report. Do not put your hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.
2. You shall not follow a crowd to do evil; nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside after many to pervert justice.
3. You shall not show partiality to a poor man in his dispute.
-And again in vs. 6-8:
6. You shall not pervert the judgment of your poor in his dispute.
7. Keep yourself far from a false matter; do not kill the innocent and righteous. For I will not justify the wicked.