Summary: The presence of the Lord: 1. is hindered by our sin (vs. 1-6). 2. is something worth seeking (vs. 7-15). 3. should spur us to worship (vs. 9-11). 4. is a sign of God’s grace (vs. 12-17).
Moses on the Mountain with the Lord
Part 17: A Passion for the Lord’s Presence
Sermon by Rick Crandall
McClendon Baptist Church - Oct. 20, 2010
*Our series is “Moses on the Mountain with the Lord,” and by this time, Moses had already been up Mount Sinai 6 times to meet with the Lord. And there will be one more 40-day visit on the mountain with the Lord. (1)
*But now the circumstances have drastically changed because of the great sin of the Children of Israel. And in the beginning of Exodus 33, the Lord delivered some heart-breaking news to Moses:
1. Then the LORD said to Moses, "Depart and go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ’To your descendants I will give it.’
2. And I will send My Angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanite and the Amorite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite.
3. Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; for I will not go up in your midst, lest I consume you on the way, for you are a stiff-necked people."
*When Moses got this tragic news, he moved his tent outside the camp to seek the presence of the Lord. We read about this in vs. 7-9:
7. Moses took his tent and pitched it outside the camp, far from the camp, and called it the tabernacle of meeting. And it came to pass that everyone who sought the LORD went out to the tabernacle of meeting which was outside the camp.
8. So it was, whenever Moses went out to the tabernacle, that all the people rose, and each man stood at his tent door and watched Moses until he had gone into the tabernacle.
9. And it came to pass, when Moses entered the tabernacle, that the pillar of cloud descended and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the LORD talked with Moses.
*Last week I told you that one of the unexpected results of our Old Testament study was that my admiration for Moses has skyrocketed. He was an amazing leader, and tonight Moses can show us how to be better leaders. You may be thinking that you are not a leader, but yes are.
-All of us have influence on other people.
-All of us are leading people either in the right direction or the wrong direction.
*So, how can I be the best leader God wants me to be? -- Tonight Moses shows us that a good leader has passion for the presence of God, and this passion teaches us 4 important truths about the presence of the Lord.
1. First: The presence of the Lord is hindered by our sin.
*The Children of Israel had sinned in a brazen, mind-boggling way by rebelling against God. There they were at the foot of Mt. Sinai.
-Exodus 19:18 tells us that “Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly.”
*In Exodus 20, God had verbally given the people His Ten Commandments, and the very first one was, “You shall have no other gods before me.” But still in the shadow of that fiery mountain, they began to worship a golden calf. So Moses went back up the mountain to try to atone for their sins, and:
1. Then the LORD said to Moses, "Depart and go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, `To your descendants I will give it.’
2. And I will send My Angel (This means a created angel, not the LORD Himself.) before you, and I will drive out the Canaanite and the Amorite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite.
3. Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; for I will not go up in your midst, lest I consume you on the way for you are a stiff-necked people.’’
*In Exodus 32, three thousand of the people had already been killed because of this sin, and many more were stricken with a plague. But here God declared a judgment that stopped Moses in his tracks. The Lord said: “Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; FOR I WILL NOT GO UP IN YOUR MIDST.
*Their sin so offended the Lord that He was on the verge of obliterating that whole nation, so He would not go with them. Their sin resulted in them losing the very presence of God. Moses went back down to give them the bad news.