Summary: God knows our hearts and we must always have it cleansed and have godly desires and intent!
Let’s continue to worship our Lord by listening to what God is saying in Exodus 33…. As we read, let us note the 3 main characters: What can we say about the Hebrews? What can we say about God? What can we say about Moses? After summarizing the passage, let’s come back to these 3 main characters and conclude with applications for our lives.
Let us remember the background of our passage for today: Since Moses was with God up on a mountain for 40 days and 40 nights, the Hebrews below decided to forget about God and Moses and they made themselves idols to worship. Read along with me Exodus 33…..
Summarizing the story….
v1-3: God told the Israelites to move on to the promised land and an angel will protect them but God Himself will not be there because they are a stiff neck people!!
v4-6: The Hebrews felt God’s disappointment in them and possible death as consequences to their sin - they took off all their jewelry!
v7-17: in a tent outside the camp, Moses met God and interceded for people
v18-23: God revealed His glory but no unholy person can see Him directly, so God protected Moses
Now let’s talk about the 3 main characters… Let’ start with the Hebrews…. they are actually who? God’s chosen People: what can we say about them from Exodus 33? v1 – called and blessed by God from Abraham (freed from slavery bound for an abundant land!)
v3? stiff-necked (prideful and obstinate)
v4-6? mourned because they disappointed God
v8-10? worshiped God through Moses
Hebrews were chosen, called, and blessed by God but they were sinners and so their relationship with their Creator God went up and down. Sounds familiar??
What can we say about God?
We can actually note 4 things about God just in v1 alone! v1??
- God disciplines! God had the Hebrews to go away! We see the discipline in v3 as well!
- God instructs!
- God keeps His promises (in spite of sinfulness, the Hebrews, the Promised Land was still there for them to go to)
Now, did you notice what God said in the end of v1??.................
God is already telling us that that generation in the dessert will actually not go to the Promised Land but only their descendants!
- God sets His plans
v2-3: God protects but can take lives at any time!
Now, why do you think God would ask the Hebrews to take off their jewelry in v5??
- God was looking for an act of faith!
And if we look at God in general in v7-23: God desired an intimate relationship with Moses by talking to him, revealing his glory, knowing Moses completely, and protecting him.
And finally, the 3rd character in this passage is Moses. What can we say about Moses?
in general, Moses had a special relationship with God:
- had direct conversations with God
- Chosen People were to continue through him
- A Priest: spoke for God, ministered to people, prayed for people, pleaded for help
And finally, look again at v17….. God responded positively to Moses because God knew him by name! What do you think that means that God knew Moses by name??
As we noted earlier, God knew Moses completely from the inside out! God knew Moses’ heart!
- had a right heart for God
God knew Moses’ desires and intents! Sometimes I think, because we all sin, this is the only thing that which can be encouraging in our lives, that God knows our hearts; when our hearts are genuine with God as we confess and fully trust Jesus Christ, we can still have the confidence to continue on with our lives as God understands our failures!
What should we definitely remember from this passage?
1. We may be Christians and chosen by God but we can also be stiff-necked people like the Hebrews of old; Because we’re still all sinners, always remember and do….. James 4:6….. “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Always be humble before God! Many times we don’t even think about God do we?
2. God desires an intimate relationship with us and looks for acts of faith from us! Remember what we’re supposed to do from last week??
L-T-Y!!! Listen…. Talk…. and, Yielding to God means taking actions for God!
Faith is really taking action on what God says! Faith without action is dead!
When we say we have faith, do our actions reflect that faith?
But let us make sure God knows us completely, because all our actions are dull and void unless..
3. Our hearts need to be always right with God! Always act on 1 John 1:9….