Summary: Based on Moses’ desperate cry in Exodus 33 and 34, this sermon seeks to encourage people to seek God and not just religion.
Show Me Your Glory: Exodus 33-34
Associate Pastor Jeff Williams
When I was younger, I was invited to attend a birthday dinner for a friend at Ducks. Ducks was a five-star restaurant at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis. It was very expensive and quite glamorous. We had the table overlooking the lobby and were able to see the world famous Peabody ducks march out of the elevator and into the fountain. I looked over the menu, tried to keep from choking at the prices, and chose the “blackened squab.” I found out later that squab in a type of pigeon. We were treated like royalty as we waited for our food. When the plates came each of us just stared at our fare. My squab must have been pretty scrawny because it was no bigger than a hockey puck! The plate was bare except for a broccoli spear and something that looked like a twig. I ate my dinner in two bites, which came to about $19.00 a chew, and decided that blackened squab was pretty good. The only problem was – I was still hungry! Everyone else finished their meals and we were all in agreement – time to head to Wendy’s!
The meal was fancy, it was some of the best this world had to offer, but it just did not satisfy. Instead of satiating my hunger, it made me salivate for a Spicy chicken sandwich and some French fries. It left me wanting more.
Although I just described an experience I had with food, this could also be a picture of our current spiritual lives. It’s so easy for us to just nibble around the edges of our faith and come away with an empty feeling. Eating at the world’s table, we often gorge ourselves, and we still wonder if there is something that really satisfies. In the quiet of our soul we want to scream, “We want more! We want more than just existing! We want more than dead doctrine and lifeless liturgies! We want more than just playing church! We want more than just learning more about God! We want to KNOW God. We want to experience Him. God, show us your glory!”
This morning we are going to meet a man who actually had the gall to pray that prayer. If Moses had a motto it would have been “I want more!” He was not satisfied with the status quo of his faith. He sought God, he hungered for God, and he talked to God “face to face.” There is much we can learn from Moses the “God Chaser” as one author calls him. Let’s begin by doing a quick review.
A burning bush and a reluctant leader
Last week Pastor Geoff Pfeil pointed us back to Exodus 3 and the encounter Moses had with a talking, fired up bush. In this experience, Moses is invited into God’s Presence. Moses “turns aside” from his flock and his fear to listen to the God who calls Himself “I am who I am.” The eighty year old barefoot shepherd stood trembling on holy ground as God commissioned him to be the deliverer of the people of Israel. Moses has a thousand excuses why he was not the right man for the job, but God dismisses each of them. Moses the murderer would become Moses the mediator. Moses reluctantly agreed and, with his brother Aaron as his spokesperson, headed back to Egypt for a showdown with his adopted father, the Pharaoh.