Summary: Sermon #7 in the Exodus series, used on Easter, reveals God’s appearances to Moses, Elijah, and then to Peter, James, and John in Luke 9.
Show me Your Glory
CHCC: April 12, 2009
Set up Video (link on YOutube) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlZtEjtlirc
Video: Richard Dawkins interviewed by Ben Stein from Movie "Expelled" (Available on Youtube)
The Final statement Dawkins made in his interview was a quote from another Athiest (Bertrand Russell) who was asked what he would say if he discovered that God did indeed actually exist. The quote, “Sir, why did you make yourself so hard to find?”
Does God hide Himself? Perhaps from those who aren’t really looking for him, the answer might be, “Yes.” But what about those who are earnestly seeking for God and honestly desiring to find him. The answer to that is found in the following:
Jeremiah 29: 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you," declares the LORD.
The Bible’s full of examples where God showed Himself to people who were seeking Him with an honest heart. Today we’re going to look at 3 of those, starting with Moses in the book of Exodus. (which we’ve been studying together for the last few weeks.)
1. Moses – Exodus 33:14-23
When God gave Moses the Law, written on stone tablets, there on Mt. Sinai, the people were down below riotously worshipping a golden calf they had asked Aaron to make for them. Moses came down the mountain, saw their sin, and hurled down the stone tablets in anger breaking them in pieces. The People realized how great their sin was, especially when 3000 of them were killed by the Levites at Moses command (by the way, this was the day the Jews later called Pentecost, and on this Pentecost day 3000 were killed. Compare that with the New Testament day of Pentecost when 3000 were saved and baptized.) Moses went back before the Lord to atone for the sins of the people, and it was during this meeting to intercede for wayward people, that God had this conversation with Moses.
Exodus 33: 14 The LORD replied, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."
15 Then Moses said to him, "If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?"
17 And the LORD said to Moses, "I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name."
18 Then Moses said, "Now show me your glory."
19 And the LORD said, "I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 20 But," he said, "you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live."
21 Then the LORD said, "There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. 22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen."
Moses was so in tune with the Lord, and so connected to the Lord that he begged Him “If your presence does not go with us, do not send us from here.” Moses was not willing to take another step or move to any other place apart from the Lord’s presence and provision. He was basically saying, If you won’t go with us, then just kill us and end it here. He refused to take any action apart from God. This reveals his closeness to God which helps us to see why God spoke to him face to face like a friend.
His request to see God’s glory was immediately answered by God’s willingness to show His glory to Moses. God accommodated Moses request because he knew the heart of Moses. Compare Moses request with Dawkins statement, “Sir, why did you make yourself so hard to find?” If God would have chosen to answer such a statement coming from an Athiest, he would have said something like this. “You were never looking for me so you never found me.” God has nothing to reveal to unbelievers, but he is more than willing to interact with those earnestly seeking Him.
2. Elijah - I Kings 19
The account of Elijah, in 1 Kings 19, is another example of God revealing himself to someone he had a relationship with. Elijah, had just finished an encounter with 450 prophets of Baal, and after defeating them in a contest to have God call down fire on an offering, which God did, thereby proving that he existed and that Baal didn’t exist, Elijah had the false prophets killed which angered Queen Jezebel. She promised to kill Elijah, which sent him sprinting off into the desert to get away from the wicked Queen. God intervened in Elijah’s troubled world and restored him back to health and sanity at the Mt. Horeb Hilton, then this conversation took place between the Lord and Elijah.