Summary: It is absolutely essential that a church perceive itself as an institution for the glory of God. But sad to say, many churches (even here in the Philippines) have descended from a church that focuses on glorifying God into a church that focuses on men.
THE DESIRE TO GLORIFY GOD
Exodus 33:12-23 - "SHOW ME THY GLORY"
Prepared by: Pastor Tony Maramara
For: Passing the Baton Camp – UNIDA, Silang, Cavite – June 21, 2011 - 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Let us read Exodus 33:18 – “And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.”
Charles Spurgeon calls this “the greatest request a man ever made of God” and I agree with him.
How could Moses have asked for anything larger?
Usually when men pray, they want some special favor from the Lord.
“Lord, help me find a job” or “Heal my child” or “Save me from this day of trouble.”
Now, those prayers are noble in themselves because they ask of God what only God can give.
Even our “ordinary” prayers honor the Lord because they teach us that God is God and we are not.
Now, this prayer of Moses stands entirely alone. No other request can be compared to it.
The Glory of God is the sum total of who He is.
It is God’s power plus His wisdom plus His justice plus His mercy plus His holiness plus His love plus every other attribute of His character.
God’s glory is the shining forth of who God is in His essence.
We will understand this request more, if we consider the context.
• Moses just spent 40 days on Mount Sinai communing with the Lord.
• During those days on the mountain, God revelaed to Moses His law. He Himself wrote the Ten Commandments on the tablets of stone with His own hands.
• While Moses was with the Lord, the Bible says, the children of Israel grew restless, so Aaron gathered gold earrings from the people and made a golden calf. (The People’s BLATANT REBELLION)
• Exodus 32:4 said - they danced and shouted and proclaimed, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt”. The people offered sacrifices to the golden calf and they began to engage in wild revelry.
• And the Lord knew all about it that’s why He told Moses that He was going to destroy Israel and He will start over with a new nation that will worship Him alone and will not replace Him with other gods..
• But Moses interceded with the Lord for his stiff-necked and rebellious people.
• He solemnly told God claimed the promise God gave to their father Abraham, or in effect, Moses is telling God.
• Moses also with genuine concern said that the pagans would say He brought them into the wilderness just to kill them.
• So the Lord relented and He did not destroy the people.
• Then Moses came down from the mountain.
• When he saw the people and their wild celebration, he threw the stone tablets in his indignation. (Their sin’s BITTER RESULT)
• Then, Moses burned the golden calf, ground it to powder, mixed it with water, and made the people to drink it.
• Afrtewards, he called for those who were still loyal to God to rally to his side.
• We all know that – the Levites stood with him, and at his command, they went through the camp killing the idolaters. Three thousand people died that day. (in contrast to the dispesation of grace - 3,000 souls got saved at the day of Pentecost)
• The very next day, Moses pled with God for forgiveness for his people. He even asked God to blot his own name out of His book in order to save the people of Israel.
• God told him to lead the people away from Mt. Sinai and toward the Promised Land, but with one significant condition: God said in Exodus 33:3 - “I will not go with you, because you are a stiff-necked people and I might destroy you on the way”
Now listen, THIS IS OUR GREATEST FEAR—that when we go, the Lord will not go with us.
Let me ask you a question . . .
What makes a CHURCH – HIS CHURCH or CHRIST’S CHURCH?
• it is not the big edifice.
• it is not the big attendance or large number of church members.
• it is not the huge amount of the church’s weekly tithes and offerings.
• it is not the good sining ministry, gaya ng mahuhusay naspecial numbers and choir.
• it is not the crowd drawing, inspiring, and pulpit breaking preachings.
• it is not the expensive and luxurious vehicle.
• it is not the big financial support
The church or a church is His church – CHRIST’s CHURCH – because Christ is in the midst of it.
His Holy Presence, His approving Presence, the Lord Jesus Christ is in the midst of that congregation.
(Remember the Church in Laodecia? This church represents our present time. – the Church in Laodecia is a big church, a wealthy church, a popular church – except that is outside this church).