Summary: God has given us what we need for eternal life and for spiritual growth in this life.
The God Who Provides
Note: I am suggesting that this text is partly a "midrash" (Rabbinic-style exposition and application) from Exodus 33:12-23 (and the concluding section, 34:33), particularly the phrase "grace and goodness," the idea of God providing with His presence, and Moses seeing the Lord, thus partaking of the "divine nature."
You might want to read the above Exodus passage first as a preliminary.
1. One title for God in the book of Genesis is, "The LORD Who Provides," Yahweh Yireh.
2. But God provides in a variety of ways. A Messianic Jewish brother relates:
"I was part of a singing group once that was scheduled to do a series of "peace" concerts in war-torn Northern Ireland. As Jews, we went with the message that Catholics and Protestants should stop fighting and behave...
We were scheduled one afternoon to do a concert outside of Wellworth's department store in downtown Londonderry. The weather looked menacing, but we knew the Lord wanted us there. We prayed that there would be no rain and expected a miracle. As we arrived at Wellworth's, the menacing sky menaced no more; it broke out in a thunderous downpour. We felt quite let down by God, to tell you the truth. Hadn't we prayed in faith? Hadn't we gone there at the risk of our lives to serve him? At the last moment, our guide found another venue, a store around the corner, where we could set up and sing, even with the pounding rain.
Then, in the middle of our concert, BOOM! A bomb had gone off, right next door to Wellworth's, the place where we would have been had the Lord "answered" our prayers.
Be encouraged. God always hears your prayers, but sometimes his answer is "No!" You wouldn't want it any other way." [from the daily e-mail devotional, "The Voice of the Lord"].
3. God provides us with what we need to do His will. This is true in all realms, including the spiritual realm.
Main Idea: God has given us what we need for eternal life and for spiritual growth in this life.
I. God Has Given Us Everything We Need for Eternal LIFE (3)
God has given us
• the righteousness of Christ,
• His Spirit, and
• His Word to provide us with the essentials of spiritual life;
A. Not all of life, but SPIRITUAL life
1. God does not tell us how to fill a tooth, how to invest for retirement, or what brand of toothpaste to use. False interpretation = Nouthetic counseling
2. We have many responsibilities and challenges in life, and He guides and comforts us along the way, but the life spoken of here is spiritual, eternal life.
B. God's Power is experienced as REGENERATION
C. Correlated with a saving KNOWLEDGE of Him
E. Applies only to those He has CALLED
F. God called us to display His GLORY and GOODNESS
I didn't mean to, but I accidentally stumbled over another midrash! I guess I can't help myself. Since I wrote up the outline on Thursday, I have stumbled across Exodus 33:12-23; please turn there:
Moses said to the LORD, "You have been telling me, 'Lead these people,' but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, 'I know you by name and you have found favor with me.' If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people."
The LORD replied, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."
Then Moses said to him, "If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 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?"
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."
Then Moses said, "Now show me your glory."
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. But," he said, "you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live."
Then the LORD said, "There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. 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. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen."