Summary: The story of the Bible is about God’s passionate pursuit of people. In Exodus, we see three things God gave us to make this a reality: the commandments, the tabernacle, and the offerings.
THE STORY #5: FRIENDSHIP WITH GOD (NEW COVENANT)
INTRO TO TOPIC: Going through the whole Bible in The Story. Review: In the first part of Exodus, God calls Moses to deliver His people from slavery in Egypt, through the Red Sea!
BACKGROUND TO THE STORY: Israel’s Arrival at Mount Sinai
“1 In the third month after the children of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on the same day, they came to the Wilderness of Sinai. 2 For they had departed from Rephidim, had come to the Wilderness of Sinai, and camped in the wilderness. So Israel camped there before the mountain. 3 And Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, "Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: 4 'You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to Myself. 5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. 6 And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.” (Exodus 19:1-6, NKJV).
• God’s greatest desire was to bring the children of Israel to Himself – friendship!
• What does God think about YOU? You are God’s treasure!
• “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9).
QUOTE: (Randy Frazee, The Heart of the Story).
“God’s desire for intimate relationship with us is the heartbeat of the Upper Story: God desperately wants to experience life with us. God tells Moses that three things had to be worked out in order for God to dwell among the Israelites: First, God insisted that his people must live by a set of guidelines… Second, God needed a place to stay (a tabernacle)… Third, God required a way to restore fellowship between a holy God and a sinful people (offerings).”
THE BIG IDEA:
The story of the Bible is about God’s passionate pursuit of people. In Exodus, we see three things God gave us to make this a reality: the commandments, the tabernacle, and the offerings.
1. THE COMMANDMENTS: A set of guidelines to live by
• After God brought His people to the mountain, He descended on the mountain in fire.
• Then God gave Moses the Ten Commandments. How many of you can name all ten?
ILLUSTRATION: I asked the youth on Friday night to list the Ten Commandments:
These are some of the ‘best’ answers they came up with…
• Don’t brutally decapitate your neighbor
• Don’t “borrow” your neighbor’s things
• Don’t be hitting on your neighbor’s wife
• Love your neighbors, love your family
• Love your girlfriend - Read your Bible
• Don’t shoot - Be nice to your neighbor
• Obey ma and pa - Share pizza with everyone
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS:
“1 And God spoke all these words, saying: 2 "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 You shall have no other gods before Me. 4 You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth… 7 You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain. 8 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work…
12 Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you. 13 You shall not murder. 14 You shall not commit adultery.
15 You shall not steal. 16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. 17 You shall not covet your neighbor's house… nor anything that is your neighbor's.” (Ex. 20:1-4,7-10,12-17).
• ILLUSTRATION: How to memorize the Ten Commandments
• In the New Testament, Jesus summed up these ten commandments with two:
• Love God and Love People. (paraphrase of Matt. 22:37-40).
• The purpose of these commandments = how to have healthy relationships (God and man).
THE INVITATION: To have personal friendship with God!
• “Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off. Then they said to Moses, "You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.” (Exodus 20:18-19).