Summary: What the nation of Israel worshiped determined their future. Sermon begins with Moses at the Burning bush and ends with the people at Mount Sinai.
Worship: Your future decided
Grant van Boeschoten
September 16, 2007
James Michener, writing in his book, The Source, tells the story of a man named Urbaal, who was a farmer living about 2200 B.C. He worshiped two gods, one a god of death, the other a goddess of fertility.
One day, the temple priests tell Urbaal to bring his young son to the temple for sacrifice—if he wants good crops. Urbaal obeys, and on the appointed day drags his wife and boy to the scene of the boy’s “religious execution” by fire to the god of death.
After the sacrifice of Urbaal’s boy, and several others, the priests announce that one of the fathers will spend next week in the temple, with a new temple prostitute. Urbaal’s wife is stunned as she notices a desire written more intensely across his face than she had seen before, and she is overwhelmed to see him eagerly lunge forward when his name is called.
The ceremony over, she walks out of the temple with her head swimming, concluding that “if he had different gods, he would have been a different man.”
Looking over the history of the nation of Israel in the Bible I can see that who or what they worshiped determined their future.
What they worshipped they gave their time to. What they worshiped they placed as number one in their priorities. What the nation of Israel worshiped was a indicator of where their hearts where at. It was an indicator of their relationship with God.
• Jacob moved from Promised Land to Egypt.
• Cry to God for a deliverer
God heard their cries and raised up a man by the name of Moses.
• Pharaoh’s courts
• Knew who his people were
• Killed Egyptian man
• Ran away to desert, wilderness of Sinai
It was in that desert that Moses’ life was realigned to the plan that God had for his him.
Mount Horeb – burning bush
Ex 3:4-6 (NASB)
When the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here I am." 5 Then He said, "Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground." 6 He said also, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
God said that he heard the groaning of his people in Egypt. God told Moses that he was to lead the people out of Egypt right back to the spot where they were standing.
Ex 3:12 (NASB)
12 And He said, "Certainly I will be with you, and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God at this mountain."
A lot of times we here the story of the exodus and we think that the climax was entering the Promised Land. But God says, you will come to this mountain and worship. God intended that the pinnacle of the journey would be a worship experience at Mount Sinai.
Do you know that the meeting at Mount Sinai would be the most significant event to happen between Creation and the Cross?
It is more important than
• David and Goliath
• Elijah slaying the prophets of Baal
• Esther saving the lives of the Jews
• Joshua and the conquest of Canaan.
That mountain was the place where God would reveal himself to the Israelites.
• It is the place where he would establish covenant with them.
• It is the place where the Tabernacle would be set up.
• At the base of the mountain the mercy seat would be set up.
This worship meeting at Mount Sinai would be the biggest event that the people of Israel would ever experience in their lives. It is at this mountain that they would experience the awesome majesty of God.
• Moses asks for signs/help
• God sends Aaron as spokesman
Moses and Aaron were taken before Pharaoh and they spoke the words of God, “Let my people go that they might worship.” But Pharaoh had a hard heart. He said, “I don’t know this God that you are talking about. I will not let your people go.”
• Pharaoh takes away straw
• Israelites are treated harshly and complain to Pharaoh
“You ask us to make bricks but you don’t give us straw. How can you be so unjust to your own people?”
• Deceived, thought that they were Pharaoh’s people