Today we are going to be looking at Exodus Chapter 3. In looking at this, I want to remind us all again that we are looking at this through the lens of our own exodus. If you are on Christ, you have been ransomed by Christ and this story is your story…
Before we read, let me ask you to think about what goes through your mind when you think about God? A. W. Tozer said, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. The history of mankind will probably show that no people has ever risen above its religion, and man’s spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than its idea of God. Worship is pure or base as the worshiper entertains high or low thoughts of God.
For this reason the gravest question before the Church is always God Himself, and the most portentous fact about any man is not what he at a given time may say or do, but what he in his deep heart conceives God to be like. We tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God. This is true not only of the individual Christian, but of the company of Christians that composes the Church. Always the most revealing thing about the Church is her idea of God.”
–A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy (New York: HarperCollins, 1961), 1.
SO, the question for us as we look at the exodus and think about our own exodus rom slavery to sin to slavery to righteousness, is this: what kind of God is saving us? This is something that every one of us needs to grapple with as we understand and grow in faith. Because here is the problem, there are lots and lots of ideas about God out there that arent anything like how God reveals himself to be. There are people who believe that God is a cosmic Genie who only wants us to be happy, and would never ask anyone to examine their hearts or say that how they are living their lives is wrong. Some people see God as the path to wealth and prosperity. Some people on the outside of faith see a God who oppresses people and is only out to beat people up when they step out of line. There are many many ideas aout there of what God is like, and who God is. SO it is incredibly important for us to understand who this God is that we are worshipping, and the best way to do that is to look at how he reveals himself. Lets read this chapter and see how He does that with Moses.
So here we have Moses, he has left Egypt never to return, He has found a wife and a profession, and has settled in to life. He takes his father in law’s sheep to graze near the mountain of God, or mount Sinai. There he sees this burning bush, and as any of us would do, he goes to check out this bush that is on fire, but not burning. So, God revealed himself first of all in a supernatural way. I don’t know how many times you have burned stuff, but if you were at my house last year when we burned Christmas trees, you would see what a miracle it was that this bush was not consumed. If you understand the Bible the way that I do, you understand that any time God reveals himself to any person, it is a supernatural revelation. We may not see a bush on fire that isn’t burned, but the very act of God opening our eyes to see the Gospel in a compelling way is a supernatural act. Then we see his exchange between God and Moses as God als Moses to be the tool through with God will deliver his people. In this exchange, we see God revealing himself to be a number of things. We are going to look at a few of those this morning.
1. God is Holy: Holiness is not something that I have ever really been able to grasp fully. I am not sure any of us will ever fully grasp it. The main idea of God being Holy is that He is totally different, set apart, unlike anything else. He is set apart from this world by His perfection and His goodness and his righteousness. To say that God is Holy is to in some way recognize our own lack of comprehension of God, because to call God Holy, is like saying the Milky Way is “big”. There are hundreds, if not thousands of descriptions of God wrapped up in the term, “holy”.
But God here reveals his Holiness to Moses, in an interesting way, he tells him to take his sandals off because the place he is standing is Holy Ground. Moses’ response was then to hide his face because he was afraid to look at God. SO, let me ask you this. Do you enter into worship with a reverence for God and HIs holiness, or do you enter into worship with a flippancy, like this is just something you do every day? Do you approach the throne of God with trembling and a little bit of fear, or do you walk into God’s presence like you own the place? You see the fact of the matter is that wherever God is, that place is Holy ground. So, here, in this state park, with all it’s beauty and all the nature, as we Gather to worship God, and His promise is to be with us, the place we are standing is holy ground, and therefore we should have a particular reverential fear. Because when we see God’s holiness, we can’t help but see our own unholiness.
2. God Is compassionate: God is a Holy God, to be sure, but in His holiness, he also has compassion on his people. God’s compassion is relentless towards those He loves. When God made the covenant with Abraham, you may recall that He walked through for both parties of the covenant, basically saying, my affection towards you and my promise to you weighs entirely on me. I will uphold your end, even when you are unfaithful, I will be faithful. And so, when he hears the cries of his people coming to him from their burdens, He acts out of His compassionate heart. Now, some of you may see God as a compassionate God to those who dont yet know him, or you may talk of God as compassionate to others, but in your own mind and heart, you are struggling with a secret sin, and you feel guilty because you have been a Christian for so long, and you should be “beyond this” by now, and so you feel condemnation because you dont believe that God will be compassionate to you anymore….
3. God is “I AM”: Here we see another display of God’s character is that when Moses asks who he should tell the people who sent him, the Lord’s response is “I AM WHO I AM.” While this answer may be a little confusing, think about a few attributes of God’s character that are encapsulated in this statement: God is Self Existent and not dependent on anything else for His existence. God is the created and sustainer of all that exists. God is immutable in His being and character, and so He is never in a place of growing from one thing to another, He is the same, yesterday, today and forever. and God is eternal in His existence. Those are all things that can be described by the name “I Am”, But the most important truth that is displayed in this name is that God is a God who is with His people. As we will see in the coming months, that God’s plan for redemption is a plan to redeem a people unto Himself. He wants to save us, so that we can be close to Him. He was close to his people as the tabernacle was in the middle of the camp, and His plan of being close to his people was finally fulfilled in what Christ did to truly ransom God’s people to himself.
Do you know that God is Holy?
Do you Know that God is Compassionate on YOU?
Do you know that God is with you?
if you are a believer, you have experienced all of those things, if you are not a believer…