Exodus 34 - The Jealous Passion of God

Exodus 34 couple weeks ago I began a

series that I'm going to be doing here

which I'm going to be calling the beauty

of holiness the beauty of holiness when

we think of holy very often we don't

think of being beautiful but that's

because we don't understand what

holiness really is amen and so we're

going to be talking about the beauty and

majesty of the holiness of God and how

that sticks to you as his daughter and

has his son and so we're going to be

talking about that in the coming weeks

last week we talked about how the word

holy means to be set apart for God and

so to be set apart for God means that we

belong to God in a special way he said

that you of all the nations on earth God

speaking of the people of Israel you

will be my treasured possession you will

be for me a royal priesthood and a holy

nation you will be a special people to

your God and that's what holiness is

about belonging to god now part of that

holiness and belonging to god also

involves a type of intimacy with God now

how many people know that we make a big

deal here about the fact that we can

know God in a personal way we are not

religious here right the phrase religion

for many of us connotes going to church

and doing religious activities we

believe in a relationship with the

Living God that we can know God the way

we know a person and he can know us now

I want to begin before we really dig

into this just by reading a little quote

from one of my favorite books that I've

been digging out aw tozer the pursuit of

god

those of you who know this was written

in the in the late 40s some are you

gonna think Greg have you read anything

that was written in the past 10 or 20

years I don't know I like the old stuff

a lot aw aw tozer was a pastor who had a

little rug in his office and every now

and then his secretary would walk in on

him face down on that little raggedy

like oh excuse me you know there he goes

again cuz he would be face down

worshipping silently he knew what it was

to enjoy the presence of God and he says

that many of us go through life trying

to love and ideal and be loyal to a mere

principle we go through lot life viewing

God as an ideal and trying to love and

ideal and be loyal to a mere principle

but over against all this cloudy

vagueness stands the clear scriptural

doctrine that God can be known in

personal experience God wants us to know

him and God wants to know us and have a

passionate intimate relationship with

him now for our side that means God

wants us to be passionate for him to be

addicted to him and from his hot side

we're going to see that that passion is

going to be communicated and I want to

talk about this today as jealousy

jealousy there's this silence in the

room are you are you allowed to say that

correct are you sure you know what

you're talking about we're gonna be

talking today about how a key component

of a holy intimate relationship with God

is understanding that our God is a

jealous God okay let's let's read if

you'd open with me to Exodus 34 verse 8

Exodus 34 verse 8

this is the end of a long historic

interaction between Moses and the Lord

Moses expressly expressing his passion

for God's presence God meeting him

Exodus 34 verse 8 we're going to come

back of what led up to this says Moses

bowed to the ground at once and

worshiped lord he said if I have found

favor your eyes then let the Lord go

with us although this is a stiff-necked

people forgive our wickedness and our

sin and take us as your inheritance

verse 10 then the Lord said I am making

a covenant with you before all your

people I will do wonders never before

done in any nation in all the world the

people you live among will see how

awesome is the work that i the lord will

do for you obey what i command you today

i will drive out before you the amorite

Canaanites Hittites parasites invites

and jebusites will talk about that be

careful not to make a treaty with those

who live in the land where you are going

or they will be a snare among you break

down their altar smash their sacred

stones and cut down their ashra poles do

not worship any other God for the Lord

whose name is jealous is a jealous God

let's pray father we come before you and

lord I thank you that sometimes behind

the most confusing inexplicable parts of

the Bible lie the greatest treasures so

I pray you would open up before you the

majesty and the glory of what it means

that you are jealous for us Holy Spirit

I pray that you would move through this

reflection God that you would speak to

me and threw me in Jesus name Amen

just in case you're wondering if god

made a mistake and accidentally use the

word jealous here in Deuteronomy for 23

and 24 you don't have to look for it but

I'm just going to read it Moses said

with the Lord speaking through him take

care lest you forget the Covenant of the

Lord your God which he made with you and

make a carved image the form of anything

that the Lord your God has forbidden you

for the Lord your God is a consuming

fire a jealous God well so he repeated

it and this comes up over and over again

our God is a consuming fire our God is a

jealous God and in the text we read it

says the Lord whose name is jealous is a

jealous God so we can't hide from this

this is there it's in our face so to

speak because God wants us to see that

component of him now now I want to talk

about this a little bit because um isn't

jealousy bad right isn't jealousy bad

when you were a kid and you're jealous

for your friends toys no isn't that bad

usually right or how about when you're a

teenager know and and that that perfect

guy or that perfect girl falls in love

with your best friend and there's

consuming jealousy isn't that kind of we

see that is kind of a something we grow

out of eventually so if you're living

that right now I don't mean to minimize

it so we might have some teenager here

is like it right you have no idea how

hard it is it is hard you know the

jealousy we might experience some of us

have experienced that combination of

insanity and jealousy that go together

insane jealousy where you see things

where they're not right you're paranoid

you know everyone's looking at my wife

yeah

jealousy usually it's not a good thing

right so how can we use it of God the

fact is jealousy doesn't always have to

be neurotic or inappropriate or sinfully

possessive jealousy can be and is I

believe a certain type of it the

expression of God's Holy passionate love

for his people talk about this there are

some situations even the word in the

Hebrew and in the Greek connotes warmth

heat passion the redness of the face

when a person becomes angry the same

word is translated in the New Testament

as Zeile passion consuming fire listen

to song of solomon where it says set me

as a seal on your heart the beloved says

to the lover as a seal on your arm for

love is as strong as death and jealousy

is fierce as the grave its flashes are

flashes of fire the very flame of the

Lord jealousy and passion go together

the problem with human jealousy is that

we're passionate about the wrong things

at the wrong times right jealousy

sometimes can be a very good God

ordained appropriate holy emotion now I

don't want to justify things here some

of you needed to work on toning the

jealousy down right so I want to mess up

any situations here but let's talk about

this the Apostle Paul says to the

Corinthians in first Corinthians 11 too

he said I am jealous for you with a

godly jealousy see the Corinthians had

begun to stray away from worshiping God

and had started getting into some crazy

new fangled kind of teachings that were

in fashion from super apostles the

Apostle Paul says I am jealous for you

with a godly jealousy I promised you the

Apostle Paul says to the Corinthians to

one husband to Christ

so that I might present you as a pure

virgin to him but I'm afraid that just

as Eve was deceived by the Serpent's

cunning your minds may somehow be led

astray from your sincere and pure

devotion to Jesus see that's good

jealousy it's gel it's the jealousy that

exists that is appropriate in an excuse

the the long language here in an

exclusive covenantal relationship it's

jealousy that exists when there is a

relationship that is rightly and

appropriately exclusive in nature and

there's an arrangement between the two

where the one has promised him or

herself to the other and there's an

appropriate belonging exclusive

relationship when something rightfully

belongs to you is precious and is not to

be shared there are some things that

we're not supposed to share right the

the Patriots are not supposed to share

Gronkowski with the you know Cowboys

today he's our he's crazy and you know

but he's ours and that's appropriate he

signed a contract no a citizen of a

country is not to be shared with the

army of an enemy country right you know

I even feel weird sometimes in wedding

rehearsals I'll you know will want to

practice with a ring right I got the

couple there and they gotta practice

with a ring and every time then I'll

take off my ring and say here practice

with this one and something feels weird

about that no not supposed to share that

right right amen I'm sorry

I'm gonna lose it w problem big problem

there are some things that belonged to

you rightfully lawfully and they are not

to be shared with anyone else holiness

is like that it is exclusive in nature

in the same way marriage is an exclusive

relationship a husband doesn't share his

wife with others and a wife doesn't

share her husband with others amen and

then it's exclusive right well in the

same way God will not and should not

share his people with other gods they

are holy to him he is the God we talked

about a couple weeks ago who has

redeemed you he's the God who fought for

you who bought you with a price he sent

His Son Jesus to die for you so that you

might be his treasured possession that

out of all the people on earth you would

be royal priesthood a holy nation you

are his treasured possession and he

treasures his people passionately they

are not to be shared with other gods now

some of you were thinking okay I got

that yeah I'm not gonna go worship any

idols but this was a big deal for the

Israelites and it's a big deal for us

because the Israelites were chronically

unfaithful to the God who wanted to

enter into a covenant ille intimate

almost marriage type of relationship

with them they had a tendency to be what

the prophets called an adulterous nation

committing spiritual adultery with other

gods you see God had made his proposal

to them he said if you will obey my

covenant you will be for me a special

people among all the nations on earth a

royal priesthood a holy nation my

treasure possession and they Moses came

down the mountain he said God's got a

proposal for us he wants to make us his

people and the people responded saying

no God was down on one knee offering the

ring and they said yes until Moses goes

back up the mountain and he's getting

laws about what what this relationship

is going to involve and and he even

gives them they even start planning a

weekly date night called the Sabbath

right said once a week one day just me

and you just me and you you're not gonna

work that day it's just gonna be us and

we're gonna renew our relationship even

they were working on building a home

that God was gonna move into right among

them called the tabernacle a movable

temple that they were gonna build God's

presence was gonna be there it was gonna

be great it was gonna be intimate and

Moses is up there and God is on the top

of Mount Sinai this is in the desert

right and he's talking to God and the

cloud is there and there's fire and

there's lightning and the Lord is

talking he's got his finger and he's

writing I don't know how he's writing in

the tablets the law and in the middle of

that guess what was going on down at the

bottom of the mountain anybody know the

story some of you might some of you

might be new and not so sure what was

going on down there down at the bottom

Moses had a brother an older brother

believe it or not who was there with the

people and the people came up to him and

said you know what this Moses just you

know what they said this guy Moses

that's in a literal Hebrew this guy

Moses este tipo muy seis know who who

who brought us out of Egypt we're doing

was Moses who brought you out of Egypt

this guy Moses who brought us out of

Egypt we don't know what happened to him

he's gone I don't know and you would

think Aaron would say well see that big

cloud up on that mountain with the

thunder and lightning he's he's up there

nobody doesn't they're like we don't

know what happened to him make us gods

that we can worship that can go before

us so that we can conquer the way and

you know what Aaron does he does it he

makes a golden calf the text implies

might have been multiple a golden calf a

statue

of a cow bull whatever made out of gold

he fashions it with a tool he took the

time to work on it and then he takes it

out to the people and says behold the

Lord your God who brought you up out of

Egypt and people like yeah and they

built an altar and they had a festival

and they they worshiped this did this

this a golden calf to statue and then

the Bible says they got up to engage in

revelry revelry that's a good old

fashioned word right I don't know

exactly what revelry means but it gets

bad right there running around later it

says they were running out of control

there's I mean this is a pagan frenzy

people running around nudity was

probably involved violence was probably

involved immorality was involved it was

so loud that when God was when when

Moses came down the mountain with Joshua

Joshua said is there a battle going on I

hear a battle going on in the camp and

most it's like got bad news for you

Joshua that's not a battle you know it

is a type of battle but not what you

think it so the Lord before Moses even

went down he said this to Moses he said

these people have already become corrupt

we're not even on the honeymoon and

they're already yep messing around with

other gods excuse my I know this is

family friendly family friendly we have

under 13 here I have seen these people

the Lord said to Moses and they are a

stiff-necked people that's a phrase that

is repeated over and over again a

stiff-necked people what does it mean

anyone ever had a stiff neck

stiff neck I've had a whole stiff back

and I was Luud stay in bed all day you

were all here and I was anyway but it's

hard when you've got a really stiff neck

someone calls Greg hey Greg

you're turning really slowly you're not

responsive to a person who calls you you

see there's a lot of different ways that

God could have described the sin of the

Israelites but he chose the image of

being stiff necked because he's that

husband calling his bride into intimacy

with him and she's looking the other way

and she turns real slowly she just won't

respond to him stiff-necked people god

is so so disgusted by what's going on

down there that he actually starts to

have a conversation with Moses he's like

you know Moses I know I proposed to the

people of Israel that they were gonna be

my people I was gonna be their God but

you know I'm just not sure this is gonna

work out you know and in fact I'm gonna

destroy them and start over with you and

mo's it's like I did the Egyptians and

Moses is like know if you do that then

the Egyptians are going to say you just

took us out to the desert to kill us

it's gonna it's gonna make it's gonna be

will be a laughingstock I don't want to

be a new Adam I don't want to be a new

Noah let's just work with these people

and gods like well okay so Moses goes

down the mountain and he finds this

chaos he approaches his brother Aaron

and and just imagine the conversation

there's the there's the golden calf

there there people are running around

like all around them you know you know

crazy chivos seem leg chivo steal a

there's a saying in spanish goats

without law they were like goats without

law they're running around and most like

Aaron what are you doing and Aaron

Cyclops I don't know I they I don't know

they came up to me they gave me all

their earrings and stuff and and and and

we threw it in the oven and out popped

this calf

that's in the literal Hebrew by the way

guys out pop this gaff I don't I I

didn't it just came out of the oven like

this and was my goodness and so it was a

mess there was a plague on the people

thousands died as a result of the plague

that happened the Levites had to head

after you know you know what Moses did

he took the calf he ground it into

powder he put it in water and then the

Bible says he made him drink it no I add

just the image I just love the image

he's like you guys like your golden calf

even he's got the water they're right

here drink it yeah how's that you like

it Moses had some attitude here he was

kind of you know had a little rough

around the edges sometimes but it was

probably also there was probably a

ritual involved of testing them to see

who was more guilty than others etc

anyway it was a bad scene God said you

know we need to have another

conversation cuz Moses you pleaded with

me so I'm not gonna totally give up on

this relationship but I'm just not sure

it's going to work out look at the

conversation that God has with Moses and

here we're going to be talking about how

the jealousy of God begins to fit in and

how the passion of Moses for God fits

into a holy relationship Exodus 33 God

is talking to Moses and we're going to

read one of the most famous dialogues

between God and a human in the history

of humanity it's an amazing historic

moment Exodus 33 then the Lord said to

Moses leave this place you and the

people that you brought up out of Egypt

and go up to the land that I promised on

oath to Abraham Isaac and Jacob saying i

will give to your descendants this land

i will send an angel before you and

drive out and then he lists the nations

that we're living in the promised land

that they're going to drive out the

Canaanites amirite Hittites parasites

Hittites and Jeb besides go up to the

land flowing with milk and honey but

verse 3 Exodus 33 3 but I will not go

with you because you are a stiff-necked

p

and I might destroy you on the way when

the people heard these distressing words

they began to mourn and no one put on

any ornaments for the Lord had said to

Moses tell the Israelites you are a

stiff-necked people if I were to go with

you even for a moment I might destroy

you now take off your ornaments and I

will decide what to do with you so the

Israelites stripped off their ornaments

at Mount hor so God wasn't going to give

up on them he was going to send an angel

before them some sort of a destroying

angel that would enable them to still

take possession of the promised land but

he said I personally in his presence

would not go with him now I want to talk

a little bit about what he's referring

to here I'm gonna have some graphics and

paintings next week but he's talking

about the visible Shekinah presence of

god that was among them I want to talk

about what that means see God we believe

God is everywhere but there are certain

places and times and situations in which

God manifests his presence in a powerful

personal special way now in that time

God had manifests his presence as a

cloud a majestic cloud the towered way

up you know higher than the ceiling an

enormous cloud a pillar of cloud that

would accompany them by day an enormous

shadow would be cast and then that cloud

at night would turn to fire it was a

fire cloud it was a glory glory cloud he

was pyrotechnics like Steven Spielberg

can't do this was spectacular you know

that's why sometimes we think if god

were just to manifest himself than

everyone believed in him right

historically it's not so very often when

God is most present people are most

sinful it's weird it's weird so it's

about the human heart so he was present

in this spectacular cloud it was like

God had

zipped that invisible barrier between

heaven and earth and the heavenly

dimension was open there was a portal to

the heavenly realm and the presence of

God was right there walking with them it

was amazing it was awesome it was

spectacular and Moses look at what

happened would happen with Moses verse 7

now Moses Exodus 33 verse 7 now Moses

used to take a tent and pitch it outside

the camp some distance away calling it

the tent of meeting and anyone inquiring

of the Lord will go to the tent of

meeting outside the camp and whenever

Moses went out to the tent all the

people rose and stood the entrance to

their tents watching Moses until he

entered the tent and as Moses went into

the tent the pillar of cloud would come

down and stay at the entrance while the

Lord spoke with Moses whenever the

people saw the pillar of cloud standing

at the entrance to the tent they all

stood and worshiped each at the entrance

of their tent and the Lord would speak

to Moses face to face as one speaks to a

friend then Moses would return to the

camp but as young a Joshua of none never

did leave the tent he would stay in the

tent so Moses had this tent of meeting

where he would go it was outside the

camp where he wouldn't be distracted

where the presence of God would come and

God would talk to Moses face to face as

a person talks to his friend it was an

amazing intimate relationship with God

that he had and so he is it talking to

God and God says I'm sorry Moses i'm

going to send an angel with you but i'm

not going to be able to send my presence

with you because we've already

discovered that this just doesn't work

so like any other good breakup

conversation he's saying it's not you

it's me because if I were to come with

you even for a minute I destroy all of

you so I guess it kind of is you you're

a stiff-necked people this just isn't

going to work you see the presence of

God God is a holy God morally perfect

completely powerful other than human and

people I don't know if you know but we

are not innately holy and

you are in perfect right we are a

stiff-necked people too if you know

yourself you know at my own my son have

this question from when he was five

years old daddy and why is it so much

easier to do bad things and so hard to

do good things why do I enjoy bad things

more than this poor deep little kid

struggling with his existential original

sin right now so tight just need to

chill that's all right I get it but we

have that sinfulness and God's presence

in the presence of sinful people is like

nuclear power it becomes even though it

is because it's so powerful that present

it becomes toxic to human sinfulness

like hey and the presence of fire they

don't mix so God says this just isn't

gonna work Moses could not imagine the

thought of going to try to conquer the

promised land without the presence of

God with him you see he had acquired a

taste for the presence of God I want to

ask if you have ever acquired that taste

in the Psalms it says taste and see that

the lord is good when you taste God's

presence like many of you most of you

were in the worship that presence

becomes addictive my god i just i don't

want i want to be like a little Joshua

who didn't leave the tent maybe he

wasn't so little I don't know young

Joshua I want to be in your presence day

night 24 7 don't leave me God Moses goes

ballistic on God look at this

conversation okay Exodus 33 we're going

to see a dialogue between Moses and the

Lord and Moses is going to insist

sometimes insanely he's almost

irrational in the conversation listen to

this listen to this verse 12 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

well 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

then 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 but I

thought God just said yes it's almost

like okay you can outcome no you have to

come didn't I just say I was gonna come

no don't leave me Moses I'm coming

because it's that intense his feelings

for God just I don't want to be without

you and look at what goes on and God 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 says I will cause oh 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 and then I

will remove my hand and you will see my

back but my face must not be seen then

it goes on and he has this encounter

with the Lord the Lord I'm gonna go

ahead and read the encounter then we're

going to come back verse after 34 verse

1 stick with me okay this is important

then the Lord said to Moses Chiss

allowed two stone tablets like the first

ones and i will write on them the words

that were written on the first tablets

which you broke by the way be ready in

the morning and then come up on Mount

Sinai

present yourself to me they're on top of

the mountain no one is to come with you

or to be seen anywhere on the mountain

not even the flocks and herds may graze

in front of the mountain so Moses

chiseled out two stone tablets like the

first ones he went up Mount Sinai early

in the morning as the LORD commanded him

and he carried the two stone tablets in

his hands then the Lord came down in the

cloud and stood there with him and

proclaimed his name the Lord and he

passed in front of Moses proclaiming the

Lord the Lord Yahweh Yahweh the

compassionate and gracious God slow to

anger abounding in love and faithfulness

maintaining love to thousands and

forgiving wickedness rebellion and sin

yet he does not leave the guilty

unpunished he punishes the children and

their children for the sin of the

parents to the third and fourth

generation and that's when Moses fell on

his face and said god I'm just gonna ask

one more time please go with us Moses

and God he loved the Lord he had a

passion for God I want to be like that

when I grow up I want to be a man who is

hungry for the presence of the Living

God who can't get enough of God I tell

you I know some people who have big

struggles all of us right who here

doesn't have big struggles but I know

folks are dealing with major addictions

major problems and they some of them

many of them are hungry for the presence

of the Living God and when I look out

and I see people worshiping I know that

God God is pleased because he sees

hearts that are hungry for him I see I

know people who've been Christians for

30 40 50 years and are still hungry like

Moses was you know it's interesting

Moses insists he says how will anyone

know that you are pleased with us if you

don't come with us and God says I will

come with you and I will give you rest

what's up with that I will give you rest

there's a verse from a beautiful

Christian writer for many centuries ago

named Agustin who said as humans our

hearts are restless until they find rest

in the Lord God we look for rest in

everything else we think we will finally

be at rest when a certain problem is

fixed or when we get a certain thing

we're waiting for then I'll be happy

then I'll be at rest and then when we

get there there's still a restlessness

because nothing can feel that God shaped

vacuum except God himself you're looking

you're looking you're looking but you

were made for God and your heart will be

restless until your heart finds rest in

his arms God is your home he is your

destination you're not looking you're

looking everywhere else no there's a

beautiful course in Spanish you know

gonzo go so go so es lo que buscaba

busca vero no better lobo cava donde no

idea I was looking for joy joy joy but I

looked in all the wrong places it's

right here God is right here the answer

to your deepest hearts longing is right

before us it's not far away he is closer

than you can imagine I will give you

rest Jesus had come to me all you who

are weary and heavy laden and I will

give you rest take my yoke upon you and

learn from me for I am humble and gentle

in heart and you will find rest for your

souls stop looking everywhere else look

where you were made to look come home

come home now Moses like I said got a

little irrational he just we just went

nuts he's like God if you don't come

with is you don't have to convince him

Moses he just said yes okay but it's

like he's just intoxicated here he's

like if you don't come with us what will

distinguish us from all the other

nations on earth in other words we don't

just want an angel we want the real

thing

if we don't have Moses is saying the

authentic living presence of the Living

creator of heaven and earth among us

then we're no different from any other

nation I say the same thing for the

Church of the Living God as Christians

as a church if we don't experience the

presence of God in our midst then we are

no different from any other organization

or club we are not a philosophical club

that's United around certain principles

we are not a social organization we are

not a political action organization we

are not a social service organization we

are certainly not a social club we're

definitely not an ethnic organization or

we would be doing a really crazy job of

it since you get a little bit of

everything here we are to be the people

of the Living God a royal priesthood a

holy nation a people called out of

darkness that we might proclaim the

wonders of him who called us into his

marvelous light that's were meant to be

but apart from the presence of God we're

nothing we're no different from anyone

else it's like that as people as

Christians it is the presence of God in

your heart when you accept Jesus in your

heart that makes you special it's

knowing him that makes you have a

meaning and success as a human being now

you might do a lot of good things you

might achieve some great things but at

the end of the day it all comes down to

one thing the Apostle Paul said I have a

great resume but I consider it all

rubbish that I might gain Christ and

know him and become like him in his

death that's all that's what makes me a

special person you know what's beautiful

about that then no matter what happens

no one can take that away from you

because you will have ups and downs

right you'll lose a job you'll lose a

ministry your relationship might not

work out help me but what makes me

meaningful is that I know

Living God is a beautiful verse in

Jeremiah 9 23 thus says the Lord let not

the wise man boast in his wisdom let not

the mighty man boast in his might let

not the rich man boast in his riches but

let him who boasts boast in this that he

understands and knows me that i am the

lord who practices steadfast love

justice and righteousness in the earth

for in these things I delight you know

the Living God you are the precious

possession of the Living God and that is

what makes us different from all the

other nations on earth it's quite a high

calling it's all about knowing God now

it's interesting Moses wouldn't settle

can you believe it imagine if you go go

home to pray I hope you have a spot

where you like to pray right right you

got your little for your seat cocoon

deals right we talked about in

discipleship your appointment with God

you got a spot you go imagine you're

praying you're sitting at the kitchen

table it's tomorrow morning six thirty

in the morning you got your cup of

coffee or you're in a park you're

sitting at a bench it's ten in the

morning it's your time with the Lord and

a cloud descends on you and you hear the

audible voice of God talking to you I

don't know about you but I'd be like I'm

good that's I'm good for today that was

good yeah that was a good quiet time it

wasn't good enough for Moses see when it

comes to hunger for God it's okay to be

a little greedy sort of like and they

were coming back to jealousy now right

just like in intimacy in a marriage it's

okay to be greedy for more intimacy for

more love it's God wants to be wanted

God seeks us to seek him he said seek

and you will find knock and the door

will be open because everyone who asks

for seeds he who seeks finds the one who

knocks the door will be open which one

of you you know fathers if you have have

children you know who asked wouldn't

give to him but before that he talks

about the pushy neighbor i love this

parable you hear me talk about it all

the time

anyone have a pushy neighbor right or

pushy friend birds barges in you know

like Kramer and Seinfeld goes right into

the fridge doesn't even ask right well

the neighbor knocking at the door I've

got company can I borrow some bread it's

two in the morning i'm in bed get out of

here I got company can I borrow some

food okay okay okay God says the man

will get up and give him everything he

asked for not because he's his friend

but because he's pushy in greed you know

what the word is in Greek in Greek it's

the same as the Spanish sin verguenza

porter Saracen verguenza for being his

shameless impudent pushy obnoxious self

he'll get up and give him everything I

we push you with the Lord okay I don't

want you to be obnoxious to God I want

to be rude but maybe push a little more

that's a god I need more of you and I

will not be satisfied like Jacob who's

wrestling with the angel I won't let go

until you bless me God wants to be like

Moses who says I it's not good enough a

cloud isn't good enough can you believe

that a cloud isn't good enough I'd like

a cloud he's a cloud isn't good enough I

want to understand your ways I want to

know what makes you tick I want to

understand your heart how you feel what

you think about things I want to

understand your logic the logic of

heaven and God is touched I week you can

touch God in the sense of impact his

heart he's like I can hear the Lord

saying I'll do the very thing you asked

I'll go with you I'll give you rest and

then Moses again that's not enough show

me your glory he's insisting he's

demanding he's knocking at the door I

guess I co k okay we're good all right

he likes that wrestling and gods like

you go to the mountain you hide in the

cleft of the rock and I'm gonna cause he

doesn't say look what he says I will

cause all my goodness to pass in front

of you you see Moses didn't need any

more

fireworks he'd seen plenty of

pyrotechnics he'd seen the Thunder he'd

seen the lightning he'd heard the voice

he'd heard a trumpet blasting he knew

God was powerful he's seen the

separating of the Red Sea he'd seen the

plagues on Egypt he's like I that's all

great but I want to know your heart your

goodness and God appears to him in the

cloud again and then it's a beautiful

image the cloud passes by him you see

before the cloud was at the gate of his

tent but now the cloud is passing almost

over him through him around him and God

proclaims his name and look at this this

is seminal for the people of Israel and

for us Exodus 34 and I read it already

but in verse 6 he says the Lord the Lord

in the Hebrew is Yahweh I am Yahweh

Yahweh the compassionate and gracious

God slow to anger abounding in love and

faithfulness compassionate God is

compassionate the word in the Hebrew is

the same word that's used for the womb

it's a love that comes from the in the

Greek they use the words bluntness which

I love because it sounds like it's from

your guts it's from your gut

compassionate God is compassionate God

cares the compassionate God and then

there's some other amazing where's

listen to the compassionate and gracious

God slow to anger and abounding in love

and faithfulness love is not good enough

hear the word in Hebrew there is a said

try saying it with me you got to sound

like you're coughing I said just right I

said it's one of the best words in the

Bible it means the loving steadfast

never giving up never relenting never

letting you down love it's the love that

just won't let go of you it's

unconditional it's amazing it's awesome

it's addictive it's the love of God that

passes all understanding it's the love

that the Apostle Paul prayed that we

would understand that God would open the

eyes of our heart so that we would

understand how

high and deep and wide and long as the

love of God that surpasses all

understanding that we would swim in an

ocean of God's love that love would be

the oxygen that we breathe love of God

that's asset and that's what God

proclaimed full of love and faithfulness

the word is truth you run a someone else

who came full of grace and truth in the

New Testament in the Greek New Testament

the same word was used Kairos that's why

name we named care is that means grace

grace Jesus came full of grace and truth

same words the same Yahweh that appeared

to Moses is Jesus who comes to us in

human form full of head and truth he

comes to you and he loves you he's also

full of justice and truth and he and and

the sins do have consequences he is holy

the holy God when we experience this

love of God and I'm talking here about

more than just cognitive belief I'm

talking about an emotional experience I

don't believe our faith should be based

on emotions but emotions are good I want

you to feel God's presence I want you

and me to taste and see that the Lord is

good i'd like to read a little testimony

written by one of my favorite christian

preachers from church history in the

nineteenth centuries name was Charles

Finney and he was revivalists around

these parts especially in New York in

the early 1800s big part of the

abolition movement came out of the

revivals that he led he writes in his

autobiography and it's kind of old a

little old-fashioned English so if

you'll bear with me he writes about his

moment of when he received a mighty what

he calls a baptism in the Holy Ghost if

you'll listen this is going to be story

time with uncle Greg for a minute here I

want to read this story Tok because

is awesome first he has sort of a vision

of Jesus as he becomes a Christian and

he says I wept aloud like a child and

this man by the way was a lawyer so he

was a very successful lawyer he wasn't

you know he was a very dignified man I

wept aloud like a child and made such

confessions as I could with my choked

utterance it seemed to me that I bathed

Jesus's feet with my tears and yet I had

no distinct impression that I had

touched him that I recollect I must have

continued in the state for a good while

but my mind was too much absorbed with

the interview to recollect anything I

had said but I know as soon as my mind

became calm enough to break off the

interview I return to the front office

he's in his law office when all this

happened I went to the front office and

found that the fire that I had made of

large wood was nearly burned out but as

I turned and was about to take a seat by

the fire i received a mighty baptism of

the Holy Ghost without any expectation

of it without ever having the thought of

my mind that there was any such thing

for me without any recollection that I

had ever even heard of the thing

mentioned by any person in the world the

Holy Spirit descended on me in a manner

that seemed to go through me body and

soul I could feel the impression like a

wave of electricity going through and

through me indeed it seemed to come in

waves and waves of liquid love for I

could not express it in any other way it

seemed like the very breath of God I can

recollect distinctly that it seemed to

fan me like immense wings no words can

express the wonderful love that was shed

abroad in my heart I wept aloud with joy

and love and I do not know but i should

say literally i bellowed out the

unutterable gushing zuv my heart these

waves came over and over me and over me

one after the other until I recollect I

cried out I shall die if these waves

continue to pass over me I said lord I

cannot bear anymore yet I have no fear

of death how long I continued in the

state with this

baptism continuing to roll over me and

go through me I do not know but I know

it was late in the evening when a member

of my choir for I was the leader of the

choir came into the office to see me he

was a member of the church he found me

in the state of loud weeping and said to

me mr. Finney what ails you I could make

him no answer for some time then he said

are you in pain I gathered myself up as

best I could and I replied no but so

happy that I cannot live how about that

huh God invites us to experience him he

is jealous for us to have intimacy with

him now after God meets Moses he makes

it clear that there's going to be some

conditions to this relationship okay

when I do a wedding one of my favorite

lines one of my favorite lie dry should

like all of them should night you know

especially the vowel part when I do

weddings there's one part that I

remember that Barry who married the

pastor who married i said when i do this

part Greg I'm really gonna look at you

and I'm like okay yes sir I said there's

one part where they say well it's the I

do part where you're asking them things

do you take this woman to be your

lawfully wedded wife to have and to hold

from this day forward sickness and in

health rich and poor and and then the

last part of it is and forsaking all

others keep yourself only for her so

long as you both shall live do you God

asks us that question do you take me as

your God I'm willing to take you as my

precious possession do you take me as

you were gone and and forsaking all

other gods reserve your hearts devotion

only for him so long as you both shall

live God is asking us it's an issue of

renouncing all other loves and putting

his love first in your heart and it's

not just that keep yourself only for him

he goes on to give a series of laws and

we're going to be talking about these in

the coming weeks laws of offerings grain

offerings burnt offerings sacrificial

offerings to make atonement for sin he's

going to make a series of laws about

festivals and sabbath days all of those

are not meant to be a burden for the

people they never were there were meant

to be them expressing their loving

devotion to the God who owns them and

loves them it's all about holiness it's

all about saying I belong to you the law

of God is a beautiful thing we're going

to reflect on it for us as people we

need to look in our own hearts and say

God what competes in my heart for your

my affection for you what are the other

gods that I might be tempted to love

more than you now I don't mean this to

be something where we beat ourselves up

I know again coming back to my my my

little philosophical boy who's like

daddy it's hard for me to love God more

than I love you guys or even video games

like okay well we'll talk about the

video games but but it's some of its

natural human loves our natural right

I'm not saying you should feel guilty

for loving your beat the people around

you but what I am saying is that God

wants to be number one in your heart he

wants to be the exclusive God of your

life and have your life revolve around

him because our heart we were made for

him and our hearts are restless until we

find rest in him God invites us and he

is jealous for us to do that now when

Moses oh by the way some of us might be

already feeling like God I just don't

know if I can do that I know my heart I

know I'm stiff-necked well you remember

last week or a couple weeks ago how I

talked about a certain member a high

priest who was clothed and majestic

clothing and wore a turban and he had a

head plate that said holy to the Lord

remember that you know who the first

high priest was who got

to where the majestic clothing and the

turban and the practices whole you know

who the first one was the same guy that

made the golden calf Erin God is

merciful and compassionate the forgiving

God who forgives your sins I don't care

what you've done your God wants to

forgive you and heal you and clothe you

in his majestic righteousness when Moses

came out of the tent and remember what

he looked like after I word not the tent

when he came down from the mountain

after this encounter with God the Bible

said his face was glowing with the glory

of the Lord that she kind of glory that

glow was sticking to him and it was

reflecting the glory the people were

terrified because they knew that the

presences is toxic to sinful people so

he put a veil over his face to protect

them he was glowing with a holy love and

passion God invites us to that he said

if the Old Covenant that came written on

stones came with glory how much more

glorious will the New Covenant be

written not in stone but by the Spirit

of God in human hearts the glory of

Moses the glory of God shining out of

him is meant to shine in and through you

too I don't care what you've done I

don't care where you're at God is the

loving and compassionate God who wants

to own you as his treasured possession

now we're about to come to the table of

the Lord we're going to have communion

here as we wrap this time up so uh sures

the feet getting ready for that but I

invite you to come to this table in a

way of saying yes to the Lord he's

proposing that you be his treasured

possession that he be jealous for your

hearts affections and we need to respond

let's not be a stiff-necked people let's

be a people who turn to him now we can't

do this on our own we need God to help

us we need God to forgive us and that's

what the symbols mean the the wine and

bread symbolize the body and blood of

Jesus who died for us so that God can

cleanse us and take us into his present

if you are here and you have accepted

Jesus as your Lord and Savior then i

invite you to participate in these

elements and as you do say yes Lord I

want to be your treasured possession

forsaking all others keep myself only

for you so long as we both shall live

and that's a long time because God is

eternal I invite you to do that and if

you have never accepted Jesus in your

heart now is the time to do it because

he loves you and he calls you to himself

so we're gonna pray and i'm going to

give you an opportunity to accept Jesus

in your heart as your Lord and Savior

I'm gonna invite the ushers to pull it

up and I invite pastor Sam to come up

and help me out I always love to have

Sam with me when we do this God is

closed he's right here he's not far away

the one who began the good work in you

is faithful to complete it so I invite

you to pray with me let's close our eyes

right now and father we come before you

and we thank you that you are jealous

for us and you are jealous for our

hearts affections you're jealous for our

loyalty and faithfulness because you

love us passionately thank you God I

pray that we would also be zealous for

you like Moses that we would be

unquenchable hungry for you and we would

want to have that intimacy with you and

discover not just your power but your

heart in your ways and now with everyone

just with their eyes closed and praying

i do want to give a moment because this

act of taking the Lord's Supper is for

the family of God is for those who have

already accepted Jesus as their Lord and

Savior and I don't want anybody to be

left out so if you are here and you've

never accepted Jesus as your Lord and

Savior and you want to pray to accept

Jesus before you take the elements I

invite

you to raise your hand right now and I

will guide you in a prayer is there

anyone in that situation who wants to

make that statement of faith today is

there anybody here I'm going to give a

moment just so that everybody knows that

they are welcome to the table of God

anybody who wants to receive Jesus in

your heart as your Lord and your Savior

amen okay dear God we come before you as

your family and Lord as we partake of

these elements Lord we declare that we

are yours that we belong to you and to

none other and lord I pray in Jesus name

God that your power would be displayed

in this moment and that you would visit

us in a special way in Jesus name