Worship and the Exodus: Understanding Who God Is

Worship and the Exodus: Understanding Who God Is

Scripture: Exodus 20:2-3, Exodus 3:1-15, Exodus 33:12-23
Date: 07/09/2011  Lesson: 2
Exodus reveals that even when confronted with the presence of God, it is difficult to always know what we are worshiping.

Adoration: Solo Piano Hymns by David Nevue

Adoration: Solo Piano Hymns by David Nevue
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Good morning and Happy Sabbath. Welcome this morning as you worship with us at Sacramento Seventh-day Adventist Church in Sacramento, California. A very special welcome to you that are joining us here in the sanctuary as you do every week, a very special welcome to you. Also probably every week for all we know, across the country and around the world, however you're joining us live on the internet this morning streaming, through radio, television, welcome. I know you will truly be blessed by worshipping our incredible Savior and God this morning together.

Let's begin our service this morning with hymn number 388, "don't forget the Sabbath." We're going to be singing all three verses. And this comes as a request from pedro in barbados; laray, selva, and elias in California; David, trisha, and deng in Canada; brough in china; thelma in Connecticut; theresa in germany; Enoch from ghana; laureen and kishure from grenada; katie in guam; dustin, annie, perry in honduras; george and judy in jamaica; beth and sister riley in New York; jim in new zealand; dangana in nigeria; frank in Pennsylvania; philina in saint lucia; willington in the Solomon islands; neema in switzerland; sherrine, sillon, and sabrina in trinidad and tobago; and dan and doreen in Washington. Hymn number 388, "don't forget the Sabbath," all 3 verses... What a great phrase. "Welcome, welcome, blessed Sabbath day.

" I look forward to Sabbath beginning every week. I can hardly wait. It's just a wonderful, blessed time to spend with family, friends, and especially with our Lord Jesus. If you have a special request, special hymn, a favorite hymn that you'd like to sing with us on a coming Sabbath, even a new hymn as we're going to sing next, I invite you to go to our website at Sacramento--or saccentral.org. And there you can click on the "contact us" link.

And you can request any hymn in our hymnal and we would love to sing that with you on a coming Sabbath. Hymn number 394 is our next hymn, "far from all care." And we're going to sing all three verses. This comes as a request from gordon and lester in the bahamas; thea in barbados; alex in brazil; filbert in Canada; cosie-grace in germany; kemesha and arlene in jamaica; sandie and vern in North Carolina; John in Oklahoma; erwin and belle ann in Texas; marlon, oly, rex, peanang, Sarah, and girlie in thailand; jesan and janice in thailand; and Zion in trinidad and tobago. Hymn number 394, and we'll sing all 3 verses... I'm so looking forward to that day when we can spend every Sabbath, every day just worshipping before our creator and especially on the Sabbath, how special Sabbath will be in heaven.

Let's pray. Our Father in Heaven, we humbly come before you this morning on your holy Sabbath day. And we thank you for giving us such a wonderful gift, that we can set aside our cares, and we can just open our hearts to you, and you have promised to meet us where we are. So Lord, we claim that promise this morning as we open up Your Word and we learn more about how much you loved us and what you did to save us. And we're so grateful this morning.

Lord, our hearts can't even begin to tell you. So Lord, just let our actions and our words and our thoughts be acceptable in your sight and that they glorify you at all times and that we can lead others to you that they can come to know you as their personal Savior. Please be with pastor white this morning. Bless him and give him Your Words that he imparts to us that we can take from this place and be better because we've been here. We pray these things in your name, Jesus.

Amen. Our study this morning will be brought to us by pastor harold white, the administrator pastor here at Sacramento central. Thank you very much. Good morning. Happy Sabbath, yes.

Good to see each one of you here this morning. Appreciate the beautiful music. Didn't you like that new song? I had not sung that song before. That actually goes right along with our lesson as we will find that out this morning. We're on lesson number two of our new quarterly, "worship.

" And I hope you all have your quarterly. We have some extras here if you need one. And we want welcome all those who are joining this morning by live streaming or the internet, radio, wherever you are joining this class, we are glad you are with us. We have a free offer this morning. It's entitled, "three steps to heaven.

" All you have to do to get that is dial your phone: 866-study-more or 866-788-3966. Let's get into our lesson, and if would take your quarterlies and read the memory text with me, I'd appreciate that. It's taken from Exodus 20:2-3. Here it reads. "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

You shall have no other Gods before me." Thank you very much. And as you read the introduction you notice there that it talks about Jesus meeting the woman at the well. And he tells this lady who came to the well, he said, he tells her, "you do not know whom you worship. You don't know whom you are worshipping." That'd be kind of a--i mean she believed she knew who she was worshipping, right? She believed she was worshipping right, even though she was off-track in her life, she believed still in the fact that she was worshipping the true God. I think there was many millions of people in the world today in the same condition, don't you think? They worship God.

They believed they're worshipping God, but they're really not worshipping the right God, or certainly not in the right way. Now instead of pointing our fingers at all the different groups this morning, I think it behooves us to really dig into this lesson to see if we are really worshipping whom we should be worshipping, and how he wants us to worship him. Don't you think that's the most important? If our worship of God, or our so-called worship of God does more to exalt ourselves than exalt God, would you say that's the wrong type of worship? Definitely. And there's a lot of that kind of worship, seemingly so, in the world today. And we don't want to get off into that kind of a setting.

If it could be said that, you know, we're living a day where people are trying to come up with new and exciting ways because what are we competing against? We're competing against the world, the most dramatic presentations by film and everything else captures people's attention. And so we think somehow we have to compete with that, and we come up with new exciting ways to worship God. And that's okay if it truly is worship and if it is exalting God. If it's something else, then we got to be very leery of that. And what better place to start than on Sunday's lesson entitled, "the holy ground.

" And when we hear those two words together, our mind automatically goes back to the story where Moses sees a burning bush in the desert. Now if we here in California saw a bush burning as we were out someplace in the desert, we would probably try to rush to put the fire out, because we know if those sparks fly, which they do in California, with the wind, it causes disastrous results pretty quickly. Right? Right now they're fighting fires in Arizona, going all over into New Mexico because maybe one little bush got on fire. But if we saw this kind of bush that Moses saw, we would know very quickly something is strange here. This bush is burning brighter than any fire I've ever seen.

The sparks are not going out to anything else, and the bush is not being consumed. Right away we would know something supernatural was going on. Anything like that is called supernatural. There's good supernatural; there's pseudo-supernatural. Right? And Moses would get his taste of the real thing and be the recipient of God working through him as he went to Egypt there.

And he would also witness many of the pseudo-supernatural things performed by the pharaohs, magicians, and so on. So a burning bush in the desert would be--capture your attention for sure. Now I've passed out some text this morning. Somebody has Exodus 3:4-6. Who has that this morning? Right over here.

Okay, monica has that. If we could get the microphone over to her. Exodus 3, and we want her to read verses 4, 5, and 6. Okay. "And when the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the midst of the bush, and said, 'Moses, Moses.

' And he said, 'here am i.' And he said, 'draw not near--'" excuse me-- "'draw not hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.' Moreover he said, 'I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.'" Thank you very much. We have an added element, a voice in the desert with nobody around again would be something supernatural, right? No bodies, no beings, no can't see anybody. But there is a voice so we know something supernatural is going on here again. And you notice that before God tells Moses who is speaking to him, he tells him to take off his shoes because he's on holy ground.

And then he reveals himself as the God of his father, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Then it was that Moses--what did he do? He hid his face. He hid his face because he knew it was God. And the glory of God was there. Moses did something here that, quite opposite of what we're going to see later in the lesson when he said, "reveal thy glory to me.

" He was having all the glory of God that he could take at the moment. And so he hid himself. Now I might suggest that that is where we all need to start when it comes to worship God. Even though we are told in the Bible to come worship God, "come to the throne of grace boldly," we come not in a presumptuous boldness, because what we are to come for gives us an idea of what our attitude should be. We are to come for grace and mercy.

People who are in need of grace and mercy have nothing in themselves to brag about, right? If you need mercy and you need grace, you cannot stand alone. You need to approach the throne of grace boldly, yes, but not presumptuously and arrogantly. As the lesson points out, God-centeredness is to be the focal point of all worship. And we certainly get that point in this story. For after Moses becomes focused on what is really going on here, and rebounding a bit from his fear, he doesn't continue to focus on himself at all.

He wants to know what God would do. Somebody has Exodus 3:13-14. Who has that text? Exodus 3, right over here. Okay, got the microphone in the microphone passer's hand, right? That's pretty easy. Exodus 3:13-14.

Exodus 3:13-14, "then Moses said to God, 'indeed, when I come to the children of Israel, and say to them, 'the God of your fathers has sent me to you; and they say to me, what is his name? What shall I say to them? And God said to Moses, 'I am who I am:' and he said, 'thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I am has sent me to you.'" Alright, thank you. Now Moses has some legitimate concerns. How in the world is he going to be received by these mighty powers in Egypt? He is a man who has no popularity. He's not anybody. Nobody knows him.

He doesn't have rank or wealth. What would God do to compensate for all that? Who do I tell them sent me? And God's response here is one of my favorites, because it's one of my favorite names for God: "I am." It says everything. It's "I am" always, was, is, always will be. "I am." God is "I am." And this was the term that Jesus used that made the jews so mad at him, because they knew he was claiming to be God. When he used this term for himself, they knew what he was claiming.

He was claiming divinity. And he could do that because he was divine in human form. So I love that name for jehovah: "I am." Let's ask ourselves what was the purpose behind this story. Is it a story, nice story just to tell to our children? Was it just so Moses would know that there was one true God? Did God simply just want Moses to help him become known? No. As the lesson points out quite rightly so, this is a story of deliverance.

And really isn't that what the whole Bible is all about? Deliverance. The story of deliverance that God desired to bring to his people. All of our worship should be centered around this magnificent truth I believe. Just as children of Israel needed to help to be free from the physical bondage and spiritual bondage, we need to be free from spiritual bondage to sin, don't we? There are definite lessons to be learned from the passover experience that the lesson brings out this morning. It took focus and faith.

Focus on what God was saying, and then faith to follow through meticulously on everything God said. Because if they hadn't done everything exactly as God had said, what would have happened to the oldest child in each family? He would have died, right? Now deliverance stories did not end with the passover experience. Let me share just a little experience that I read about. John paton, I believe his name, is a missionary, new hebrides islands. One night hostile natives surrounded the mission station in his home.

And they were intent on burning the paton's home and killing them. So he and his wife and family where there praying all night long. And they saw the light of the day. And they were very surprised to see all these natives leaving, fleeing. Well about a year later, the chief of this tribe actually was converted and became a Christian.

And mr. Paton saw him one time, and he says, "I really want to understand. Why in the world when you were intent on burning our house and killing us about a year ago, why did you take off? And he said, he was surprised, he said, "what do you mean, why did we take off? We didn't know who those hundreds of shining men you had encamped around your place with swords, bright and shining swords were. We were afraid of them. We fled.

" And of course they had to be angels. So my point in sharing that is we have stories like that still happening in our world today. The passover was a magnificent story. But we have magnificent stories happening right here in central, every year people being delivered from sin. It should be the biggest story on the page, front page.

Every time we see a baptism, we should realize this is a huge story. Even if you've come this morning and you've never accepted Christ, you've thought about it, you've heard about, but you accepted him this morning. You would have the biggest story of the day. Even if you came with sin on your life, and you recommitted yourself to Christ today, yours would be the greatest story of deliverance. Would it not? Absolutely.

Somebody has Exodus 12:26-28. Right over here in the front. Okay, Exodus the 12th chapter, and we want to read verses 26, 27 and 28. Exodus 12:26-28, "and it shall come to pass, when the children shall say unto you, 'what mean ye by this service?' That ye shall say, 'it is the sacrifice of the Lord's passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses.' And the people bowed the head and worshipped. And the children of Israel went away, and did as the Lord had commanded Moses and aaron, so did they.

" Alright, you realize the sequence there. It says, "they bowed and worshipped," and then what? They went and did as they had been commanded. All true worship will result in that kind of sequence, right? Go and do as you were commanded. We come here to learn what God commands of us. And then by his grace, we are to go out and do it.

That's true worship. And yet the world is filled with what people call worship, piously bowing down at designated times of the day, only rising up to go out and kill people. There is that kind of worship going on in the world today. I couldn't help but think when I heard about the capture of osama bin laden. A few days after his capture, the news came on and they were expressing this news that they found in his compound some pornography.

And they were surprised this religious man would have pornography in his--I'm saying wait a minute, religious guy? Just because he bows down and goes through some routines of religion, doesn't mean he's a religious guy. He's a mass murderer for one thing. He's a polygamist for another thing. Didn't surprise me he had pornography. True worship does not mean you can do anything after you worship God.

You worship and you go and do as God commands, right? Absolutely. And of course some people in the Christian community bow down to worship God and then they go away saying, "well, we don't need to be concerned about any old commandments. Don't want to be bothered by them. All we need is the relationship." And yes, we do need a relationship, but it must be the right kind. Now a couple things about the passover experience.

Once I believe I've referred to this perhaps in a lesson a long time ago, I read an article in ministry magazine some time ago. It was a great article by a man who had studied some things they had unearthed. And while the children were in Israel--it had to do with the blood on the doorposts--while the children were in Israel, they began to build little houses for themselves. And they built them somewhat after the houses of the Egyptians, somewhat like they had. And the Egyptians would write their names on the doorposts of their houses.

And they had unearthed some houses to realize that some of the children of Israel did the same thing. They wrote their names on the doorpost. And God commanded that the blood cover their names. It wasn't their name or status or who they were that was going to save them. It was the blood of the lamb.

Just as our names today need to be covered by the blood of the lamb, right? I thought that was a wonderful thing to learn from history, the blood on the doorpost would cover their names. Now the children of Israel were kind of living what you might call a mini investigative judgment time of their own, weren't they? We're living in the anti-typical day of atonement. And that is a huge thing. In fact, it's so huge--i get to preach next week and I'm preaching on that subject next week because I think it's a very important thing that we should be consuming our attention I believe. But anyway, they had their own little investigative judgment time going on there.

Now let us consider something else while we're talking about the passover. Notice something that is mentioned in Deuteronomy. Somebody has Deuteronomy 16:1-2. Right here in the front. Okay, ray's bringing the microphone.

That is Deuteronomy 16:1-2. Deuteronomy 16:1-2, "observe the month of abib, and keep the passover to the Lord your God: for in the month of abib the Lord your God brought you out of Egypt by night. Therefore you shall sacrifice the passover to the Lord your God, from the flock, the herd, and the place where the Lord chooses to put his name." Alright, thank you very much. A couple things I wanted to share, these things in respect, to those who insist that we should be observing the passover. You know, I mentioned this once in a sermon quite a while ago, but never in a lesson, so I'll share it this morning.

One thing attached to the passover service was the sacrificing of animals. You just read it, right? Sacrificing animals. So when people call us up, sometimes they do, and say, "you know, you should be keeping the passover, 'cause we do." And I say, "oh you do?" I said, "well, how did you--how did you get by with sacrificing the animals?" And they said, "well we didn't sacrifice any animals." And I said, "okay, well then don't tell me you kept the passover, because you have to sacrifice animals to keep the passover, meticulously follow the instructions or you're not doing it at all." And if by chance you do sacrifice an animal, then you have just committed the biggest blasphemous crime in all the world, because you are telling the universe that the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross was not sufficient, that we still have to do the blood of the animals. So you know, that's one thing about this concept of having to keep, continue to keep this--the passover service. Another thing in these verses, the passover was to be kept in the place where the Lord chooses to put his name.

Now where with all has the voice of the Lord come to tell us where the passover should be kept? I haven't heard that lately, have you? So if--in order to keep something rightly, and if there's a place that God would want us to keep it, you'd have to know where that place is, right? So you can't do that. The passover event was a wonderful thing. We can learn some wonderful lessons from it, but we are not obliged to keep it any more. "Patriarchs and Prophets," 540, says, "when the Savior yielded up his life on calvary, the significance of the passover ceased and the ordinance of the Lord's supper was instituted as a memorial of the same event in which the passover had been a type." So don't let anybody mislead you in that direction. As we think of Monday's lesson, we're still concerning the passover.

The title is the "death of the firstborn: passover and worship." The human tragedy of this event is really hard to really capture. Firstborn of every living things in Egypt, other than the children of Israel, died. Even the pharaoh's firstborn. Many movies and books have been written about it. One time a special ministry was putting a dvd together on this story.

And one of our own member's son was playing the pharaoh's son that died. That put real meaning to it. I saw that Sunday, they had him all made up, made him look like he was dead, really pale and everything. And he was very good actor. I mean he was motionless.

He looked dead. And when you see it, it really makes it much more personal. This was a tragedy. This was awful. I mean children were dying, and yes pharaoh was a scoundrel, but he was a human being with a heart.

He loved family. He had phileo love at least, that kind of love for family I'm sure. And it didn't have to happen. If he just would have softened his heart and listened to Moses, listened to God, I'm sure many of the people in Egypt would have followed suit. Don't you? Well, you contrast that to the Hebrew family, their eldest son is alive and well.

You are on your way out of Egypt, supposedly to freedom, how do you properly respond? Well you do what they did. You worship God. That's what we come to do every Sabbath. We come to worship God because we have been set free by the blood of the lamb, have we not? You know we seem to thrive on stories of survival. We have earthquakes across the world and 7 days later they pull a victim out and he's still alive, or she's still alive, and the whole world rejoices.

And those are wonderful survival stories, and we all say "amen" to that. But you know really that person, brought back out of the clutches of death, will have to eventually die, right? It's just temporary. Suppose they pull a 90-year-old person out and everybody rejoices, "he's alive! He's alive!" One year later he's not because he had a heart attack. We know, you never know. So it's only temporary.

So when people are saved from the penalties of sin, that's much more glorious and much more substance to it. The blood over the doorpost symbolized the death of God's firstborn, God's only begotten. And when the destroying angel came and saw the blood, he would know that the death all deserved was already paid by the blood of the lamb that would come. Now men and women, boys and girls have done some pretty miraculous, daring things to save another person's life. But as I said, it's only temporary.

And the blood of the lamb, the blood of the lamb is what we need to focus on. That's the most important thing. The farther you get away from realizing that we are saved by the blood of the lamb, the more problematic it becomes. I remember a story I heard a long time ago, it was a long time ago, story probably wasn't even true. But it was a story about this guy that went to work for the highway department and back before they had all this high tech stuff, they did a lot of things by hand.

So they gave this man a bucket and a roller to go out and paint the stripes on the highway. At the end of the day, his supervisor went out and boy, he was impressed. This guy did a lot of work. He really did accomplish a lot. So the next day after the day was done, he went out and examined it again.

It wasn't quite as much, but it was still pretty good, so he wasn't alarmed. But the third day, it wasn't very much at all. So he had to call the young man in and say, "you know, the first day you did really good. Second day was less, but yesterday not hardly any at all. What's the problem?" He says, "well, it was farther to go back to the paint can to get my paint and dip my roller into the paint can.

It kept getting farther away." I'm thinking oh this guy needs something. He needs some enlightenment. But we need enlightenment if indeed we're getting away from the concept that we're saved by grace through faith in the blood of the lamb. And the devil works hard at all of us to get away from that concept. Even we who are here at central, we focus on the concept that is important to be doers of the word, right? It's faith without works is dead, and we, we--you know, we focus on that and it's important.

Sometimes you can focus on that to the point that you begin trusting the works. But works will never save us. We're saved by grace because of the blood of the lamb. Blood of the lamb, that's the most important thing. If someone is rescued from a fallen building 7 days after an earthquake, he is not once-and-for-all rescued, right? He can die again.

He can get in another earthquake. Just like we who come to Jesus are not once-saved-always-saved. And Peter had something to say about this. Somebody has the text in 2 Peter 2, who has that one? Right here, okay. That's 2 Peter 2 and that's verses 20-22.

2 Peter 2:20-22, "for if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them, and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way or righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb, 'a dog returns to his own vomit; and a sow having washed to her wallowing in the mire.'" That's putting it pretty bluntly, isn't it? Moving on to Tuesday's entitled, "no other Gods." When we read this story, we kind of scratch our heads and say--wonder how in the world the children of Israel could ever turn to other Gods. As the lesson pointed out, Mount Sinai was--it was enveloped in the thick cloud, quaking of thunder, lightning flashes, trumpets blasting. This was a big, big deal.

God was manifesting his power there. He was displaying power to let them know he was the God. And we even forget that God not only wrote the commandments with his finger in the stones, but he spoke to them. He spoke to them in audible form so they could hear what those commandments are. And the first four were all about worshipping God.

And there's nowhere in those first four commandments that allows for other Gods. There's only one God. And you wonder how in the world they could have ever gotten off track to begin worshipping a golden calf, a lifeless golden calf. But subtle and ever-unorganized are the efforts of the adversary. First of all, what he does is he starts working up on the Egyptians that came out of Egypt with the children of Israel, and he started working on them.

"We don't know about this God of this Moses, this Moses' God. We need something we can see and feel and touch." Pretty soon that begins to spread. And pretty soon they build themselves a golden calf. Sometimes we wonder, "why doesn't God reveal himself more?" Some of you are going through some serious trials. We get prayer requests from all over the world of people going through serious trials.

And I know people who are going through serious trials pray a lot. They ask for prayer from here. I know I pray a lot for people, especially who are not ready to meet Jesus. And I wonder, "God, why don't you reveal yourself more? I would like to see some miracles in the lives of these people." But I can't give up. I know he's there.

And I know he's listening. I must continue to have faith that God is working in the lives of the people that I pray for. Do you believe that? We can't give up. God is all about doing miracles, but it's always on his time frame and in his way. We wonder how we could turn to other Gods.

We know the one true God. I knew a minister once in another place a long way from here. He had a grandson he loved very dearly. Had a serious illness, wasn't getting better; they prayed for him, they anointed him, wasn't getting better. They prayed, they prayed, they prayed; he wasn't getting better.

This minister loaded up this child, flew off to another state, went to one of these faith healers. So that this faith healer could lay his hands upon him to be healed. I thought to myself, "that's just about as bad as king Saul going to the witch of endor, because this man was not filled with the Holy Spirit." How do I know? Because acts 5:32 says, "the Holy Spirit is given to those who obey." And I know this man is not a man who obeys the Word of God. His lifestyle doesn't--he doesn't believe in the commandments, all of the commandments for one thing. So why would you take somebody you love, while you're desperate and you just reach out and do anything? But that's the wrong kind of thing to do.

I happen to be on the personnel committee of that particular place, and they were asking what we should do. And I said, "well, we need to go to this man, and we need to appeal to him that this was a very wrong thing to do. And if he doesn't, if he doesn't agree to that, he shouldn't be a minister, Seventh-day Adventist minister." And I was surprised that that wasn't well-received. I wasn't being mean. This man is off-track.

He's not listening to the Word of God. He's doing something very contrary to what we should be doing. He should be appealed to, and if he doesn't, he shouldn't be really preaching the advent message. I was amazed. But anyway, easy are the ways the evil one leads to other Gods, even love for our fellow man can be wrong.

Wasn't it what tripped up adam? He could have not yielded to eating the fruit, but he loved eve. And so he gave in. That's another God. It wasn't worshipping the one true God in the way he was told he should, so he gave in to another God. It goes back to the very beginning.

Move on to Wednesday's lesson. Somebody has Exodus 32:1-4, right over here. Thank you. Exodus the 32nd chapter, and we want to read the first 4 verses. "Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to aaron, and said to him, 'come, make us Gods, that shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.

' And aaron said to them, 'break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.' So all the people broke off their golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them to aaron. And he received the gold from their hand, and he fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made a molded calf: then they said, 'this is your God, o Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt.'" Thank you very much. Often we are amazed at how quickly someone changes. Doesn't take long as you drift away from the Lord for that to happen. Aaron was probably surprised.

He asked for the trinkets, he probably thought they wouldn't give them up, but they gave them up gladly. And there's some interesting things that happened in the story. When Moses comes down, he already knows what's going on, but he is stricken with righteous indignation so much that he throws down the stones. They break, symbolic of the children of Israel breaking the commandments in reality. And one interesting thing to note is that there are some in the camp that were against building this calf.

And it says in "Patriarchs and Prophets" that when things got so bad and commotion was so strife so badly, that some of these individuals lost their lives. They were standing for the truth, but they lost their life. And this was why aaron was so fearful. He saw what was happening. And another interesting thing is how aaron built an altar and gave proclamation, as it says in Exodus 32:5, that "tomorrow would be a feast to the Lord.

" He was attempting to be religious without being right. That can't be. There's a lot of attempted worship, trying to be religious without being right. And it grieves my heart to hear about some of the things that are happening in the world today, sometimes even in our own church. I heard from a very reliable person, he ran across a Seventh-day Adventist Church someplace that made it quite evident and quite proud about it that they were keeping ash Wednesday and lent.

I'm thinking, "man alive, no this can't be." There's some things are right and some things are wrong. Now when you come down off the mountain like Moses did and see what's going on, he had every right to be righteously filled with righteous indignation. Don't you think? He certainly did. Dancing around a calf, half-naked or naked is not right no matter what your religious leader says about it. Aaron said that we're going to have this feast.

Practically anything goes and it did. Moses comes down, and he sees it and he goes, "oh brother, oh brother, aaron, what did you do?" Somebody has Exodus 32:24, right over here. Exodus 32:24, something I really hadn't noticed until I was reading about it recently. "And I said unto them, 'whosoever hath any gold, let them break it off. So they gave it me: then I cast it into the fire, and there came out this calf.

" Very interesting. You know what aaron was trying to do here? It says it really good in "Patriarchs and Prophets." It says, "he would lead Moses to believe that a miracle had been wrought, that the gold had been cast into the fire, and by some supernatural power, it changed into a calf." How dumb did he think his brother was that he's going to believe something like that? "Well, I just presto, I put this gold in; presto, this calf came out." Right. God had--Moses had been up on the mountain talking to God. You think he's going to fall for a lie like that? I don't think so. As we go to Thursday's lesson entitled, "show me your glory," I have mixed feelings about this story at this point.

Moses requested a special, a very special thing from God. God granted his request as much as he could, and with all that later on, Moses gets mad, strikes a rock, takes a miracle working power of God providing water to the multitudes to his own credit. That's a bad thing to do. I wonder how in the world could you see the glory of God like Moses did and turn around and do something like that? I guess he was human is right. I mean so glorious was this event that when he came down to talk to the people, they couldn't even look on his face.

His face was so bright. I can't really wrap my mind about what a face looks like that is so bright to look at, you can't even look at it. Now some of us have faces that people don't want to look at, but it's not because of brightness. Sorry you all have to be looking up this way. You can look down at your quarterly, that's okay.

But that--you know, it's hard to imagine, isn't it? His face was so bright because he had seen, tasted a bit of God's glory. Yeah, that's pretty amazing. Seeing the glory of God, does that do more to lift you up or actually bring you down? It has the capabilities to bring you down actually. For if you would see the glory of God as Moses got to do, you would begin to see your own sinfulness more clearly. Isn't that what we've been told? The closer we come to God, the more clearly we will see our own unrighteousness.

So it's pretty interesting scenario. With that in mind there could only be one genuine reason in my mind for Moses making such a request. It wasn't to become proud. It wasn't to receive more glory for himself. It wasn't as the lesson said, "just out of curiosity or presumption," this was a humble, sincere request.

What I think a lot of people don't understand about those who have never been in a leadership position, such as a pastor, how much it affects the leader when people have problems. It affects us. We--i mean, we hear about things going on. We heard about a terrible wreck of a family coming through Sacramento this week. And it grieves us, a little child died.

That's sad and miserable. We hear about people going astray and leaving God, leaving the church for something ridiculous, the world, some of its pleasures. And it grieves us. And that's what was going on in Moses. He saw these people and it grieved him.

He wanted--he wanted a taste of the glory of God. He saw all this bad stuff all the time, all of their rebelling, all their murmuring and complaining. "Oh Lord, just give me a taste of your glory." And since we were talking about worship, I rather believe this was an attempt by Moses to be able to worship God in a more intimate way. And I just have to believe that even though we don't experience anything quite so grand as Moses did at this time, we do experience the glory of God from time to time. I hope we are at least.

Sometimes we might not even know it as much as we should, just like Moses didn't know his face was so bright and shining until they pointed it out to him. We may not know that the glory of God is attending us. But when we come to worship God, we should expect that his glory will be revealed through us somehow and some way to other individuals. I've seen individuals so on fire for the Lord that they've experienced the glory of God in such a way that it aggravates some who haven't been experiencing that. It kind of aggravates them.

They don't want to even be around them. It reminds me of the time when David, when he was still a young lad, he went to the front lines of the war because his dad sent him with some provisions to give to his brothers. And he goes out there and he hears this big, loud man, this giant blaspheming God and blaspheming God's people. And David is aggravated. Righteous indignation comes up within him, "why don't we do something about it?" And he was filled with light.

Here they were in total darkness because of this bragging giant, condemning and ridiculing God's people. They were sitting there in gross darkness, and here comes little David with his light shining ever so brightly. And what did his brothers want to do? "Get out of here! Go home! You're just here to cause trouble. You're just here to--" you know, all kinds of reasons. People sometimes don't like to see the light.

If you're sitting in total darkness and somebody comes and automatically shines a bright light on you, it's not very fun, is it? So it's better that we're all in the bright light all the time, right? All in the light of God's Word, all living within his glory, to whatever extent he'll give it to us. His faith was bold, and his brothers were pretty tarnished by that time. So we're--we need to be wrapping this up. I think we--i hope that you had the time to go through this lesson because as you get to the last day, Friday's, I think--and we still got time to share that. I just want to read a couple of--a few of those sentences on that last page, because I think it really summarizes what we've been talking about in a very nice way.

It says, "humility and reverence should characterize the deportment of all who come into the presence of God. In the name of Jesus, we may come before him with confidence. But we must not approach him with the boldness of presumption as though he were on the level with ourselves. There are those who address the great and all-powerful and holy God as they would address an equal or even an inferior. There are those who conduct themselves in his house as they would not presume to do in an audience chamber of an earthly ruler.

These should remember that they are in his sight, whom seraphim adore, before whom angels veil their faces. God is greatly to be reverenced. All who truly realize his presence will bow in humility before him." That's from "Patriarchs and Prophets." One more. "True reverence for God is inspired by a sense of his infinite greatness and realization of his presence. With this sense of the unseen, every heart should be deeply impressed.

The hour and place of prayer are sacred because God is there. Angels, when they speak that name veil their faces with what reverence, then should we who are fallen and sinful take it upon our lips." Phew. When we come into this sanctuary of the Lord, may God impress upon our hearts the reverence that we should have before him. And never should we use his name lightly or trifling or in vain as the commandments say we should not. Our free offer this week is, "three steps to heaven," "three steps to heaven.

" You get that by calling 1-866-study-more, or 1-866-788-3966. Thank you everyone who joined us this morning from wherever you joined us and all of you here in Sacramento. Journey back through time to the center of the universe. Discover how a perfect angel transformed into satan, the arch villain; the birth of evil, a rebellion in heaven, a mutiny that moved to earth, the whole, the creation of a beautiful new planet, and the first humans. Witness the temptation in eden.

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