No claims of absolute originality are made for this material. As one man said, "I milk a lot of cows, but I churn my own butter." Please use these sermons as the Lord leads, but nothing on this site may be used for profit without my expressed, written permission!
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF
Intro: Ill. Moses and the difficult job assignment he was given by the Lord. His duty was to lead a rebellious, self-centered, stiff-necked people through a desert to the Promised Land. To accomplish this job, Moses needed a close relationship with the Lord.
Now, when we come to chapter 33, Moses has just received the Law from the Lord. He was gone for 40 days and nights while God revealed the Law to him. While he was gone, the people made a golden calf, began to worship it as their god and began to commit grossly immoral sins.
When Moses came down from the mountain and saw what they were doing, he threw down the stone tablets containing the Law and broke them. Because of their sin and idolatry, the Lord is angry with the people and He refuses to go with them into Canaan, 33:1-3.
Moses responds by reminding the Lord that the Israelites are God’s people and that if the Lord doesn’t go with them, then Moses isn’t going. So Moses and the Lord discuss the matter and God says that He will to go with them and bring them into the land of promise.
Please don’t ask me to explain all the things that are happening in this chapter. All I know for sure is that the Lord is trying to work in the life of Moses and help him to grow.
When these events occurred, it Moses was placed in a position of discouragement and doubt. He needed something from the Lord if he was to continue to lead Israel. So he asks the Lord for a little encouragement. He asks the Lord to show him His glory. God answered Moses’ request and revealed His glory to him. When Moses saw the Lord in all His glory, it resulted in Moses falling down before the Lord in worship.
There is a word here for our lives. None of us have ever been given an assignment quite like the one Moses received, but we have been called to follow the Lord and to represent Him in this world. There are times when this task becomes difficult and discouraging.
When those times come, we also need something from the Lord. We need something we cannot produce by ourselves. We need something that will recharge our spiritual batteries and rekindle the old flames of excitement and passion for the Lord. We need something that will bring us to our knees in worship.
In this encounter with the Lord, Moses discovered The Significance Of Biblical Worship. He learned that worshiping God has the ability to confirm, comfort and consecrate the hurting heart of the humble saint.
I want to take this episode from the life of Moses and preach about The Significance Of Biblical Worship. I want you to see The Bold Request Of Moses; The Balanced Response Of God; The Beautiful Results For Both. Let’s notice these truths together.
I. THE BOLD REQUEST
A. 3:10 Moses And His Duties Moses was Divinely called to the task of leading the people of God to Canaan. It was not an easy task. His leadership was often called into question and his orders were disobeyed. Moses had a duty that required faithfulness and dependability. He had the task of walking in obedience to the Lord and His will.
B. 33:1-3 Moses And His Discouragement The people had rebelled against the Lord again in chapter 32, and as a result, the Lord wanted to destroy them at worse and remove his presence at best. They were in trouble regardless of which way that one turned out.
Can you imagine how Moses must have felt? He has done his best to lead them and to follow the Lord’s will and still all they did was complain, find fault, bellyache and sin against the Lord. There must have been many times when Moses wanted to throw in the towel and just quit!
C. 33:18 Moses And His Desire Moses had a heart to know and experience God in a deeper and more profound way. Moses knew that the nation of Israel could not meet his need. He knew that just working on his leadership skills would not meet his need. Moses seems to know that the best cure for discouragement, disillusionment and dryness is a fresh glimpse of who God is and what He is all about. Moses mentions 4 areas where he desires to know God better.
1. His Ways - 33:13 - Moses wants to better understand the way God operates so that he might serve Him better.
2. His Person - 33:13 - Moses wants to better understand the Person of God so that he might enjoy a deeper fellowship with Him.
3. His Presence - 33:15 - Moses wants a clearer manifestation of God’s presence so that he might follow God better. This is a plea for leadership.
4. His Glory - 33:18 - Moses wants to see the glory of God so that he will be moved to a deeper relationship in his worship life.
(Note: Moses was compelled to seek a fuller revelation of the Lord because he wanted a deeper love for the Lord. He was also drawn to know God better so that he might love God more intensely. Moses was not merely looking for information, he was seeking inspiration.
This was the desire expressed by the Apostle Paul in Phil. 3:10-11, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
This is the same desire that should fill our hearts. I pray the Lord will increase our love for Him so that we will be drawn to know Him better. A better knowledge of the Lord will always result in deeper and more pure worship.)
(Note: Why did Moses possess such a desire to know God? His desire was born out his walk with the Lord. Moses had been blessed by the Lord and the blessings of God manifested themselves in a desire to know God better and to worship God more deeply. A few of the reasons Moses had a heart filled with worship are as follows:
1. Moses Had Been Chosen Moses was minding his own business, keeping Jethros sheep, when the Lord called to him out of that burning bush, Ex. 3:2. God took the first step in His relationship with Moses.
Moses followed the Lord by his own choice, Heb. 11:24-25, but he only made his choice because God had chosen him first, Eph. 1:4. As Alfred Gibbs said, “The movement of a soul toward God, is but the effect of the movement of God toward that soul. Everyone who worships God is someone who was first chosen and called by God.
2. Moses Had Been Converted He had experienced the blessing of Passover, Ex. 12:13. Moses knew what it meant to be watched in the blood of the lamb. He had been redeemed out of Egypt and he was thankful. He also learned in that situation that God was as good as His Word.
These are reasons for worship that we share with Moses! The blood of the Lamb of God has given us salvation, safety and eternal security. His Word gives us the absolute confidence that He will do all that He has promised! Thinking about your redemption will make you want to worship!
3. Moses Had Been Communing Moses enjoyed a walk of the deepest intimacy with the Lord, Ex. 33:11. This closeness with God distinguished Moses from every other person living in his day. This closeness even carried over into his death, Deut. 34:5-6; 10. He was still intimate with the Lord 1,500 years after he died, Matt. 17:3. This closeness to the Lord caused him to want to worship God.
The more time you spend with the Lord, the more you come to love Him. The more you come to love Him, the more you are drawn to worship Him!
I. The Bold Request Of Moses
II. THE BALANCED RESPONSE
OF THE LORD
A. v. 19-20 God Makes A Promise God tells Moses that He will grant His request. He will allow Moses to catch a small glimpse of His glory as He passes by.
Why did God do this? The answer lies in verse 17. Moses had found grace in the eyes of the Lord! In other words, Moses hadn’t earned this experience, it was the Sovereign choice of Almighty God.
We need to understand that anything we have ever received from God, from salvation to the smallest of His blessings, have not been given to us because we have earned them. They have not been given to us because we have somehow forced the Lord’s hand.
(Note: By the way, anything we ever receive from the Lord is the work of His grace in our lives. Just the fact that we are allowed to pray to Him, to worship Him and to commune with Him is amazing! Thank God for those times He condescends to us in allowing us to love, serve, and worship Him!)
B. v. 21-23 God Mentions A Place God tells Moses that there is a place by Him where Moses can stand and see the glory of God as it passes by. That place is a cleft in the rock.
(Ill. There is still a place by Him. There is still a cleft in the Rock and His name is Jesus! There is only one place where man will ever see God. And, that place is in Jesus Christ!
He is the Rock, 1 Cor. 10:4. If we would see the Father, we need look no farther than the Son! Notice what the Bible says about Jesus, John 14:9; John 1:18; Heb. 1:3.)
(Ill. Rock Of Ages was written by Augustus Toplady after he had been trapped outdoors in a fierce storm. Knowing of a large rock with a cleft in it, he ran there for shelter. As he entered that fissure in the rock, the storm broke upon it with all its fury. Lightning flashed, thundered boomed and the rains fell in a torrential downpour. Toplady, in his shelter, was totally untouched. The storm poured out its fury upon the rock, but he was safe because he was in the rock.
That same privilege is our in Jesus. When He was on the cross, the mighty wrath of God unleashed itself upon Him. When we are in Him, we are sheltered from the wrath of God and from the awful penalty of sin. That, my brothers and sisters, is a cause for worship!)
C. 34:5-7 God Manifests His Presence God did exactly as He promised and allowed Moses to see His glory! God passed by, declaring His name and revealing His glory. Look at the text, and dont miss this. Verse 5 says, “The Lord...stood with him there. Verse 6 says, “the Lord passed by.” Here is Moses standing on the rock surrounded by the rock, in the presence of the Lord, shielded by the hand of God and seeing the glory of God all at the same time. Can you imagine seeing the glory of God up close and personal? Moses did and it changed his life.
(Ill. Every now and then, we get a small dose of the manifest presence of God. Sometimes, He will come in and demonstrate His glory to His people.
I have been in services where God showed up in a mighty way. Can you begin to imagine what would happen if this were the rule and not the exception? Can you imagine what church would be like if the manifest presence of God were here?
I think there would be less of us being involved and more genuine worship of the Lord. I think we would be kind of like Thomas in the upper room, John 20:24-28.
What I am saying is that when a genuine move of God takes place in our church, we will become lost in the glory of Jesus. He will be our focus and the center of everything we do. I want this more than anything I know! How about you?)
I. The Bold Request Of Moses
II. The Balanced Response Of The
III. THE BEAUTIFUL RESULTS
(Ill. After this mountain top experience, Moses was never the same. No one can come face to face with the Lord and remain the same. There will always be some sign that you have been with God.
Remember Jacob at Peniel, Gen. 32:24-32? After his encounter with God he limped on his thigh. Saul of Tarsus was forever changed by his meeting with the Lord Jesus Christ, Acts 9:1-8. The Lord’s Disciples were marked men by having spent time with the Lord, Acts 4:13. There were some changes in Moses life as well. Notice what seeing God will do for you.
There were also benefits that went in God’s direction. Moses was blessed by this powerful experience, but God was benefited too. Because Moses was strengthened in His walk with the Lord, God received worship and Moses became a better servant for the glory of God.)
A. v. 8, 29 It Produced Humility When we see the Lord as He is, we cannot help but see ourselves as we are! Many have very warped views of themselves! We think we are much better and much more holy than we really are. A good glimpse of God will change all of that and will produce genuine humility in our lives. When we get humble, then the Lord can use us for His glory - James 4:10.
(Ill. Verse 29, Moses was the only fellow in camp who did not know that his face glowed with the glory of the Lord! What a lesson!
Those who think they have arrived in holiness, humility and in power with the Lord usually haven’t. It is those who know they are nothing, and that He is everything, who are truly humble people!)
B. v. 8 It Produced Worship When Moses saw the Lord as He really was, it caused Moses to fall before Him and honor the Lord. You will notice that Moses did not shout, sing or testify. When Moses saw the Lord in His glory, he responded by humbling himself. He responded by simply adoring the Lord!
What we think is worship, usually isn’t! It isn’t about singing, testifying, praying or preaching. All of those things may be involved in worship, but just because one or more of these takes place in a service, does not mean that real worship has occurred. Genuine worship involves the heart above all. In genuine worship, there us a desire to exalt the Lord, a desire to see Him receive the glory He is worthy of receiving.
When we see Him in His glory, our worship will change. It will change on an individual level and on a public level. When we see Jesus in His glory, our worship will be about Jesus and nothing more. It will become that which the Lord desires it to be, John 4:24. It won’t be about us or our fleshly displays. It will be about the Lord God Almighty and Him alone!
C. v. 29 It Produced An Outward Change The evidence of spending time with the Lord was all over Moses! These verses seem to indicate that Moses was never the same. It could be that his face glowed until his death. The glory glow on his face was a testimony to the rest of the nation of Israel that spending time with God makes a difference. Moses was a living, visible witness to the power of being in the presence of God.
The same can be true in our lives! When we walk with the Lord in the inner sanctum of the hearts, there will be evidence on the outside that we are walking with Him. Our face may not glow, but our walk, our talk, our lives will all bear witness to the fact that we are walking with the Lord in His power and presence.
D. v. 34-35 It Produced A Special Relationship With God There was a closeness between the Lord and Moses that could not have existed otherwise. So it is with you and me, when we walk in genuine fellowship with the Lord, there is a special relationship that develops. It does not mean that He loves one more than another, but it does mean that He reveals Himself more to those who are walking in closeness to Him.
He will speak more directly through His Word. He will manifest His presence more often in your heart. He will use you more wonderfully for His glory. These things alone make walking with the Lord worthwhile.
Conc: There is much in this passage, but it all comes down to one truth: Moses was brought to a place of sublime worship, and that worship changed his life forever.
Do you have any reasons to worship the Lord? If you do, are you giving Him the worship He deserves? If you don’t, wouldn’t you like to come to Him today and be saved?
Who among us today has a heart like the heart that Moses possessed? Who among us has an overwhelming desire to see the glory of God and to get lost in His worship? If that describes you, I challenge you to get before Him now and ask Him to manifest His glory to you.
The worship of God is a significant matter. It literally has the power to change our lives.