Temple Baptist Church - 4-18-2021
Exodus 33:18-23; 34:5-8
A. In our text, Israel is at Mt. Sinai and Moses alone with God at the summit. Moses, like most of us, wanted to see God’s glory because of the great task of leading a rebellious nation into the Promised Land of Canaan where there would be war!
1. An insurmountable task!
a) God used Moses to bring them out of Egypt and through the Red Sea to this place where God gave him the Law. God “handpicked” this man for the task ahead.
b) Now, Moses has been given a seemingly insurmountable task of taking the nation of Israel through the great wilderness and into Canaan’s land. Moses is looking for assurance.
2. An awesome responsibility!
a) Do not send me alone! In verse 12, God had promised grace to Moses for the task, but Moses is looking for someone to go with him. He understood the awesome responsibility because these were God’s people and knew that the way would be hard.
b) Show me thy way! In verse 13, Moses asked God to lead him. Moses was a ruler in Egypt and knew the “short way” to Canaan and, therefore, knew that the Sinai Peninsula was neither the easy way nor the shortest way to go.
3. A rebellious and stiff-necked people!
a) They rebelled in Egypt! Exodus 5:21 And they said unto them, The LORD look upon you, and judge; because ye have made our savour to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us.
b) They rebelled at the Red Sea. Exodus 14:11 And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?
c) They rebelled at the waters of Marah! Exodus 15:24 And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?
d) They rebelled by making the calf at Sinai! Exodus 32:1 And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.
4. A twofold promise! Jehovah God, in verse 14, made a twofold promise to Moses:
a) The promise of God’s presence in a hard place. “MY presence shall go with thee!” That alone should be enough.
b) The promise of God’s rest in a hard journey. “AND I will give thee rest! Resting in His presence in the hard places ahead.
B. Moses’ Request – Exodus 33:18 And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.
C. God’s Answer – Exodus 33:20-23 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. (21) And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: (22) And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: (23) And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen. (God told Moses that he could not see God’s face but he could see where God had been!)
D. Though God did not allow Moses to see His glory, He pronounced His glory in numerating His works. This is how you and I perceive God’s glory today.
Exodus 34:5-8 And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. (6) And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, (7) Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. (8) And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped.
E. Though God could not be seen, His glory can be both perceived and seen! God led Israel through the Red Sea and destroyed Pharoah’s entire army and ridded Israel of its power and continued threat. One fell sweep by God and their problem disappeared forever. Never again would Egypt bother God’s people.
F. By the same token, God’s children can behold the glory of God in many ways and that glory gives us a proper perspective of who He is. Paul said in Philippians 3:10, “That I may know him …” This morning, I want to tie two thoughts together: a) That I may know Him and b) Shew me thy glory.
G. Often, we hear someone say that they have seen God or Jesus. These people are deceivers! I say that without apology because they are calling God a liar by doing so.
John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
1 Timothy 1:17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
1 Timothy 6:14-16 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: (15) Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; (16) Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.
John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
H. I have read several verses that speak of the invisibility of God but, through your bible and Christian experience, you can know God and, to know God is to see His glory!
1. We see God in Creation. Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Colossians 1:15-16 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
2. We see God in His Word. Hebrews 10:7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
3. We see God in Faith. Hebrews 11:1-3 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (2) For by it the elders obtained a good report. (3) Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
2 Corinthians 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
4. We see God in Deliverances. The First Mention of Glorious - Exodus 15:3-6 The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name. (4) Pharaoh's chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea. (5) The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom as a stone. (6) Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy.
Genesis 18:14a Is any thing too hard for the LORD?
Luke 1:37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.
5. We see God in Trials and Tribulations. Hebrews 11:27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.
1 Peter 1:5-7 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (6) Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: (7) That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
6. And one day, we shall see Him as HE IS – 1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.