Tag Archives: Exodus 3

Stand in Awe Outline

{ASH WEDNESDAY 2017}

Stand in Awe

Let the whole world fear the LORD, and let everyone stand in awe of Him. [Psalm 33:8]

Lent is a season of fasting and renewal. When you fast (stop doing something), but you also replace it with something else—something beneficial to your relationship with Jesus.

For this Lenten season, let us stand in awe and worship our God. We were made to worship God, to glorify God. But as we go through our days, we often add other things to the mix.

 

[LEVITICUS 10]

Unauthorized fire – Hebrew word “zara” means strange, from outside

 

[Leviticus 10:3]

‘Among those who approach me I will be proved holy; in the sight of all the people I will be honored.”  Aaron remained silent. [NIV]

“I must be treated as holy”

 

 

Holy is used more often as a prefix to God’s name more than any other attribute in Scripture.

 

Holy – “Set Apart” – [Exodus 3:14] I AM WHO I AM

[Revelation 22:13] He is the Alpha. The Omega. The First. The Last. The Beginning. The End.

[Revelation 1:8] He was and is and is to come.

[1 Samuel 2:2] Hannah says – “There is none holy like the LORD: for there is none besides you.”

 

As we see in this story in Leviticus, the closer you are to God – the more careful you need to be about His holiness so not to dishonor God.

 

The sad thing is not only do some people treat the things of God with contempt, but they also can cause others to follow suit, as possible with this instance with the strange fire.

 

During this Lenten season, let us ask…

 

  • What are you adding to your offering to God that isn’t meant to be there?

 

  • What is getting in the way of you fully offering yourself to Him? Fully worshiping Him as He deserves?

 

 

[Exodus 33:20] We read about Moses asking to see God’s glory….  God’s holiness is so blindingly radiant we cannot see it and live. Moses had to be hidden behind a rock for the glory of God to pass by.

 

It was this Holy Ground that required man to remove the unclean shoes and hide his face.

 

 

[Isaiah 6:1-4]

Only when we encounter God in His holiness is it possible for us to see our own self – “I am a sinful man”

This is something we must all come to recognize. I AM A SINNER!

Today, we don’t tread on the same Holy Ground as Moses. We don’t have the same need for a veil to shield us from the glory. Instead, we have the glory of God within us because of Christ.

[2 Corinthians 4:3-7] If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing. Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.  You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure.This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.

Our foreheads are marked tonight by ashes as we are reminded that we are but dust, that we are like fragile clay jars containing the great treasure from God Himself. We are reminded that without Jesus, we are nothing. He is the way, the truth, and the life. Our lives are marked WITH AND FOR CHRIST.

 

This should lead us to Awe * Worship * Adoration

[Isaiah 40:12-31] God has no equal

God….

  • Loves perfectly
  • Speaks perfectly
  • Creates perfectly
  • Acts perfectly
  • Chooses perfectly
  • Teaches perfectly
  • Disciplines perfectly

 

[Exodus 15:11]

Who is like YOU –

  • glorious in holiness,
  • awesome in splendor,
  • performing great wonders

 

What is keeping you from falling at his feet?

 

In Revelation 1:17, John sees Jesus and he immediately falls at His feet.

What’s keeping you from this?

What’s keeping you from the AWE?

 

A Always thankful[1 Thessalonians 5:18] CONTINUALLY THANKFUL

WWorship everywhere– IN ALL THAT YOU DO AND SAY [Colossians 3:17] – this isn’t just singing (everything you do should point to Him)

You should continually be aware of His presence everywhere.

E Eyes on Him– Eyes on Jesus [Hebrews 12:2] Perfecter of Faith

 

Consider the ashes on your forehead this evening… here’s a picture of what is coming…

[Revelation 22:3-5] No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and His servants will worship him. And they will see His face, and His name will be written on their foreheads. And there will be no night there–no need for lamps or sun–for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever.

 

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” [Revelation 4]

 

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A Mighty Hand

As God shares His plan with Moses, He lets Moses know that Pharaoh would not let the people go when he would make the request. Even though Moses was being sent to make this special request, the numerous requests would never work. It was the mighty hand of God that would cause Pharaoh to release the people of Israel.

The “mighty hand” that “forces,” can be described as being “under compulsion.” God is saying that Pharaoh would not allow the people to go unless forced to do this at some point. Imagine being Moses. Imagine the request from God—to go and speak to Pharaoh with a promise that he would not listen. Doesn’t it seem crazy? Go ask this person to say “yes,” but understand he will always say, “no.”

If you are told that what you do will not be successful on your part, would you still do it? Would you be satisfied knowing that the mighty hand of God was going to handle it? Why would Moses even be needed at all if God’s strength was going to be what changed Pharaoh’s mind? All this points back to the glory of God. Remember, this was God’s power on display. Moses showed up and was used as a vessel, but at the end of the day, it was the mighty hand of God that caused Pharaoh to release His special people.

“But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand forces him.” – Exodus 3:19 [NLT]

True Encounter

Could you look at God? Could you look right into His face? As Moses stands in the presence of God, facing the bush that would not be consumed by the fire, he hears someone speaking. The voice says that the ground ahead is holy; Moses had to remove his sandals. But this encounter does not end there.

The voice then reveals Who is speaking. He says, “I am the God of your father–the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” When Moses realizes he is in the presence of God, that he is encountering God, he covered his face. Why conceal his face from God? Fear of God. He was afraid to look at God.

This fear of God is not wrong. Each one of us should fear God. We are meant to fear God. Moses recognizes at that moment that he is a sinner standing before a holy God. Immediately he acknowledges that he is unworthy by hiding his face. At this point in the story, God shares with Moses the great plan to redeem His people. One of the awesome things we read is that God is going to use unqualified Moses to help His chosen people. Today, consider if you have had a true encounter of Jesus Christ. Have you turned and hid your face when before our holy God? Have you recognized your great need for Jesus Christ? We all need Jesus!

“’I am the God of your father–the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God.” – Exodus 3:6 [NLT]

Take Off Your Shoes

Moses was told to take off his sandals for he was standing on holy ground (Exodus 3:5). Joshua was told to take off his sandals for he was standing on holy ground (Joshua 5:15). Holy means set apart or sacred. One of my favorite passages references Isaiah’s commission. Isaiah sees the Lord sitting on His throne and He is in complete awe and reverence as he hears the words, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty.” He knows he is unclean. He knows he is undeserving.

It is important to approach God with fear and awe. The fear is not the fear we consider when we typically speak of fear. When Proverbs 1 speaks of the fear of the Lord being the beginning of wisdom, it doesn’t mean we are frightened as we are when watching a horror movie. Fearing God means that you have a fear of disobeying and displeasing God which would result in judgment and a disconnection from Him. It is about reverence and submission. God is holy and exalted above all. It is approaching with humility.

Yes, the blood of Jesus has cleansed us and when we repent we are forgiven of our sins. Yes, the veil has been torn and we can approach God once again. But it is important that we still approach God with fear and awe. The song says you have a friend in Jesus, and you do, but that is to be treasured not stomped on. When you approach God in prayer, in church, wherever—don’t take it for granted. Focus on Him. Remember He is holy and you too are to be holy. May your heart be filled with a passion and desire to worship, to truly worship Him, with all that you have and all that you are, each and every day.

“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.’ At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. ’Woe to me!’ I cried. ‘I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.’” – Isaiah 6:1-5 [NIV]

 

God With You

When considering a change in life, do you consider if you can do it? When you are facing a difficult situation, do you consider if you can do it? From what I have seen, many people consider their own strength. Whatever they are faced with, they consider if they alone can do it. If they cannot physically, financially, and emotionally do it, then that is it.

Moses was told to go lead the Israelites out of Egypt and he immediately considered if it was something he could do alone. He said “what makes you think” that I can do that? More or less it was an excuse because Moses considered his own strength and knew it was impossible. But it wasn’t impossible for God.

Too often we consider our own strength but we are not doing life alone. We have a God who is all-powerful. We have a God who is mighty. We have a God who created the Earth. We have a God who sustains us, who provides for us, who helps us, who blesses us with all that we see, feel, and know. Today, remember that God is with you, and consider what you can do through Him rather than without Him. So much more is possible when you see things through Him.

“Moses answered God, ‘But why me? What makes you think that I could ever go to Pharaoh and lead the children of Israel out of Egypt?’

‘I’ll be with you,’ God said. ‘And this will be the proof that I am the one who sent you: When you have brought my people out of Egypt, you will worship God right here at this very mountain.’”

– Exodus 3:11-12 [MSG]

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What Seemed Impossible

There are some promises we cannot even fathom. In Exodus 3:21, God promises to do something that Moses surely must have questioned at least a tiny bit. At this point in time the Hebrews were slaves in Egypt. They were being abused. They were in no way looked at favorably. Why on earth would the Egyptians give anything of value to the Hebrew slaves?

Anyone in that situation would have found it hard to see something on a far different level. I am sure a homeless man living on a street corner would not believe someone who told them that in a few weeks they would be moving into a penthouse, or even that they would have a home at all. This seems as something impossible.

But we serve a God who does the impossible. God made this promise to Moses and later it would come true. The Egyptians wanted to be rid of the Israelites so badly. They gave them gifts. It happened just as God promised. Today, as things might look impossible—trust in the promises of God. Remember that He is a God of the impossible and if He has made a promise, He will see that it comes to be just as He said.

“And I will cause the Egyptians to look favorably on you. They will give you gifts when you go so you will not leave empty-handed.” – Exodus 3:21 [NLT]

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You Must

We don’t often feel compelled to do things for God. Most people think that God is supposed to do something for them. How many people pray, Lord what can I do through You today? How many people pray, asking the Lord for things? There is most likely a big difference.

God doesn’t need us. God doesn’t need us to do anything for Him. We cannot help Him with things. But He does call us to do things in life. We shouldn’t think that these “things” we are called to do in life are optional. As a child of God, we should desire to do these things. We should be asking what we can do through Him, rather than delivering Him a grocery list type prayer every day.

In today’s verse, God tells Moses, “You must.”  It did not mean that God couldn’t do things another way. It did not mean that Moses was being forced into anything. This was God’s calling on Moses’ life. This was God’s plan coming to play—how God could shine through Moses. Today, what “must” you do?

“Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.” – Exodus 3:10 [NLT]

 

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Now Go

When reading Exodus 3-4, we find God calling Moses. Most people can remember the burning bush. Like all of us, God created Moses for a purpose. Moses was to lead God’s chosen people out of Egypt. In 3:10, after Moses answers God with “Here I am” and hears of God’s concern for His people and their suffering, and the promise of rescue and “a land flowing with milk and honey,” God tells Moses , “So now, go.” Yet, Moses does not go. There is excuse after excuse given. Who am I? What is Your name? What if they don’t believe me? I cannot speak so well. In 4:12, again God says, “Now go” and He promises to help Moses. Still, Moses says, “Please send someone else” (v. 13).

It is interesting to see the exchange between God and Moses. When we see dozens of verses later that God is still trying to get Moses to go do what He asked, it is safe to say that we all have been in that same position. We all have a pile of excuses that we have given God. It could be something like, “Well I didn’t have enough time to read my Bible today” or “I was too tired to pray last night before bed.” Maybe it sounds something like this: “You want me to go back to school but I’m making good money at the job I have now.” Perhaps it is “I have too much on my plate now. There is no way I can serve the church.” There are likely millions of excuses I could list here. We all make them.

When Moses finally moves forward as God commanded, it is easily seen that God is with him. Everything God said is true. God is faithful. Moses gave excuses to God on being used as a vessel for God’s glory to accomplish God’s plan. We give the same excuses. But remember, it is God’s plan. He is faithful.  If He has given you something to do, He has given you everything you need to get it done. His plans will not be thwarted. As you go through your day today, if you feel God leading you, don’t give an excuse. Show up for duty. When you show up for duty, you find that He already has done the hard part.