Faithlife Sermons

The Father: Living God

Bedrock: Foundations of Faith   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Psalm 73:28 KJV 1900
But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, That I may declare all thy works.
Exodus 3 Turn to

Introduction

Gather
• Phone equipped with Siri or another virtual assistant.

Steps

1. Students come up with questions to ask Siri.
2. End by asking Siri “Who am I?” and “Who are you?”
Siri has a response for every question, though some of her answers aren’t very helpful. Moses didn’t have Siri to help him navigate life, but he was by no means without an assistant. Though more than a hundred miles from his home in the middle of nowhere, he had a conversation with God, asking him “Who am I? and “Who are You?” The answers to those questions should challenge us to take our eyes off ourselves and put our faith in our living, active God.

God Is Living

Before Moses was even born, God had selected him to deliver the Israelites out of Egypt. God then protected Moses as a baby and even led him to become part of Pharaoh’s household for forty years. But when Moses tried to covertly deliver the Hebrews, his murderous act became known throughout Egypt. Both his kinsmen and the Egyptians rejected him. He fled for his life and ended up in Midian far away from the troubles of Egypt. There he met his wife and started a family.

After forty years in Midian, Moses’ life seemed to have become forgotten by God and mundane.

The excitement of living in the Egyptian palace had long since faded, as had perhaps any thought of leading God’s Chosen People out of Egypt.

God is Present

. Moses had journeyed over a hundred miles from Midian in search of vegetation for his father-in-law’s flock. As a shepherd, Moses must have felt lonely, lowly, and insignificant.
Exodus 3:1 KJV 1900
Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.
ASK: How did Moses end up at Horeb? Was it a coincidence? God was leading Moses even though he was completely unaware of God’s presence.
Exodus 3:2–3 KJV 1900
And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.
Moses must have been at times bored to tears with caring for sheep for weeks and months at a time. Sheep need constant care and oversight but offer little by way of companionship. When he saw a bush on fire, he stopped his progress to investigate the unusual, exciting, and, no doubt, welcome sight.
Exodus 3:4 KJV 1900
And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.
God called to Moses by name out of the flaming bush. Moses immediately understood that God kept the fire from consuming the bush. He also understood God ignited the fire to grab his attention.
Moses had never left God’s presence.

God was always near Moses, even when Moses was doing mundane tasks like caring for sheep.

Moses must have quickly connected leaving Egypt to arriving in Midian to getting married and to shepherding his father-in-law’s flock.

God had directed all the events Moses had experienced.

God had been with him the whole time.

God is Pure

Moses had much to learn about God, beginning with God’s holiness. God warned Moses to stay back from His presence in the burning bush.
Exodus 3:5 KJV 1900
And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.
God told Moses to take off his sandals for the ground around the burning bush had become holy, meaning set apart for God’s use. God’s presence made the ground holy. It was ordinary dirt and rock otherwise.

Moses removed his shoes to show reverence for God and recognize God’s transcendence.

God is above His creation in that He is pure and free from any taint of sin. The same could not be said for Moses. Moses humbled himself before God’s holiness by standing barefoot before Him.
Exodus 3:6 KJV 1900
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.
God made clear He had come to Moses as the God Who coveted with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God had promised Abraham a land for the great nation who would descend from Isaac and Jacob. God had grown Abraham’s nation, but they were slaves in Egypt in need of deliverance.
We won’t observe a burning bush. Yet God works to make us aware of His holiness and our need for cleansing.
ASK: How does God make us aware of our need for cleansing from sin? Primarily through the ministry of His Word as we read it or hear it taught or preached. The Holy Spirit will convict us of our sin and cause us to seek God’s forgiveness.

Moses’ life hadn’t become insignificant. God hadn’t forgotten him.

God had grand plans to involve Moses in His activity in the world.

God is Active

Personally

In Exodus 1 and 2, God worked in the lives of His Chosen People to grow their numbers despite Pharaoh’s attempts to diminish their population. When Pharaoh’s persecution of them grew severe, God saw their affliction and heard their cries.
Exodus 3:7–9 KJV 1900
And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites. Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them.
God’s appearance to Moses was the first step in His grand plan to deliver His Chosen People from slavery and give them the Promised Land where Abraham had walked hundreds of years earlier. There they would enjoy a land flowing with milk and honey. The bountiful land would provide for all their needs as God faithfully watered it and kept it fertile.
Exodus 3:10 KJV 1900
Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.
Notice that God didn’t offer the job of deliverer to Moses. Rather, He commanded Moses to come after Him. He stated that He will send Moses to Pharaoh to bring the children of Israel out of Egypt.

God didn’t ask Moses for advice or a plan; He told Moses His plan and expected Moses to get on board.

ASK: Does God have specific tasks He wants to accomplish through our lives? Explain.
ASK: How might we stay sensitive to leading in our lives? By preparing to serve Him, by watching for opportunities to serve Him, by asking Him to reveal His will, and by exercising faith when we feel inadequate to do His will.
God won’t ask us to lead millions of slaves to freedom. But that doesn’t mean what He wants us to do is insignificant or unimportant. We have the gospel message, and God has commanded us to share it. There is nothing more important or noble than sharing God’s redeeming love for the lost and helping them find deliverance from sin and death.
God has put us where He wants us to minister. Submit to His leading and commit to serving Him by faith.

Powerfully

Moses had left Egypt on the run. The pharaoh at that time wanted to kill him, and the children of Israel had rejected his leadership, voicing their suspicion of his character (2:14). Those scenes must have come flooding back to Moses’ mind. It’s no wonder he resisted God’s plan to send him to back to Egypt.
Exodus 3:11 KJV 1900
And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?
ASK: What was wrong with Moses’ question? It centered on his lack of ability to lead a nation of slaves out of Egypt. It focused on his weakness and insecurities.
Perhaps Moses expected God to respond to him and say, “You have a point, Moses. My bad. I’ll look for someone more qualified, stronger, and better equipped to lead My people out of Egypt. Go back to your shepherding. Sorry to waste your time. Have a nice life!” Instead, God promised to be with Moses.
Exodus 3:12 KJV 1900
And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.
ASK: Why should Moses have been satisfied with the promise of God’s presence with him? Because God is the Almighty. His power is unlimited, and He wields it perfectly and justly.

God’s powerful presence with Moses would guarantee Moses’ success.

God even promised Moses would stand at the base of the same mountain with God’s Chosen People.
Moses then goes on the ask God the question of who He was, and what would he tell the people about who sent him.
God told Moses that His name is the I AM. That name seems odd to us, but in the Hebrew its meaning was clear to Moses.

The name “I AM” means God is self-sustaining. He is dependent on no one. He never had a beginning and will never have an end. He is outside time and space and infinitely powerful.

In other words, He is transcendent, or indescribably above all humanity in every possible way.
Egypt was no match for God’s mighty hand. God promised to repeatedly strike the nation until pharaoh finally let God’s Chosen People go.
God’s answer should have bolstered Moses’ faith in Him and brought about Moses’ immediate surrender to God’s will. But he still hesitated before finally agreeing to go. In the end he didn’t regret putting his faith in God. Before his death, Moses wrote a song about God’s greatness and sang it to God’s people.
Deuteronomy 32:1–4 KJV 1900
Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; And hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. My doctrine shall drop as the rain, My speech shall distil as the dew, As the small rain upon the tender herb, And as the showers upon the grass: Because I will publish the name of the Lord: Ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: For all his ways are judgment: A God of truth and without iniquity, Just and right is he.
Moses’ song reflects what he learned about God after having followed God by faith for another forty years. Moses wanted his poetic words to sink into our minds like rain into a thirsty ground. He wanted us to find strength and refreshment from the truth about God.
We would all agree that God is living and active. But are we living as if God is present and active in our lives right now?

We must guard against treating God as if He is off doing more important things than being interested in our lives.

We must take our eyes off our limitations and insecurities and focus on God’s greatness

so we, like Moses, can end our lives singing His praises having lived by faith in Him.
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