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Exodus Week 3 - God Reveals Himself

Exodus  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  44:07
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Introduction

Last Week - The Birth of Moses

He was raised in an Egyptian home, the home of Pharaoh.
This causes an identity crisis, he is Hebrew but has an Egyptian name, he dresses like an Egyptian, yet wonders about his people the Israelites.
He killed an Egyptian, then flees for his life to Midian.
He becomes a shepherd in Midian, starts a family, leaving his old life behind.
Exodus 2:23–25 NLT
Years passed, and the king of Egypt died. But the Israelites continued to groan under their burden of slavery. They cried out for help, and their cry rose up to God. God heard their groaning, and he remembered his covenant promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He looked down on the people of Israel and knew it was time to act.
40 Years have passed, Moses has made a new life for himself and left his murdering past behind. But then God does something that Moses never expected.

God Calls on Moses

Exodus 3:1–6 NLT
One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up. “This is amazing,” Moses said to himself. “Why isn’t that bush burning up? I must go see it.” When the Lord saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!” “Here I am!” Moses replied. “Do not come any closer,” the Lord warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground. 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.

The Burning Bush

God manifests his presence to Moses in the form of a bush that’s not burning.
He is disclosing something of his holy nature, just as he does in Jesus Christ by displaying his glory for all of us to see.
In order to know God personally we are totally dependant on God making Himself know to us.
This is what God is doing, making Himself know through the miracle of a burning bush, the miracle of Jesus Christ. And He continues to make reveal himself through scripture.
God is calling out to Moses, changing the trajectory of his life, bringing back what Moses thought he had left behind.

Holy Ground

Moses is asked to remove his sandals as he gets closer to God’s presence. Then he hides his face as an act of respect in the presence of God.
What Moses is experience is hard for us to understand, so we have to look this experience through the lens of His culture.
What he is experiencing is actually common. When you grow up in a world that has many gods, it’s common for gods to do stuff like this. They reveal themselves.
Moses has to figure out which god this is, it could be the god of fire, wind or rain.
God reveals himself by telling Moses “I am the God of your ancestors” the one who the Hebrews talk about.

God Has Seen Their Suffering

Exodus 3:7–9 NLT
Then the Lord told him, “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own fertile and spacious land. It is a land flowing with milk and honey—the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live. Look! The cry of the people of Israel has reached me, and I have seen how harshly the Egyptians abuse them.

God is Concerned for His People

God tells Moses that he has been paying attention, paying attention to the oppression that his people have been suffering.
this is strange, because what Moses knows about the gods is that they are mostly used for things, like when you need rain, pray to the god of rain. They are not concerned about others, or their well-being.
God has come to set his people free! He is a God who cares about his creation.
Then God tells Moses how this is going to happen.

God Tells Moses What His Mission Will Be.

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

I Want You to Lead My People

Moses remember 40 years ago, your life in Egypt. The life you fled from, the life you left behind. I want you to go back to that life, and deliver the people of Israel from Egypt.
This is not what Moses would have wanted to hear. I have to bring back all the pain from the past?

Moses Argues, God Reassures with His Presence

Exodus 3:11–15 NLT
But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?” God answered, “I will be with you. And this is your sign that I am the one who has sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God at this very mountain.” But Moses protested, “If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ they will ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?” God replied to Moses, “I Am Who I Am. Say this to the people of Israel: I Am has sent me to you.” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you. This is my eternal name, my name to remember for all generations.

Who am I? You Have the Wrong Guy.

Moses protests, you must be mistaken, that guy is a murderer, you can’t use me to deliver or save anyone from oppression.
I am not worthy of such a task, and besides I have made a new life for myself. And I like this life.

I Will Be With You

God’s answer to Moses is profound and important.
I will be with you.
You think your the wrong guy, but what your not understanding is it won’t just be regular Moses going. It will be Moses with my presence. I will be with you.
Matthew 28:20 NLT
Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Moses continues to argue, and pled his case.

Who Should I Tell Them Has Sent Me? What’s Your Name?

all the gods had a name, the god of rain, fire, love etc.
So Moses figures if he can at least identify this god by name then the people will understand where he is coming from. They won’t think he is crazy.
Also the gods name will tell him and the people what they can get from this god. Because once you know their name you could call on them when you needed something. Calling them by name.
in other words telling them the god of their ancestors has sent me just ins’t enough, I need a specific name.
it is at this moment that God reveals that he is the God, the only God.
He says tell them I AM WHO I AM. I AM sent you. This can also be translated as I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE.
This name I AM conveys the idea that God will be who he is, that is his nature doesn’t change. He has always been and will always be.
I AM is not just a god who does something for you, He is the only God who is actually interested in you and pays attention to what is happening to you.
this is outside of Moses’ understanding of the meaning of god.
This is a phrase that Jesus uses to identify Himself especially in John’s gospel. Jesus says he is I AM. In other words, I have been and always will be. I have been present before, I am present now and will be present in the future. I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE.
So now that you know who I am, this is what you need to do.

Take This Plan to the Elders

Exodus 3:16–18 NLT
“Now go and call together all the elders of Israel. Tell them, ‘Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—has appeared to me. He told me, “I have been watching closely, and I see how the Egyptians are treating you. I have promised to rescue you from your oppression in Egypt. I will lead you to a land flowing with milk and honey—the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live.” ’ “The elders of Israel will accept your message. Then you and the elders must go to the king of Egypt and tell him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. So please let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord, our God.’

The God of Our Ancestors

Notice God keeps repeating that he is the God if their ancestors.
This is important because it speaks to Gods nature. He is saying, I am the God who has spoken in the past and delivered your ancestors, taken care of them and I promised to take make you a great nation.

The Elders Will Listen and Believe

Then God assures Moses that the elders will listen and believe.
They will remember their history and respond.

God Promises a Better Future

Exodus 3:19–22 NLT
“But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand forces him. So I will raise my hand and strike the Egyptians, performing all kinds of miracles among them. Then at last he will let you go. 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. Every Israelite woman will ask for articles of silver and gold and fine clothing from her Egyptian neighbors and from the foreign women in their houses. You will dress your sons and daughters with these, stripping the Egyptians of their wealth.”
Hey listen I know how this is going to go, I know that the king isn’t going to listen. So I will help.

I Will Show My Power

I will show my power by performing all kinds of miracles. This will turn things around for you.

They Will Shower You with Gifts, You Will Prosper and Have a Better Future

so much so that your future looks much better.
the Egyptians will shower you with gifts and you will prosper.
trust me your future looks much better then your present circumstances.
Hebrews 13:14 NLT
For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.
We are promised a better future, a future that is saturated with His presence. A future city where God is king.

Closing

God is interrupting Moses life.
He made a new life that is comfortable, he is happy living this life.
But for us to truly know God, He must reveal Himself to us. And often He does this through interruptions.
As humans one of the things that keeps us captive to sin is our deep need for routine, control and frankly our need for a boring life.
Moses is happy with his boring life as a Shepherd, he wants to leave his radical past behind.
But God wants to reveal Himself to Moses and change the trajectory of his life.
When God interrupts our lives and reveals Himself to us it offers us the opportunity to inhabit Gods story.
It offers us opportunity to live transformed, and to be radical in a way that brings transformation to the world.
When God interrupts pay attention and respond. Respond to what he is calling you to do. Respond by faith knowing that His presence is with you always. It is this presence that empowers us to do radical things within a boring life.
Big Idea: God wants to interrupt your routine so that He can reveal Himself to you. He wants you to step out of your comfort zone and live in His presence. He wants to work through you so that others can experience His presence as well.
Respond to the interruption, pay attention and begin to seek God, begin to seek what he is calling you to do. Seek His presence in you life and trust the God that is and will always be the God who is active, the God who cares, the God who wants to save us.
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