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Exodus 19:9-25

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Exodus 19:9–25 CSB
The Lord said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear when I speak with you and will always believe you.” Moses reported the people’s words to the Lord, and the Lord told Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. They must wash their clothes and be prepared by the third day, for on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. Put boundaries for the people all around the mountain and say: Be careful that you don’t go up on the mountain or touch its base. Anyone who touches the mountain must be put to death. No hand may touch him; instead he will be stoned or shot with arrows and not live, whether animal or human. When the ram’s horn sounds a long blast, they may go up the mountain.” Then Moses came down from the mountain to the people and consecrated them, and they washed their clothes. He said to the people, “Be prepared by the third day. Do not have sexual relations with women.” On the third day, when morning came, there was thunder and lightning, a thick cloud on the mountain, and a very loud trumpet sound, so that all the people in the camp shuddered. Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Mount Sinai was completely enveloped in smoke because the Lord came down on it in fire. Its smoke went up like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain shook violently. As the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and God answered him in the thunder. The Lord came down on Mount Sinai at the top of the mountain. Then the Lord summoned Moses to the top of the mountain, and he went up. The Lord directed Moses, “Go down and warn the people not to break through to see the Lord; otherwise many of them will die. Even the priests who come near the Lord must consecrate themselves, or the Lord will break out in anger against them.” Moses responded to the Lord, “The people cannot come up Mount Sinai, since you warned us: Put a boundary around the mountain and consecrate it.” And the Lord replied to him, “Go down and come back with Aaron. But the priests and the people must not break through to come up to the Lord, or he will break out in anger against them.” So Moses went down to the people and told them.

Holiness matters to God

(CSB)
9 The Lord said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear when I speak with you and will always believe you.” Moses reported the people’s words to the Lord, 10 and the Lord told Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. They must wash their clothes 11 and be prepared by the third day, for on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. 12 Put boundaries for the people all around the mountain and say: Be careful that you don’t go up on the mountain or touch its base. Anyone who touches the mountain must be put to death. 13 No hand may touch him; instead he will be stoned or shot with arrows and not live, whether animal or human. When the ram’s horn sounds a long blast, they may go up the mountain.”

No man can face God without also facing God’s wrath.

10 and the Lord told Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. They must wash their clothes 11 and be prepared by the third day, for on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. 12 Put boundaries for the people all around the mountain and say: Be careful that you don’t go up on the mountain or touch its base. Anyone who touches the mountain must be put to death.
Illus: When we say God is Holy, what does that mean? When God says that he his holy, it means that he is completely seperate from us. He is perfect. He is righteous . God does not sin.
Whenever
This perfect, sinless, righteousness is displayed most clearly in God’s glory. God is jealous for his glory, he will not allow his glory to be tarnished by anything.
God created human beings to display His holiness. We are created in his immage, but
As humans we are far from holy. We are imperfect. We commit sin, which by definition is anything that tarnished the holiness of God.
God created human beings to display His glory. We are created in his image, but when we sin we tarnish God’s glory.
God cannot sit idly by as we rob him of His glory. Because of that his God will poor out his wrath upon anyone who sins.
(CSB) 18 For God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth,
(CSB) 18 For God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth,
18 For God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth,

Without intervention, there is no way we can know, or even approach God.

9 The Lord said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear when I speak with you and will always believe you.” Moses reported the people’s words to the Lord, 10 and the Lord told Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. They must wash their clothes
Illus: Many of us have this idea that if we live a pretty good life, God will be happy with us. Frankly, if that is the standard, I would be ok.
Here is the problem with that logic, God isn’t judging us on whether we do more good than bad. That’s karma, and karma will send you to hell.
God’s expectation is for you to be holy and perfect as He is holy and perfect.
Oh, and God’s standards are far higher than your standards. God not only judges our actions, he judges our motives behind our actions as well. So if you do the right thing with the wrong motive, God knows.
Knowing that we will face God’s judgment for our sin, we must approach him through an intermediary. First it was Moses, then a sacrificial system, but the true solution was Jesus.
There is no way, even for the best of us, to approach God in our own righteousness.
JEsus took the wrath, the punishment, we deserved for our sin, and created a way for us to approach God.
(CSB) 19 He said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim the name ‘the Lord’ before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” 20 But he added, “You cannot see my face, for humans cannot see me and live.” 21 The Lord said, “Here is a place near me. You are to stand on the rock, 22 and when my glory passes by, I will put you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will take my hand away, and you will see my back, but my face will not be seen.”
19 He said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim the name ‘the Lord’ before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” 20 But he added, “You cannot see my face, for humans cannot see me and live.” 21 The Lord said, “Here is a place near me. You are to stand on the rock, 22 and when my glory passes by, I will put you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will take my hand away, and you will see my back, but my face will not be seen.”

To approach God, you must be made clean.

(CSB)
20 The Lord came down on Mount Sinai at the top of the mountain. Then the Lord summoned Moses to the top of the mountain, and he went up. 21 The Lord directed Moses, “Go down and warn the people not to break through to see the Lord; otherwise many of them will die. 22 Even the priests who come near the Lord must consecrate themselves, or the Lord will break out in anger against them.”

God does not desire for us to fall away from him, but instead works so that we might know Him.

21 The Lord directed Moses, “Go down and warn the people not to break through to see the Lord; otherwise many of them will die. 22 Even the priests who come near the Lord must consecrate themselves, or the Lord will break out in anger against them.”
Illus: God could have looked at our sin and destroyed us. That would have been easy. God didn’t though. He opened our eyes by giving us the law so that we could see our sin.
He made us see our need to be clean.
Any good doctor doesn’t just tell you what medicines to take without telling you whats wrong. Instead the first step of treatment is for the doctor to help you grasp whats wrong.
We catch this picture in Exodus 34
(CSB) 30 When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, the skin of his face shone! They were afraid to come near him. 31 But Moses called out to them, so Aaron and all the leaders of the community returned to him, and Moses spoke to them. 32 Afterward all the Israelites came near, and he commanded them to do everything the Lord had told him on Mount Sinai. 33 When Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face. 34 But whenever Moses went before the Lord to speak with him, he would remove the veil until he came out. After he came out, he would tell the Israelites what he had been commanded, 35 and the Israelites would see that Moses’s face was radiant. Then Moses would put the veil over his face again until he went to speak with the Lord.
30 When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, the skin of his face shone! They were afraid to come near him. 31 But Moses called out to them, so Aaron and all the leaders of the community returned to him, and Moses spoke to them. 32 Afterward all the Israelites came near, and he commanded them to do everything the Lord had told him on Mount Sinai. 33 When Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face. 34 But whenever Moses went before the Lord to speak with him, he would remove the veil until he came out. After he came out, he would tell the Israelites what he had been commanded, 35 and the Israelites would see that Moses’s face was radiant. Then Moses would put the veil over his face again until he went to speak with the Lord.

The only way to approach God is to be completely cleansed.

21 The Lord directed Moses, “Go down and warn the people not to break through to see the Lord; otherwise many of them will die. 22 Even the priests who come near the Lord must consecrate themselves, or the Lord will break out in anger against them.”
Illus: We are living in a time when we want to minimize the sin both in our lives and the lives of those around us.
Tolerance seems to be the theme of the day.
If we really love people, we should ignore the sins in their lives. At least thats what our culture says.
If we truly come to grasp the holiness of God, there is no room for tollerance of sin. Why? because we understand that a toleration of sin leads to the wrath of God.
(CSB) 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires of your former ignorance. 15 But as the one who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; 16 for it is written, Be holy, because I am holy.,
(CSB) 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires of your former ignorance. 15 But as the one who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; 16 for it is written, Be holy, because I am holy.,

God has provided a way for us to approach Him.

(CSB)
23 Moses responded to the Lord, “The people cannot come up Mount Sinai, since you warned us: Put a boundary around the mountain and consecrate it.” 24 And the Lord replied to him, “Go down and come back with Aaron. But the priests and the people must not break through to come up to the Lord, or he will break out in anger against them.”

God has provided Jesus Christ.

Illus: Let’s just look at the big ideas from this passage, you can’t approach God without facing His wrath, your righteousness alone is not enough, you must be made clean, in fact you must be made completely clean. This leads us to the single conclusion that it is impossible to approach God.
But God has provided a way. Jesus Christ took every bit of wrath that our sins earned us. Then he gave us his righteousness so that we can approach God boldly knowing that we do not stand in our sin, or self, but in His perfect righteousness.
(CSB) 23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. 24 They are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. 25 God presented him as an atoning sacrifice, in his blood, received through faith, to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his restraint God passed over the sins previously committed. 26 God presented him to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so that he would be righteous and declare righteous the one who has faith in Jesus.
23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. 24 They are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. 25 God presented him as an atoning sacrifice, in his blood, received through faith, to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his restraint God passed over the sins previously committed. 26 God presented him to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so that he would be righteous and declare righteous the one who has faith in Jesus.
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