Touch this Mountain…

The idea that everyone is strong enough to bear immediate contact with God is false, and conceivable only by an age that has forgotten what it means to stand in the direct ray of divine power, that substitutes religious ‘experience’ for the overwhelming reality of God’s presence.  Romano Guardini, The Lord.

 

from a Bible card published by the Providence Lithograph Company, 1907

from a Bible card published by the Providence Lithograph Company, 1907

Also…  Take care not to go up into the mountain or touch the edge of it.  Whoever touches the mountain shall be put to death.  Ex 19:12

You cannot see my face, for man shall not see my face and live.  Ex 33:20

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Sunday’s Sermon – Heart in God’s Hands – Exodus 7-10

ExodusIs the idea of someone’s heart being in God’s hands a comforting one?  Well, what if we’re talking about Pharaoh’s hard heart?  The account of God’s plagues and Pharaoh’s hard/hardening/hardened heart is not one which pleases modern ears.  But in it we see some truth, some problems, and even…  some comfort.  From the 25th of May, 2014.

Heart in God’s Hands – Exodus 7-10.  Click here.

God: “I’ve got this!”

The Parting of the Red Sea - Arnold Friberg, 1953. Could you do that sort of thing for yourself?

The Parting of the Red Sea – Arnold Friberg, 1953.
Could you do that sort of thing for yourself?

 

As I am expositing my way through Exodus these days, it is amazing to see the great story of God’s redemption played out there.  In short, the Gospel is back there in Exodus.  Look at this beautiful passage from Exodus 6.  God is summarizing the whole enterprise with getting Israel out of Egypt.  I’m going to emphasize a certain word and then we’ll see one of Exodus’ great themes pop out:

But the Lord said to Moses, “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh; for with a strong hand he will send them out, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land.”  God spoke to Moses and said to him, “I am the Lord.  I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by my name the Lord I did not make myself known to them.  I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they lived as sojourners.  Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the people of Israel whom the Egyptians hold as slaves, and I have remembered my covenant.  Say therefore to the people of Israel, ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment.  I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.  I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I will give it to you for a possession. I am the Lord.’”  Exodus 6:1-8 ESV

Did you see it?  It is the word “I”.  It almost jumps out with staccato boldness.  God is saying, quite emphatically, that in regards to the deliverance of His People “I’ve got this!”  And the entire Exodus shows this.  Not because they are so great, not because they’re super faithful, but because God has committed Himself to their rescue are the Hebrews going to make it.

In this we see the Good News of Christ foreshown.  (I’m not sure foreshown is even a real word but ‘foreshadowed’ and ‘foretold’ don’t seem strong enough.  It’s my blog and I can make up words if I want).  The Good News of God’s grace really is that He is the One who saves us and sets us free.  There are always obediences and implications of God’s work and His Kingdom we must act upon.  But fundamentally everything always rests upon the work of God and His initiative.  He is going to do it.  He has done it.  Can we look upon the Cross and hear His message of “I’ve got this!” ?