Hearing God’s WordBro. David Chancellor
2/10/2008 6:00 PM
And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not. And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.
And the Lord said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven.
There was no need to make anything like God because he spoke to them from heaven and there was nothing like him. The 10 commandments were given to the people, but the rest of the law was also given at the same time. God made an effort to deal with them directly, but the people were afraid. Their fear prevented them from taking in what God had to say.
When we stand before God, we need to realize we’re standing before one who is greater than ourselves. We should have a reverence and awe of him. It is important that God saw fit to speak to mankind.
The Israelites had already broken the 10 commandments before they got the first set that was written in stone.
And the Lord said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest. And be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning unto mount Sinai, and present thyself there to me in the top of the mount. And no man shall come up with thee, neither let any man be seen throughout all the mount; neither let the flocks nor herds feed before that mount.
And he hewed two tables of stone like unto the first; and Moses rose up early in the morning, and went up unto mount Sinai, as the Lord had commanded him, and took in his hand the two tables of stone. And the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth. Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will be no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped. And he said, If now I have found grace in thy sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray thee, go among us; for it is a stiffnecked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for thine inheritance.
This was Moses’ second time to receive the 10 commandments. "And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth. Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will be no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation." This was God’s calling card. God put his qualifications out there for Moses to see. That is the wonderfulness of God. God doesn’t clear the guilty. He doesn’t overlook things, but he will forgive things. We need to take sin and wrong to God and get his forgiveness. If we don’t keep our eyes on God, we’re handing something on to the next generation. When people sin it affects the following generations. It makes a difference what we do, because it affects those who come after us. God forgives sin and iniquity.
Because of Moses’ prayer, God was merciful to the people. The covenant was preserved in the second writing of the 10 commandments for ages to come.
And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses’ hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him. And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him. And Moses called unto them; and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned unto him: and Moses talked with them. And afterward all the children of Israel came nigh: and he gave them in commandment all that the Lord had spoken with him in mount Sinai. And till Moses had done speaking with them, he put a vail on his face. But when Moses went in before the Lord to speak with him, he took the vail off, until he came out. And he came out, and spake unto the children of Israel that which he was commanded. And the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face shone: and Moses put the vail upon his face again, until he went in to speak with him.
When Moses came back to speak to the people, they were afraid of him, too, because his face shone from his time with God. Moses spoke face to face with God and veiled to the people. The people struggled to receive the word of God from Moses while the glory of God was on him. Man that hasn’t been reconciled to God will always struggle with receiving the word from God.
God’s law was unchanging, but he is merciful and forgiving, gracious and longsuffering toward mankind. Many are stiff-necked and ignore God’s law; for these there is much to fear.
There was a man sent from God; whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them which believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
God sent a messenger, his Son. John was sent to prepare the way, to carry the calling card for Christ. Jesus came as a common man, so much so that many didn’t recognize him because he didn’t fit their idea of how things should be. God moved on Jesus, as he did with Moses, so people would know that he was from God. When Jesus did things that proved he was from God, they thought he was breaking God’s laws. They struggled to receive what God had to say.
2 Corinthians 3:4-18
And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves: but our sufficiency is of God; Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious. Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech: And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
It was a glorious thing when God gave the law through Moses. It was lawmaking at its best. But the law was a ministration of death, because it brought the realization of how sinful man was. There was nothing in that law to help them keep it. Real spiritual life didn’t come through the law. Religions today fall into two categories: 1) recognizing the life that comes through Christ, or 2) a religion of works – trying to achieve favor through living according to a law. Outside of Christ, no law has the power to make the hearer live according to what it proscribes. The Spirit of God brings glory you won’t find anywhere else. Paul saw the glory of God that had been in the law, but he saw that the glory of God in Christ was far superior.
We have to turn to God with all our hearts if the word of God would be opened to us. We can’t continue to be rebellious and stiff-necked and hope to understand the word of God. We find in Christ by the Spirit of God the liberty to live as God would have us to live. The law doesn’t change the heart like the Spirit of God does. God will forgive the things you’ve done wrong. God wants people to serve him.
When Moses went into the presence of God, his face shone. God’s glory can shine from us, too. When Stephen was martyred people saw God’s glory on his face. They may not have seen it when he was preaching, but when he died they saw the glory of God there.
We can be restored to the image of God that we were created in. Our adversary would try to convince us that it wasn’t available to us, but Jesus was sent to restore that to us. The devil opposes the message of sanctification that Jesus brought to us. Don’t quit seeking until it’s yours.