Portraits from the Prophets: Jesus Fully Reveals God

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For the last couple of weeks we have looked at how the prophets of the OT foretold the coming of Messiah — the fore-coming of Jesus.
No other founder of a religion had any prophecies predicting the how, when, where and why of their birth.
Only Jesus.
There are many, many prophecies that foretold Jesus’ coming.
In these few weeks leading up to Christmas we are just looking at a few of them.
In Genesis we read the prophecies:
Of One who would crush the serpent, crush the devil’s head.
We read of how Messiah would be the Lion of the tribe of Judah.
Last week, we not only read how Jesus became flesh and dwelt among us, but that the OT prophet Isaiah wrote in Isaiah 7 that Messiah would be born of a virgin.
Because as the angel Gabriel said in Luke 1:37 “37 “For nothing will be impossible with God.””
On Christmas Eve morning (does that make sense?) I want to explore some more about what that meant for Mary, the mother of Jesus to step into and embrace that impossibility.
This morning I want us to think about a conversation Moses had with God.
READ TEXT: Exodus 33:12-23
So, here in our text, Exodus 33:12-23 Moses has a conversation with God. And we learn a few things:


First of all we learn of the of the desperation of Moses.
Moses lets God know that he is keenly aware of his need for God to go with him in leading Israel to the land that God had promised to give them — maybe, if I have any idea of what Moses was facing, it would be better to describe Moses as being desperate.
I doubt we can even begin to imagine what Moses was feeling.
He feels the weight of a whole nation on his shoulders.
Not just the weight, the SURVIVAL, of Israel.
No matter how capable he may have felt as a Prince of Egypt, he feels none of that in this moment.
No matter how great the victories he may have experienced against Pharoah.
He is now the fugitive shepherd from Midian.
He doesn’t have what it takes to lead Israel.
And he admits it to God.
That’s always the right move!
I like the way The Message translates:
James 4:7–10 (MSG) … let God work His will in you. Yell a loud “NO!” to the Devil and watch him scamper. 8 Say a quiet yes to God and He’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. 9 Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. 10 Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet.
I think Moses had learned that about God.
That he needed to humble himself in God’s Presence to receive the supernatural impartation he needed to accomplish the supernatural task of leading God’s people.
I know, as a pastor, I am absolutely desperate for God to go with me — or, more accurately that I need to go with Him, in order to lead this church.
As a husband, I need to go with God to partner with my wife in the storms and the good times of life.
As a father, grandfather, I need to go with God, walk in His wisdom to be able to lead my family.
I have been seeing over and over and over again my need for this.
I despair of having any godly impact in this wicked world when I can’t even have an iota of impact on my family.
May God, enable us to have an utter desperation for Him in EVERY area of our lives.
Our marriages, our ministries, our families our employment, our witness.

Know God

Moses also expresses a desire to know God’s ways so that he might know God more fully.
Every true follower of God wants to know God and His ways.
He or she wants to please Him.
Like Enoch in Hebrews 11:5–6 (NLT) It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying—“he disappeared, because God took him.” [Because] before he was taken up, he was known as a person who pleased God. 6 And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that God exists and that He rewards those who sincerely seek him.
Moses wanted to please God.
He wanted God’s favor on his life.

Distinguished By God’s Presence

Not only that, but Moses wanted God’s favor to be evident on his life and the life of the nation of Israel.
Moses tells God that he believes that only as God’s Presence goes with them will the nations distinguish them from any other pagan nation.
To that end he asks God for His presence.
He says in verse 15: Exodus 33:15 (LSB) “… If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here.
He wants to SEE God’s Glory.
Too many Christians want to strip away God’s Power, Presence and Glory from their lives.
They want, as the Apostle Paul said it in: 2 Timothy 3:9 "… to maintain a facade of “religion”, but their conduct … [denies] its validity. … “
But TRUE followers of Jesus want what He said He would give:
The fullness of His glory.
They want to be a marked people — marked by the Presence of God.
Full of Holy Spirit fire an power.
They are unashamed of the God they serve.
They want the world to know.
They’re not afraid to be “fanatical” for Jesus.
They know that the world doesn’t care about the rules Christians follow.
It doesn’t care about how goody-two shoes we are.
But the world sits up and takes notice when someone is walking in God power and presence and glory.
Moses knew the hostile nations around Israel would only cower in the face of one thing — the power of God.
So he asks God to distinguish his life, the lives of Israel, by anointing them with His Presence.
He knew that God’s Presence and Glory displays God’s favor.
He knew the truth of before it was even written: Romans 8:31 (LSB) … If God is for us, who could [possibly be] against us?

Jesus Displays God’s Presence and Glory

Do we have any idea what Moses is talking about?
If not, I am concerned that we have no idea of who God is.
God is more than a dead religious system.
A ritual of dragging yourself out of bed on a rainy morning and going to church once a month.
He is Presence and Power and Glory operating in our lives.
How could we possible be satisfied with anything less?
And because a greater than Moses was born 2000 years ago we have access to what we need.
In fact we are told, in Jesus’ name, in His authority: Hebrews 4:16 (LSB) … draw near to the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
In Jesus’ Name, step into the Throne Room of God.
Spend time in His Presence.
Not a quick dash under the glory spout.
Rather spending time steeping in the Presence and Glory of God.
The Lord honored Moses by agreeing to reveal His goodness and glory—but not His face.
In the incarnation, however, God is fully revealed, and His presence is offered to ALL who receive Him.
This intimate moment Moses experiences with God is made available to all through Christ — as we see Jesus “face to face” (1 John 3:2; 1 Cor. 13:12).
Jesus GIVES us His Presence and Glory
He prayed to the Father in John 17:20–24 (LSB) “I do not ask on behalf of these alone [not just the disciples], but for those also who believe in Me through their word; 21 that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 “The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; 23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. 24 “Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.

Step Into His Glory

What burdens are weighing on your shoulders today?
As the worship team comes this morning, please know that the Lord longs to lift everyone.
The only thing God wants you to be overwhelmed with is the weight of His glory.
Bondages of fear, sin, and doubt melt in His all-consuming presence.
We are about to see God’s face, but tonight we will gather at 5:00 pm to pray — to seek God — to spend time in His Presence behold His Glory.
Rick DuBose, the Assistant General Superintendent of the AG, has written a book released this year entitled In Jesus’ Name: 5 Altars of Prayer That Move Heaven and Earth.
In it he says:
Satan fears prayer because prayer moves the unseen. Satan understands that he is most vulnerable when we pray, when we take up this struggle against the powers of darkness through prayer. It is no surprise that he will use every tactic at his disposal to keep us from praying. From simple distractions to legal limitations, Satan seeks to silence our prayers, too.
It was true in Daniel’s day and true in ours. It is no coincidence that prayer continues to be under attack. It always has been and always will be, as long as the enemy is about his work. Private, personal prayer may be permitted (though it is often ridiculed and increasingly neglected) but [just like in Daniel’s day] public prayer is fiercely attacked. The Barna Group has reported that of the Americans who pray, only two percent pray audibly with another person or group, and only two percent participate in praying with their church.
Will you defy the odds and seek God in worship and prayer tonight?
Will you give God more than a few minutes on Sunday morning?
Until then, let’s come to the front and, like Moses of old, ask God to show us His glory?
Because we serve a Great God!
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