2019-12-01-LIVE OAKS - Close, but...

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Close, but...  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  30:04
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We know that Christmas is time of Emmanuel of God coming near of God coming to us of God being born as baby all through scripture. There are instances of God coming close to man. Close, but just does anybody know the two things. We're close counts in Horseshoes and Hand Grenades. Absolutely.

so as we look through scripture this month, I want to see Where where God was closed where man and God were close? But maybe it's my own experience. I've had a lot of things in my life. Like I was close to close to this as close to that opportunity as close to 5 plus closest and if I'm not careful then I got a lot of regrets. But if I'm faithful I go out O Lord all part of your plan. Thank you. That's what I want us to see this month. Is that each of these instances of God coming near it's closed but But I don't want you to interpret these are somehow being mistakes because what under gerds this this whole study for us is the absolute sovereignty of God and I'm prayerful that maybe in some of these well-known stories will go. Oh wow. This is God Sovereign hand at work. This is God and leading us to something. This is God leading us to something more amazing than we originally thought.

Before Christmas God was close but Let's look in the garden. Let's look in the garden. Garden of Eden the beginning of creation. I'm going to be judicious with the time and we're just going to go to Genesis 3 beginning and verse one. Now. This is got to be one of the artists versus to start off a Christmas series with but we find in Genesis 3:1 now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman actually say you shall not eat any tree in the garden and the ones headed serpent know we may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden. But God said You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree. That's in the midst of the garden. Neither. Shall you touch it lest you die, but the servants in the woman surely die for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you'll be like God knowing good and evil, so when the woman saw that the tree was good for food and then it was a delight to the eyes and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise. She took its fruit and ate and she also gave some to her husband who was with her and he ate then the eyes of both were open and they knew that they were naked. So they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths and they heard the sound of the Lord God Walking In The Garden in the cool of the day and the man has wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord.

among the Trees of the garden

but the Lord God Called To The Man and said to him. Where are you? So what we see in this text specifically Nate 1 if you want to like look your put your bunch of gays back to 81. They heard the sound of the Lord God Walking In The Garden in the cool of the day what this tells us is that this was something that God would do because they knew the sound of it.

the badger Isak, what's a badger? He's like I named it. It's called.

The new what the sound was it was God Walking In The Garden in the cool of the day Hebrew could also be translated in the Wind of the day. So that also tells us is that is that perhaps God's presence with them? What was not like a fellow kind of body type thing, but maybe it was just his tangible presence, you know, it could have been a spiritual manifestation of Christ himself a pre incarnate manifestation of Christ. Those are called christophany. He's in scripture a pre incarnate appearance of Jesus. It could just be that he hit that the spirit of God was present in the wind as it blew through the garden. Regardless they heard the sound and they knew what it meant. So this was a routine thing God would walk. With man and woman in the garden. So what we see in that relationship is that it's it's somewhat intimate. Because they know his sound right. It's somewhat personal the new the context of it. They knew what it meant to hear that sound and in the end they end and they knew that John was near them. So it's somewhat intimate. It's somewhat personal their actions show us that they knew got enough to know the sound of his steps, but not the content of his character. Chicago's clothes, but the new enough to know that this was a sound of God.

And it's clear that they had been close enough to him to learn some things about him, but they did not really know him. They even known that God knows knew them but not the other way around and it's clear that she knows us. A lot more than we know ourselves.

So maybe maybe that's being a little harsh you noted to read that much into it and and and read that much into the actions of Adam and Eve at me. But just look at what they did right then they kid from him. So they knew enough about him to know that they didn't want him to see them this way now.

But it clearly didn't know the heart and character of God being infinitely merciful infinitely loving also infinitely just they just knew.

I just knew they didn't want didn't wanted to find out that's what they knew.

Didn't have scripture. Didn't have a high priest. Right, so maybe they knew all that could be known.

Right on.

What if what if they did have scripture where they did have a high priest would have would have a desire to know God even more closely than they did like it would if they had what if they had what they chased after God's heart. What is there a man and woman after God's Own Heart David David was a man after God's Own Heart. So maybe you know to David he has a nice to speak truth to him. He has the bee has the law right? He has the the the the first five books of the Bible. Let's see. What what would David has to say about a god whose close but not

Psalm 139 I pray that you already know this song What a Beautiful song about God's knowledge of us David Wright's this. Oh Lord. You have searched me and known me, you know when I sit down and when I Rise Up you discern my thoughts from afar you search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways even before a word is on my tongue behold. Oh Lord, you know it all together. That's going to still bring, you know, when you want to say something, but you hold your tongue. You're like poop. That was a close one. He had Jesus heard it.

You hem me in behind and before and lay your hand upon me such knowledge is too wonderful for me. It is high. I cannot attain it where shall I go from your spirit? Where should I flee from your presence? If I send to Heaven you're there if I make my bed in sheol the place of the Dead on under the Earth you're there if I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me and your right hand shall hold me. If I say surely the darkness shall cover me and light about me be nice. Even the darkness is not dark to you. The night is great as the day for darkness is as light with you for you formed my inward Parts. You knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made wonderful. Are your Works. My soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was being made in secret intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance in your book were written every one of them. The days that were formed for me. all written in the book When as yet there was none of them how precious to me are your thoughts on God means his thoughts of God's thoughts are precious to him. How fast is a some of them if I would count them they are more than the sand. I awake and I'm still with you now. This is a man after God's Own Heart is a man that speaking deeply of God. But actually if you look closely, this is a man that knows that God knows him.

That's what David is saying. Not that he has plumbed the depths of the mind and heart of God, but that God knows him.

So David intimacy with God it's closed but

Pacino's The God knows him not the other way around and here's how I know that's clear if you keep reading Psalm 139, we always stop there. But if you keep reading in verse 19 of Psalm 139, so beautiful it is I mean soaring it's poetic and it's just lovely and then burst 1900 that you would slay the wicked. Oh God. Home in a blood depart from me they speak against you with malicious intent your enemies take your name in vain. Do I not hate those who hate you? Oh Lord, and do I not load those who rise up against you? I hate them with complete hatred. I count them my enemies. Search me o God and know my heart try me and know my thoughts and see if there be any Grievous way in me and Lead Me in the way Everlasting. There's a lot of Bible commentaries that make a lot of excuses for David here. This is why I think David is doing. God You know me. You know, I'm hating your enemies. So why do you let them win? Why do you let them persist? Why have you not slaughtered them already? You know me, you know that. I hate your enemies. Are your enemies destroy them? What are you waiting for? So David is saying that he knows the God knows him, but he does not know enough of God.

To wait and be patient to know that Vengeance belongs to God.

Are you waiting for waiting on no one?

He had a sovereign perfect plan. That's unfolding.

David knows but God knows him. He does not know God.

Go back to Adam and Eve. Back in Genesis 3 verse 8. They heard the sound of the Lord God Walking In The Garden in the cool of the day. And a man and his wife hid themselves in the presence of the Lord God Among the Trees of the garden. They knew the Cadence of God steps, but not the beat of his heart if they really knew God. I failed on that Thanksgiving. My dad bought his grandchildren a golf cart and I call it the the reign of terror of the golf cart because as all of these children in various ages are learning how to steer this vehicle things tend to be in the way like a tree in the middle of the pasture if you see the little on judah's forehead, that's that's where that's from.

Fisher backed into my dad's Explorer and like the bumper like that corner the bumper like popped off him. My dad just popped it back on and then another child backed into the bumper of the fort and cause like this little gash wound thing on the back of the bumper and dumb I was made aware of it and I instantly thought is there a is there a way that he might not notice. No, that's not in the cards for us today. He will notice. I know my father. I know him. I know him and when I finally told him you don't my dad said he goes Bass with bumpers are for.

I didn't have to fear even though I was tempted to didn't have to fear because I know him. Adam and Eve, it's clear. They did not know him. They ran not to him.

What you what do we do? We disobey if we didn't listen.

Duran in the hid

this makes sense because of which type of what tree did they eat? knowledge of Good and Evil They think they now know God is good and that they are evil.

Now they know that they didn't before but now they know.

They are evil and he is Holy he is good. So they did the only thing that seemed to make sense at the time is just to run and hide.

They knew what he sounded like, but they did not know who he was so their experience with God was closed, but it wasn't it wasn't revealing of of gods of Might. All right, so it was intimate right they walked with him. So it was intimate it was personal but they didn't didn't know his might they didn't know his power. They didn't know his love. They didn't know his Justice. They didn't know his Mercy they didn't know his patients. They didn't know those things and as soon as they did come to know them. That personal intimate relationship, although limited was broken.

Soon as they knew those things about God boom now they're separated from that guy. now they know that God is just And gracious how do they know that God is just and gracious because God righteously justly cursed cursed the serpent curse the man curse the woman. I curse the ground.

And then they were kicked out of the garden that's justice. But there's also Mercy or the mercy come from they did not die. In the day that they ate of it, they didn't die.

something did blood was shed.

Where is it? I don't I don't think it's up on the up in the wall. Here. It is in 321. And the Lord God Made For Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them. They saw that blood was shed, but not their own. to cover their shame

God is just and he's merciful. They have this they make that is greater. They're separated the removed from the garden.

A glimpse of this God that they betrayed and didn't they're gone. They're separated. But even in the midst of all of that after they received a taste of the grace of God in the spilt blood of the sacrificial atoning garments of skin made to cover their shame. Even after they saw the justice of God in din-din cursed relationships in cursed child bearing and and cursed labor. After all that Genesis makes no mention of the sorrow of what they lost makes no mention of the intimacy. That was lost. It just it just or just kind of moves forward. clearly they still don't know. They still don't fully know the god with whom they cannot any longer commune with in the garden.

Clearly they think they were just never close enough to know really what was lost there. The only take away that man seems to have with with Eden to their back is what the Prophet Jeremiah says in 23 24. Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him declares the Lord do I not fill Heaven and Earth declares the Lord? This is what they know that we cannot hide from God. That's their take away. That's their walk away from the garden is that they cannot hide from him.

That tells me that their walk with God was closed. but

So does that mean cuz we're here at the beginning right? We're at the creation when everything is wonderful, but we're even tempted to say everything was perfect. Does that mean that kind of clothes in the cool of the day with man was that God's ultimate plan? Find a close relationship with man where they can where they can kind of know him if he can know them completely, but they can only kind of know him. Was that God's perfect plan. Kind of clothes. Okay with God will I don't think we serve a kind of close God we don't serve a Kind of Perfect guy, but don't seem kind of intimate kind of holy God. I kind of sovereign God.

There's a a book that I have gone through two or three times now called 30 days to understanding the Bible. If I got him Matt Sanders, it's on Amazon. I have a couple copies of it if I can just collect them clock tomorrow. I'll put them on my desk. If you want one just come and take one. It's a it's a genius simple amazing book that helps you get a hold of the scriptures in and start to make sense out of them all and in you go through the entire arak of Redemptive history from creation to Recreation. The whole narrative is kind of explained very clearly. It's going to work book and you fill in the blanks and you memorize the books of the Bible and what kind of book they are in with the style of literature that it is and the key characters and every era is summed up in one sentence in the first era is obviously the creation error and the creation are a sentence that this book explains or Gibbs Fort for creation is is the following say God created Adam, but he sinned and ruined God's original plan for man Max Anders. If you see this you're a genius, but you're wrong. You're wrong. How do I know? How do I know that that statement is wrong? I'll read it again. God created Adam, but he send Andrew in God's original plan for men wrong. How do I know? Perfect Plans can't be ruined

And can a perfect God do anything but have a perfect plan.

God's original plan for man was not ruined. It wasn't ruined. Okay, let's do a little bit of work here. Okay in Genesis, 1:31 that the summary statement of of God's working in in in the six days of creation Genesis, 1:31 says and God saw everything that he had made and behold. It was very good. And there was evening and there was morning the Six-Day good is Hebrew word Pope if I'm pronouncing it incorrectly, which I'm sure I am. Sorry Moses told it means Pleasant agreeable good. That's nice.

I also kinda like it cuz it is poopy. You want to be pleasant and agreeable and could told? you are very because it's not just told it's very told the Hebrew word for very is Mayotte again for giving Moses mayo means muchness force a bun put the team together and it's like Much a breathable. profoundly acceptable explosively, okay.

Surprisingly adequate but that doesn't seem to me a description of something that is perfect seems to me description something. That's awesome. Maybe maybe Moses was a little understated here. Can imagine that, you know, the description I'm reading of Eden is just kind of like, you know. forcefully agreeable

she God is Not Just profoundly acceptable right. His perfect. So his plans must be perfect. God himself called his creation. Really really really good. He did not call it. Perfect is God not perfect. With the plans of a perfect God be anything, but perfect. So here's my rewriting of Max Anders sentence instead of God created Adam, but he sent and ruined God's original plan for man wrong. Here's mine. God created Adam, but he send and ruined God's original relationship with man. But even that statement is kind of just I don't know.

Very acceptable but not perfect. K it would be perfect. If God's original relationship was with man is what he ultimately intended. I'm going to say it again. Just make sure I don't want to lose you here. Okay? If God's original intention for his relationship with man was just to be close, but not quite very pleasant very okay very agreeable in a very pleasant very okay, very agreeable setting then it really would be a cosmic tragedy. Then it really would have been shattering irrevocably of of the most amazing thing. I ever conceived in the mind of God.

I don't I don't think we possess that kind of power. To ruin God's perfect plan. I think what we'll find in scripture as this is part of God's perfect plan. What we see is that the story continues, right? The Bible doesn't end at Genesis 3:21, right? That's not what the Bible ends the story continues.

So that was what that should lead us to say is that there has to be more to God's plan. There has to be more that God is going to reveal it has to be more to to God's ultimate desire that that that is that is going to unfold In the course of time according to his plan. Write this this this loss of Eden, right? It can't be the end of all that God intends and it's not even was close. but there's something much greater to be found. There's something much greater. That is to come.

In Genesis 3:21 again. I'm going to read the statement and the Lord God Made For Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them that is torn flesh and spilt blood. And what we see is that this is a part of God's perfect plan that hasn't been hindered that hasn't been thrown wildly off course got going to scramble to put it all back together. Like I don't know preparing a bumper of a Ford Explorer because it got backed into by golf cart. What am I going to do with you pesky kids?

is she right at the beginning torn flesh and spilt blood this has to be part of God's greater plan

the 1st Corinthians not on the snout on the wall Seether flip there or just listen. 1st Corinthians chapter 11 Paul reminds us Of what Jesus said? When he was with his disciples that last meal before his arresting and trial and crucifixion. And Resurrection Jesus said this in 1st Corinthians 11:24. And when he had given thanks, he broke it and said this is my body which is for you do this in remembrance of me in the same way. Also, he took the cup after supper saying this cup is the New Covenant in my blood. Do this as often as you drink it in remembrance of me, and then if you look at the very end of the Bible in Revelation when we're all standing around Christ, he is described as a lamb who was slain. Nothing got ruined in Eden. It was a part of a plan that unfolds for God to not just be close, but but to be closer with us than we can possibly imagine. We're about to celebrate that Lord's Supper. The broken flesh and Spilled blood of Jesus to bring us near to him next week following weeks in December. Please come and with me, let's drink deep of the scriptures and see God coming closer and closer and closer and closer to us.

Not the other way around that's the miracle of Christmas. That's the miracle of the Season that we're celebrating. So I'm going to pray. After I pray when you are lead. You can come in and take the elements of communion. The elders will be up here with me to distribute them go back to our seats and we'll take them together as the body of Christ so its prey.

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