God Reveals His Name

When Moses saw who God was, it led him to worship. When we grasp who God is, it leads us to worship.

Scripture References & Transcript

Exodus 3:13-15

Exodus 32:1

Exodus 33:18-23

Exodus 34:1-9

Alright, good morning. Good morning, good morning. It’s our nine 30 service that you are here a part of today. How many of you last night, you, you said, I know that I lose an hour tonight and so therefore I’m going to go to bed earlier. How many of you actually did that? How many of you thought that you were gonna do that and did not actually do that? How many, you have no clue that you lost an hour last night and you just, you just feel a little bit tired? Uh, we are glad that you are here. Even if you normally come to the nine o’clock and today you were like, Hey, I’m just gonna sleep in and, uh, go to the 10 30. Welcome, welcome, welcome. Growing up, my mom had a favorite TV show that she liked to watch. It was called The Antique Road Show.

Anybody remember the Antique Road Show? It’s still going on. And if you’ve watched the Antique Roadshow, there’s really two types of things that you like to watch. It’s, it’s what makes this show. On the one side, you have people that they come with junk that they think is actually worth something. And so they present their junk and they have a little commentator and expert and they’re describing it, and they get to this moment where the expert asks them, how much do you think this would go for at auction? And they, they always play it coy. I mean, I don’t know, but it seems like it’d be worth a lot. And then they say, this is actually a fake and it would probably only go for auction for about a hundred dollars. And then this person is just crestfallen. And there’s a part of you that for whatever morbid reason you like to watch the disappointment of this person thinking it’s worth a lot and it’s not.

But then on the other side, there are these moments. It somewhat comes in with something that they don’t think is worth that much at all. And, and, and you can always kind of feel it building because the expert, they’re getting more and more excited. They’re like, did you know what this was? And, oh, I’ve, I’ve never seen one of these and in this kind of condition, and they’re getting excited. So you who’s watching is getting excited, and then they have this moment, what do you think it would go for at auction? And then they say, I mean, I, I just have no clue. Maybe a thousand dollars. And then they say, it’s worth a million dollars and, and their mind is blown and you’re excited for ’em. But there’s a third party that they don’t show that you really wish that they would show, because sometimes the story is, well, I found this at a garage sale and it only cost me $10.

How much is it worth? And they say, it’s actually worth a hundred thousand dollars. And at that moment, you wish that there was a camera on the person that had the garage sale <laugh> that they’re watching at home and they say, Hey, I recognize that guy. I I don’t remember what, oh, I used to own that right there. And then they say they selled it could, it’s worth a hundred thousand dollars. And, and surely there’s a wife there that’s saying, see, I told you we shouldn’t get rid of that junk. I I told you it was worth something. But but isn’t there a heartache for recognizing that sometimes we have a treasure, something with tremendous value and we just don’t realize it? How much heartache would you have if you took something that you thought was worthless and you just skipped over it or you got rid of it and then you found out later that it was worth everything?

I I think that sometimes when it comes to scripture, when it comes to the Bible, there are things in our cultural context that we miss. That if we understood the value, if we understood the treasure, that we wouldn’t just fly by it. But instead we would really stop and consider and wonder. And Exodus 34 is one of those chapters, and we’re in a five week sermon series on Exodus chapter 34, 1 book of the Bible. This is week three. We got two more weeks after this. And, and in the middle of the sermon series, I wanna take a, a pause and step back and ask the question, why is Exodus 34 such a big deal? Why is it considered in, in Hebrew tradition to be the singular, most important chapter in the entire Old Testament? What about it makes it so valuable that in Judaism, Exodus 34 is, is considered the 13 attributes of God?

When God describes who he is, that this chapter is very significant in that process, uh, that to understand that, uh, there’s this theological term called progressive revelation. What does that mean? Progressive revelation is this idea that God is progressively revealing more and more of his character and identity throughout the Bible. And now we miss this because we don’t know a world where we didn’t have the whole Bible that from the moment you were born through, now, you’ve always been able to read the Old Testament and the New Testament, the complete canon of scripture. But if you think of the historical context of the nation of Israel, uh, that they were getting the books of the Bible over time. And so if you are reading the Bible and you start with Genesis and you go all the way through that who God is isn’t described and completely detailed out on page one now no.

Instead it is slowly revealed more and more and more and more. And so if we can try and walk in the footsteps of Israel and the nation, then we can recognize why Exodus 34 means so much. Uh, let’s look a little bit of context in Exodus chapter three. So in Exodus chapter one and two, it’s primarily dealing with the early life of Moses. At this point in the story, uh, Moses has run away from Egypt. He had murdered an Egyptian, uh, he is hurting, uh, he he’s a shepherd. He he’s hurting different animals and livestock. He’s working for his father-in-law. And then a burning bush starts to talk to Moses. And this is the encounter that he has with God. And it says, then Moses said to God, if I come to the people of Israel and say to them, the God of your fathers has sent me to you, and they ask me, what is his name?

What shall I say to them? Now, this is a profound moment because all through Genesis leading up to this moment in Exodus, there hasn’t been this moment where God reveals his name. And so Moses asks a very normal question, God, you’re asking me as a burning bush to go back to Egypt where I ran away from and to bring the whole nation of Israel out of slavery. Well, if they ask who it is that sent me, what should I say? And so God then responds. It says, God said to Moses, I am who I am. I am who I am. That’s the name of God. It gets translated as Yahweh. Now I am who I am doesn’t really translate perfectly from Hebrew and the meaning and the full understanding to English, but I am who I am is this idea of I am not a God who was, I’m not a God of who will be.

I am who I am, meaning I always have been. I always will be. And I am right now. I’m eternal, but I’m also present in this moment. I am who I am. And he said, say this to the people of Israel I am has sent me to you. God also said in Moses, say this to the people of Israel, the Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob has sent me to you. This is my name forever. And thus I’m to be remembered through all generations. So you have the, the famous story where Moses then goes to Egypt and he brings the people out of slavery. Uh, I think oftentimes though, when we read the narrative of Exodus, uh, we assume that from that third chapter through the end of the book, that it takes place over a really, really long period of time.

And yet, here’s what’s crazy. The events of Exodus starting in chapter three, going through Exodus chapter 40, take place in a single year approximately. So you have a whole lot that unfolds in 37 chapters. So, so that first big moment, you’ve got the plagues and you’ve got the Exodus out of Egypt. But then after they exit out of Egypt, it’s only 50 days later that Moses goes up Mount Sinai to receive the 10 Commandments. If you’ve seen the old school movie, you know that moment. And Moses goes up and he gets the two tablets, and there’s lightning and there’s thunder. But it says that he’s up there for 40 days and 40 nights, and the nation of Israel is just sitting at the bottom of that mountain and they’re getting bored and they’re wondering what’s going on? And now, now get, get the timeline. It’s only been 90 days since God performed all these miracles and brought them outta slavery.

We’re talking about three months. And yet after three months, look what happens. In Exodus chapter 32, it says, when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him, up, make us Gods. Who shall go before us? As for this Moses guy, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him. I mean, catch what, what happens? 90 days ago, three months ago, God does all these miracles and they follow Moses out of slavery and captivity. Can you imagine the party? I mean, they’re like, but this is amazing. Never expected this, never anticipated this. Six months ago, we didn’t even know who this Moses guy was, and now he’s the hero that’s let us out. And then Moses says, Hey, I’m gonna go talk to gal.

I’m gonna go up in the mountaintop. I’ll be right back. 40 days go by, they go up to Aaron, the brother Moses. They’re like, Hey man, we think he’s dead. We just, we don’t know what’s going on. But he’s not come back down. Maybe they’re bored, but they say, why don’t you go ahead and build us a God just like the gods that we had when we were in Egypt, a golden calf. You see, sometimes when we get bored, two things happen that when we get bored, one, we become idle. And when we become idle, we tend to do things that we probably shouldn’t do. Have you noticed the difference in life between when you’re bored and when you have purpose? I’ll give you a good example that, that when I’m waking up my kids for school and the morning, uh, maybe your kids, you go in and they go have an alarm go off and they just pop up and they hop outta bed and they go make their own breakfast and they’re ready to roll.

But that’s not how it works in our family, that I do three rounds. That round number one alarm goes off and I’m just opening shades and flipping on, on lights and I’m making loud noises. Hey guys, good morning. I try and be peppy with it and I am received with anger and disgust. That’s, that’s the, the attitude in the room. There’s a lot of yelling. There’s a lot of, ah, go away. There’s a lot of taking the covers and putting them over their heads because I’ve turned all the lights. Now about 15 minutes later, I make pass number two. And on pass number two, I start pulling blankets off of people’s heads. Sometimes I just roll ’em out of the bed and they don’t like that and they’re looking at me and they’re irritated. And then pass number three is when you’re literally pulling them out and saying, get up.

You have got to get ready. Now contrast that to Saturday mornings, Saturday morning, it’s a one day week that I get to sleep in no one day. It’s a Saturday morning, the alarm is not set, let’s sleep in. And then at six o’clock in the morning every Saturday, my kids are like, boom, ready to go. Like obnoxiously positive and happy. Like, woo hoo. They like to come in the room and say, Hey mom, hey dad, we’re gonna go downstairs. It’s Saturday. Yay. You are like, what? What is this? Who are you? <laugh>? We went on vacation a few weeks ago. Uh, we had to catch an early flight because the early flights are cheaper. And so our alarm was set at 4:15 AM to get the whole fam onto an airplane at 3 45, 1 of our kids comes in and she’s like, is it time yet? I’m ready to go.

And now what’s the difference between having to drag them out of bed versus snapping up excited, ready to go, purpose that there’s something new, there’s something fresh. There’s a purpose, there’s an excitement to what is going on. And can I just tell you that, that when we get idle in our lives, when we get idle and complacent and bored and lack purpose, that can lead to idols in our life just like it does for Israel. Then the second thing that’s a truth for the nation of Israel is this, is that the people did not have their own personal relationship with God. And so, so part of the disconnect is their relationship with God was through Moses. So Moses is doing these miracles and doing these huge things, and then he’s going up on the mountain and there’s thunder, there’s lighting, they’re like, woo, that is awesome.

But the moment Moses is no longer in the equation, their relationship with God gone disappears. And how often do we see the same thing inside of our modern day church that probably you’ve known people that they grew up inside the church and they had godly moms and dads and, and they from the outside looked alike. They were going through all the right motions. But once that personality was removed from their life, once they got away from mom and dad and were on their own, what happened to their relationship with God? It disappears. Why? Because they didn’t have their own personal relationship with God. They were relying on somebody else’s relationship with God. It can happen in the capital C Church that you look across our country, that that we’ve, we’ve kind of entered into this moment where we really are obsessed with the celebrity pastor.

And I’m not blaming any of them. Uh, but I I think there’s a danger when we focus so much on a personality or a person because what can happen that I don’t focus on my relationship with God, but no, I’m seeing my relationship with God through this person. And when that person is removed from the equation, the whole thing falls apart. That’s not the way that it’s meant to be. That’s what happens to Israel. The relationship goes through Moses. So Moses is gone and it disappears. So Moses comes down from the mountain and there’s, there’s that famous scene where Moses is like, how could you, he’s like, three months ago, huge miracles. God brings us out and now you’ve already turned your back on God. And so he breaks the stone tablets, he has anger. Then Exodus 33 is a fascinating chapter. ’cause in Exodus 33, you, you have a, a couple really intriguing things that happens.

The, the number one that Moses is interceding to God on behalf of Israel. He’s saying, Hey, God, forgive them. Forgive them for being the bunch of idiots that they’re, please God forgive them, right? But then he, Moses does a strategic thing that’s fascinating that Moses sets up the tent, the tabernacle just outside of where the nation of Israel is. And so just outside where all the people are, Moses would go into the tent and he’d have these personal encounters with God. And, and all of a sudden a relationship with God that Israel saw as distant and far away. Now, it was really close to him and Moses was modeling to them that he was going in and spending time with God. And it says in Exodus 33 that when Moses would go into the tent, that the nation of Israel would gather around and watch and observe.

Then something interesting happens in Exodus 33, verse 18, that Moses makes a request of God. It says, Moses said to God, please show me your glory. Have you ever made a crazy request to God? Maybe you’ve been struggling through life and you, you, you’ve set up on the mountain one time and you said, God, if you’re real, could you just do a lightning bolt that goes across the sky? Or maybe right now if you’re real, if you could spell my name enlightening across the sky, that would really, really help. Or maybe you’ve been late to work and you say, God, if you are real, if right now you could make every light green, that would be great. God, maybe you’ve been taking a test and you didn’t know the answer and you say, God, if you could just guide my hand on this scantron to every correct answer, then I would know that you are real.

Sometimes we make bodacious requests of God, and that’s exactly what Moses does. God show me your glory. And then God responds when it says, and he said, it’s talking about God. So God’s response to this question is, God says, I will make all my goodness passed before you and will proclaim before you my name the Lord Yahweh, and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious and show mercy on whom I’ll show mercy. Pause for a second. ’cause the context matters that from an outsider looking at God, they would say, how could you forgive Israel? You had just saved them and immediately they revolted against you. And God is responding to that by saying, listen, I am God and I get to choose who I’m gracious to, and I get to choose who I will show mercy to. It’s this idea that will, they don’t deserve grace.

They don’t deserve mercy. And God is saying, I get to be the one that decides that. And God continues and says, but he said, you cannot see my face for man shall not see me and live. And the Lord said, behold, there’s a place by me where you shall stand on the rock. And when my glory passes by, I’ll put you in a cleft of the rock and I will cover you with my hand until I’ve passed by then I’ll take away my hand and you shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen. Uh, now there’s this concept here that’s a little bit confusing because in Exodus chapter 33, verse 11, it says, and Moses would enter into the tent and he would speak to God face to face as a man speaks to his best friend. And now a few verses later, God says, Hey, you can’t see my face otherwise you’re gonna die.

It doesn’t work. And you say, well, those two things don’t sound like they make sense. It’s because what we’re doing here, and we do this a lot, is we’re taking human characteristics and we’re ascribing them to God or God in order to help relate to help us understand is taking human characteristics and applying them to himself. Uh, the the term is an anthropomorphism. An anthropomorphism, something like that. It doesn’t really matter what the term is. That’s what’s happening. So, so you do this in other ways. Uh, we sometimes ascribe human characteristics to our pets. Like, have you ever known someone, maybe you’re one of these people that you, they do a birthday party for their cat or for their dog. They’re like, oh, I’m gonna throw him a birthday. It’s so and so’s birthday. We’re so excited. Yay. Uh, the dog or the cat, they don’t know that it’s their birthday.

A spoiler alert, you can, you can be consistent every year. You can throw a party for them on the same day, every year it’s gonna be a surprise party. ’cause they got no clue what’s going on. <laugh> like, like they are incapable of grasping that you are celebrating the date that they were born. Uh, but why do we do it anyway? Because we’re, we’re taking things that we like to do as humans and we’re applying them to our pets. It makes us more comfortable with it. So, so God does the same thing to, to help us understand and make him more comfortable. He’s taking human characteristics and he’s describing himself with those human characteristics. But God, the Father does not have a literal physical face or a back like you and I do. Jesus does the physical man manifestation of God. But, but God the Father, that the presence of God, he doesn’t operate like that.

But for, for us to fully grasp and understand he’s taking on this terms and what is he describing? He’s saying, Hey Moses, I know you want me to show you your, show, you my glory. Uh, but but to put it in terms that you would understand, if you could see my face, you’d drop dead. And then he says, uh, my glory is so great and so vast that here’s what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna put you into a mountain in the cleft of a rock, and I’m going to hide you with my hand so that I can pass by. And I’ll let you just glimpse a little bit of my back. Is it his literal physical back? No. God is saying that, that I’m gonna give you just, just a small, small smidgen of my glory. And when that is revealed to you, you’ll recognize a little bit more of who I am then in Exodus chapter 34.

And here’s what we’re gonna do, uh, what Gary’s done each week. ’cause there’s two verses that we’ve all read aloud together. And so I’m gonna ask us all to go ahead and stand up for the reading of God’s word. We’re gonna read nine, I’m gonna read nine verses and then when we get to verse six, I’m gonna ask you to read along with me. It says, the Lord said to Moses, come for yourselves two tablets of stone like the first, and I’ll write on the tablets, the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. Be ready by the morning and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai and present yourselves there to me on the mountaintop. No one shall come up with you and let no one be seen throughout all the mountain, let no flock or herd’s graze opposite the mountain.

So Moses cut two tablets of stone like the first, and he rose early in the morning and went up on Mount Sinai as the Lord had commanded him and took his hand, two tablets of stone, the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there and proclaimed the name of the Lord. Now, let’s all read together starting in verse six. The Lord passed before him and proclaimed the Lord, the Lord, a God, merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding and steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation. Now pause for a second. I know that that verse right there about the iniquity on the kids, it’s a very confusing verse.

Two weeks from now, we’ll tackle that on Palm Sunday. So I will walk through that and we’ll really get what that means. Um, but not today in verse eight continues. And Moses quickly bowed his head toward the earth and worship, notice the response to experiencing the glory of God, that he bows his head and worshiped. And he said, if now I have found favor in your sight, oh Lord, please let the Lord go in the midst of us, for it is a stiff neck people and pardon our iniquity and our sin. And take us for your inheritance. Please be seated. Uh, so God starts in revealing who he is by saying his name. Yahweh. Yahweh says it twice, uh, Yahweh is this, you could do a whole study. You could. There’s been books and papers and so much written on Yahweh, but it’s the teragram, which teragram typically means that it’s the exact same going forward as it is going backward.

Uh, now in in English, the way we write, it’s not that way, but in Hebrew it is. Uh, at one point Jewish scholars said, okay, the name of God is so holy that we’re gonna remove it from all of our texts. And they replaced it with that teragram. They took out the vows. And so you end up with in English, what kinda looks like this. And so when we say Yahweh, we’re not a hundred percent sure that that’s how it’s pronounced. We just assume that because we’re inserting those vowels into it. And anytime you see in most versions of scripture, if it’s all caps, LORD, it’s because it’s that name. Yahweh. Yahweh, I am the, the name of God. Interestingly, uh, the name Jesus has that root word of yah in it that the name Jesus means, uh, Yahweh saves or, or Yahweh, uh, comes to my rescue.

And that’s the meaning of Jesus’ name. Uh, as a complete side note, uh, the name Jehovah is the exact same as the name Yahweh. We just get that from the Greek translation of the Old Testament where they do that same thing. So if you hear people say Jehovah, and you hear people say Yahweh and say, well, what’s the difference between it’s just Hebrew and Greek for the exact same name. Now, now names today matter, but names then mattered a whole lot names had power and authority and influence that a name described something. A a name wasn’t just a term to be used for someone, it actually gave that person an identity. Maybe at some point you’ve looked up your own name and said, what does my name mean? I remember when I was in elementary school, people were talking about what their name meant and everybody had really cool meanings to their name.

Not my name means blessed of God. My name means mighty warrior. My name means all these different things. And so I was like, I, they looked at me, Hey, Kurt was your ma name me. I was like, I don’t know, I got no clue. And so I just, I figured you’d look it up in a dictionary. And so I got a dictionary and I looked up the name Kurt, CURT. And you know what Curt means? Short and rude. That’s what Curt means. <laugh> like a curt remark. And so yeah, I went home, I was like, what? Why’d you name me that? And my dad is also named Kurt, so I guess I couldn’t complain much, but, but names have value. Interesting. There was a study done about 10 years ago done by the social, psychological and personality science. It’s a journal. Here’s where that study said negative names evoke negative interpersonal reactions, which in turn influence people’s life outcomes for the worse.

Those with quote, unfortunate first names were more likely to smoke, be less educated, and have lower self-esteem than those whose names were attractive. So if you are pregnant right now and you’re trying to come up with a name, <laugh>, no pressure, but uh, maybe, maybe don’t do a silly funny name. Maybe, maybe do whatever attractive it is you choose that. I’ll tell you as a side note about my name. So my name’s Kurt that starts with a C. Most people spell Kurt with a K. I’m not Curtis. I really am just Kurt. It is really like a short and rude remark. That is my name. Uh, my email is cTaylor@ccc.org. But I, I would say 50% of the time I get an email from someone I don’t know that they, they had to have physically typed in c Taylor at CHC. And then they, they start the email and they say, Kurt, KURT.

I’m like, come on. I mean, like, like surely you could have made the connection that that has nothing to do with a sermon. That’s just a slight personal gripe for those of us in the room that have weird spellings in in our names. Can I get a, can I get a witness? Anybody out there? You got a weird, yeah, you like, you got a weird symbol in the middle of your name. You’re like, thanks mom and dad, you know what the Journal of Science says about you? Anyway, so, so God says his name, Yahweh, Yahweh, and then he describes who he is. That that’s where you get the 13 attributes of God. And now, now numbers inside of scripture have, have significance and, and have importance. And so seven Biblically is an important number because there were seven days of creation. So seven represents wholeness or completeness.

Six throughout scripture means incomplete because six days of creation means it’s not done yet. Uh, 12 is a significant number. You have the 12 tribes of Israel. You have the 12 disciples in the book of the Revelation, you have the 144,000, uh, that comes from 12. 12 times 12 is 144. So 13 is a really significant number because here’s how they got 13. They say there’s 12 tribes of Israel. There’s one God. So 13 is seen as this sacred and holy number. So Jews look at Exodus 34 and they see 13 attributes of God, which if you just try and count, it’s hard to get there. So let’s see the 13 attributes that they get, uh, that they say, well, God repeats his name Yahweh. Yahweh. And the reason he does that is because they say that the first one means I’m God before people sin.

And the second one says, I’m God after people sin and repent. Now, we don’t see that in the text, but this was the Jewish historical interpretation of how they got those 13 attributes. Then they see God is all powerful. He’s compassionate, he’s gracious, he’s slow to anger, he’s abounding in loving kindness, that God is also in truth. He’s maintaining loving kindness for thousand generations. He’s forgiving premeditated sins. Uh, this is where they maybe are doing a little bit of stretching to get to 13. And yet, uh, I can see how they get there. He’s forgiving premeditated sins. He’s forgiving sins committed in rebellion. He’s forgiving sins made by mistake, and he’s also forgiving the penitent. And so there’s these 13 attributes that they say, God, Moses, ask God, God show me your glory. And, and God doesn’t really answer the question the way that Moses asks.

Instead of doing that, he, he gives just a small glimpse of his glory and instead reveals something different. And this is the only place in the Old Testament where God describes himself and he gives us the character, the nature, the identity of who God is. And what’s the response for Moses? Well, when Moses grasps and recognizes who God is, it leads him to worship. That’s what we see in verse eight. Now, after God describes himself, verse eight says, in Moses quickly bowed his head toward the earth and worshiped can, can I tell you that the same is true for us? That when we grasp who God is, it always leads us to worship That, that oftentimes what struggles inside of the church when we don’t worship, it’s it’s because of this, that sometimes the, the reason that we don’t worship, and there’s a lot of different reasons people don’t worship.

Well, I don’t worship because I don’t like the song. I’ve never heard that one before. It’s too loud. It’s too this. But but guess what? Those aren’t the reasons we worship that, that when we get a full picture and understanding of who God is, then worship should be the natural outflow, the natural response of who are understanding who he is. Let’s look at some more significant truth from Exodus 34. Why is it such a big chapter? And it’s because it helps us to know that we can’t know God’s ways, we can’t see his face, that God is infinite and we are not. And so there’s a part of God’s glory that, that we can never fully comprehend. But, and here’s what’s so important. God is revealing through Exodus 34 that we can experience God and have a relationship with him. Here’s why Exodus 34 is such a big deal that in Exodus 34, the transcendence of God became the imminence of God.

Transcendence is is big beyond comprehension. Infinite imminence means to dwell. Have you ever been out in the woods or out on a mountaintop? And there’s no light pollution. You’re not by city. So you look up at the stars and when you don’t have light pollution, the stars are just amazing ’cause they’re so vast that you feel like this tiny speck in comparison to how giant the universe and the galaxies are that our God is so transcendent, he’s bigger than all of that. And yet that God, the creator of the universe, wants to have a personal relationship with us. What, what God is saying is Moses says, God, show me your glory. And God says, instead of that, I’m gonna tell you who I am so that we can enter into a relationship with each other so that you can know me and that you can know my ways.

There’s what feels like this, this paradox that, that in the Bible, God is simultaneously held higher than the gods of any other religion, but also felt closer than the gods of any other religion. That that, especially historically at the time that you had Gods that were really not that powerful, they were somewhat powerful, but they were always fighting with each other. God of the Bible is not that way. Like there’s no rival to God in scripture. Like everything builds towards the last battle in the book of the Revelation and and it feels like, okay, there’s gonna be this huge big fight

Between good versus evil. That’s not how it plays out. God speaks a word and it’s done because God is all powerful. He’s sovereign, he’s in control of all things. And yet the God of the Bible is personal. And once a relationship with us, that progressive revelation starts in the Old Testament, but it’s fulfilled in the New Testament. One of the disciples of Jesus, Philip, when they’re in the upper room, Philip looks at Jesus and says, Jesus, let us see the Father. We wanna see the father’s face. And Jesus looks at Philip and says, Philip, don’t you realize that if you have seen me, then you have seen my Father, that Jesus was the full revelation of the character and the nature of God, and the way God puts on display who he is for us and for the relationship that he wants with us, is by coming in human flesh and dying for us on a cross. And we celebrate Easter, his resurrection. Why does God do that? Because he wants a personal relationship with us. He wanted to redeem his creation back to him. I think one of the most fascinating things about Exodus 34 is this. Is that, does Moses get what he asks for? Moses says, God, show me your glory. And God says, no, but Moses ends up getting something better.

The revelation of who God is. You know, the same truth we see over and over and over in scripture, people asking God for things and then God say no. In the New Testament, Paul has a physical ailment, a thorn in his flesh, and he prays over and over and over again for healing. God, take this away. God heal me. And then God’s response is, my grace is sufficient. God says, no. You see, there’s this balance and recognizing the transcendence of God, which will cause us to worship him, but also cause us to say, God, your ways are bigger than my ways and I can’t fully understand or comprehend. And so I’ll submit to that, but also knowing that there’s the eminence of God, that God wants to dwell among us, that God wants a personal relationship with you. God doesn’t want your relationship with God to go through some other person, through some other mentor, through some other pastor. No, God says, I through Jesus’s death and resurrection want to have a personal relationship with you. The God of the universe wants to spend your mornings with you. And if we can really grasp that, what the message of Exodus 34 means to us today, it changes everything. Let’s pray. Father, we are grateful to come and to unpack just such a powerful chapter.

Got a treasure that we can so easily skip past and not grasp and not understand. Lord, help us to, to feel, to see that you are a transcendent God beyond anything that we could ever comprehend. And yet you want to dwell with us. You reveal your identity so that we can know you and pursue you and have a relationship with you. God, I pray for anyone in the room that doesn’t have a relationship with you, that today can be the day that they make that change. I pray for anyone in the room that their relationship with you really is because of some other person, which are, are great starts, but ultimately our relationship with you needs to be directly with you. So I pray that today can be the Marky marker, the beginning of that pursuit. Pray these things. The name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.