THE STORY #5: FRIENDSHIP WITH GOD (NEW COMMANDS)
(Pastor Chris Jordan – Beausejour Church)
To listen to or download the audio MP3, click HERE.
INTRO TO TOPIC: Going through the whole Bible in The Story. Review: In the first part of Exodus, God calls Moses to deliver His people from slavery in Egypt, through the Red Sea!
BACKGROUND TO THE STORY: Israel’s Arrival at Mount Sinai
“1 In the third month after the children of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on the same day, they came to the Wilderness of Sinai. 2 For they had departed from Rephidim, had come to the Wilderness of Sinai, and camped in the wilderness. So Israel camped there before the mountain. 3 And Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: 4 ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. 5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. 6 And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.” (Exodus 19:1-6, NKJV).
- God’s greatest desire was to bring the children of Israel to Himself – friendship!
- What does God think about YOU? You are God’s treasure!
- “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9).
QUOTE: (Randy Frazee, The Heart of the Story).
“God’s desire for intimate relationship with us is the heartbeat of the Upper Story: God desperately wants to experience life with us. God tells Moses that three things had to be worked out in order for God to dwell among the Israelites: First, God insisted that his people must live by a set of guidelines… Second, God needed a place to stay (a tabernacle)… Third, God required a way to restore fellowship between a holy God and a sinful people (offerings).”
THE BIG IDEA: The story of the Bible is about God’s passionate pursuit of people. In Exodus, we see three things God gave us to make this a reality: the commandments, the tabernacle, and the offerings.
1. THE COMMANDMENTS: A set of guidelines to live by
- After God brought His people to the mountain, He descended on the mountain in fire.
- Then God gave Moses the Ten Commandments. How many of you can name all ten?
ILLUSTRATION: I asked the youth on Friday night to list the Ten Commandments:
These are some of the ‘best’ answers they came up with!
- Don’t brutally decapitate your neighbor
- Don’t “borrow” your neighbor’s things
- Don’t be hitting on your neighbor’s wife
- Love your neighbors, love your family
- Love your girlfriend
- Read your Bible
- Don’t shoot
- Be nice to your neighbor
- Obey ma and pa
- Share pizza with everyone
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS:
“1 And God spoke all these words, saying: 2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 You shall have no other gods before Me. 4 You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth… 7 You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain. 8 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work…
12 Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you. 13 You shall not murder. 14 You shall not commit adultery. 15 You shall not steal. 16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. 17 You shall not covet your neighbor’s house… nor anything that is your neighbor’s.” (Ex. 20:1-4,7-10,12-17).
- ILLUSTRATION: How to memorize the Ten Commandments
- In the New Testament, Jesus summed up these ten commandments with two:
- Love God and Love People. (paraphrase of Matt. 22:37-40).
- The purpose of these commandments = how to have healthy relationships (God and man).
THE INVITATION: To have personal friendship with God!
- “Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off. Then they said to Moses, “You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.” (Exodus 20:18-19).
- What a sad commentary on the people! They didn’t want to know God for themselves:
- “He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel.” (Psalm 103:7).
- “So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.” (Exodus 33:11).
2. THE TABERNACLE: A place for God to stay
“And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it.” (Exodus 25:8-9).
- See God’s greatest desire: “That I may dwell among them.” He wants to live with us!
- From my message Journey Through the Old Testament #2: The Tabernacle:
A. THE ENTRANCE GATE: (Exodus 38:18).
- The colors are significant: blue (Heaven), purple (royalty) and red (blood of Jesus).
- Jesus said: “Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved.” (John 10:9, NLT).
- If we want to approach God and have a relationship with Him, we come through Jesus.
B. THE BRONZE ALTAR (OF BURNT OFFERING): (Exodus 27:1).
- Sheep or oxen were sacrificed in our place which provided entry to God’s presence.
- Symbol = points towards Jesus who would die on the Cross 1400 years in the future:
- “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).
C. THE BRONZE BASIN (OR LAVER): (Exodus 30:18).
- Here the priests would wash their hands and feet before entering the Holy Place.
- Symbol = Jesus’ death on the Cross: “We can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus.” (Heb. 10:19, NLT).
- Second Symbol: The water was a picture of God cleaning and purifying our souls.
D. THE TABLE OF BREAD: (Exodus 25:23,30).
- First item in the Holy Place: Twelve loaves of bread = placed on the table every day.
- Symbol = Jesus: “I am the bread of life.” (John 6:35). Satisfaction = feed on Jesus daily!
- Second Symbol = The Word: “Man shall not live by bread alone…” (Matt. 4:4).
E. THE GOLDEN LAMPSTAND (MENORAH): (Exodus 25:31,37).
- Symbol = Jesus: “I am the light of the world…” (John 8:12).
- Second Symbol = The Holy Spirit: Oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit.
F. THE ALTAR OF INCENSE: (Exodus 30:1).
- This altar stood right outside of the doorway to the Most Holy Place (Holiest of Holies).
- Before we can enter the Most Holy Place of God’s presence, we must worship and pray.
G. THE ARK OF THE COVENANT: (Exodus 25:10,22).
- “And they shall make an ark of acacia wood… And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat…”
- There was only one piece of furniture in the Most Holy Place: The Ark.
3. THE OFFERINGS: A way to restore fellowship between God and us
QUOTE: “God devised a way for his people to pay for or atone for their sins: animal sacrifices. Many people consider the book of Leviticus to be one of the most boring books in the Bible, and from a Lower Story perspective, it’s not exactly a page-turner.” (Randy Frazee).
- The commandments: Jesus gave us guidelines to live by: Love God and Love people.
- The tabernacle: Jesus now wants to live in our hearts.
- The offerings: Because Jesus died on the Cross, we have peace with God.
Pastor’s Blog: https://pastorchrisjordan.wordpress.com/