The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Exodus 3:1-10)
One girl saw her “pastor” wearing his robe and wanted to know if he were God. Like that little girl, many people have misconceptions about God.
Moses needed to learn some things about God. After all, Moses would lead God’s children out of Egypt. After all, Moses would write the first five books of the canon. Moses needed to know something about God, and we, too, need to know something about God.
Holy God, vv 1-6
Moses learned a valuable lesson about God’s holiness.
Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law Jethro. While he was tending the flock, he saw a bush that was burning but was not consumed. Moses became curious and went to look at the bush.
God called to him from the bush and told him:
- To come no further.
- To remove the sandals from his feet because he was standing on holy ground. Such was a common sign of respect-like our removing a hat. Many religions in the Near East still practice this custom; e.g., Muslims remove their shoes before entering a mosque.
God told Moses that he was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Moses hid his face because he was afraid to look at God.
Moses needed to respect God. He needed to remove his sandals to show that respect. He hid his face because he knew God was worthy of respect.
Our society has lost respect. We no longer, by and large, use the terms “sir” and “ma’am.” Students no longer respect teachers.
We need to respect God. We need to be careful about talking during worship. We need to be careful about how we dress.
Failing to honor God has serious consequences. Nadab and Abihu offered strange fire to the Lord (Lev 10:1-2). In offering strange fire, they did not honor God, and their action had serious consequences.
Compassionate God, v 7
God knew what was going on with his children. He had seen their oppression. He had heard their cries. He knew their sorrows. God not only knew what was going on with his children, he cared.
God cares about what is going on in your life. 1 Peter 5:7. Hebrews 4:15. Jesus came to his earth and experienced the same frustrations, temptations, hurts, etc, that we experience. Jesus knows what we’re going through and he cares.
Acting God, vv 8-10
Here’s what God tells Moses:
- I have come down to deliver my children.
- I am going to give them a good place.
- I’ve heard their cries, and I’ve seen their oppression.
- Therefore, you, Moses, will lead my children out of Egypt.
God heard the cries of his people, and he did something about it. Many times, Congress will talk about our problems as a country, but they never do anything about them. God acted when he saw a problem. The whole book of Exodus describes how God led his people out of captivity.
The New Testament is about how God has acted through Jesus Christ. Galatians 4:4-5. God didn’t step away from our sin problem and do nothing, but he acted.
This sermon was originally preached by Dr. Justin Imel, Sr., at the Owingsville church of Christ in Owingsville, Kentucky.