Majestic, Master, Messiah, Mission (Majestic-Part 3)

Quick Reminder:

Over the next several months, I will be blogging about this:

  • God is MAJESTIC
  • God is MESSIAH
  • God wants to be MASTER
  • God wants us to live on MISSION

In our last post, we looked at several passages of Scripture that illustrated the Majesty of God.  Today we are going to look at a story where a man of God, Moses, encounters God in His Glory and Majesty.  We will be focusing on Exodus 33 and 34, with some mention to Exodus 32.

Moses was chosen by God to rescue the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt.  The book of Exodus chronicles Moses’ life and how he, with God’s miraculous help, led the children of Israel out of Egypt.  We pick up the story in Exodus 32.  In Exodus 32, the children of Israel have rebelled and are worshiping a golden calf.  They crafted this calf for the express purpose of worshiping it over God.

Remember, we are talking about the Majesty and Glory of God today.  Here the children of Israel demonstrate that they cannot possibly comprehend the Glory of God!  Why?  They make a false god, and they then bow down to that god.  That is basically shaking your fist at God and daring him to respond.

The sad thing is this is what we are doing today.  It is one thing that many who do not know God do this very thing.  It is quite another when the people in Jesus’ church are doing this.  Unfortunately, this is happening at a widespread rate.  Idolatry is a significant problem in our nation today and in the church in our nation.  This is especially true in the sexual sin arena, and this is very much true of Christian men.  Too many Christian men are soft and passive when it comes to their own idolatry and the idolatry of their families.  Many think that I overreact, and that the problem is not as bad as I think.

Let me relay to you a story my dad recently told me.  He ran into an old friend, and the old friend asked him how his kids were doing.  My dad told this friend about how things were going in my sister’s world, etc.  Then he got to me.  This friend of my father asked my dad what I did for a living.  Dad told him that I meet with guys who struggle with sexual sin, primarily pornography, and that I go to churches and schools to speak out against the idol of sexual sin.

This friend, who happens to be in his 60’s, told my dad that what I was doing was great, but he added one thing.  He said, “Make sure to tell your son that the problem is worse than he thinks it is.”

Let that sink in for a minute.  If you follow this blog at all, you know that I beat the drum on how bad the problem is.  For a guy in his 60’s to tell me that problem is worse than I thought blows my mind.  The bottom line is this.  We have lost our way big time!  We need to get back to preaching about the Majesty and Glory of God and that we fall short of it.  We need to be preaching about how the Gospel not only rescues us from God’s wrath called hell, but it empowers us to live a Godly life, a life that doesn’t bow down to idolatry.

The children of Israel lost sight of the Glory of God, and we have too.  We must ask the Lord to help us see even a glimpse of what Moses saw in Exodus 33.

Sorry for the rant.  Let me get back on track with Exodus. Many more things happen in Exodus 32 and 33, but eventually, Moses finds himself in a conversation with God about the children of Israel.  If you want to read the whole account in Exodus 32-34, then click on the link below:

Exodus 32-34 account

For the sake of the blog, we will pick it up in Exodus 33:18, where Moses makes a request of God.  Check out that verse and the ones that follow:

Then Moses said, “I pray You, show me Your glory!”  And God said, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.”  But He said, “You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!”  Then the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand there on the rock; and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. Then I will take My hand away and you shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen.”

Moses wants to see the Glory of God, but God cannot show Moses this.  If Moses sees it, he will die.  This is not because God is mean, and it is not because God wants to get Moses.  It is simply that God’s Glory is that powerful.  Think of this like the sun. You and I can’t live on the planet, Mercury.  Why?  If we even tried to live on it, the heat of the sun would consume us.  It is not because the sun is mean or wants to get us.  It is simply that the sun is that powerful.  The one who created the powerful sun is the same God of Exodus 33.  This God is Glorious, and His Glory is powerful.  If a man were to see the Glory of God, this Glory would consume them, and they would die.

God does let Moses see just a glimpse of His Glory though.  As I read the text, it seems that Moses catches a glimpse of the back of God.  Therefore, he catches a glimpse of God’s Glory.

Side note: God is so big that His hand alone encompasses all of Moses’ body.  Wow!!!!!  God is Big and Powerful and Glorious and Majestic!

Let’s fast forward to Exodus 34.

In this chapter, Moses has a powerful encounter with God on the heels of seeing a glimpse of His Glory.  Read this chapter, and imagine how incredibly awesome it would be in that moment to be Moses!

Moses comes down from the mountain and his face is glowing.  Why?  His face is glowing because He had an encounter with God, and He saw a glimpse of His Glory.  Wow!  Wow!  Wow!  Amazing!  The people were afraid of Moses because they knew He had been with God.  They were so afraid that Moses had to put a veil covering on his face just to speak to the people.  This is how powerful the glow was on Moses’ face.

Remember, all Moses saw was a glimpse of the back of God, and therefore, a glimpse of His Glory.  This small encounter with God made Moses’ face so radiant that the people were afraid.  Translation: God’s Glory is powerful!

And we fall short of it, and we need Him to rescue us.  Praise God that He does.  We fall short of the MAJESTIC God, and MESSIAH God comes and rescues us!  Amen and Amen and Amen!!!

Thoughts for today:

When is the last time we gazed on the Majesty and Glory of God?

Does His Majesty and Glory lead us to worship Him and Him alone?

Nothing compares to Him.  NOTHING!  He alone is worthy of our worship.  Would we stop shaking our fist at God as we bow down to idols!  Would we repent of our sin!  Would we worship the MAJESTIC, MESSIAH God!!!

 

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Majestic, Master, Messiah, Mission (Majestic-Part 2)

Quick Reminder:

Over the next several months, I will be blogging about this:

  • God is MAJESTIC
  • God is MESSIAH
  • God wants to be MASTER
  • God wants us to live on MISSION

Last post we talked about how King Uzziah forgot about the Majesty of God, and we also looked at how God’s Majesty was revealed to the prophet Isaiah.  Today we will be looking at several passages of Scripture that illustrate the Majesty of God.

First off, let’s look at Psalm 29.

It reads:

Ascribe to the Lord, O sons of the mighty, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.  Ascribe to the Lord the glory due to His name;  Worship the Lord in holy array.  The voice of the Lord is upon the waters;  The God of glory thunders.  The Lord is over many waters.  The voice of the Lord is powerful,  the voice of the Lord is majestic.  The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; Yes, the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.  He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox. The voice of the Lord hews out flames of fire.  The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; The Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.  The voice of the Lord makes the deer to calve and strips the forests bare; And in His temple everything says, “Glory!” The Lord sat as King at the flood; Yes, the Lord sits as King forever.  The Lord will give strength to His people; The Lord will bless His people with peace.

Just a few things to highlight about the Majesty of God here.  We are to ascribe to the Lord, Glory and Strength.  Why are we to do this.  We are to do this because that is who He is!  He is Glorious!!!  He is Strong!!!  We are to worship Him because He is the Majestic Lord!  God’s voice is powerful.  It snaps trees in half and strips the forest bare.  Let that sink in for a few minutes.  That is amazingly powerful!  Wow!  Take a moment and ask God to just speak to your heart about His Glory, Strength, and Majesty!

Now, let’s look at Isaiah 40:12-15.

It says:

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and marked off the heavens by the span, and calculated the dust of the earth by the measure, and weighed the mountains in a balance and the hills in a pair of scales?  Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord, or as His counselor has informed Him?  With whom did He consult and who gave Him understanding?  And who taught Him in the path of justice and taught Him knowledge and informed Him of the way of understanding?  Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales; Behold, He lifts up the islands like fine dust.

Again, wow!  The Majesty of God is seen all over these verses.  God can hold the waters of the earth in His hand!  Wow!  He can measure the heavens (sky, solar system, galaxies, etc.).  Wow!   He knows how much the dust of the earth ways, and He knows the weight of every hill and mountain throughout the world!  Wow!  He has no counselor.  Wow!  We fret over all that is going on around the world, especially with some nations who seem to be plotting some crazy evil, and all the nations in the world are just a drop in the bucket to Him.  Wow!  He can pick up all the islands of the whole earth, and they are like dust in His hand.  Wow!

Wow!  Wow!  Wow!  Who is like our Majestic God?  No one!!!

Finally, let’s look at Job 38:1-11.

Before you read, let me give you some context.  Job has lost everything.  He is grieving, and he has a ton of questions for God.  These questions make sense to me any way.  I have had times in my life where I am grieving, and I have asked God many questions.  In Job 38, God answers Job.  The reality is that He doesn’t really answer Job’s questions.  He reminds Job that He is Sovereign and Majestic!

Job 38:1-11 says,

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said, “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Now gird up your loins like a man, and I will ask you, and you instruct Me!  Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding,  Who set its measurements? Since you know.  Or who stretched the line on it?  On what were its bases sunk?  Or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?  Or who enclosed the sea with doors when, bursting forth, it went out from the womb; When I made a cloud its garment and thick darkness its swaddling band, and I placed boundaries on it and set a bolt and doors, and I said, ‘Thus far you shall come, but no farther; And here shall your proud waves stop’?”

Think about these things that God says (keep in mind I am paraphrasing):

“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?”  Answer = not alive yet

“Did you set the earth’s measurements?  Did you lay the cornerstone for the earth?  Did you cause the morning stars to sing together?  Did you tell the ocean you can only come this far?”  Answers = No.  No.  No.  No.  No.

What do these questions indicate?  God is God, and Job is not.  God is God, and we are not.

Sidebar:  I am not suggesting that appropriate care and comfort is not needed after someone experiences loss.  Go read John 11.  Jesus had a “God is Sovereign” response to Martha, and He had a “I am with you and let Me love on you” response to Mary after they lost their brother.  We all need God’s comfort during deep loss, and we also need to know that He is Majestic, Sovereign God in absolute and complete control of all things.

The passages in Psalms, Isaiah, and Job indicate this:  God is MAJESTIC!!!

What do we do with that today?  I don’t know for you personally, but let me give you a few principles to take away from this.

When I worry, I need to know He is Majestic and He’s got this.  When I think my life is out of control, I need to know that He is Majestic and Sovereign and in absolute complete control.  If He can snap trees in half and if He can hold the waters of the earth in His hand and if He can command the ocean to stop, then I think that screams He is the Majestic, Sovereign God, and He is asking us to trust Him completely with our lives.

Can you do this today?  Can you see His Majesty today?  If you can’t, would you have the courage to ask the Lord what might be hindering that?  It could be hurt, pain, sadness, anger, fear, guilt, shame, etc.  To bow down and worship Him we must be able to clearly see Him as Majestic.

May God open the eyes of our heart that we may see His MAJESTY!!!

Majestic, Messiah, Master, Mission (Majestic-Part 1)

Over the next several months, I will be blogging about this:

  • God is MAJESTIC
  • God is MESSIAH
  • God wants to be MASTER
  • God wants us to live on MISSION

I really think that this is the theme that plays out in all of Scripture.  I think we see Majestic, Messiah, Master, Mission in one chapter of the Bible, Isaiah 6.  In fact, I even did one blog on this before.  I just really want to devote the next few months to blogging about this and going deeper with it.  It serves as a great reminder and motivation for me to pursue Jesus and His Gospel.  I hope it does the same for you.

In Isaiah 6:1, we learn that King Uzziah has died.  Let’s back up.  Who is Uzziah?  Uzziah was King of Judah.  Judah was the Southern Kingdom of God’s chosen nation.  He reigned for 50+ years, and 2 Chronicles 26 would tell you that he was a good king.  He feared God, and he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.

Things went south for Uzziah later in his life.  He became filled with pride and anger and lost his way.  He decided that he wanted to be more than king of God’s chosen nation.  He thought he would try to take on the role of the Priest.  He was confronted by 80+ priests, but he did not listen to their rebuke.  God was not pleased with Uzziah’s actions, and he struck Uzziah with leprosy.  Ouch!  Uzziah never repented and lived out the rest of his days quarantined with leprosy until he died. That is some serious pride!

Before we get back to talking about God’s Majesty, let me touch on Uzziah’s lack of repentance for a second.  I help many men/young men who happen to struggle with porn addiction.  I used to be in that same place, and I believe that God has called me to help these men/young men the same way God helped me.  There is something interesting that I know about my own life and the lives of these men/young men.  Everyone’s “bottom of the pit” looks different.  I know when I hit the bottom of my pit as far as addiction is concerned.  I can remember it like yesterday!  I am thankful that God let me hit the bottom of that pit.

There are guys I help that I would think would be at the bottom of their pit.  More times than not though, they respond like Uzziah.  I have seen guys lose their wives and their kids and that not produce repentance in their life.  That is scary!  Uzziah was ill with a disease that could kill him.  He was no longer able to lead the Kingdom that God gave him.  BUT he still did not repent of his PRIDE and beg the Lord for mercy.  That is some serious pride.  The book of James tells us that God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble.  May God give me, may He give us, a posture of humility so we can recipients of His grace!

Sorry for the rant.  Let’s get back to the Majesty of God.  In Isaiah 6:1, we see that Isaiah gets a vision from God in the same year that King Uzziah died.  Now that we know how King Uzziah died, I think we can assume if we were Isaiah we would be paying very close attention to whatever the Lord would reveal to us.  Uzziah’s death was intense!

In Isaiah 6:1-5, we get a glimpse of the vision that God gave to Isaiah.  Wow!  What a vision indeed!  The text says that Isaiah saw the Lord lifted high and exalted, seated on a throne.  Visualize this in your head.  Isaiah continues to describe the vision. He said the train of God’s robe filled the temple.  Let that sink in for a minute.  God is so big that He wears a robe, and the train of that robe fills the entire Old Testament temple.  This is the temple that Solomon built.  That temple was huge. Translation:  God is BIG!  He is HUGE!  Isaiah catches a glimpse of this!

In this same vision, Isaiah sees angelic beings above God, and they are singing to Him.  They are singing “Holy, Holy, Holy”. Who are they singing to?  They are singing to the One who is so BIG and HUGE that the train of His robe fills the entire temple, and when they sing, they sing about the Holiness and Glory of God.  What a sight to behold?  While they are singing, the doorposts and thresholds of the temple begins to shake, and smoke fills the temple.

Try to picture this in your mind.  Imagine what Isaiah must have been thinking and feeling.  I bet he didn’t go up and try to give Almighty God a high five.  I bet Isaiah wasn’t trying to have some “buddy buddy” conversation with the Lord.  In fact, we know he didn’t do this because of his reaction in verse 5.  Before we talk about his reaction in verse 5, let me just say this.

In our American Church Culture, we have lost a sense of God’s Glory and Holiness.  We flippantly treat our relationship with God like He’s one of our buddies we connect with on Facebook if we aren’t careful.  Don’t misunderstand me.  God longs for relationship with us, and He desires to be our friend.  Being friends with God and being “buddy buddy” with God are two different things.  I can’t be his friend if I don’t humble myself and see my own sin, and consequently see how much I have violated His Glory and Holiness with that sin.

God wants me to see how much I have fallen short so I can in humility bring myself to Him and experience His gift of forgiveness.  He wants me to see Him the same way Isaiah saw Him.  In Isaiah 6:5, Isaiah says, “Woe is me.”  Why?  He knows that He is “unclean” and that He has just experienced God’s Holiness.

God does not want us to walk around in guilt and shame, but He does want us to have a healthy fear and reverence for Him. Our idolatry offends him!  What does that idolatry look like?  It’s gluttony, porn addiction, sexual immorality, homosexuality, greed, materialism, drunkenness, religiosity, pride, etc., etc., etc.  Again, our idolatry offends this Majestic God! When is the last time you saw a clear picture of God’s Holiness and His Glory?  Did you respond like Isaiah?

Whether you have done this or not, ask the Lord to give you a fresh understanding of His Majesty.  That makes us just be in awe of Him!  That awe leads to humility, and that humility often leads to a lifestyle of Biblical worship!

Let’s worship THE MAJESTIC ONE today!