Text: Ex. 33:18-23

Title: "When God Passes By"

Subj.: God's encounter with man is through Jesus Christ..

Intro: The Bible says, "...thy faith hath made thee whole..."

We live in a time of a great dichotomy. Sinful mankind seems willing to accept almost any hair brain assumption, as long as it is proclaimed by other sinful men; while rejecting the reliable, infallible, inspired written revelation of the eternal, all-powerful, everywhere present, all knowing God! Man has a problem! On one hand, he has put his faith, yes his faith, in the answers of men who readily admit that they don't have the answers; while, on the other hand, rejecting the claims of God, Who does have the answers. Worse than that, man refuses to believe in God unless God can be physically proven to their own sinful satisfaction. Man believes man, and rejects God, instead of believing God and rejecting man! Who do you believe this morning: God or man? Further more, if you say that you believe God, how are you living? By faith, or does God have to prove Himself to you by sight? Are you living by faith or waiting for an "experience?"

But the Bible says, "...thy faith hath made thee whole..."

Faith is simply, "Trust in the Word of Another," Faith is having enough trust in God, because of Who He is, to believe what He says, despite your doubts and/or outward circumstances.

Sight can be summed up in the saying, "Seeing is believing." In other words, if I can see it, if I can experience it, if I can understand it, then and only then will I believe it.

Moses, one of God's chosen, had this "sight" problem, and so do many of you. Though "God told Moses, "My Presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest," that was not good enough for Moses! He wanted to see to believe!

But the Bible says, "...thy faith hath made thee whole..."

Perhaps some of you here this morning are on a "sight-seeing" trip regarding God. You would join with Moses, and cry out, "Show me Thy glory." This morning I will show you exactly what Moses saw when He cried out those very words to God. You will see this morning what Moses saw, "When God Passes By."

Ex. 33:18-23 -- "When God Passes By" -- prayer

Note: The Book of Exodus is the book of redemption. It is God's ransoming and emancipating an enslaved people from the house of their bondage. God can set you free, today, too, if you will but trust Him!

I. GOD'S WILLINGNESS TO REVEAL HIS GLORY (v18)

A. Despite the Unbelief of Men

1. Moses unbelief revealed

a. God said, "My Presence shall go with thee."

b. Moses said, "I beseech Thee, shew me Thy glory!"

1) "Show" = "see, look at, inspect."

2) "Glory" = that which makes God known, His visible manifestation, His self-disclosure of all that makes Him God, and His intent to dwell among men.

a) Moses said, "Show me that You have the ability to do what You say You will!" Begging for a special revelation/vision of God, living by sight

God is willing to reveal His glory

II. HOW GOD HAS CHOSEN TO REVEAL HIS GLORY (v19)

A. He Reveals His Glory by Passing Before Us.

Note: But how was God to accomplish this "passing before us"? We have a limited ability to comprehend God. We have a sinful nature. We are self-centered, not God-centered. How could a holy God reveal His glory to sinful man? By the divine plan thereby God would pass by us Himself, by taking on Himself human flesh, and by dwelling among us, "And the Word [which was God, Jn. 1:1] was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." And so, God came as a man, the God-man, Jesus Christ; His glory veiled in human flesh. So God has chosen to reveal His glory in the Person of Jesus Christ, "Who [is] the brightness of His [God's] glory, and the express image of His [God's] Person..." Heb. 1:3. Man sees God in the Lord Jesus Christ.

B. God's Glory Is Revealed in 4 Particulars of Christ (v19)

1. His glory is revealed in the Goodness of Jesus Christ

Mat. 19:16-17 "And, behold, one came and said unto Him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?" "And He said unto him, Why callest thou Me good? There is none good but One, that is, God..."

Note: The English word "good" is from the Anglo-Saxon word for "God." Its meaning encompasses everything that is excellent and worthy of praise. In the Hebrew, "good" is also expressed in the word "beneficial." What is "good/beneficial" is from God, and what is from God is "good/beneficial," for God is "good." Ja. 1:17 says, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights..."

1) Sinner: It is good for you to turn from your sins and to receive Christ as your Saviour by faith! Why? because salv. is a good God's perfect gift, and, therefore, it is eternally good for you!

2) Saint: It is good for you to turn from your "sight" and to follow Christ by faith. Why? because faith is a good God's demand on your life, making you more like Christ, which is eternally good for you!

God's glory is revealed in the goodness of Jesus Christ!

2. God's glory is revealed in the Proclamation of Jesus Christ

Note: To "proclaim" is to address particular people, expecting a specific response. It is also the asserting of sovereignty by the One named over those addressed. To proclaim the Name of the Lord, is to proclaim the totality of His sovereignty, attributes, and nature (all He is), all the while expecting a response. Today, Jesus Christ is proclaimed by God in 1) His Word, and 2) through His preachers, "For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." 1 Cor. 1:21 But why does God use preaching? Because God has determined that "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. but "how shall they hear without a preacher... Rms. 10:17

God's glory is revealed in the proclamation of Jesus Christ!

3. His glory is revealed in the Grace of Jesus Christ

Note: Grace is unmerited favor. It is a heartfelt response by God Who has something to give to one who has a need. Everyone here has a need. Some of you need to be forgiven of your sins. Some of you need to return to your first Love. Some of you need a good dose of old-fashioned, Bible believing faith! We all need grace! 2 Cor. 8:9 "For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be [spiritually] rich."

God's glory is revealed in the grace of Jesus Christ!

4. God's glory is revealed in the Mercy of Jesus Christ

Note: Mercy is grace which leads God to action on behalf of sinners, to spare them the just desserts of their sins. Remember, mercy is only for the guilty. (Every person who has ever sinned, please stand. Every Christian who has ever sinned since salv., please remain standing) Mercy is only for the guilty! It is pity put into practice. Grace sent Jesus Christ to die for you. Mercy applied that death to you. There is grace for salv., and mercy for sins.

Eph. 2:4-5 "But God, Who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved)."

God's glory is revealed in the mercy of Jesus Christ

To whom will God be gracious and show mercy? Sinner: whosoever will may come, by repentance toward God, and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ, to receive the free gift of eternal life. Saint: To whosoever will come, by repentance toward God, and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ, humbling yourself under the mighty hand of God. Those who live by sight deserve to see His majesty, while those who live by faith desire to see His mercy.

III. GOD'S GLORY IS NOT REVEALED BY SIGHT (v20)

A. Three Reasons You Cannot See God in This Present Life

Ex. 33:20

Jn. 4:24 "God is a Spirit..."

Heb. 11:9 "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him."

B. One Reason You Will See God in the Next Life

1. Sin must be punished! Justice demands it & God is just!

Note: For the sinner, If you refuse to be reconciled to God in this life, you WILL stand before His face at the Great White Throne Judgment. You WILL face your sins! You WILL face your God! You WILL be sentenced to eternal damnation in the Lake of Fire! For the saved, you too have a date with God at the judgment seat of Christ. Though forgiven, You WILL face your sins! you WILL face your God. For you there is also a penalty for sin.

Note: Moses asked to see God's glory. God said, "You will see My goodness, learn My Name, see my grace, and see my mercy, but you will not see My face!" You say, "I will not believe God until I can see Him face to face! Then you will not believe God, and you shall die in your sins!"

God's glory is not revealed by sight!

IV. GOD'S PROVISION WHEN REVEALING HIS GLORY (v21)

A. There is a Place Provided by God, if you will come before it is everlastingly too late!

1. It is "by God," not before God!

2. It is on a rock (sure foundation) provided by God, and not on the quicksand of your sins!

Rms. 5:1-2 "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by Whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God."

Note: Sinner: don't tell me that God is not interested in you! God is more interested in you than you are interested in you, and that's saying something!

2 Pet. 3:9 "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."

Saint: don't tell me that God has forgotten you, you have forgotten God! You are so wrapped up in you, you, you, that you have withdrawn from the place God prepared especially for you.

Ja. 4:7-8,10 "Submit yourself to God..." "Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double-minded." "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up."

Note: There is a place by the world, there is a place by Satan, and there is a place by God. Where will you take your stand?

God has a place for you!

V. GOD'S PROMISES CONCERNING HIS PASSING (v22)

(3 promises)

A. It Shall Come to Pass, that His Glory ("Goodness") Shall Pass By You.

1. Every man will be exposed to God's goodness in Christ.

Mat. 24:14 "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."

2. That "Goodness" [of Christ] will either draw you to God, or repel you from God, for you will see the contrast between your sins and how God's sees them!. An idol is sinful man's response to a holy God.

Jn. 3:20-21 Jesus said, "For every one that doeth evil hateth the Light, neither cometh to the Light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the Light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God."

God has promised to reveal His glory

B. God Will Put You in a Cleft of the Rock

(Your flesh must be hidden to see the glory of God)

1. The Rock is Christ

Note: This refers directly to Mt. Sinai, which is covered with large boulders, suitable for sheltering Moses. But by type, this Rock is Christ, as He is typified throughout the Scriptures.

2. The Rock is Cleft (hole, crevice)

a. Cleft on the Cross for you (cut, pierced, laid open for you!)

Jn. 20:27-29 "Then saith He [Jesus] to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold My hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into My side, and be not faithless, but believing." "And Thomas answered and said unto Him, My Lord and my God." "Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed."

3. The Rock is Sufficient For You

Col 3:3 "For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God."

a. Every trial/temptation must come through the Rock to get to you

C. God Will Cover You With His Hand

1. "Hand" = His protecting power, His holding power

Jn. 10:28 "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My Hand."

2. The Hand is Christ, and is so used throughout Scripture

a. Covered by Christ!

God has promised to reveal Himself, to place you in the Rock and cover you with His hand when revealing His glory

VII. GOD'S SANCTIFICATION FOLLOWING HIS PASSING (v23)

A. God Will Part the Curtain of His Glory, and Will Give You a New Vision of Christ, IF you walk by faith and not by sight.

1 Pet. 1:7-8 "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in Whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:"

B. God Will Reveal His Back Parts Today, but His Full Glory Tomorrow

1. When God took away His hand, what Moses saw was a similitude ("likeness/form") of Christ. Jesus Christ is God's glory!

Num. 12:8 "With him [Moses] will I speak mouth of mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the Lord shall he behold..."

2. Today we see the "back parts,"

a. The inward nature reflects itself in the face, while the back gives only an imperfect and outward view.

1 Cor 13:12 "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face..."

3. Tomorrow we shall see His face

Rev. 22:3-4 "And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him: and they shall see His face..."

a. Where will you be "tomorrow?"

Concl: God, in Jesus Christ, has passed by man in the flesh. God, in Jesus Christ, has passed by you in His Word. God, in Jesus Christ, has passed by you in this morning's preaching. And God, in Jesus Christ, will pass by you when He comes again to judge the quick and the dead.

Are you ready to put your faith in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ that you too might behold His glory? Will you be saved today?

Christian, is it faith or sight? What Moses saw is not only all there is to see, but it is all God will give you to see. Are you living according to God's Word, or are you waiting for a "fuller revelation" before you begin to serve and trust God? Lack of faith is sin, confess it today! Will you?
 

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