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May 6, 2022 12:01 am
Why did Moses have to take his shoes off as he approached the burning bush? Today, R.C. Sproul explains that, in the presence of God, Moses was standing on holy ground.
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I was moved to teach on the doxology and the benedictions first of all because of what they mean to me. Devotional turned to them in my own private meditations for refocus for worship for self-examination for building up her faith and then as a result of that, I've been looking for opportunities to teach them to our church because I believe they ate the people of God in looking up and seeing the greatness of God in these succinct statements of blessing and/or doxology that are memorable and meaningful. We take them for granted but they are there for blessing, blessing and praise by HB Charles Junior visit Lincoln here.org/teaching series to learn more. When Moses approached the burning bush, God declared that it was holy ground. Was there something in the composition of the soil there in the Midianite wilderness that was different from any other plat of real estate in this world nothing intrinsically that could be found in the dirt. What made that ground holy presence of God is secular to the sacred from the common to the young, from the profane to the holy the natural earth was touched by God's supernatural presence.
Welcome to Renewing Your Mind on this Friday we will the story of Moses and the burning bush is our focus today is Dr. RC scroll helps us discover the character of God through this divine yet mysterious encounter in this session were going to continue our body of the implications that we draw from the narrative history of Moses encounter with God at the burning bush in the Midianite wilderness, saying already that this was not only a watershed moment in Moses life, but a watershed moment for the whole of human history. In this session I want to look more carefully at a small portion of the text, beginning in verse three of chapter 3. After Moses said saying the burning bush the bush that was burning and was not concerned we read then Moses said, I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn and so when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look God called to him from the midst of the bush and said Moses. Moses, they said, here I am, then God said do not draw near this place, take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.
Moreover, he said I'm the God of your father the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob and Moses at his face, for he was afraid to look upon God. I began by referring to the work of the French X substantial philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre's perhaps most famous work was the play that he wrote entitled no exit and in that play the last act ended with a group of people sitting in a room without doors and they were gazing at each other, reducing each other to objects and beneath this spare that these people were experiencing. Sartre said in conclusion to the play hell is other people, and of course in the whole of his work in the body of work of philosophy and drama. He is an atheist continued to say that not only is there no accident for people from hellish mess, but that is because there is no access to God. There is no access to the sacred.
There is no access to transcendent reality. Human beings whom he described as useless passions, and for whom his final description of our human condition was found in the word nausea. He said that's because we are chained. We are trapped in the ear and now in the secular, and there is no escape from the trap.
There is no door.
There is no window by which we can reach anything of a paternal significance in the 20th century. The two greatest sociologists of religion in the world were Heinrich Kramer and Merced Ely a day nearly a day responded to this description of the human predicament by saying that yes indeed human bangs are in a profane state, which in fact in our fallen condition, we choose not because there is no access to the holy no way in which we can encounter that which is sacred, but rather we choose an existence that is profane and I think if you're aware of your culture at all. You can see that profanity that marks our culture in every medium is a profanity that continues to escalate.
One year after another, are speech of profanity is merely an expression of our sense of living in the realm of the profane. But Ely a day went on to say that as much as we see to live in profanity as much as we choose the profane over the sacred human life simply cannot live in total profanity because for nearly a day in his study of all the cultures of the world.
There is ultimately not no access to God not no exit from profanity, but rather there is no escape from the sacred because everywhere we go, the sacred in true foods upon us in Isaiah chapter 61 he was having his vision on the occasion of his call to be a prophet. We recall the song of the angels, the presence of God in which they sang holy, holy, holy is the Lord God of hosts, what else of the song contain for the whole earth is full of his glory. So do you see the antithesis to see the collision between the radical secularism of people like Jean-Paul Sartre and the teaching of the Scripture, the teaching of the Scripture is not that the holy and the sacred is in some hidden realm.
Some esoteric sphere were only the most brilliant elite thinkers can penetrate to find a slight glimpse of the holy. On the contrary, the whole is filled with the glory of God.
So why then do we have this sense of the profane locale of an answer that question. This way you said the whole of creation is a glorious theater, screaming as it were manifesting so clearly the holiness of God. But we are blind to what that blindness is a willful blindness. We are like human bangs walking in this glorious theater wearing blindfolds blindfolds that we have put on our own eyes. Lest we see the holy and the sacred because there is nothing more terrifying to sinful creatures than to be exposed to the holy in this we see here in this story Moses seems the Bush that's burning is not concerned and we are told in the narrative, but he turns aside to look at Dennis he turns aside, looking in the direction that Bush is not satisfied to observe it from a distance it begins to walk towards the bush. He begins to approach it in Nancy's approaching it. Suddenly the voice comes out of the bush calling to him by name saying Mose's Moses stop right there. Don't come any closer. Don't draw near. Instead, take your shoes off take the sandals from off your feet, because the ground were on your standing is holy ground was asked a couple questions about that. What made it holy ground.
Was there something in the composition of the soil there in the Midianite wilderness that was different from any other plat of real estate in this world is anything particularly consecrated or sacred about the dirt under his feet. Nothing intrinsically that could be found in the dirt. What made that ground holy was the presence of God. Anything that God touches receives, as it were an injection of radiation from his own transcendent majesty.
What makes background holy and different from any other ordinary piece of land was. It was here that there was an intersection. It was here that there was a divine visitation.
It was here that the natural Earth's was touched by the supernatural presence.
What we see here is a concept of what we call threshold threshold that marks the spot that marks a place of transition of border, as it were, between the natural and the supernatural that border was crossed when Moses came near, and God said that for no further. Every Sunday morning we publish a bullet in the earth, St. Andrews and on the front of the bulletin we have these words we cross the threshold of the secular to the sacred from the common to the uncommon from the profane to the holy I have to admit that I wrote that, and I did it for a reason. I wanted people to understand that when they come into the church on Sunday morning that their coming into place that is different from a movie theater, a civic meeting hall from any other place that they visit in this world that is soon as they open the door and walk in. They've made a transition. They've crossed the threshold there entering into holy space.
Because this is holy ground literary architecture of our church was designed to communicate that idea to people that when they come in this building there crossing the threshold that this is not a place that experiences the triumph of the secular a lot it's been said about secularism and secularization and all that means that the term secular originally in the ancient world meant this world in terms of this particular time, and secularism teaches this that there is the here there is the now and that's all there is there is no heaven there is no realm of the eternal no realm of the transcendent and secularism me's a commitment that you only go around once and that this world is all there is there is no more.
But when we walk in the door. We step across the threshold from the secular and in to the realm of the sacred and that which is sacred is that which is different, that which is sacred is that which is been set apart, and it set apart divinely by God, the sacred space is where God steps and were God acts them are gone and we come here on the Sabbath day because God calls us to be here. He says this is the place where I will meet with my people. On Sunday morning. That's why the New Testament tells us never to neglect the assembling together of the saints because we needed as human beings every week to visit holy ground to get away from the secular step across the border into the sacred.
It's a place where we moved from the ordinary to the extraordinary from the common to the uncommon from the profane to the whole.
So what we experience in our lives. Here's exactly what Moses experience there in the wilderness in the desert, he came near. He stepped across the threshold.
And God spoke to him and stopped them and said that for no further Moses take off your shoes. This is holy ground.
Remember in the book of Genesis. The story of the experience that Jacob had at Bethel. I read a quick recapitulation of it where he went to sleep on his journey and he had this dream in this vision of a ladder going up to heaven the angels of God ascending and descending on it and in this dream, he said, and behold, the Lord God stood above it and God said on the Lord God of Abraham, your father and the God of Isaac, the same way in which God speaks to Moses later in Exodus and the promises. The covenant promise to him and then we read Jacob awoke from his sleep and he said surely the Lord is in this place and I know not. He was right here while I was sleeping with my head on a rock. God was here and I missed I missed Melody say how some is this place, this is the gateway to the talk that stone that he uses a pillow and he took out oil and he poured the oil on the stone. What a strange thing, why would he do something like that. He was consecrating he was consecrating that piece of rock he was making it sacred marking and he said this is holy ground. This is sacred space because here the Lord God appear to me in my dream about a story of a family that went on vacation the St. Louis Don asked me why anybody would go on vacation to St. Louis, but they did and one of the things that they wanted to do was to visit the St. Louis Cathedral and the story goes that before they enter then to this church of Gothic architecture, the teenage girl was being somewhat silly and frivolous in the parking lot of making jokes about what they were doing on this trip and then they went in the front door as soon as I got in the sanctuary, the girl became completely silent and the parents were watching her, and they couldn't get over the transformation that came over her countenance. She looked up at the ceilings and looked at the Gothic arches saw the mosaic tiles depicting the history of redemption and she was very tentative and taking steps and she saw something across the room in the Cathedral that she wanted to look closely upon she turned to her parents and she said, is it okay for me to walk in here so she was overwhelmed by a sense of the presence of the holiness of God. That should be our experience every time we walk into a church, because here we traveled across the border. We make the transition.
We cross over the threshold, as Moses did. And finally, in this narrative of Moses.
We read that God said to him, I am the God of your father the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, and here's the sentence I want you to ponder and Moses hit his face. He was afraid to look at God first, he wanted the lock, he walked over to get closer, but when he realized he was going when he realized where he was standing when he realized who was there I can too much for Sen. RC Sproul with a message from his series, Moses and the burning bush and all we care and Renewing Your Mind. We have been learning more about the character of God through Moses encounter their God's majesty and power run full display of the bush and in this series.
RC explains the importance of God's appearance, you can receive all 10 messages onto DVDs. When you request Moses and the burning bush just give a donation of any amount to look in your ministries. There are a couple of ways you can reach us to make a request.
One is by phone at 800-435-4343 but you can also go online to Renewing Your Mind.org throughout the series. RC reminds us of God's sovereignty over all of creation and that means we can rest in the knowledge that he's in control of our circumstances even in the trials and challenges we face in this life. So again, call us at 800-435-4343 to request Dr. Spruill's teaching series, Moses and the burning bush, or if you prefer you can give your gift online and Renewing Your Mind.org we had the great privilege of sharing the life-changing truths of historic Christianity with you each day here in the program and there are many ways you can listen ways that the you may not know about.
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Thank you for joining us this week and we hope to see you again beginning Monday