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God Spoke with Fearful Glory #1

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
April 8, 2022 8:00 am

God Spoke with Fearful Glory #1

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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April 8, 2022 8:00 am

Today as Pastor Don Green teaches God's people God's Word, he'll continue laying the groundwork necessary to fully understand and appreciate all that an in-depth study of the Ten Commandments offers the believer.--thetruthpulpit.comClick the icon below to listen.

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God delivered the Ten Commandments in a specific way, at a specific time, to a specific people, with a specific purpose, and we need to see that surrounding context in order to have some sense of the weight and gravity that the Ten Commandments carry. Hello and thanks for joining us on The Truth Pulpit with Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.

I'm Bill Wright. Today Don continues teaching God's people God's Word. He'll continue laying the groundwork necessary in order for us to fully understand and appreciate all that an in-depth study of the Ten Commandments has to offer believers, this time specifically looking at historical context. Don, when studying the Ten Commandments, how important is context? Well, Bill, the more I've studied the Ten Commandments, the more I've realized that the historical context is crucial to knowing what God intended us to glean from his law. The context shows us that the majesty and seriousness of God himself is expressed in the Ten Commandments. When he gave the law through Moses, the people feared God due to the signs that accompanied the giving of the law. And that fearful context shows the fearful authority of the commands of God themselves. You see, my friend, the law leads us to fear God, which Scripture says is the beginning of wisdom. Let's get started and open our Bibles as we turn to God's Word today on The Truth Pulpit.

Thanks, Don. And friend, go ahead and open your Bible to Exodus chapter 19. Let's join our teacher for part one of a message called God Spoke with Fearful Glory on The Truth Pulpit. Look at Exodus 19, verse 10. I just think this is magnificent Scripture that we're considering here today.

I should kick off my shoes because we are standing on holy ground as we read and examine these things. So in Exodus chapter 19, verse 10, you see this, the Lord also said to Moses—actually, let's go back to verse 9—the Lord said to Moses, Behold, I will come to you in a thick cloud so that the people may hear when I speak with you and may also believe in you forever. Then Moses told the words of the people to the Lord. Now, verse 10, the Lord also said to Moses, Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow and let them wash their garments and let them be ready for the third day, for on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. And so this was such a holy occasion that was about to take place that God commanded the people to take a number of days to prepare for what was about to happen.

Okay? And so by setting the time apart and the people setting themselves and their garments apart, as it were, setting themselves apart, it is setting the stage, it is preparing them to recognize that the event for which they are preparing is an event in itself that is greatly set apart. And by showing the nature of the separation and the preparation that it takes, you know, and already, already we have something that strikes and sobers our heart in modern day. I'm just going to take a moment here for a little bit of personal application, and I don't care a bit that this is going to offend some of you.

I really don't, because it's more important for us to understand the importance of what we're studying rather than, you know, to preserve individuals' feelings. God told his people to prepare for the coming of his law. There are people that just find it a pain to get up in the morning to go and be at church on Sunday, and in a complaining way, and rubbing their eyes, and I don't want to be up right now. What kind of preparation of heart and soul and mind is that for coming to hear the Word of God? The callous indifference, the callous disregard for the sacred nature of Christian worship, of the proclamation of the Word of God, is a conviction already in our hearts of these things.

And people want to stay up late at night and, you know, and not prepare themselves. As many people have said, Sunday morning, in preparation of your heart for Sunday morning, it starts on Saturday night, and the way that you order and structure your life so that you are prepared to come into the presence of God, under the presence of the preaching of his Word, and to be able to receive it with a clear, active, engaged, energetic mind, this is the start of preparation. And the way that you conduct your life on Saturday night is an indication, and it is an indication of the seriousness that you attach to Sunday morning. And so God takes these matters seriously, and he says, I'm going to give you my Word in three days, you need to get ready. And it's not too much, it's not too much for us to make sure that we're rested, that we're getting our proper sleep and preparation for the day, and to actually make the effort to show up and be here as you find folks have done here today.

This matters. And so the holy event of the delivery of the Ten Commandments was marked by a physical preparation. Now, along with that, when God gave the Ten Commandments, the holy event of the giving of the Ten Commandments was marked by a physical separation.

A physical separation. Look at verse 12. And there's just, you know, as we read this, there should just be this growing sense of awe and respect and reverence and even fear in your mind as you see what God did to prepare his people for the fearful deliverance of the Ten Commandments. Verse 12. He told Moses, you shall set bounds for the people all around, saying, beware that you do not go up on the mountain or touch the border of it.

Whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death. There was this personal preparation followed by warnings about physical separation because this event was going to be of such significance. And so before God has even spoken, before God has even spoken the Ten Commandments, he has prepared the people with a sense that what is about to happen is an event set apart. This is uniquely different than anything that has come beforehand.

This is not common. This is a majestic pedestal of an event at which we will look up with respect and fear. There is a heart preparation that is going on. The physical outward circumstances in which God prepared the people for the deliverance of the law was a means of emphasizing and signifying the great significance that it had in the purpose of God for his people.

So you get the idea here? And we haven't even gotten to the fearful stuff yet. We haven't, and we're going to get to that in just a moment, but already, already we're finding ourselves challenged by the great holy manner in which God delivered the law and told his people to prepare for it. We are immediately confronted with our superficial and deplorable indifference to the Word of God as we see the way that he prepared his people to receive it. I told this story in the past about my own personal history. I detest the fact that this was a part of my life before Christ. I remember, and part of the reason that I'm energized about preaching this is just that I don't want you to be like me, like what I used to be like, and the utter disdain that I had for the Word of God as a college student was expressed in this manner. I didn't even own a Bible, a real Bible. The only Bible I had was one of those little Gideon New Testaments that somebody had given to me on the street corner of Indiana University one time, and I didn't even read that, except for one night I remember reading, and I cracked it open, and I was laying on my bed, and I was half asleep. The same thing that I warned you against in your preparation for Sunday, I was half asleep. I think I read like five verses out of the book of Galatians.

I had no idea what they meant, and personally at that point I didn't even care. Does it grieve my heart to remember that I was like this? I am so sorry that I was like this. I read those five verses out of the book of Galatians while I was laying in my bed at the little apartment in which I lived alone. I closed that little Gideon's New Testament, and I casually flipped it over onto the dresser, thinking in my mind there, God ought to be satisfied with that. The utter contempt for the Word of God that I had in my heart at that moment has never thoroughly left my mind as I look back on it with a regenerate mind now. That was a perfect summation of the entire attitude that I had as an unbeliever toward the Word of God. I couldn't even sit up in a chair to read it. I read it at the end of the day when I was tired and not alert.

I read such a short amount in maybe 60 seconds, and I casually cast it aside, watched it plop on the counter, and congratulated myself on the nice throw that I'd made. And I said, there, God ought to be satisfied with that, as if God were answering to me instead of me answering to God and His revelation in His Word. You see the problem? You see how this casual contempt and indifference, even with an open Word of God before you, how casual contempt can define your attitude toward it?

That's a real problem. God is holy, and His Word is true, and one day we're going to stand before Him as a judge. Don't you think what He has to say and what His law is toward us is rather something of significance for that coming event? Of course it is. And yet, you know, we resent getting out of bed for it. I don't get it.

Well, I get it. It's a manifestation of the dark dead hearts and the contempt that is in our minds for the Word of God. Otherwise, we would not respond in this way. Well, God, knowing the human heart, tells His people to prepare themselves. It's as though He says, I'm making this somewhat metaphorical here, it's as though He said, in thinking about my day in Bloomington, Indiana, it's as though He comes and He tells the people of Israel, sit up and pay attention and get your heart ready for what I am about to say.

That's the basic idea in colloquial terms for it. And what happened when the day came? They spent two or three days getting ready. What happened when the day came for His Word to be delivered? Well, I'll summarize and then show you in the Scriptures. God came with fearful glory to deliver this law. He came with fearful glory to deliver this law.

Look at Exodus chapter 19 verse 16. And the supernatural accompaniment of phenomena in nature gave added witness to the weight that God placed to this occasion. He came with fearful glory and He spoke. Verse 16. So it came about on the third day when it was morning that there were thunder and lightning flashes and a thick cloud upon the mountain and a very loud trumpet sound so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. The visual assault on them, the audio assault on their ears, the physical sensation of the ground trembling under them caused them all to fear and shake in regards to what was happening. And in verse 17 Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Now verse 18. Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke because the Lord descended upon it in fire and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace and the whole mountain quaked violently.

Have you ever been in a tornado or a hurricane or an earthquake and you realize what's happening in nature is a threat to your existence? That is the sense of fear which accompanied the delivery of God's law. The whole mountain was quaking. In verse 19 it intensified. Verse 19. When the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder Moses spoke and God answered him with thunder. And the Lord came down on Mount Sinai to the top of the mountain and the Lord called to Moses to the top of the mountain and Moses went up.

Now those are the preliminaries. As we saw last time the Ten Commandments themselves are found in chapter 21 through 17. Copies of that message are available in the outer lobby if you missed it and want to pick that up. So we see it from God's perspective and what God did just immediately before the Ten Commandments were delivered. And then he delivers the Ten Commandments in those 17 verses and afterwards what is the response of the people? Look at verse 18 of chapter 20.

Verse 18 of chapter 20. All the people perceived the thunder and the lightning flashes and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking. They took it all in. And what was the effect of it? When the people saw it they trembled and stood at a distance. They saw these phenomenon.

They were literally, literally, physically shaking in response to it and they stood back recognizing the majestic solemnity of what they were witnessing. Now the point of this, the point of these of these signs was not simply for the sake of a physical display of fireworks because God could do it. The point of these accompanying natural phenomenon, what I mean is these phenomena in nature, was to give added emphasis to the significance of the moral law that was being delivered to them to add weight and authority to what God was saying.

He testified to it. And when God is giving revelation, he's done doing that now in his time of, you know, in the biblical times, when God attested to the authority of the apostles in the New Testament, he gave them power to do signs and wonders that testified to the supernatural truth and revelation that this was really from God. And so in Exodus chapter 20, God gives these phenomena in nature to say this is really my moral authority and the authority of the moral law is frightful.

You are not prepared and equipped to deal with this moral law. The people were afraid and didn't want to draw near. Well, the purpose of God in that was not simply to emphasize and to create fear at the signs, the accompanying signs, the purpose of God in it was to create a fear and respect and reverence for the law that the signs were merely introducing.

This is a matter of great consequence that is taking place here. And so when we ask the question, when did God give the Ten Commandments, it was immediately after their deliverance from Egypt, three months afterwards, and when he gave it, we see this from the narrative, the supernatural, fearful manner in which he did it. That was the context in which the Ten Commandments were given. The fear, listen to me, beloved, with what I'm about to say, the fear which the appearance of God generated at the time, outwardly, physically, the physical appearance, the physical manifestation of the presence of God did this.

Remember the physical actions had a spiritual significance as we saw from those verses in Exodus 19. The fear which the outward manifestation of God generated does this. It conveys to us the dread authority of the commandments themselves.

Let me say that again because this is essential for you to understand. The fear which the outward manifestation of God generated in the people at that time conveys to us the dread authority of the commands themselves. They trembled at the outward manifestation. The point is, is that when we understand the authority and the implications of the Ten Commandments, it creates a like fear and trembling in us on a spiritual level. Just as they were not equipped to deal with the outward manifestations of God, so now sinful men like you and me, we are not equipped to deal with the spiritual authority of the Ten Commandments.

That's what we're supposed to understand. Look at Deuteronomy chapter 5 verse 22 just to reiterate this. Deuteronomy 5 is where the Ten Commandments were repeated by Moses in his parting message to the people of Israel. And in Deuteronomy chapter 5 verse 22, Moses tells the people later looking back and interpreting history for them 40 years later, he says, these words the Lord spoke to all your assembly at the mountain from the midst of the fire of the cloud and of the thick gloom with a great voice and he added no more. He wrote them on two tablets of stone and gave them to me. God supernaturally inscribed the written version of the Ten Commandments.

He inscribed them supernaturally on tablets of stone to establish their permanence and then he gave it to Moses. And Moses tells the people in verse 23, when you heard the voice from the midst of the darkness while the mountain was burning with fire, you came near to me all the heads of your tribes and your elders and you said, behold the Lord our God has shown us his glory and his greatness and we have heard his voice from the midst of the fire. We have seen today that God speaks with man yet he lives. Now then why should we die for this great fire will consume us if we hear the voice Lord our God any longer then we will die. For who is there of all flesh who has heard the voice of the living God speaking from the midst of the fire as we have and lived. They realized that what God had just done showed that his sovereign majesty was such that they could not continue on in life unless there was a mediator, unless God would show grace and mercy to them. And so they pled with Moses to intercede.

All in response, here's the point beloved, trying to keep the main thing the main thing for you here today. All of this simply to show that a supernaturally powerful God, a holy God, gave in a supernaturally great way, in a holy way, gave his holy law expressed in the Ten Commandments to his people. All of the supernatural manifestations which created fear in the hearts of the people, there is to be a connection in your mind between that outward authority, that outward fearfulness, and the spiritual significance of the Ten Commandments. And so the fear of the appearance of God conveys the dread authority of the commands themselves.

Now, this is unique. The manner in which God gave the Ten Commandments distinguishes them from other aspects of the laws that he gave at that same time. The civil law, the social laws that followed in the rest of the book of Exodus, the regulations for the construction of the tabernacle, the ceremonial law given in Leviticus, none of them, none of that revelation was accompanied by this same kind of manifestation of the fearful authority of God.

The civil and ceremonial law were not given like that. And so what you are to understand is this, is that there is a unique significance attached to the Ten Commandments that are to impress themselves on your mind. They are unique.

Even the way that God gave them, you know, he inscribed them supernaturally himself. That's Don Green, bringing our study for today to a close. Next time, the second half of the lesson entitled, God Spoke with Fearful Glory, here on The Truth Pulpit. Do join us then. Well, if you'd like a copy of today's lesson in its entirety, and you'd like to find out more about this ministry, we invite you to visit thetruthpulpit.com. That again is thetruthpulpit.com. Now for Don Green, I'm Bill Wright, reminding you to join us next time, as we continue teaching God's people God's Word, here on The Truth Pulpit.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-09 22:44:31 / 2023-05-09 22:52:37 / 8

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