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Apr 08, 2018 | Tony Hunt

Our God

Have you ever had a moment or perhaps know someone where you/they had an encounter with God that was almost fearful because it was so vivid and real?

I have had many powerful encounters with God where I experienced conviction, peace, love, direction, or strength. However, a fearful encounter is what I would expect if God chose to reveal more physically his presence. Consider Moses…

Moses meets God. Exodus 3:1-15

  • Holy ground surrounds the presence of God, thus a careful approach. (5)
  • God reveals his compassion for a suffering Israel. (9-10)
  • God reveals his name. (14-15)

The presence of God is revealed to Israel. Exodus 19:1-25

  • God reveals his vision for a relationship and purpose for Israel. (5b-6)
  • God gives purpose to the encounter between he and the people of Israel. (9)
  • God outlines a process of preparing the people to encounter God. (10-11, 14-15)
  • God gives the rules of engagement in regard to the people encountering God. (12-13)
  • The fearfully awesome encounter with God. (16-25) 

The perspective Israel’s encounter with God. Exodus 24:15-17

  • The glory of the Lord was like a consuming fire. (17)
    • The “glory” cloud from the Hebrew term shekinah literal meaning is “dwell” and is a term describing the awesome presence of God.
    • Fire has a way of drawing you in due to its stunning beauty within and amazing power.
    • Fire becomes fearsome when one’s vulnerability is realized.
  • The Israelites would stand at a distance and be in awe of the display of God’s presence and power, but if it came too close they would be terrified.
  • Ultimately, they were waiting to hear from the Lord, but not directly from him but from his messenger Moses. 

God enables us to approach. Isaiah 6:1-8

  • Clearly Isaiah beheld fully the throne room of God.
    • Describing the attire of God—his robe.
    • Describing the angels surrounding him—angels with six wings.
    • Describing the words being declared by the angels: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”
    • Describing what he felt as the voices of the angels boomed with a decibel level that shook the floor and the walls.
  • He got too close and realized he was unworthy of being there. (5)
    • Unclean lips!
    • Wonder if that is due to the power of the angels’ words?
  • God provides a way for Isaiah to come to him—atonement! (6-7)
  • Isaiah safely approaches and interacts with God. (8)

Three revelations from these texts.

  1. God’s presence is so holy and his power so intense that approaching him would be perilous due to our sinful state.
  2. God’s character of love is revealed by his plan to engage and rescue the people of Israel.
  3. God removes the peril of engaging him by providing atonement, thus lifting our head, because our confidence is in him. Psalm 3:3 “But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.”

Series Information

Love Revealed, our mobilization emphasis series, sets us on a path of establishing who our God is, how God came to us to reveal great love, and what our response is to this phenomenal gift.