Exodus and the Power of Prayer

THE MYSTERY OF PRAYER & OUR PURPOSE IN THE WORLD
 
The Story of Scripture, part 8
Exodus 32 - 34, ESV
David Platt, MBC Pastor-Teacher | March 24, 2019
 
EXODUS 32:7 – 10
“And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Go down, for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. They have turned aside quickly out of the way that I commanded them. They have made for themselves a golden calf and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it and said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!”’ And the Lord said to Moses, ‘I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people. Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them, in order that I may make a great nation of you.’”
 
Then Moses Prayed.
 
EXODUS 32:11 – 13
“But Moses implored the Lord his God and said, ‘O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, “With evil intent did he bring them out, to kill them in the mountains and to consume them from the face of the earth”? Turn from your burning anger and relent from this disaster against your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, to whom you swore by your own self, and said to them, “I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your offspring, and they shall inherit it forever.”’”
 
Then the Lord actually stopped.  He didn't do what he said he would do.
 
EXODUS 32:14
“And the Lord relented from the disaster that he had spoken of bringing on his people.”
 
God changed his mind.
 
1 SAMUEL 15:29
“He who is the glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind, for he is not a man, that he should change his mind.”
 
Did God change his mind?
 
GOD’S PERFECTIONS, PURPOSES, AND PROMISES ARE UNCHANGING.
 
His holiness isn't changing.
God is prefectly just.
 
 
DEUTERONOMY 32:4B
“A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.”
 
PSALM 33:11
“The plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.”
 
ISAIAH 46:10 – 11
“My purpose will stand . . . and I will do all that I please. What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do.”
 
God's purposes and promises are unchanging.
 
NUMBER 23:19
“God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?”
 
God's promises are real and reliable forever.
 
PSALM 33:4
“For the word of the Lord is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness.”
 
PSALM 89:34
“I will not violate my covenant or alter what my lips have uttered.”
 
EXODUS 32:14
“And the Lord relented from the disaster that he had spoken of bringing on his people.”
 
GOD’S PLAN IS UNFOLDING.
 
God's plan is settled here.  This story shows us how this plan unfolds.
 
In Exodus 9-10 Moses is the mediator between God and the people.
 
God will pass judgement onto people. Unless there is someone to stand in the gap and mediate for them.
 
JONAH 3:10
“When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it.”
 
Again Jonah was the mediator between God and the people Jonah saved.
 
God does not change in His reign over us, but He does change His relationship to us. God uses our prayers to accomplish His purposes. When we pray, God acts!
 
You can bet on the purposes of God are true. In God's mercy, he does change in his relationship to us.
 
God uses our prayers to accomplish purposes for God.  When we pray, God acts.
 
EXODUS 8:13A
“And the Lord did according to the word of Moses.”
 
God changed according to Moses.  People pray and things happen in the Bible. In prayer and through prayer, God has called us to shape history.
 
WE PLEAD FOR GOD’S MERCY UPON THOSE IN NEED.
 
EXODUS 32:31 – 32
“So Moses returned to the Lord and said, ‘Alas, this people has sinned a great sin. They have made for themselves gods of gold. But now, if you will forgive their sin – but if not, please blot me out of your book that you have written.’”
 
We have the privilege of standing in the gap for our people.  We must stand in the gap. To be the means by which he can show.
 
We plead for God’s presence and power among His people.
 
EXODUS 33:1– 3
“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Depart; go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought up out of the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, “To your offspring I will give it.” I will send an angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanites, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; but I will not go up among you, lest I consume you on the way, for you are a stiff-necked people.’”
 
EXODUS 33:12 – 13
“Moses said to the Lord, ‘See, you say to me, “Bring up this people,” but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, “I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.” Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.’”
 
God is saying, you must go with us.
 
EXODUS 33:14
“And he said, ‘My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’”
 
He continues to pray.
 
EXODUS 33:15 – 16
“And he said to him, ‘If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?’”
 
Moses doesn't just want his power and precense with him, but rather all of his people to. We cannot do it without God.  We want to see God move in power among us.
 
WE PLEAD FOR GOD’S GLORY TO BE MADE KNOWN IN THE WORLD.
 
Moses asks for one more thing.
 
EXODUS 33:18
“Moses said, ‘Please show me your glory.’”
 
Moses has seen the Glory of God, but here he wants more.
 
EXODUS 34:5 – 8
“The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.’ And Moses quickly bowed his head toward the earth and worshiped.”
 
The glory of God is the awesome display of who God is in all of His attributes: His holy mercy, grace, patience, love, faithfulness, forgiveness, justice, and majesty.
 
God's glory is made known through all of his people.
 
WORSHIP AT CREATION
The dwelling place of God: Eden, where Adam and Eve enjoyed God’s presence. All Creation reflected God’s glory.
 
They were surrounded by Glory on all sides.
 
WORSHIP AT MOUNT SINAI
The dwelling place of God: The tabernacle, where Aaron (the priest) entered God’s presence.
 
Tabernacle literally means dwelling place.
 
GENESIS 1:3
“And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.”
 
GENESIS 1:6
“And God said, ‘Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.’”
 
GENESIS 1:9
“And God said, ‘Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.’ And it was so.”
 
GENESIS 1:14
“And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years . . .”
 
GENESIS 1:20
“And God said, ‘Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.’”
 
GENESIS 1:24
“And God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds – livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.’ And it was so.”
 
GENESIS 1:26
“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’”
 
7 creative acts in these verses. And God Said.
 
EXODUS 25:1 – 2
“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Speak to the people of Israel, that they take for me a contribution. From every man whose heart moves him you shall receive the contribution for me.’”
 
EXODUS 30:11 – 12
“The Lord said to Moses, ‘When you take the census of the people of Israel, then each shall give a ransom for his life to the Lord when you number them, that there be no plague among them when you number them.’”
 
EXODUS 30:17 – 18
“The Lord said to Moses, ‘You shall also make a basin of bronze, with its stand of bronze, for washing. You shall put it between the tent of meeting and the altar, and you shall put water in it . . .’”
 
EXODUS 30:22 – 23
“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Take the finest spices: of liquid myrrh 500 shekels, and of sweet-smelling cinnamon half as much, that is, 250, and 250 of aromatic cane . . .’”
 
EXODUS 30:34
“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Take sweet spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum, sweet spices with pure frankincense (of each shall there be an equal part) . . .’”
 
EXODUS 31:1 – 2
“The Lord said to Moses, ‘See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah . . .’”
 
EXODUS 31:12 – 13
“And the Lord said to Moses, ‘You are to speak to the people of Israel and say, “Above all you shall keep my
Sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the
Lord, sanctify you.’”
 
The Lord Said, another 7 sets of Creation.
 
EXODUS 31:13 – 14A
“You are to speak to the people of Israel and say, ‘Above all you shall keep my Sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the Lord, sanctify you. You shall keep the Sabbath, because it is holy for you.’”
 
EXODUS 40:34 – 35
“Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.”
 
The Tabernacle is the symbol of the glory of God that looks just like Eden. 
 
WORSHIP AT MOUNT SINAI
 
The Lord filled the Tabernacle with God's glory.
The Israelites followed God’s glory.
 
EXODUS 40:36 – 38
“Throughout all their journeys, whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out. But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel throughout all their journeys.”
 
WORSHIP IN THE GOSPEL
The dwelling place of God: Jesus, the man who embodied God’s presence!
 
In the new testment, the dwelling place of God is the Tabernacle.
 
JOHN 1:14
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
 
WORSHIP IN THE GOSPEL
Jesus is the tabernacle . . . the temple . . . the Lamb . . . the light . . . the bread on the table . . . the blood on the mercy seat.
 
Jesus is the glory of God with us.
 
The disciples beheld God’s glory.
 
WORSHIP IN THE CHURCH
The dwelling place of God: Us, the people who possess God’s presence!
 
Jesus went up and God's precense then came down to us.
 
We the people who posses God's precense.
 
1 CORINTHIANS 3:16 – 17
“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.”
 
1 CORINTHIANS 6:19
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own . . .”
 
WORSHIP IN THE CHURCH
The nations witness God’s glory.
 
WORSHIP IN THE NEW CREATION
The dwelling place of God: Heaven, where we will forever delight in God’s presence!
 
The next place will be God's precense.
 
REVELATION 21:16
“The city lies foursquare, its length the same as its width. And he measured the city with his rod, 12,000 stadia. Its length and width and height are equal.”
 
This is just like the Tabernacle.  
 
REVELATION 21:18
“The wall was built of jasper, while the city was pure gold, like clear glass.”
 
This is just like the Ark of the covenant.
 
REVELATION 21:22 – 23
“And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.”
 
REVELATION 22:5
“And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.”
 
The Tabernacle was an early picture of God's precense on Earth.
 
REVELATION 22:3 – 4
“No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.”
 
WORSHIP IN THE NEW CREATION
 
MATTHEW 6:9 – 10
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
 
Jesus taught us to pray in this. So let's plead for his Mercy.  Let's plead for his glory. Let's plead for more among all of our nation's.