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Chuck Smith :: Sermon Notes for Exodus 34:5-8

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Intro. The Lord had told Moses that he had found grace in his sight. So Moses requested that he might see the glory of Yaweh. The Lord told him that no man could see His face and live. But that Moses should stand in a cleft of a rock and the glory of the Lord would pass by, and after the Lord had passed by, Moses could see the afterglow. So Moses perched himself in the cleft of the rock.
A. Yaweh is the suggested pronunciation for the name of the true and living God who created this universe and all the life forms within it.
1. God is not His name, only His title.
2. In the Hebrew text, we only have the consonants, YHVH. Since there are no vowel marks, it leaves the name unpronounceable.
a. The Jews reverence the name to such a degree that they never attempt to pronounce it. They feel that the name is too holy to cross the lips of a mortal being.
b. There are two suggestions as to the pronunciation, Jehovah and Yahweh. The majority of the scholars leaning toward the Yahweh.
c. The name is really a Hebrew verb meaning the becoming One.
d. That is, God becomes to you whatever you might need. He becomes your peace, your salvation, your healer, your strength, your provider, your righteousness.
3. You remember when Moses first met God at the burning bush, as God called him to lead the people out from their bondage in Egypt, Moses said, "Who shall I tell them has sent me?" and God said, "I AM that I AM has sent you."
4. His name is not God. There are many gods. There is only one true and living God and His name is "Yahweh" and He will become to you whatever you may need.
5. It is interesting that Jesus used this name of Himself. The name Jesus is Yahshua, which would be, "I AM your salvation." Jesus one day said to the Jews, "Before Abraham was, I AM." In John 8:24, Jesus said, "If you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins."
6. In the garden when the soldiers came to arrest Jesus, He asked them, "Who are you looking for?" They answered, "Jesus of Nazareth." When He answered them, "I AM," they fell backward on the ground.
B. When God proclaimed His name Yahweh, Yahweh God, He also described His nature.
A. Merciful and gracious.
1. Justice is getting what you deserve.
a. When we hear of a person, who after committing a horrible murder, and as he is trying to evade the police who are chasing him, he crashes into a tree and is killed. We will hear people say, "Justice has been served. He got what he deserved." That's justice.
2. "Merciful." Whereas justice is getting what you deserve, mercy is not getting what you deserve.
a. Jesus showed mercy to the woman taken in adultery.
b. The Jews were calling for justice. They said, "According to our law, she should be stoned. What do you say?" Jesus said whichever one of you has never sinned, throw the first stone. As He began to write their sins on the ground they began to leave, from the oldest to the youngest until there were none left. Jesus then stood up and asked the woman, "Where are your accusers?" She responded, "I guess I don't have any." Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn you. Go your way and sin no more." There was only one person in the whole crowd who was qualified to throw a stone, and He refused to do so, rather He showed mercy unto her.
c. When David had committed his horrible sin, he didn't pray for justice, but rather said, "Have mercy upon me O God, according to the multitude of tender mercies, blot out my transgressions."
d. David said, "As high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those that fear Him."
e. In Lamentations Jeremiah said:
LAM 3:22 It is the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
LAM 3:23 [They are] new every morning: great [is] thy faithfulness.
f. Jacob said:
GEN 32:10 I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant;
3. "Gracious." Grace is getting what you do not deserve.
a. We do not deserve the many blessings that God bestows upon us daily.
b. In Ephesians, Paul speaks of redemption through the abundance of His grace. He said that he was made a minister according to the gift of His grace. To Timothy he spoke of His saving us and calling us with a holy calling according to His grace. To Titus he speaks of being justified by His grace.
c. We do not deserve redemption, salvation, justification or even being in the ministry. It is only by the grace of God that we can enjoy these things.
d. The grace of God was manifested very early in the history of man. We read that Noah found grace in the sight of the Lord.
e. God told Moses that he had found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
4. "Longsuffering." That means that He is very patient as He deals with our weaknesses and shortcomings.
a. The Bible tells us that He knows are frames that we are but dust.
b. You may think that you are a super saint, but He knows better.
c. When you stumble He is there to pick you up.
d. I think of how longsuffering He was with the children of Israel.
e. How longsuffering He has been with me and some of you.
f. Warnings about the longsuffering of God:
1. There are limits. God said to Noah, "My Spirit will not always strive with man."
2. Some foolishly mistake the longsuffering of God as getting by with their sin. Because God has not immediately punished them, they think that God doesn't know.
PSA 94:9 He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see?
3. Worse yet, some think because God has been so longsuffering that He doesn't care what they have been doing.
4. Worst of all is the one that thinks because God has not done anything to stop them, that God approves what they are doing.
5. "Abundant in goodness and truth."
a. God is not just good, He is abundant in goodness.
b. One of the problems that I see is that we partake daily of the goodness of God, but rarely do we just stop and thank Him for that goodness.
c. I think of the ten lepers who were healed by Jesus and only one came back to thank Him.
d. To the Romans, Paul spoke of the riches of His goodness.
ROM 2:4 Do you despise the riches of the goodness of God, and His forbearance and longsuffering? Don't you realize that it is the goodness of God that leads you to repentance?
e. He is also abundant in truth.
1. Man often declares that he is on a quest for truth.
2. That was the whole inspiration for the age of Philosophy.
3. These same men often reject the truth, and today declare that truth does not exist.
f. At the trial of Jesus, Pilate cynically asked, "What is truth?"
g. The one who Pilate asked was the One who the night before had said to His disciples, "I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man comes to the Father but by Me."
5. He shows His mercy by "forgiving iniquity and transgressions."
a. There are conditions for the forgiveness; they are:
1. Repentance.
2. Believing.
3. Obedience.
6. "By no means clearing the guilty."
a. How does that equate with the fact that He just said in mercy He forgives iniquity and transgressions?
b. The forgiveness is to those who in repentance will come to Him. Jesus said, "Unless you repent, you shall perish."
A. I guess the whole issue is, which God do you want to serve?
1. We all serve some god, you can't escape that fact. Either the gods of this world, or the God who created this world.
2. Many serve the gods of this world, but you need to consider this:
a. In the final analysis the gods of this world will ultimately leave you empty and destroy you, then cast you into hell.
b. The God of the Bible will forgive your sins, be merciful and gracious unto you, and give you eternal life in His kingdom.
Sermon Notes for Exodus 33:14-15 ← Prior Section
Sermon Notes for Exodus 35:21,22 Next Section →
Sermon Notes for Genesis 1:1 ← Prior Book
Sermon Notes for Leviticus 1-8 Next Book →

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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