10/21/2016 Moses, mighty in speech and deed (Acts 7:22) knew everything in the world. He knew how the dried thistle, blew by hot wind rubbing friction caused heat and fire, etc. But one day he was amazed to see some strange scene–a burning bush that was not burned down (it’s like we see a house on fire, but was never burned down.) Is it a mirage? This strange scene is certainly worth investigating. But when Moses approach the burning bush, he realized that it is not he investigating, but being investigated. He did not see God, but God has seen him.
God told Moses three things: First, I am holy; Second, I know you; Third, I have a job for you.
First, God is holy, but Moses is not. You have to take off your sandals before you go any further. What does it mean? We know that it is extremely dangerous taking off ones sandals in the wilderness. Not only the sand is searing hot, the rocks and plant leaves are sharp to cut your feet; but even you can find a cool shady place between rocks, you are likely to be bitten by scorpions who eagerly seeking for food. Taking off sandals is not safe at all. Like the Beaver said to Lucy in the Chronicles of Narnia, Safe? Who is talking about safe? But He is Good. Now, we cannot trust anything except God’s goodness when we approach his holy presence. (Can Moses trust his learnings, eloquence, or career as an excellent shepherd? No.) Moses has to trust God’s holiness and goodness.
Second, God told Moses that He is the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. What does it mean? He was saying to Moses, I knew you before you know me. Your great-great-great-great-grandfather Abraham lived 175 years, I am his God; Your great-great-great-grandfather Isaac lived 180 years, I am his God; Your great-great-grandfather Jacob lived 147 years, I am his God; Your great-grandfather Levi lived 137 years, I am his God; Your grandfather Kohath lived 133 years, I am his God; Your father Amram lived 137 years, I am his God. How old are you? 80? You, even after 40 years, may reach 120, which is still much younger than any of your forefathers. If you are so small before your forefathers, how minute you are before Me? So, think it this way, if ALL our spiritual forefathers, since apostle Peter, apostle Paul, apostle John, et. al., throughout ALL their life, have to trust God and be led by Him, how about us? Can we at any moment, at any degree, trust our own small mind or our own superficial experience? Moses has to trust God’s wisdom and sovereignty.
Third, God told Moses to lead Israelites out from Egypt, not secretly, but publicly before Pharaoh. Surely, this is a “Mission Impossible” yet we should not be surprised to see this development. Why? Worship leads to obedience. Recognizing God’s holiness, goodness, omniscience, omnipresent, etc. lead to our worship–not only a feeling of awe, but true worship should lead us to obedience. Obedience is not only for things we know, we are good at, we are experienced to, etc., but also for things we don’t know, we are not good at, and we are inexperienced to. Moses did not get this. So he kept on finding excuses to the point God became angry at him (Ex 4:14) Then he obeyed. Isn’t this true to everyone of us? We never want to obey until we learn God’s anger. Many times I wonder, for those who are habitually disobedient, do they really know God’s anger? Maybe they picture in their own minds that God is Grandpa Nice? Moses in his psalm (Ps 90) sighed that we are far too ignorant of God’s anger and that’s why we received so little blessing from Him in our works.
Service, ministry, etc. is always Mission Impossible (Jesus says, apart from me, you cannot do anything.) God has called us to Gospel with an identity and a mission. He does this for His own glory and for our good. Do we know this reality? Are we familiar with this truth? This coming Lord’s Day 10/23, we have Pastor Joshua Cheng preaching to us from II Cor 5:14-17, the sermon title is Gospel and Identity. Let us come and worship God together.
事奉，如果只是做我們喜歡的、熟悉的、能夠做的、…等等，請問，我們還需要神嗎？神呼召我們參與在不可能完成的使命（使「萬民」作主耶穌的門徒），一方面是為了他自己的榮耀，一方面是為了我們好，使我們不倚靠自己、虛度光陰、空手朝見神。我們曉得福音的呼召，我們曉得自己的身分嗎？這主日10/23 是聯合崇拜，青年主任程慶華傳道為我們證道，題目是「福音與身分」，經文是《哥林多後書》5:14-17。讓我們預備好心， 一起早早來敬拜神。