Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunday School 02: Inferior, Self-reliant, or Reliant on God

Ever met someone who thought they were humble because they believed they were inferior? Enter Moses, stammering, stumbling, and so like us in so many ways. Some people rely on their own merit, and we know they are proud. Others think they are worthless, helpless, inept, inferior, and we think maybe they are not proud. They think they are not proud. But really, there's no difference between the two. Neither are relying on God. To be humble is to be completely and utterly reliant on God.

The first thing Moses says when the bush speaks is "Here am I." The second thing he says is "Who am I."
God has just spelled out his plan, and Moses is nervous. Honestly, who wouldn't be? But He gives him verse 12, and that changes everything. "Certainly, I will be with thee."

And then God identifies himself.
"I Am that I Am"

If there were one characteristic of God that showed him most powerful--one thing that could rise above the rest and answer every question that has ever been asked about him, It's found in Exodus 3. 

I Am that I Am
It answers the question: Is there a God?
It shows his existence spanning both directions through eternity.

It answers the question: Where is God?
It shows his presence in every place and every time simultaneously.

It answers the question: Why God?
Why did you allow this. Why do you allow pain and heartache and injustice? Because He is God. He owes no explanation.

It answers the question: Is God able?
It shows God's magnitude. He is a God as omnipotent and omniscient as he is omnipresent. He is a God as great as he is eternal. He cannot be contained by my perceptions or limited in his Godness. 
He is God.
He Is that He Is.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sunday School 01: Reverence

My Sunday School class just began a study on Moses. We've come to the burning bush, the fiery fir, the sizzling shrub, the combustible cactus, the everlasting evergreen.

A couple of things that I found particularly interesting from this lesson...

The first was Moses' reaction to the burning bush. As soon as he realized that the voice coming from the bush was God, he hid his face and was afraid to look upon God. This is an interesting progression. In chapter 3, he's trembling and daring not to behold. But later he gets bold. Later he asks to see God's face, but God knows it would be too much for him and grants only that he witness the backside of his glory. 

Second is this. "We try so hard to fit God to us, and we are entirely misrepresenting him." Moses thought he knew what God expected of him. Here he is a Hebrew marked for death the moment he's born, raised in the home of the Pharaoh with all the prestige that comes with it, brought up by his mother and taught of the one true God. Had God asked him at that moment to deliver his people, I think Moses would have done so without hesitation. But that wasn't God's time. God made him low first. When God calls to him from the burning bush, he instructs Moses to not come hither, to remove his shoes for the ground on which he's standing is holy ground. He is telling Moses who He is. He is teaching him how to show reverence. 

It's easy to misrepresent God, to misunderstand who he is. We have an image in our minds of who we think God is, a God catered to we want him to be, what we think we need him to be. Maybe we've got it all wrong. It's not enough to serve a god. We need to know who He is so we can show reverence to the God.  

Five thoughts we were given from this lesson:
1. When God wants to get someone's attention, he knows how to do it.
2.When you have reverence, you give your best.
3. When you're in the presence of God you show reverence.
4. God does not forget his people.
5. When God is ready to act, he will tell us, and his timing is always right.