Knowing the Active Presence of God

Knowing the Active Presence of God

  • Sermon Questions
  • Call to Worship: Psalm 63 (NIV)

         You, God, are my God,
                  earnestly I seek you;
             I thirst for you,
                  my whole being longs for you,
             in a dry and parched land
                  where there is no water.

         I have seen you in the sanctuary
                  and beheld your power and your glory.
         Because your love is better than life,
                  my lips will glorify you.
         I will praise you as long as I live,
                  and in your name I will lift up my hands.
         I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
                  with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

         On my bed I remember you;
                  I think of you through the watches of the night.
         Because you are my help,
                  I sing in the shadow of your wings.
         I cling to you;
                  your right hand upholds me.

         Those who want to kill me will be destroyed;
                  they will go down to the depths of the earth.
    10      They will be given over to the sword
                  and become food for jackals.

    11      But the king will rejoice in God;
                  all who swear by God will glory in him,
                  while the mouths of liars will be silenced.

    Scripture Reading and Scripture Text: Exodus 33:1-16 (NIV)

     Then the Lord said to Moses, “Leave this place, you and the people you brought up out of Egypt, and go up to the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I will send an angel before you and drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. Go up to the land flowing with milk and honey. But I will not go with you, because you are a stiff-necked people and I might destroy you on the way.”

    When the people heard these distressing words, they began to mourn and no one put on any ornaments. For the Lord had said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites, ‘You are a stiff-necked people. If I were to go with you even for a moment, I might destroy you. Now take off your ornaments and I will decide what to do with you.’” So the Israelites stripped off their ornaments at Mount Horeb.

    Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the “tent of meeting.” Anyone inquiring of the Lord would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp. And whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people rose and stood at the entrances to their tents, watching Moses until he entered the tent. As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the Lord spoke with Moses. 10 Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, they all stood and worshiped, each at the entrance to their tent. 11 The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.

    12 Moses said to the Lord, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ 13 If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.”

    14 The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

    15 Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”