God’s Glory Filling the Temple

November 6, 2022   /   Faith Alliance Church

Glory of God Filling Temple

Wandering: book of Exodus / Exodus 40:34–38

 

The Lord communicates and completes His promises

• This morning we are going to track the gracious event of God communicating what He is going to do and then fulfilling those promises.

• It’s helpful to talk about this because there is distance between what was said and the fulfillment of that promise.

• And that distance can be marked by many things that make us question those promises. Make us question whether or not God has left us to our own making.

• It’s helpful to look at the bookends of this book to see what God has done. To see what He has said and to see what happened.

Exodus 2:23–25 ESV

During those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel—and God knew.

• God heard and God remembered. God knew. God knew He was going to act. The beginning of that happens in chapter 3 when He calls Moses.

Exodus 3:7–8 ESV

Then the Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.

• We have to understand that current circumstances are not the compass for God’s promises. That is the direction that we normally go. Things look back. Things are bad. God has forgotten us. But that is not how God works.

• Circumstances are passing. Our circumstances are never good indicators of what God is doing.

• The longer we go with seeing promises unfulfilled the more likely we are to think that God is like us. That He has forgotten us and will not do what He said. It becomes easier and easier to diminish God, slowly mistaking Him for our caprice. We have to remind ourselves of God’s faithfulness, of His goodness, of His promises. That what God started He will complete.

God Cannot Lie

• There are certain things we have to keep in mind when looking at God’s work in the span of human history.

• We read these accounts and because we can complete them in one sitting we often forget that these happened over great distances and time.

• The issue of God’s time and humanities timeframe cannot be oversold. Tim Keller says that the biggest discipleship issue for the Christian is simply the difference between how we see time and how God sees time.

• We are prone to look and ask why isn’t God working? Why hasn’t God acted yet?

2 Peter 3:8–9 ESV

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

What God began He will complete

• In the 16th century there was a monk who we call St. John of the Cross. He was a writer and famously authored a book called The Dark night of the Soul. Christians have been using it for centuries now to explain the phenomena called just that the dark night of the soul.

• There is a point in every Christian life when nothing seems to work. That pray loses joy, that Scripture reading is hard. Relationships become difficult. Life just becomes constant drudgery.

• He writes: spiritual persons suffer great trials, by reason not so much of the aridities which they suffer, as of the fear which they have of being lost on the road, thinking that all spiritual blessing is over for them and that God has abandoned them since they find no help or pleasure in good things

• God works when we can’t

Philippians 1:6 ESV

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

God rebuilds and renews along the way

• God calls us to be a part of what He is doing.

• And when He finishes the work. When Moses is done with what He was told to do, God filled that space.

Exodus 40:33–34 ESV

And he erected the court around the tabernacle and the altar, and set up the screen of the gate of the court. So Moses finished the work.

Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.

• In between promise and fulfillment, God is changing and renewing and transforming us to be more and more like Christ.

• This time between promise and fulfillment is sometimes called the already and not yet.

• The space between the cross and Jesus’ second coming is the already and not yet.

• When the distance between the promise and the fulfillment seems too far.

• We always have an opportunity to remember Christ’s promises.

• The glory of the Lord will fill the tabernacle. All of God’s promises will become reality.

 

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