Text: Exodus 25:21-22
Title: Where We Meet Thee
When I was a youth pastor in MI, we had a monthly ministry to a nursing home in Port Huron, MI. Like our ministry at the trust, we would provide an afternoon service for the residents of that home.
When I would take favorites from them for singing, one that would often be requested is, "I Come to the Garden Alone."
And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.
exp. How precious it is to walk and talk with God our Father! To think that HE wants to spend time with us and that we are able to spend time with him.
This morning I want to preach a message that I have entitled, "Where We Meet with Thee." Adam and Eve met God in a garden, but we don't. We can pray in a garden, but when we enter into prayer we are transported a place far superior to a garden. We enter into the sanctuary with God in Heaven in his holy of holies.
Hebrews 10:19 ¶ Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
21 And having an high priest over the house of God;
22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
notice: There is preparation to going into that wonderful place. There is purification and preparation.
ill. If you knew queen Elizabeth would have been in our service this morning, would you have given a bit more attention to detail as you got ready for church. Why? Because you don't enter into a Queen's presence without preparation.
app. How much more diligently should we prepare when we are going to enter into God's presence?.... Into WHERE WE MEET WITH THEE?
note: In the Old Testament, God gave us an earthly picture of this majestic place. God had Moses make a great tent called the tabernacle which had a room called the Holy of Holies.
Hebrews again speaks of this earthly picture of the heavenly throne room in this way....
1 ¶ Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;
2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.
5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.
exp. God's people were asked of God to furnish everything necessary for this holy place. They sacrificially gave to God so that they could have a wonderful EARTHLY place to meet with God. (This woul be a great text for a church building fund.)
1) They gave worshipfully.
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering:
exp. What they offered for use in the tabernacle was not for men but for God.
app. When we give at church it is an "offering" to God.
2Co 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
2.) They gave willingly.
of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering.
3 And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass,
4 And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats’ hair,
5 And rams’ skins dyed red, and badgers’ skins, and shittim wood,
6 Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense,
7 Onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate.
exp. Notice that what they gave was valuable but they parted with it and lovingly gave it to God!
app. We also give to God and ought to willingly give God things of value.
3.) They gave warmly.
8 And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.
def - sanctuary: A place apart or a hallowed place.
exp. Church auditoriums are often called sanctuary's for this reason. They are built as places of worship of God and as such they ought to be a hallowed place.
The word "sanctuary" is found in our Bible some 90 times.
Ps 63:2 To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.
Ps 134:2 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD.
exp. The Israelites gave to make a HOLY PLACE to meet with God.
app. How much do you value an earthly place of worship? Do you willingly give to help maintain a place of worship of the Lord?
note: That introduction could be a message unto itself. But, back to the main truth we are considering this morning of ,"Where We Meet With Thee."
(back to our text)
21 And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee.
22 And there I will meet with thee,
This OT picture tells us much about the heavenly throne room which we enter into by faith. So, what is the place like, "Where WE Meet with THEE?" (It may be better said, "Where Thee meets with Me.") Where does God want to meet you this morning?
I. He wants to meet you in a place of fellowship.
...and I will commune with thee.
exp. Praise God that the beginning of the description shows that we are welcome to come into this wonderful place of fellowship with God.
ill. God created us to fellowship with him.
· Adam and Eve - Genesis 3: 8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. 9 ¶ And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
· Enoch - Ge 5:22 And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: Ge 5:24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.
There’s not a Friend like the lowly Jesus:
Jesus knows all about our struggles;
question: Do you know that sweet fellowship with God? Sin broke Adam's fellowship with God and it has done the same in our life? Have you been restored to God by the blood of Jesus?
He wants to meet you in the place of fellowship.
II. He wants to meet you in a place of authority.
exp. He is above the Mercy Seat because He is Supreme over everything.
ill. "The Supreme Court is the final court of appeal in the UK for civil cases, and for criminal cases from England, Wales and Northern Ireland." www.supremecourt.co.uk
One of the reasons why some want to come out of the EU is to protect the Sovereignty of the United Kingdom. If the supreme court of Britain rules in a cerain way, they don't want the EU overturning their "Supreme" decision..... or it is in reality not a supreme court.
question: If I am taken before the supreme court - does it matter what I think about their ruling or whether I believe they have the authority to judge me? Their authority is given to them by the sovereign powers of Britain and the laws of the land.
note: There is no higher power but God. He is God and God alone. He has all authority and is the author of the law.
question: When God judges us, "Is He going to ask us what we think about His laws or judgments? Will he consult with us and consider our opinion as equal to His?
app. God never loses His authority, but the place where we meet with him is a place where HIS AUTHORITY IS RECOGNIZED. He will force none to obey Him but only those who submit to Him can enter into His presence in the place of fellowship.
He wants to meet you in the place of authority and fellowhip.
III. He wants to meet you in a place of mercy.
...the mercy seat,
exp. Praise God for the central place of this seat between man and God. Who could dare enter God's presence without mercy?
ill. Queen Esther had to enter into King Ahaseurus throne room at the risk of life. Esther 4:11 All the king’s servants, and the people of the king’s provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or woman, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live: but I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days.
note: There was NO GUARANTEE OF MERCY with King Ahasuerus. But there is with God.
app. Perhaps you are afraid to enter into God's presence because you feel like He will not receive you. Friend, there is a mercy seat for you. Jesus paid for your sin on the cross. God is willing to forgive you and cleanse you if you will come to Him.
John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
He wants to meet you in the place of mercy, authority and fellowship.
IV. He wants to meet you in a place of power.
...from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony,
Hebrews 9:5 And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.
exp. Those angels represent the powerful beings who are even now before the throne of God in Heaven. Revelation speaks about 4 angelic beings "beasts" guardians of the throne room of God. Isaiah speaks these powerful beings which worship and obey God.
1 ¶ In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.
2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
ill. Jesus knew of the powerful armies of heaven and could have received their assistance with one word. Mt 26:53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?
app. The place we enter by faith is God's presence in Heaven and it is a place of power. Have you a need today that you don't believe God can meet? Jer 32:27 Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?
He wants to meet you in the place of power, mercy, authority and fellowship.
V. He wants to meet you in a place of truth.
...of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.
exp. God's commands were placed inside the ark of the covenant as a testimony of revelation, preservation, and unchanging truth.
ill. Witnessing to a Muslim who said that our revelation is corrupt and has been changed. I told him that Jesus is declared God not only in the NT but the OT.
Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Wikipedia - The Isaiah Scroll, designated 1Qlsa and also known as the Great Isaiah Scroll, is one of the seven Dead Sea Scrolls that were first recovered by Bedouin shepherds in 1947. The scroll is written in Hebrew and contains the entire Book of Isaiah from beginning to end, apart from a few small damaged portions. It is the oldest complete copy of the Book of Isaiah known, being 1100 years older than the Leningrad Codex, and the most complete scroll out of the 220 found at Qumran. Pieces of the Isaiah Scroll have been carbon-14 dated at least four times, giving calibrated date ranges between 335-324 BC and 202-107 BC; there have also been numerous paleographic and scribal dating studies placing the scroll around 150-100 BC.
exp. Isaiah was written in 650 BC but this scroll wsa several hundred years before Christ and IT "CONTAINS THE ENTIRE BOOK OF ISAIAH FROM BEGINNING TO END."
Psalm 12:6-7 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.
note: Those who claim that the Bible has been changed - don't know what they are talking about. God has marvelously preserved His Word. Our story shows that truth of preservation as God has his law put inside the ark of the covenant.
app. Do you want to meet with God? You can not do so apart from his truth and submission to His command to be saved by faith in Jesus!
ill. Other generations have disobeyed His Word and they have been rejected by Him.
Jeremiah 9:13 And the LORD saith, Because they have forsaken my law which I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice, neither walked therein;
14 But have walked after the imagination of their own heart, and after Baalim, which their fathers taught them:
15 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink.
16 I will scatter them also among the heathen, whom neither they nor their fathers have known: and I will send a sword after them, till I have consumed them.
app. Would you fellowship with God today? You can only do so according to His Word.
Do you believe what you read in God's Word. It is God's revelation, not man's.
He wants to meet you in the place of truth, power, mercy, authority and fellowship.
We have been created to fellowship with God. We have sanctuary's because we have hallowed places where we seek God corporately. But, no matter where on earth we bow our heads to pray - we enter into the throne room of God in Heaven by Faith. We know from the earthly tabernacle that WHERE GOD WANTS TO MEET WITH US IS...
1.) a place of fellowship. - You have to deal with sin to come there.
2.) a place of authority. - You have to submit to come there.
3.) a place of mercy. - You are welcome to come there.
4.) A place of power. - Your need will be met if you come there.
5.) A place of truth. - You can only come there according to God's Word.
If you come - God will come as well. As He said to Moses - Exodus 25:22 And there I will meet with thee,
continued next week:
(Turn to Hebrews 9)
VI. He wants to meet you in a place of holiness.
3 And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all;
VII. He wants to meet you in a place of value.
4 Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold,
queston: What is more valuable than a soul?
VIII. He wants to meet you in a place of provision.
...wherein was the golden pot that had manna,
IX. He wants to meet you in a place of miracles.
...and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;
exp. We've already considered the revelaion in the ark. But, what about this miraculous rod - life from the dead.
note: That miracle of life from the dead verified that Aaron was the High Priest.
Every time the soul of man goes from death unto life it verifies that Jesus Christ is the GREAT HIGH PRIEST.