Out of the Box and Into the Fire #4: What is your name?

Posted: December 11, 2014 by keystoneyouth in Out of the Box and Into the Fire
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 Opening Activity: Youtube Videos

Introduction: Recap last week, set the stage for this week.

Purpose: To look at how God reveals himself in the first four chapters of Exodus. To show that God is far greater than our minds can comprehend and to combat the desire that we have to fit God into a neat box.

 Big Idea: We need God more than we need anything else.

Main Points:

God needs nothing.

We desperately need God.

God’s greatest gift to us is himself.

Read Exodus 3:11-22

  • Moses is still speaking to God at the burning bush
  • God has just told Moses that God he his going to send Moses to Egypt to free the Israelites
  • Moses responds to God with 5 questions – we will look at the first two: Who am I? and Who are you?
  • God responds by giving Moses a promise, and telling Moses who he is, and he reminds Moses of his promises to the Israelites.
  • God gives his proper name to Moses along with a description of that name.
  • Were going to work our way backwards to look at Moses’ second question first and God’s answer and then we will look at Moses’ first question and God’s answer.

  • The Name of God
  • God says his name is the “LORD”
    • This name is God’s proper name throughout the Old Testament.
    • We believe this name was pronounced Yaweh.
    • Every time you see LORD in all capitals this is the name that is being used.
    • The Jews carefully guarded this name for fear of breaking the third commandment and they would say adonai instead.
    • Example: Voldemort – “You-Know-Who”
    • In the Bible names do not just give a person a label to call them. It tells something about that person.
    • E. Moses “I drew him out of water”
    • It’s not quite like today where name meanings often don’t carry as much weight. My name is Kyle – Handsome WarriorJ
  • The description of the name
    • God describes his name as “I AM WHO I AM”
    • I imagine Moses asking this question and God giving his response. And Moses just being like, “Great, that really helped!” “I AM WHO I AM” Tell me something I don’t know God.
    • This tells us many things about God: Let’s look at just two:

God Needs Nothing

  • Two things we draw from the description
    • 1) God is eternal – He always has existed and will always exist.
    • And this is like sticking our brain in washer and hitting spin cycle.
    • God didn’t need anything to bring him into existence.
      • God doesn’t owe anyone for his existence.
      • We owe our parents (gross)
    • Everything else has a beginning and an end.
      • Christmas Tree
      • The earth had a beginning and the earth will have an end.
    • 2) God is self-sufficient – He alone needs nothing to sustain his existence.
    • This is also part of what the burning bush shows us
      • A fire that needs no one to start it and needs no fuel to keep it going. It simply exists.
    • This is important because it helps us to see that God doesn’t need anything from humans
      • He didn’t create the world because he was lonely or bored
      • God doesn’t need Moses to save the Israelites. He doesn’t need the Israelites to worship him. He doesn’t need us to worship him. God acts out of love to save us so that we might glorify him.
    • This helps us to better grasp how awesome it is that he acts for us.
    • Example: Most of what we do in this world is because it meets a need. You do your homework partially because if you don’t you will fail. I go to work partially because I get a pay check. But, imagine if you did you homework without getting grades and I went to work without getting paid – that would be pretty extraordinary. The fact that God created us and save us despite the fact that we can offer him nothing in return that he doesn’t already have is incredible!
    • God needs nothing, but everyone and everything else needs God.

We desperately need God.

  • The Israelites have no hope for being saved out of slavery in Egypt apart from God.
    • They can’t free themselves from Egypt
    • They can’t find their own Land
    • They need God
  • Moses needs God.
    • He can’t save the Israelites on his own – HE ALREADY TRIED
  • When Moses asks, “Who am I?” God doesn’t bolster his self-esteem by listing off his credentials:
    • You had a miraculous experience when you were young
    • You’re an Egyptian and a Hebrew
    • You’ve had the best schooling in the world
    • You’re a trained survivalist
    • NO!
  • God tells Moses – “I will be with you.”
  • He is put in a place of dependence on God
  • What are we dependent on God for?
    • Physical life
    • Spiritual life
    • Example: Water. We are more dependent on God then we are on water.
  • The temptation is to be self-dependent
    • Moses tries desperately to get out of going to Egypt. He is doing fairly well in the desert and is able to be pretty self-dependent
    • We often try to get out of being dependent on God – to convince ourselves that we don’t need God and to live a life that doesn’t take any chances.
      • Example: It’s like looking at water and saying no I don’t need you. My body produces saliva. I’ll just swallow that so that I don’t have to stop by the water fountain or go to the fridge for water.
  • Acknowledging and increasing our dependence on God
    • So What? It’s important for us to recognize our God-dependence and to thank him for how he has and does meet our needs.
    • And, it’s important for us to take steps in our lives that force us to depend on God.
    • E. God gives Moses a sign that he will deliver the Israelites out of Egypt. What is that sign? You will worship me on this mountain in the future.
      • He’s calling Moses to trust him and to walk by faith.
      • Walk by faith and not by sight (1 Cor. 5:7).
      • The same way he calls Israel to trust him as He leads them through the wilderness.
      • The same way he calls us to trust him and take steps of faith that require dependence on him
      • He says I am sufficient – you can depend on me – trust me
    • Specific Examples:
      • Maybe its trusting God with your reputation to befriend someone who is unlike you or to stand up for someone who is getting made fun of.
      • Maybe it’s reaching out to a friend that is hurting, even though its uncomfortable and we may not know what to say.
      • Maybe it’s refusing to take part in a certain activity because you know it’s wrong, even if it means you might get made fun of.
    • In all these case we obey God by faith, trusting that no matter what may happen, he is with us.

God’s greatest gift is himself.

  • God’s promises to the Moses and the Israelites:
    • God makes three great promises in this passage to Moses and the Israelites (two of them we have seen before)
    • What are they??
      • Deliverance from Egypt
      • Deliverance into a Good Land (a land flowing with milk and honey)
      • The Israelites will plunder the Egyptians – they will leave Egypt with silver, gold, and clothing – wealth (this is a new promise).
    • Some of God’s promises to us:
      • God promises us similar things in the New Testament
        • God will deliver us from sin
        • God will deliver us into a New Heavens and a New Earth
        • God will meet our needs (not necessarily our wants)
      • The Most important promise and gift
        • However, we are missing a promise…
          • What does God promise Moses?
          • “I will be with you.”
        • This is God’s greatest promise to man.
        • Example: A person who just gave you gifts, but never wanted to be with you wouldn’t be a very loving person.
        • Through all that Moses faced – God was with him – and that was the greatest gift and promise that God could give Moses.
        • Exodus 33 – God tells Moses and the Israelites I’ll get you into the promised land but I’m not going with you.
        • Example: It’s like getting into an amusement park without paying and having to wait in lines.
        • Moses and the Israelites say, “No, we don’t want to go if you’re not going with us God.”
        • So What? If we still got good things without having God, would we be happy?
        • Do we really believe that to know God and to know that he is with us is our greatest gift – his greatest promise?
        • What if I told you that you could be the most liked person at school but not know God – would you take that deal?
        • What if I told you that you could have a $250,000 salary a year with a beautiful wife and two little children in 6 year, but not know God – would you take that deal?
        • What if I told you that I could offer you a one way ticket to heaven – pearly gates, streets of gold, no more tears and no more pain – but not know God – would you take that deal?
        • God’s greatest promise to us is that he will be with us.
        • Nothing else compares with this.
  • God’s greatest act in fulfilling his promise to be with us:
    • His greatest act in fulfilling that promise is sending Jesus.
      • He came to be with us here on earth as Emmanuel (God with us). Jesus identifies himself as the same as Yahweh (John 8:56-58)
      • And he came so that God could be with us after he left earth – through faith in Christ we receive the Holy Spirit – God’s presence in us and with us in a fallen world.
      • And he came so that we might be fully with God in the future when he returns again.
    • God with us – past, present, and future. This is our greatest good. This is what we need most. This is what God supplies us in Christ. This is what we respond to by faith. This is what changes everything.

So What?

  • Think about how wonderful it is that God needs nothing from us and still saves us.
  • Acknowledge your need for God on a daily basis.
  • Take steps in this life that force you to depend on God.
  • Live confident in the fact that knowing God and having him with us is better than anything else we can gain in this world.

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