Sermon #109 Exodus Series
The Name of Our Great God
Text: Exodus 34:10-28
Subject: Worship and Divine Jealousy
Date: Tuesday Evening — September 29, 2009
Tape: Exodus #109
Readings: Larry Criss and Joe Blakely
The Lord God reveals himself by many names in the Old Testament.
Š “Elohim” — The One Worshipped (Genesis 1:1)
Š “El” — The Mighty God (Genesis 12:7-8)
Š “Eliom” — The Most High God (Genesis 14:18-22)
Š “El-Shaddai” — God All-sufficient (Genesis 17:1)
Š “The Lord of Sabaoth,” — “The Lord of Hosts” — Expressing Absolute Sovereignty (1 Samuel 1:9-11)
Š “Adonai” — The Cause, The Support (Genesis 15:2)
Š “Ejeh” — I AM — The Immutable Jehovah (Exodus 3:13-14; Malachi 3:6)
Tonight we are going to look at another of our God’s great names, a name by which our blessed God and Savior often identifies himself and distinguishing himself from the imaginary gods of man’s making. Turn with me to Exodus 34. The title of my message is —— “Jealous” — The Name of Our Great God.
Proposition: In Exodus 34:10-28 the Lord God gives us explicit instructions about worshipping him in spirit and in truth, inspiring us by his great jealousy to adhere to him alone as God our Savior.
A Covenant Admired
First, in verses 10-11, the Lord God calls for us to admire his great covenant and all the works he performs on our behalf, by which he fulfils it.
Verse 10 — “And he said, Behold.” — Stop. Look at this. Pause awhile. Don’t read this hurriedly. Read slowly, with thoughtfulness and deliberation. Admire and wonder at this. — “I make a covenant.” — The covenant was made before the world began; but every time it is revealed, it is as though it were just made! — “Before all thy people I will do marvels, such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation.” — (Psalm 72:18).
(Psalms 72:14) “He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in his sight.”
(Psalms 72:17-19) “His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed. (18) Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things. (19) And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen.”
“And all the people among which thou art shall see the work of the LORD.” — When God gets done, everybody in heaven, earth and hell will see his wonders toward us and upon us (Ephesians 2:7). — “For it is a terrible thing that I will do with thee.” — The word “terrible” means that which startles and frightens men because it is unexpected, wondrous and unexplainable!
Verse 11 — “Observe thou that which I command thee this day.” — That which God commands God performs. Read on, and you’ll see. — “Behold, I drive out before thee the Amorite, and the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite.” — The Lord our God, our mighty Savior, he and he alone has taken away all our sins. He and he alone will destroy all our enemies!
A Jealous God
Next, in verses 12-17, the Lord God uses his jealousy to inspire our hearts’ devotion to him.
Š He forbids us to mingle in any way with idolatry. — “Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest it be for a snare in the midst of thee” (v. 12). Clearly, he does not forbid, as religion does, association with wicked men. That is both impossible and evil. He is here talking about mixing with the heathen in the exercise of religion.
Š “But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves: (14) For thou shalt worship no other god” (v. 13). — It is our responsibility, not by law or by sword, not by physical force, but by the preaching of the gospel, to destroy every refuge of lies men build, to destroy their altars, smash their gods and demolish their religion.
Š Here’s the motivation God gives for this devotion to him. — “For the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.”
“Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury” (Zechariah 8:2). — The word translated “jealous” is the same as the word “zealous.” Jealousy is zealousness. Where there is no jealousy, no burning zeal, there is no love. I do not love a person, if I do not zealously do my utmost for him. So it is with our God and Savior, who “is a consuming fire.” He declares that he is jealous for his church, “with great fury” against those who would pull her away from him. Yet, he declares to the object of his love, for whom he is jealous, “Fury is not in me” (Isa. 27:4).
Solomon wrote, “Jealousy is the rage of a man” (Proverbs 6:34), the rage of a man against any and all who would steal the heart of the wife he loves (2 Corinthians 11:2-3).
(2 Corinthians 11:2-3) “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. (3) But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”
As at first our Savior loved us simply because he loved us (Deuteronomy 7:7-8), he will bestow upon his chosen all good things simply because he loves us with an everlasting love. “The zeal” (that is, the tender love and free grace, the burning jealousy) “of the Lord of hosts shall do this” (Isaiah 9:7). For his word’s sake (that is to say “for Christ’s sake”), and according to his own heart, the Lord God has done and will do great things for the salvation of his people (2 Samuel 7:21).
Jealousy causes a man to be watchful and quick sighted. Even the slightest glance of one who desires his wife’s heart enrages the loving, jealous husband. So it is with our loving Savior, who is jealous for our hearts. The slightest indignity done to his beloved spouse, his Hephzibah, seeking to take her heart from him, will be met with his utmost fury. If Edom jeers at his prophet, “Watchman, what of the night? watchman, what of the night,” if Ammon but claps his hands at God’s Israel, if he stomps his feet, or if he merely rejoices in his heart, when Christ’s Bride is hurt, he will suffer for his daring insolence (Ezekiel 25:6-7; Joel 2:18).
(Ezekiel 25:6-7) “For thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou hast clapped thine hands, and stamped with the feet, and rejoiced in heart with all thy despite against the land of Israel; (7) Behold, therefore I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and will deliver thee for a spoil to the heathen; and I will cut thee off from the people, and I will cause thee to perish out of the countries: I will destroy thee; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD.”
(Joel 2:18) “Then will the LORD be jealous for his land, and pity his people.”
Jealousy is merciless, violent and cruel as the grave, burning as fire in a man’s heart (Song 8:6). In fact, the word translated “jealous” in Exodus 34 is elsewhere translated “fiery thunderbolts” (Psalm 78:48) and “burning fever” (Deuteronomy 32:24). Jealousy puts a man into a feverish fit of outrage and makes him burn for revenge. While those things are all evil in fallen man, they are gloriously just and righteous in our blessed Husband, the Lord Jesus. He will spit in the face of any Miriam who dares but to mutter against his Moses (Numbers 12:14). What, then, will he not do to those who would steal the heart of his Bride?
And jealousy is implacable. It cannot be reconciled (Pro. 6:34-35).
(Proverbs 6:34-35) “For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance. (35) He will not regard any ransom; neither will he rest content, though thou givest many gifts.”
Balak was willing to give anything to have his will with Israel. Haman was willing pay ten thousand talents of silver to have the Jews destroyed. Ahasuerus was willing to comply with Haman. Esther said, “We are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain and to perish” (Esther 3:9; 7:4). But God was jealous for Israel and had Haman hanged upon his own gallows.
“For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye” (Zechariah 2:8). Our mighty Phineas will gird his sword upon his thigh and execute the great fury of his wrath upon any who dare oppose his beloved. He will smite his enemies in the hinder parts and put them to a perpetual shame and reproach forever (Psalm 78:66).
Go back to Exodus 34. In verses 15-17 the Lord god, our Jealous Husband, who “hateth putting away” (Malachi 2:16), shows us that his concern is as much for us as it is for himself. He will not share his glory with another; and his glory and the everlasting salvation of our souls cannot be separated. Therefore, he calls us here, as he does throughout Holy Scripture to flee from every form of treachery, to flee the enticing arms of the great whore Babylon (freewill, works religion) and the wine of her fornications with which the whole world is intoxicated (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; Revelation 18:4).
(Exodus 34:15-17) “Lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go a whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and one call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice; (16) And thou take of their daughters unto thy sons, and their daughters go a whoring after their gods, and make thy sons go a whoring after their gods. (17) Thou shalt make thee no molten gods.”
(2 Corinthians 6:14-18) “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (15) And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? (16) And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (17) Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, (18) And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”
(2 Corinthians 7:1) “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
(Revelation 18:4) “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”
A Singular Worship
Third, in verses 18-26, the Lord God our Savior, whose name is Jealous, demands that we worship him alone. He will not share his glory with another; and he will not share his wife with another. That is what Malachi 2 is all about, — the treachery of false prophets, following the example of Balaam, sharing his bride with the gods of the world.
Š Profaning His Holiness — Making the Blood and Righteousness of Christ Meaningless
Š Feigned, Pretentious, Hypocritical Worship (Malachi 2:13)
God required his people to keep three distinct feasts, “Holy Convocations,” every year. Each of these feasts were typical of our Lord Jesus Christ and God’s great salvation in and by him. Only two are specifically mentioned in our text. These feasts represent the great works of our God in redemption, grace and salvation. These two feasts specifically represented and typified our experience of grace by the gift of God creating life and faith in us.
Israel’s first great feast, as given here, was the feast of unleavened bread (v. 20).
(Exodus 34:18) “The feast of unleavened bread shalt thou keep. Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, as I commanded thee, in the time of the month Abib: for in the month Abib thou camest out from Egypt.”
The feast of unleavened bread was really a continuation of the feast of Passover, which portrayed Christ our Passover who was sacrificed for us. On the Passover night the children of Israel ate the Lamb with their coats on their backs, their shoes on their feet, and their staffs in their hand, ready to go out of Egypt. The Passover sacrifice was the cause. The feast of unleavened bread represents the effects of redemption. The sacrifice of the paschal lamb (Christ—His Shed Blood!) is the effectual cause of pardon. The sweet fellowship of faith, represented in the feast of unleavened bread, is the effect, the sure and certain result of Christ’s death as our Substitute.
The feast of unleavened bread pictured faith in Christ (John 6:53-56).
(John 6:53-56) “Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. (54) Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. (55) For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. (56) He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.”
Be sure you do not miss the connection of the feast of unleavened bread with the feast of passover. The feast of unleavened bread began the next day after the passover was ended. So, too, the gift of life and faith in Christ follows the accomplishments of Christ at Calvary. All who were redeemed by blood shall be made to live and feed upon Christ at God’s appointed time.
(Galatians 3:13-14) “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: (14) That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”
As one great family the children of Israel kept this feast as a “holy convocation.” The people were all joined together, united in one holy body of redeemed souls, remembering what God had done for them.
Š They were all bought with the same blood.
Š They were all saved by the same power.
Š They were all going to the same homeland.
Š They all ate the same bread.
(Ephesians 3:18-19) “May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; (19) And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”
(Ephesians 4:1-7) “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, (2) With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; (3) Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (4) There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; (5) One Lord, one faith, one baptism, (6) One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (7) But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.”
Next, in verses 19 and 20, we see that in all our worship, our God and Savior demands and deserves singleness of heart, utter devotion.
(Exodus 34:19-20) “All that openeth the matrix is mine; and every firstling among thy cattle, whether ox or sheep, that is male. (20) But the firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb: and if thou redeem him not, then shalt thou break his neck. All the firstborn of thy sons thou shalt redeem. And none shall appear before me empty.”
Aren’t you glad that our Lord includes the unclean ass among the things that might be redeemed to him with the blood of a lamb?
(Exodus 13:13) “And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck: and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem.”
In verse 22 the Lord commands Israel to observe the feast of weeks.
(Exodus 34:22) “And thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year’s end.”
The feast of weeks was held fifty days (seven weeks and a day — a sabbath) after the feast of firstfruits. It is commonly called “Pentecost” because it was held on the 50th day. This is the harvest or ingathering feast. This great harvest feast speaks of ingathering of God’s elect by Christ.
The risen Christ gave us a delightful picture and foretaste of the ingathering of his elect in Acts 2. When the ay of Pentecost was fully come he poured out his Spirit upon all flesh and 3000 souls were gathered into the fold of his grace at one time. Just as the harvest followed the firstfruits, so the salvation of God’s elect follows the resurrection of Christ. Indeed, all the redeemed shall be gathered unto God.
(Isaiah 43:5-7) “Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; (6) I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; (7) Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.”
(John 10:15-18) “As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. (16) And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. (17) Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. (18) No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.”
(Romans 11:26) “And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:”
The Holy Spirit tells us plainly that this feast speaks of Christ’s glorious resurrection and of our resurrection with him, in him, and by him
(1 Corinthians 15:23) “But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.”
(James 1:18) “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.”
(Revelation 14:4) “These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.”
(Romans 11:16) “For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.”
The Lord God promises us that he will not allow us to suffer loss by whole-hearted devotion to him (vv. 23-24).
(Exodus 34:23-24) “Thrice in the year shall all your menchildren appear before the Lord GOD, the God of Israel. (24) For I will cast out the nations before thee, and enlarge thy borders: neither shall any man desire thy land, when thou shalt go up to appear before the LORD thy God thrice in the year.”
Now, read the special, distinct instructions given by our God, whose name is Jealous (vv. 25-26).
Verse 25 — “Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven.” — Nothing is to be mixed with the sacrifice of our blessed Savior. — “Neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the passover be left unto the morning.” — Nothing is to be rejected, despised, and refused.
Verse 26 — “The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring unto the house of the LORD thy God.” — Bring God the first and the best, only the first and the best. — “Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk.” — There is to be no mixture of human invention, idolatry and/or superstition, custom and tradition!
A Blessed Command
Look at verse 21. Here the Lord God gives us a blessed command. His sweet and blessed command is — “Rest!”
(Exodus 34:21) “Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest: in earing time and in harvest thou shalt rest.”
It is very obvious that the sabbath occupied a very prominent and independent place in Old Testament worship. In fact, each of Israel’s feasts was specifically associated with sabbath observance. Whenever Moses gives instruction about keeping the feasts, he gives specific instruction from God about keeping the sabbath. It is as if the Lord is saying, “These feasts which I give are typical of my great salvation which shall give you everlasting rest in me and will give me everlasting rest in you.”
The sabbath was to be kept every week. It was a constant reminder to Israel of that sweet rest which Adam lost in the Garden and of that blessed rest that could and would be recovered only in and by Christ. The sabbath was entirely and only intended to typify salvation in Christ, the blessed rest of life, and faith, and reconciliation to God in him.
“No work” whatsoever was to be done on the sabbath, because salvation is altogether a matter of grace, a work of grace alone, enjoyed by faith in Christ, without our works of any kind. Now, watch this — No other Old Testament ordinance had such a strict an injunction put on it, except the Day of Atonement.
Do you see the significance of that? The rest of faith is the same as the rest of complete, perfect atonement, and the rest of complete reconciliation to God. This is what was typified in the beginning, when the Lord God rested from all his works on the seventh day.
Is it so with your soul? Do you have such rest in Christ with God as if you had never sinned? Do you have you no more conscience of sin? This is the rest Christ has won for all who trust him. Oh, come now to the Lord Jesus Christ and rest! Cease from all work and labor and rest in him.
(Matthew 11:28-30) “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (29) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (30) For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
(Hebrews 4:3) “For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.”
(Hebrews 4:7) “Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.”
The rest of faith is good, oh, how good! But the rest of heaven will be glorious!
(Hebrews 4:9) “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.”
A Foreshadowed Savior
Let me show you one more thing, and I will send you home rejoicing. This blessed sabbath rest can be had only through the doing and dying of that blessed Savior, our all-glorious Lord Jesus Christ, foreshadowed by Moses in verses 27 and 28.
(Exodus 34:27-28) “And the LORD said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel. (28) And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.”
As Moses, who gave the law, fasted forty days and forty nights, so our blessed Savior who fulfilled the law, satisfied the law and ended the law fasted forty days and forty nights when he commenced his public ministry as our Savior (Matthew 4:2). Moses, who gave the law, could never give the children of Israel rest. But the Lord Jesus Christ, who alone is the End of the law does!
Sing it o’er and over again;
Christ receiveth sinful men;
Make the message clear and plain:
Christ receiveth sinful men.
Sinners Jesus will receive;
Sound this word of grace to all
Who the heavenly pathway leave,
All who linger, all who fall.
Come, and He will give you rest;
Trust Him, for His Word is plain;
He will take the sinfulest;
Christ receiveth sinful men.
Now my heart condemns me not,
Pure before the law I stand;
He who cleansed me from all spot,
Satisfied its last demand.
Christ receiveth sinful men,
Even me with all my sin;
Purged from every spot and stain,
Heaven with Him I enter in.
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