Sermon #1755 Miscellaneous Sermons
Title: The Solitariness of God
Text: Exodus 15:11
Subject: God’s Distinct Supremacy as God
Date: Thursday Evening — July 3, 2008
Rescue Baptist Church — Rescue, CA
Turn with me to Exodus 15. The Lord God has saved his people Israel after 400 years of bondage, bringing his chosen out of Egypt by his high hand and out-stretched arm. He saved his people…
· By Purpose.
· By Promise.
· By Blood.
· By Power.
(Exodus 14:30-31) “Thus the LORD saved shore. (31) Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea And Israel saw that great work which the LORD did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD, and his servant Moses.”
Now, in Exodus 15, Israel is standing on the Canaan side of the Red Sea, and Moses leads the whole congregation of the Lord in the first hymn ever recorded. Try to picture this huge choir, millions of people standing on the Canaan side of the Red Sea, as Moses lined out his hymn, singing the praises of God for the redemption they had just experienced!
(Exodus 15:1-21) “Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. (2) The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him. (3) The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name. (4) Pharaoh’s chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea. (5) The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom as a stone. (6) Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy. (7) And in the greatness of thine excellency thou hast overthrown them that rose up against thee: thou sentest forth thy wrath, which consumed them as stubble. (8) And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea. (9) The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them. (10) Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them: they sank as lead in the mighty waters. (11) Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? (12) Thou stretchedst out thy right hand, the earth swallowed them. (13) Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation. (14) The people shall hear, and be afraid: sorrow shall take hold on the inhabitants of Palestina. (15) Then the dukes of Edom shall be amazed; the mighty men of Moab, trembling shall take hold upon them; all the inhabitants of Canaan shall melt away. (16) Fear and dread shall fall upon them; by the greatness of thine arm they shall be as still as a stone; till thy people pass over, O LORD, till the people pass over, which thou hast purchased. (17) Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the place, O LORD, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, O Lord, which thy hands have established. (18) The LORD shall reign for ever and ever. (19) For the horse of Pharaoh went in with his chariots and with his horsemen into the sea, and the LORD brought again the waters of the sea upon them; but the children of Israel went on dry land in the midst of the sea.”
When Moses had finished leading the children of Israel in his song, Miriam and the women of Zion took out their tambourines and danced as they repeated the chorus.
(Exodus 15:20-21) “And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. (21) And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.”
Parts of this sweet song of redemption are found throughout the Old Testament Scriptures. Both David and Isaiah use some of the exact words of this song in their praises of the triune God. This great song of praise to our God is so great, so significant that it is specifically named as one of the songs that will be sung by the redeemed in the New Jerusalem (Revelation 15:3-4).
(Revelation 15:3-4) “And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. (4) Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.”
It is obvious, from the many allusions to this song in Holy Scripture, that it is full of spiritual instruction. It teaches us to give praise to God for the overthrow of all the powers of evil and the redemption and deliverance his chosen.
C. H. Spurgeon wrote, “It is God’s intent that from the day of Moses downward, even to the hour when flames of fire shall lick up the works of men, and the heavens themselves shall be dissolved with fervent heat, that this shall be the song of the chosen people everywhere, ‘Sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously.’”
I cannot tell you how often I have repeated portions of this song in my own worship of our God, as he has graciously delivered me from the hellish assaults of the prince of darkness against my soul. How often, when I thought I was about to be crushed, the Lord Jesus, our mighty Man of War, the Captain of our Salvation, arose and cast Pharaoh and his chariots into the depths of the sea, and I came away singing! — “I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation…Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy...Sing to the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.”
Tonight, I want us to focus our attention on just one verse in this great song of praise. In verse 11 calls our attention to the fact that in saving his people the Lord God set himself apart from all his creatures and shows himself to be God alone, doing wonders, wonders of grace in the earth.
(Exodus 15:11) “Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?”
The title of my message tonight is — The Solitariness of God. I want to show you from the Scriptures something of that which separates and distinguishes God from all his creatures: His solitariness. This is exactly the same thing that Micah ascribes to the Lord our God (Micah 7:18-20).
(Micah 7:18-20) “Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. (19) He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. (20) Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old.”
We know that God is great in wisdom, wondrous in power, and abundant in mercy. But in these degenerate days of religious perversion, most people know nothing of God’s Being, his nature and his attributes. There are very few who understand that God is infinite, majestic, great beyond imagination, and glorious. I want to do what I can to inspire your hearts and my own to trust, adore, and reverently worship the Lord our God, by showing you that God is solitary in his excellence and glory. There is no one and nothing in all the universe like our God. He is infinitely higher and greater than all his creation.
Proposition: It is the solitary excellence of God that inspires reverence for him, faith in him and obedience to him. — Our God is incomprehensibly great!
“Can creatures to perfection find
The eternal, uncreated mind?
Or can the largest stretch of thought
Measure and search his nature out?
‘Tis high as heaven, ‘tis deep as hell;
And what can mortals know or tell?
His glory spreads beyond the sky,
And all the shining worlds on high.”
Divisions: Tonight I want to show you six things about God which show his solitariness, six things which distinguish him from and set him apart from all his creatures, infinitely.
1. There Is One God.
2. God Is Eternal.
3. God Is Spirit.
4. God Is A Tri-Unity.
5. God Is Independent And Self-Sufficient.
6. God Can Only Be Known By Revelation.
First, it must be stated and stated emphatically that there is one God, and only one (Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 1 Timothy 2:5; Ephesians 4:4-6).
(Deuteronomy 6:4) “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:”
(1 Corinthians 8:6) “But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.”
(Ephesians 4:4-6) “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.”
(1 Timothy 2:5) “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;”
God alone is solitary in his Being. There are many angels, many men and many of all other creatures. But God is One. He “only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen nor can see; to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen” (1 Timothy 6:16). Because there is one God....
· Our allegiance is due to him alone.
· Our affections are to be directed to him alone.
· And all who know trust, and worship him are one body.
Second, God is eternal. Angels are not eternal. Men are not eternal. And matter is not eternal. But God is eternal. In Genesis 1:1 we read, “In the beginning God.” In the beginning there was nothing and no one but God. There was a “time” before time began, when God dwelt alone in the ineffable glory of his own great Being.
· There was no heaven in which he set his throne and manifested his glory.
· There was no earth to be his footstool, which engaged his care.
· There were no angels to sing his praise.
· There was no universe to be upheld by the word of his power.
· There were no men created in his image and after his likeness.
· There were no hours, days, months, years, or ages.
· From everlasting, in old eternity, God was alone in his glory.
He is the great “I Am,” “the eternal God,” who says, “I live forever!” The psalmist says of him, “Thy throne is established of old; thou art from everlasting” (Psalm 93:2). He is the first and the last, “the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity” (Isaiah 57:15).
This great God who is alone Eternal is and must be...
· The Creator of All Things.
· The Possessor of All Things.
· The Ruler of All Things.
· The Disposer of All Things.
Third, God Is Spirit. Our Lord Jesus Christ declares, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in Spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). The Bible often ascribes to God terms such as “the hand of the Lord,” “the mouth of the Lord,” “the eyes of the Lord, the arm of the Lord, “and “the ear of the Lord.” But these terms are mere accommodations of language to help our puny brains understand the works of God. They are anthropomorphic terms, human terms to describe the works of the Lord. But they do not, in any way, represent the nature and being of God.
As you read the Bible you cannot fail to notice that never once were men given any kind of physical, visible, tangible representation of God’s Being. Even under the types and shadows of the Old Testament age of ceremonial worship, nothing was given as a representation of God’s Being. All the types and shadows of the law represented his work of redemption through Christ. But nothing represented God himself. Why? Because God is Spirit. He is the infinite, incomprehensible, invisible, omnipresent Spirit.
Because God is Spirit, he expressly forbids every form of idolatry (Exodus 20:3-6).
(Exodus 20:3-6) “Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (4) Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: (5) Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; (6) And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.”
This commandment forbids....
· The Acceptance of Any Other god.
· The Worship of God through Any Image.
· The Representation of God by Anything Visible.
· The Use of Religious Images, Symbols or Pictures — Pictures of Christ — Crosses, Crucifixes, Religious Relics — Angelic Forms.
. All true worship and service rendered To God Must be spiritual, heart worship. — It is not sufficient to come before God on bended knee, with prostrate body, or with words of praise. We must worship God with our spiritual nature, our souls, our hearts, our minds and our wills.
· We must worship God alone.
· We must worship God spiritually.
· We must worship God sincerely.
· We must worship God in truth, in accordance with revealed truth.
God is a Tri-Unity (1 John 5:7). We worship One God in the Trinity or Tri-Unity, of His Sacred Persons. We do not have three Gods. But we have One God, who subsists in Three Distinct Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. And these three Persons are equal in all things.
(1 John 5:7) “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”
(Ephesians 1:3-14) “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: (4) According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: (5) Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, (6) To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
(7) In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; (8) Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; (9) Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: (10) That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: (11) In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: (12) That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
(13) In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, (14) Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”
From the very beginning God revealed that there are three Persons in the Godhead.
· God the Father created all things through his Son, the Word (Genesis 1:1, John 1:1-3).
· God the Spirit moved upon the face of the waters (Genesis 1:2).
· God said, “Let us make man in our image and often our likeness” (Genesis 1:26).
· And God promised to send his Son, the Seed of the woman, to redeem fallen man (Genesis 3:15).
In the New Testament the doctrine of the Trinity is expressly declared (1 John 5:7), and frequently represented to us.
· In The Baptism of Christ (Matthew 3:16-17) — Here the Father speaks from heaven. The Son is being baptized in the Jordan river. And the Spirit descends in the form of a dove.
· In the Baptismal Formula (Matthew 28:19) — “Go ye therefore (into all the world), and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name (singular) of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”
· In the Apostolic Benediction (2 Corinthians 13:14) — “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.”
· And Christ himself plainly declares the Trinity of Persons in the Godhead (John 14:16). — He said, “I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another comforter, that he may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth.”
The Word of God sets forth One God in Three Persons. The Father is God (Romans 1:7). The Son is God (Hebrews 1:8). And the Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4). “And these three are One.”
Note: Though the Son is voluntarily subject to the Father, and the Spirit is voluntarily subject to the Son and the Father in the covenant of redemption and grace, for the salvation of God’s elect, there is no subordination of Persons in the Godhead.
Fifth, God alone is independent and self-sufficient. God is solitary in his Being, in his Eternality, in his Spirituality, and in his Tri-Unity. And God is solitary in his Independence and Self-Sufficiency. God alone needs nothing! God does not need you and me. God needs nothing but himself!
In old eternity, when God dwelt alone in the glory of his Triune Persons, he was self-contained and self-sufficient, in need of nothing. He needed nothing to make him happy, glorious, and complete. And he is still independent, self-sufficient, in need of nothing. The creation of the world added nothing to God. He is immutable. He changes not (Malachi 3:6). His essential glory could never be increased or diminished.
God was under no constraint, obligation, or necessity to create the world. — God who “worketh all things after the counsel of his own will” (Ephesians 1:11), freely chose to create the world simply because it was his sovereign pleasure to do so. He created the world, not to get glory to himself, but to display and manifest his glory in it.
· God gains nothing from his creatures. Even the praises of redeemed sinners add nothing to the glory of his Being. Hear the words of Nehemiah 9:5 — “Stand up and bless the Lord, your God, forever and ever; and blessed be thy glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.”
· God predestinated his elect to eternal salvation to the praise of the glory of his grace, “according to the good pleasure of his will” (Eph. 1:5). He chose to save us, to show forth his glory in us, but not that he might increase his glory (Psa. 16:2-3). We add nothing to him!
(Psalms 16:2-3) “O my soul, thou hast said unto the LORD, Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee; (3) But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight.”
Again I say, God gains nothing from his creatures (Rom. 11:34-36).
(Romans 11:34-36) “For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? (35) Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? (36) For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.”
And if God gains nothing from man, then it is impossible for man to bring God into any obligation to him (Read Job 35:7-8).
(Job 35:7-8) “If thou be righteous, what givest thou him? or what receiveth he of thine hand? (8) Thy wickedness may hurt a man as thou art; and thy righteousness may profit the son of man.”
And God loses nothing by the wickedness of his creatures (Job 35:6).
(Job 35:6) “If thou sinnest, what doest thou against him? or if thy transgressions be multiplied, what doest thou unto him?”
As man can add nothing to God’s glory, so man can never diminish God’s glory. God made all things to show forth is glory, and all things shall serve their end (Rev. 4:11).
· The glory of his wisdom and power shall be seen in all creation and providence.
· The glory of his love and justice is seen in redemption.
· The glory of his mercy and grace is seen in the salvation of his elect.
· The glory of his truth and righteousness is seen in the eternal ruin of his enemies.
I am declaring the solitariness of God! The God of the Bible is so great that he is self-sufficient in the glory of his own holy Being. There was no vacuum in God’s heart that had to be filled by man. Had it pleased him to do so, he might have dwelt alone in his solitary glory forever, without making his glory known to any.
All that we experience of his grace and goodness we experience because of his sovereign good pleasure alone (Psa. 115:3; 135:6). It pleased God...
· To make you who believe his people (1 Sam. 12:22).
· To put all the fullness of the Godhead’s grace and glory in Christ (Col. 1:19).
· To bruise his Son in the place of his people (Isa. 53:10).
· To reveal Christ in us (Gal. 1:15).
· To save sinners by the foolishness of preaching (1 Cor. 1:21).
We thank and praise and adore God for the good pleasure of his grace toward us! We know that we owe everything to the sovereign purpose of his grace.
But we also know that God is totally independent of his creatures and self-sufficient without us (Isa. 40:15-23; 1 Tim. 6:15-16).
(Isaiah 40:15-23) “Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. (16) And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering. (17) All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity. (18) To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him? (19) The workman melteth a graven image, and the goldsmith spreadeth it over with gold, and casteth silver chains. (20) He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a cunning workman to prepare a graven image, that shall not be moved. (21) Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? (22) It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in: (23) That bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity.”
(1 Timothy 6:15-16) “Which in his times he shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; (16) Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.”
This is the God of the Bible. he is still, in this reprobate religious age, “the unknown God” (Acts 17:23). Because he is unknown in this religious world, we seek to make him known. This is a God to be reverenced, worshipped, and adored.
“He is solitary in his majesty, unique in his excellency, peerless in his perfections. He sustains all, but is himself independent of all. He gives to all, and is enriched by none” (A. W. Pink).
Sixth, this great, solitary God can only be known by revelation. I have offered no arguments to prove the existence of God, but that is not because arguments cannot be produced. God’s being is a self-evident truth of creation and providence, so that all men and women are without excuse before him (Rom. 1:20). But no man will ever come to know the living God by the light of nature (Job 11:7-8; 26:14).
(Job 11:7-8) “Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? (8) It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know?”
(Job 26:14) “Lo, these are parts of his ways: but how little a portion is heard of him? but the thunder of his power who can understand?”
Illustration: A savage might find a watch in the sand and conclude that there was a watchmaker. But he would never be able to know the watchmaker by the watch. Even so, a man may know that there is a God by the light of nature. But he can never come to know God by the light of nature.
God cannot be known by man, except as God is pleased to reveal himself to man (John 3:3; 1 Cor. 2:14).
· God has revealed himself to men in the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:18; Heb. 1:1-3).
· God has revealed himself to men in the inspired volume of Holy Scripture (2 Tim. 3:15-17).
· God reveals himself to men through the preaching of the gospel (Rom. 1:16-17).
· Yet, no sinner will ever see and know the living God until God reveals himself in the sinner’s heart by the irresistible grace and power of the Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 4:6).
Everything depends upon God! God depends on nothing! And even when we have been made to see and know the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, our spiritual knowledge, at best, is a fragmentary knowledge. We need ever to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
This is my prayer for you and me. “That (we) might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Col. 1:10).
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