A series of 7 sermons
This is the second in a series of seven sermons exploring the outstanding reality that God is ever present with His people.
Where are we and who are we as Christians in the world today?
This first sermon looks at Israel with the wilderness behind them and the Promised Land before them, a rabble of ex slaves who because God had set His love upon them and was present among them, were the most privileged people in the entire world.
“The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?” And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”” (Exodus 33:14-17, NIV)
We as Christians today are the most privileged people on earth.. not because of wealth or power or status; but purely because God in grave and mercy has chosen to be with us, declaring us by adoption in Christ to be His children. What sets us apart from all people in the world is the presence of God with us. Today we remain the most privileged people on earth!
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” (1 John 3:1-2, NIV)
Readings reproduced on this page:
The Holy Bible: New International Version. 1996, 1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan
Isaiah 11:1–10 (NIV84)
1A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
2The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord—
3and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears;
4but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
5Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.
6The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.
7The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
8The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper’s nest.
9They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
10In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious.
Genesis 2:4–25 (NIV84)
4This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created. When the Lord God made the earth and the heavens—
5and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground,
6but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground—
7the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
8Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.
9And the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
10A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters.
11The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold.
12(The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.)
13The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush.
14The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Asshur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
15The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.
16And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden;
17but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
18The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
19Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.
20So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found.
21So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh.
22Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
23The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.”
24For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
25The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
Genesis 3:8 (NIV84)
8Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.