Teaching Sermons For Pastors and Laymen

“The King’s Purpose for His People”

                                                                                                                                                                           6/11/2006          
“The Kingdom of Heaven”


Lesson  #2
Title: “The King’s Purpose for His People”
Text: Exodus 19:3-6 (GNB)


This is the second in a series of lessons that deals with the Kingdom of Heaven.


In the first lesson, we discovered how God began His Kingdom by choosing a particular people that would become known as Israel and leading them out of bondage from the Egyptian slave owners.
God saw the bondage of His people, and He predestined an epic story of redemption and freedom that brought them to Him.
As he brought them to Sinai, the mountain of God, He reminded them how He had delivered them from Egypt, and how he carried them on eagle’s wings, and how he brought them to Him.

 
Now I will read our text; Exodus 19:3-6:
3 and Moses went up the mountain to meet with God. The Lord called to him from the mountain and told him to say to the Israelites, Jacob’s descendants:
4 “You saw what I, the Lord, did to the Egyptians and how I carried you as an eagle carries her young on her wings, and brought you here to me.
5 Now, if you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own people. The whole earth is mine, but you will be my chosen people,
6 a people dedicated to me alone, and you will serve me as priests.”
God called Moses and told him to go up Mount Sinai; where He would meet with him and give him the Ten Commandments.

We read in verse 4, “You saw what I, the Lord, did to the Egyptians and how I carried you as an eagle carries her young on her wings, and brought you here to me.”
The LORD was saying, Moses, before you give the people these Commandments, before anything else, you are to remind them that I bore them on eagles’ wings.
Why in the world would the LORD say that? 
It’s a very enduring thing to say, but when did God do that? 
When did the LORD bear them on eagles’ wings? 
The people who originally heard these words knew very well what the LORD was talking about, because the memory was still very fresh in their minds. 
The Lord was saying something like this.
Do you remember when you were trapped in Egypt, and there was no place for you to go, and you were in bondage and in trouble? 
Do you remember when you groaned in your captivity, because of the oppression and terrible cruelty of your taskmasters? 
Do you remember looking at your precious children and realizing that there was no hope, or future at all for them, beyond chains, a lash, and an early death?
I heard your cries, I saw your tears. 
And I came down to buy you back out of slavery. 
Do you remember, my children? Says the LORD.
Do you remember standing on the shore with the Red Sea lapping at your feet, and Pharaoh’s troops massing at your back? 
Do you remember the despair that you felt, because you couldn’t go forward or backwards and death was ridding on chariots, like a storm out of Egypt.
I made a way for you where there was no way. 
Do you remember my people? 
Can you remember the days in the wilderness, where there was nothing to drink and your throats were dry and your little ones cried for water? 
I opened up a spring for you…..a stream of fresh sweet water that came gushing over the parched desert floor. 
Do you remember Israel? 
I stepped into your lives to save you.
I swooped down and bore you on eagles’ wings; do you remember?
God’s love could be seen everywhere; from the manna, sweet as honey, that they collected and ate, to the cool water coming out of the desert sand, and in the solder’s helmets that washed up on shore.
“I bore you on eagles’ wings, “says the LORD.
What does that mean anyway?—“I bore you on eagles’ wings.”
We talked about that in the first lesson with the illustration of a mother eagle teaching her chick to fly.
A mama eagle will make a nest, and she will fill it up with sticks, leaves, and animal fir, making a cozy nest for her chicks. 
When the time comes, however, they will become a little less comfortable. 
The mother eagle will take them to a great height, and drop them.
The eaglet begins to flutter; he’s never done this before, and he’s not sure what to do, so he continues to flap his wings. 
And he’s heading down fast. 
As the little fellow plummets to earth, mama eagle watches, and what does she do, she swoops down and picks the little bird up right before he hits the ground.
The lesson is repeated several times, and each time she swoops down to save him and bears him up…..on eagles’ wings.
And that’s exactly what the Lord is saying to Moses. 
Please tell them—“Make sure that you remind them—before you give them these Commandments, how much I loved them in the past, remind them how I’ve watched over their lives every day and concerned myself with their future.”
The LORD is saying, “Because I know what is best for you, and I have proven it to you through your deliverance from Egypt, I know what I’m talking about in these Ten Commandments; they are there so that you may live a long, easy life, filled with joy and happiness.”
They are there, because God knows what is best for you, and God wants to bear you on eagles’ wings; it’s OK if you fall, because like the mama eagle, God will catch you when you fall. 
He wanted to have a relationship with His people that was real and productive.
And He wants the same from His people today.
He desires for His Kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven.
The problem is that many believers have no Kingdom vision, because they have no Kingdom relationship.
When you have a relationship with the King of the universe, you have an unquenchable desire to serve him.
However, the King has certain expectations in relationship to His subjects.
God desires that all people would come to know Him through salvation.
Salvation is given as a gift and it is not earned.
That’s what Paul wrote about in his letter to the church at Ephesus: “For by grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.”  (Ephesians 2:8—1901 ASV)

The King wants us to be redeemed from sin.
Romans 6:18-22 speaks profoundly about the freedom that we have from things in life.
18 I consider that what we suffer at this present time cannot be compared at all with the glory that is going to be revealed to us.
19 All of creation waits with eager longing for God to reveal his children.
20 For creation was condemned to lose its purpose, not of its own will, but because God willed it to be so. Yet there was the hope
21 that creation itself would one day be set free from its slavery to decay and would share the glorious freedom of the children of God.
22 For we know that up to the present time all of creation groans with pain, like the pain of childbirth.

In this passage, Paul draws a distinction between the sufferings of the present and the glorious hope for the future.
Paul had suffered greatly for the sake of the gospel.
Yet he acknowledged that those sufferings were nothing compared to the future glory he looked forward to.
God’s children will share in the glory of Christ, and they will be just like Him.
Christ is the believers’ hope of glory.
We have no other claim to heaven than the Savior Himself.
The reality that He indwells us makes heaven as sure as if we were already there.
The knowledge that He indwells us is what Paul calls The Great Mystery; that God would choose to live within His children.
The King desires us to be free from the fear of death.


We read in Romans 8:1-2,
1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.
2 For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death

God’s law of life in Christ Jesus has made us free from the law of sin and death.
These are two opposite laws or principles.
One of the roles of the Holy Spirit is to empower believers for holy living.
A characteristic of indwelling sin is that it will drag a person down to death.
It is like the law of gravity.
When you throw a ball into the air, it comes back down because it is heavier than the air it displaces.
A living bird is also heavier than the air it displaces, but when you toss it up in the air, it flies away.
The law of life in the bird overcomes the law of gravity.
So the Holy Spirit supplies the risen life of the Lord Jesus, making the believer free from the law of sin and death.
The King desires us to be free to live in righteousness.
Paul wrote this in Romans 6:18: “You were set free from sin and became the slaves of righteousness.”
There is a privilege that goes along with belonging to God’s kingdom; it’s that we are set free from the penalty and guilt of sin to live righteous lives.
But we must remember that our righteousness before God is the end result of Christ’s work on the Cross.
It’s only because of Christ’s work that saved us and placed the Holy Spirit within us that we can live righteously.
Holiness of heart and life keeps the lines of communication with God open, by keeping our private agenda out of the way.
The foundation of our service to Him is our salvation.
God not only brought the Israelites out of slavery, He also brought them into an active relationship with Himself.
 
Are you part of God’s kingdom through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? 
God not only desires for humanity to be redeemed and live in the kingdom of God, He also desires that we become:
Obedient to His voice, (v. 5-6)
The children of Israel have arrived at Mount Sinai.
The rest of the book of Exodus, and the entire book of Leviticus and the first nine chapters of Numbers, record events that took place there.
From Adam until this time, there had been no expressed law of God.
The Lord’s dealings with His people had been predominantly by grace.
Now He offered them a conditional covenant of law: “If you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; ... you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”
 If they would obey, He would bless.
Not realizing their sinfulness and helplessness, the Israelites vowed: “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.”
That’s bold and self–confident language.
The golden calf, the broken tablets, the neglected ordinances, the stoned messengers, the rejected and crucified Christ, are overwhelming evidences of man’s dishonored vows.
God had redeemed Israel and because they were redeemed, they were called to serve the King, but they were never faithful to their calling.
God also desires that we are Sensitive to the Call that He has placed on our lives.
Verse 5 says, “Then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine.”
God was not saying that Israel was better than any other nation; they were treasured because they had been chosen by God to be His representative to the world.
Their significance was that they had a relationship with the King of the Universe.
“Seguli” is Hebrew for “moveable property.” 
This word conveys that God reserved the right to move his people where he wanted when He needed them to move.
In verse six he calls Israel a “Kingdom of Priests.”
God is saying to the Church today, “Priestly people do not just gather on Sunday. They scatter through the week. You are my moveable possession.”
We are God’s kingdom of priests.
God didn’t establish the priesthood for the Israelites at this time.
That came later when God appointed the tribe of Levi as the priestly tribe and Aaron was the High Priest.
Priests are mediators between God and People.
We must accept that we are priests for God—bringing God to people and people to God.
Jesus made this statement in Matthew 5:13: “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.”
Only the truly born-again person is salt and can help meet the needs of the world.
The salt adds flavoring, acts as a preservative, melts coldness and heals wounds.
Therefore, it’s a very appropriate description of the believer in his relationship to the world in which he lives.
The message Jesus was sending is that if the salt loses its saltiness, it is worthless.
The implication of this statement is that if a Christian loses his effectiveness, his testimony will be trampled under the feet of men.
Then He went on to say, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.”
When Jesus says, “Ye are the light of the world,” He is describing the important mission of the Christian to the world.
He is the provision of God, or as He is called here, “The Salt” to meet the world’s needs; and He has given all believers a mission to the world, which is represented by “light”.
The believer’s light is to clearly shine into the world, and into the darkness of human depravity.
He is to set it up on a candlestick, not hide it under a bushel, or a basket.
But, the Christian that is living like the rest of the world and with unconfessed sin in his life will become a basket-like covering which hides the light of God.
God provides the light and it continues to shine, but as believers we must keep our lives clean before the Lord in order not to cover up the light which He has placed within us.
Darkness is the absence of light and darkness alone cannot dispel the light, but the smallest light can dispel the greatest darkness.
Therefore, let your light shine through a clean life before the Lord and before the world in which you live.
2 Corinthians 5:20 says: “We are ambassadors for Christ.”
1 Peter 2:5, 9-10 states: “You are living stones for a holy priesthood.”
Israel was called to be the worldwide priests for God.
They were to be His representative appealing to the world to be reconciled to God, but Israel failed, because they turned inward.
We, who are His church, have fallen into the same trap.
We have turned inward.
Being called into the role of Priests has not influenced our lifestyles or behaviors, our witness or our commitment to evangelism, our budgeting for missions or our tithing practices.
It is hard to be a priest when your lifestyle is just the same as the lost or unchurched person you see each day.
Priests are Developed for Great Potential.
God had designed the priesthood to have great potential for service.
Just as God wanted Israel to share his name with the nations He wants us to do the same.
God is looking for a people who will be obedient to His word because where there is obedience there is holiness.
God has given us great potential to live for Him and to serve in His Kingdom.
God is looking for people who will: Embody His name.
God is looking for people who will: Emulate His Mission.
God is looking for people who will: Obey His Word.

 

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