Advent 2 Midweek 2022 (Ex 19,10—20,6 , 18–23)

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᛭ INI ᛭

(5. Oops!: The LORD shows up…well, He’s already there.)

The Lord shows up. That’s Advent. “He comes.” The Lord Jesus comes. That’s what the true God does. He comes to His people. He shows up to be with His people. He comes because He is their God and they are His people.

But the truth is that when He shows up, He’s just revealing Himself in that location. What I mean is that the Lord God is omnipresent, yet He does from time to time locate and reveal Himself in specific places.

But we need to ponder this for a moment, especially when were thinking about His Law and our doing of it. You’re never alone. The Lord is always there. There’s no sin you can hide from Him because He not only knows it in some abstract sense. He knows it because is their to witness you doing it, saying it, even thinking it! “You discern my thoughts from afar…Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether…Where can I go from Your presence?” (Ps 139)

(4. Ugh!: The LORD shows up…with His Law.)

The LORD shows up. That’s Advent. It was Advent at Sinai. The LORD came with His fuller, more complete presence. The LORD, Yahweh Himself, “came down upon Mt. Sinai in the sight of all the people.” And boy, did He show up!

“On the third day, when it was morning, there was thunder and lightnings, a heavy cloud upon the mountain, and the sound of the ram’s horn, very strong.” “And mount Sinai smoked, all of it even before Yahweh came down upon in fire. It’s smoke went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the entire mountain shook greatly.” “The sound of the ram’s horn was echoing and very strong.” “Yahweh came down upon Mount Sinai at the top of the mountain.” (Ex 19:16, 18–19a, 20a)

But that’s not even the scariest part… He spoke! He said, “Death for anything that touched the mountain.” But that wasn’t all He said. The people didn’t necessarily complain about the LORD showing up. They just wanted Him to stop speaking. “Don’t let Him talk to us otherwise we’ll die!” He speaks His Law, to them and to you: “You shall have no other gods before Me.” This means that “we fear, love, and trust in God above all things.”

We’re okay with this commandment as long as we ignore its implications. The Israelites tried it with other gods all the time. “We still worship Yahweh. First Yahweh, then Baal.” We actually do the same things, just not with little deities with names and back stories.

  • Have I loved God with all my heart, all my soul, all my strength?
  • Where have I looked for comfort, good, and delight?
  • Do I look to God my heavenly Father, for all love, good, and joy?
  • Do I see my worry and fretting as sin against trusting God?
  • Does my attention focus on health, fun, money, things sexual, friendship, measuring things always by what pleases me?
  • Do I complain about the troubles, people, work, and suffering God lays on me?
  • Do I love the things God gives me more than I love Him?
  • Do I hate what God takes away, even though He gives me Himself?

(3. Aha!: The LORD shows up…”with a mighty hand and outstretched arm” at Sinai, in Egypt, and at Calvary!)

The LORD shows up. That’s Advent. At Sinai the LORD Jesus revealed Himself. He said He is “I AM,” and that’s who showed up at Sinai. He showed up, and boy was it intense. Scary! Not just in what happened when He did, but because of what He said when He did. He showed up with power and might, not just fire, but powerful and mighty words. “You shall have no other gods” basically saying, “You have other gods, for which you shall die, for which you deserve fire.”

“With a mighty hand and an outstretched arm,” the LORD shows up, but not just at Sinai. ”With a mighty hand and an outstretched arm,” the LORD Jesus showed up in Egypt. To redeem His people Israel from Pharaoh, and to exercise judgments on all the false gods of Egypt. And the Lord also showed up, “with mighty hand and outstretched arms” on another mountain—Mt. Calvary.

(2. Whee!: THE LORD SHOWS UP…TO BRING YOU OUT OF THE HOUSE OF SLAVERY.)

You see, the LORD shows up. That’s Advent. “He comes.” The LORD Jesus comes.

THE LORD SHOWS UP…TO BRING YOU OUT OF THE HOUSE OF SLAVERY.

That’s what He did for the Israelites. “I am the LORD your God who brought you up out of the land of Egypt; out of the house of slavery.” He rescued them from their lives lived under the false gods of Egypt. He freed them from their false king, Pharaoh. He was their true God; He was their true King, their Savior.

So, the First Commandment in effect is, “I’m your God, your Savior. You don’t need any other ones! Put them away. Stop trusting them. They are powerless to save you. Only, I the LORD your God can and will save you.” Israel needed such a Law. When they made the golden calf, they said, “These are your gods who brought you out of the land of Egypt.”

What the Lord said to Israel, He says to you, because what the Lord did for Israel, He does for you:

THE LORD SHOWS UP…TO BRING YOU OUT OF THE HOUSE OF SLAVERY.

He saved you from the one whom Pharaoh foreshadowed, the devil. He saved you from what Egypt foreshadowed, slavery to sin whose end is death. Hebrews puts Jesus’ bringing you out of the house of slavery this way: “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, He also likewise partook of the same things, so that He would, through His death, destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver those who were held in slavery to the fear of death all their life.”

That’s what Jesus does for you. By His death and resurrection. The eternal firstborn Son of God, died to secure your escape from Satan, sin, and hell. He experienced the darkness of Calvary’s cross (the sun itself went dark, which darkness He also felt), that you would dwell in His marvelous light and peace forever.

He puts to death your need for your false gods. Why trust whatever you trust in or look to for help when life gets tough? Christ is died and risen for you.

(1. Yeah!: The LORD shows up…to bring us to Himself.)

The LORD shows up. That’s Advent. “He comes.” The LORD Jesus comes. We don’t have to work to keep Him going. He doesn’t exact anything from us like our false hopes and helps do. We always need more effort to compensate. Not so Jesus.

THE LORD SHOWS UP…TO BRING YOU OUT OF THE HOUSE OF SLAVERY.

And the LORD Jesus also shows up to bring us to Himself. Just like He brought Israel to His presence and Sinai, just like He brought Israel into the promised Land, so also He shows up to gather us together. He brought the Israelites through the Red Sea, so He baptizes us into Himself. He ate and drank with the elders of Israel on Mt. Sinai, so He puts on His Supper for us. He is true God for us in that He comes to us and gathers us to Himself. And you are free. He your God; you His people. Forever.

᛭ INI ᛭

Full:        1300
Outline:   82
Final:      1218

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