Message from Sunday, February 23rd, 2020
"God Speaks to Us through His Servant"
Exodus 24:8 - 18
This passage is a prime example of how the Lord speaks to us. This is important for us to know because there is a lot of confusion and misinformation as to how God communicates to us. Some people claim that God speaks to them in an audible voice. They can hear Him speak to them when they want an answer to a question they may have. They claim this is how God reveals His will to them. Others claim they belong to a group whose leader is almost divine. Leaders of cults come to my mind here. Supposedly God speaks directly through the leader who is almost like God Himself. Some believe that God speaks through individuals gathered for worship. Anyone is allowed to stand up and say something spiritual if he/she feels led by the Spirit. This is the practice of some religious groups.
Now we all understand that God is all-powerful, which means anything is possible with Him. He could certainly speak to people through the examples I just gave. As a matter of fact, He did speak to people in an audible voice. In Old Testament times He spoke to Samuel and Elijah in an audible voice. Other prophets heard God’s voice as well. God also used religious leaders to speak to the people. A number of names come to mind like King David, Samuel, Joshua and others. So, it’s not impossible for God to use different means to get His word across to people.
But, the question is does He still use these means to speak to us today. Our text gives us the answer as to how God communicates to us. So let’s look at the passage.
God had called Moses to be the leader of His people. Moses didn’t approach God after he had fled from Egypt and say, “God, I’m looking for work. I would love to be your spokesman. What do you think? I could really use the work.” No that’s not how it happened. And neither did Moses decide on his own to lead the people of Israel. He didn’t show up at the doorstep of the elders of the people and inform them he was now their leader and leader of the people. That’s not how it happened.
God came to Moses. God called Moses to be the leader of His people. Moses received an official notice from God that he would be the spiritual and political leader of the Israelites. So we see that Moses wasn’t this self-appointed leader who decided to embark on a second career. He had been called by God.
In the passage we see that Moses’ call is confirmed before the people. I’m sure there were some who had doubted Moses call by God, and so God wanted to make it abundantly clear to them that He had chosen Moses to be their leader.
We know how people can be. Often times, they don’t respect God’s appointed servants. Look what happened to many of the prophets and apostles. God had appointed them to speak to the people, yet many of them were killed. In the case of Moses, God wanted to make it clear to the people that they were to listen to Moses, God’s chosen servant.
We, too, at times refuse to listen to God through His servants. We look at them and see that they are people like we are—so why should we listen to them? There is nothing unique about them. They are ordinary people. It is true that God uses ordinary people for His service, but that doesn’t mean that their calling is a bunch of nonsense. It’s true that they are sinners, but that doesn’t give us the license to not listen to them. God still uses them as His mouthpiece.
God wanted to make it clear to the people that Moses was His mouthpiece. God had chosen Moses to be their leader. If they rebelled against Moses, it would be tantamount to rebelling against God.
God calls men to speak to people on His behalf. They aren’t self-appointed. Moses didn’t appoint himself. God appointed Him. And God communicated His will to the people through Moses. God still does this today. He speaks His will to people through His servants.
Now let me explain how it’s done today in our church. When God called Moses, He spoke to Moses in a burning bush. That doesn’t happen today. God doesn’t call pastors-to-be from a burning bush. Neither does He speak in an audible voice to them. He may plant a desire in their heart to be His servant, but He doesn’t talk to them. God never spoke to me audibly. He never said I would be the pastor of this congregation. No, it didn’t happen that way. Instead, He placed a desire in my heart. I then went on to study in order to meet the academic and spiritual requirements to serve as a pastor. Once I had completed this, then I was ready to be called by a congregation, which God uses to call His servants into the ministry.
Now just as Moses didn’t decide one day that he would lead the people of Israel, so didn’t I decide that I would be pastor of this church. I didn’t just walk in out of the blue and say, “Guess what everyone. I’m now the pastor.” I didn’t appoint myself to be the pastor here. It didn’t happen that way.
I received a call from God through this congregation to be the pastor. The congregation called me out of the blue and said we would like you to be the pastor. I agreed. And that is how God called me to be the pastor. This is how He calls men today to be His mouthpiece.
In the passage we see that God called Moses up the mountain before all the people so there would be no doubt in their minds that he was their spiritual and political leader. This was so that no one could say, “No, Moses isn’t the leader. I am.” Or another person, “No, I’m the leader of Israel.” God wanted to make sure that everyone understood that Moses was God’s called servant.
God does it a little different today. He installs pastors before the entire congregation so that there is no doubt in the minds of the people who the pastor is. God is a God of order and not chaos. Imagine the confusion in the church if it was unclear who the pastor was and if everyone made the claim that he or she was.
Why all this talk about how God calls His servants? This is important because this is how God communicates His word to us today. It isn’t through an audible voice that only we can hear individually. It isn’t through everyone standing up during the worship service and saying something spiritual. It isn’t through a self-appointed leader who believes he is divine. Instead, God speaks through His servants whom He has called through a congregation. Our passage from Exodus bears this out.
There is the temptation to reject what God has instituted and established. It happens all the time. God established marriage. People try to tear it apart. God gave the Ten Commandments. People disobey them. God has given man the church. People try to destroy it. It should come to no surprise that people try to undo the office of the ministry.
In spite of God showing the people that He had chosen Moses, there were people who tried to get rid of him. When things in life got tough for them, they quickly pinned the blame on Moses. But God defended Moses. And those who rebelled against him met an untimely death.
I pray that we will give God thanks for how He communicates His word to us today. How would we have come to know Jesus as our Lord and Savior if He hadn’t sent His servants into our lives to teach us? It is a great blessing if we really think about it. How would we have known that our sins are forgiven if God hadn’t told us through His servants?
I pray that God would continue to use His servants to teach and preach about the love of God in Jesus Christ, His Son. May we encourage the continuation of the preaching and teaching of the Gospel. And may we not block the way God has established to communicate His word to the world.