Worship Service 10 September 2017
Delivered By
Pastor Doug Groen and Laverne Wiginton Accompanist
Delivered On
September 10, 2017 at 10:00 AM
Central Passage
Exodus 3:1-15
The Special Agent of God


     Exodus 3:1-15;

     Psalm 105:1`-6, 23-26;

     Romans 12:9-21;

     Matthew 16:21-28

Exodus 3:1-15                                 New International Reader's Version (NIRV)

Moses and the Burning Bush

3 Moses was taking care of the flock of his father-in-law Jethro. Jethro was the priest of Midian. Moses led the flock to the western side of the desert. He came to Horeb. It was the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him from inside a burning bush. Moses saw that the bush was on fire. But it didn’t burn up. So Moses thought, “I’ll go over and see this strange sight. Why doesn’t the bush burn up?”

The Lord saw that Moses had gone over to look. So God spoke to him from inside the bush. He called out, “Moses! Moses!”

“Here I am,” Moses said.

“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals. The place you are standing on is holy ground.” He continued, “I am the God of your father. I am the God of Abraham. I am the God of Isaac. And I am the God of Jacob.” When Moses heard that, he turned his face away. He was afraid to look at God.

The Lord said, “I have seen how my people are suffering in Egypt. I have heard them cry out because of their slave drivers. I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to save them from the Egyptians. I will bring them up out of that land. I will bring them into a good land. It has a lot of room. It is a land that has plenty of milk and honey. The Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites live there. And now Israel’s cry for help has reached me. I have seen how badly the Egyptians are treating them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh. I want you to bring the Israelites out of Egypt. They are my people.”

11 But Moses spoke to God. “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh?” he said. “Who am I that I should bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”

12 God said, “I will be with you. I will give you a sign. It will prove that I have sent you. When you have brought the people out of Egypt, all of you will worship me on this mountain.”

13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the people of Israel. Suppose I say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ And suppose they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?”

14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am. Here is what you must say to the Israelites. Tell them, ‘I am has sent me to you.’ ”

15 God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord is the God of your fathers. He has sent me to you. He is the God of Abraham. He is the God of Isaac. And he is the God of Jacob.’ My name will always be The Lord. Call me this name for all time to come.

Psalm 105

Give praise to the Lord and announce who he is.
    Tell the nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him.
    Tell about all the wonderful things he has done.
Praise him, because his name is holy.
    Let the hearts of those who trust in the Lord be glad.
Seek the Lord and the strength he gives.
    Always seek him.

Remember the wonderful things he has done.
    Remember his miracles and how he judged our enemies.
Remember what he has done, you children of his servant Abraham.
    Remember it, you people of Jacob, God’s chosen ones.

Psalm 105:23-26                               New International Reader's Version (NIRV)

23 Then the rest of Jacob’s family went to Egypt.
    The people of Israel lived as outsiders in the land of Ham.
24 The Lord gave his people so many children
    that there were too many of them for their enemies.
25 He made the Egyptians hate his people.
    The Egyptians made evil plans against them.
26 The Lord sent his servant Moses to the king of Egypt.
    He sent Aaron, his chosen one, along with him.

Romans 12:9-21 

Love in Action

Love must be honest and true. Hate what is evil. Hold on to what is good. 10 Love one another deeply. Honor others more than yourselves. 11 Stay excited about your faith as you serve the Lord. 12 When you hope, be joyful. When you suffer, be patient. When you pray, be faithful. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Welcome others into your homes.

14 Bless those who hurt you. Bless them, and do not curse them. 15 Be joyful with those who are joyful. Be sad with those who are sad. 16 Agree with one another. Don’t be proud. Be willing to be a friend of people who aren’t considered important. Don’t think that you are better than others.

17 Don’t pay back evil with evil. Be careful to do what everyone thinks is right. 18 If possible, live in peace with everyone. Do that as much as you can. 19 My dear friends, don’t try to get even. Leave room for God to show his anger. It is written, “I am the God who judges people. I will pay them back,” (Deuteronomy 32:35) says the Lord. 20 Do just the opposite. Scripture says,

“If your enemies are hungry, give them food to eat.
    If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.
By doing those things, you will pile up burning coals on their heads.” (Proverbs 25:21,22)

21 Don’t let evil overcome you. Overcome evil by doing good.

Matthew 16:21-28                             New International Reader's Version (NIRV)

Jesus Speaks About His Coming Death

21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples what would happen to him. He told them he must go to Jerusalem. There he must suffer many things from the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law. He must be killed and on the third day rise to life again.

22 Peter took Jesus to one side and began to scold him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This will never happen to you!”

23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are standing in my way. You do not have in mind the things God cares about. Instead, you only have in mind the things humans care about.”

24 Then Jesus spoke to his disciples. He said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must say no to themselves. They must pick up their cross and follow me. 25 Whoever wants to save their life will lose it. But whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26 What good is it if someone gains the whole world but loses their soul? Or what can anyone trade for their soul? 27 The Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory. His angels will come with him. And he will reward everyone in keeping with what they have done.

28 “What I’m about to tell you is true. Some who are standing here will not die before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

Pastor's Summary of Exodus 3:1-15

Moses has been forced to flee Egypt because his murder of an Egyptian slave-master became known. He fled to the Sinai Peninsula ("Midian"), and married Zipporah, daughter of Jethro. Back in Egypt, the Pharoah has died, and those under the yoke of slavery have become restive.

Moses is shepherding "beyond the wilderness": a mysterious place. Near Mount Sinai ("Horeb") a messenger from God (or God himself) appears to him in the form of fire-a symbol implying passion, purity, light, mystery and (here) not extinguishable.  Moses is curious (v. 3) and leaves Jethro's sheep. What follows is the archetype for the calling of a prophet. God appears to the person and urges him to return to his people and serve as his spokesman, despite any opposition he may encounter, and his own shortcomings. As we find with other prophets (e.g. Jeremiah, Jonah), Moses is reluctant: in fact, he refuses four times! He has reason for not returning to Egypt, and yet he does return, because he believes that he is sent by God. Moses, like Abraham and Samuel, acknowledges God's call by saying "Here I am" *v. 4). Removing one's footwear (v. 5) was a common form of respect in the ancient Near East. God identifies himself as the God of the patriarchs, to whom he made promises of protection in return for loyalty (v. 6). God is compassionate, he has come to intervene, to "deliver" (v. 8) "my people" (v. 7) from the Egyptians, to bring them to Canaan. (The people in v. 8 were indigenous to Palestine at the time. ) God gives Moses his commission (v. 10) but Moses presents an excuse: "who am I" (v. 11) to do this? God answers: "I will be with you" (v. 12); you will all worship me here. Moses raises another objection: what do I tell people your name is? (v. 13) To know someone's name was to have power over him, or at least understand his very being. God's answer is enigmatic and the Hebrew is unclear: it can be translated He who causes to be what comes into existence or it may indicate presence, and be intentionally vague. (No one has power over God.) Moses is commanded to tell the Israelites that his title is YHWH or Yahweh (in Hebrew), or "LORD (v. 15).