Who Is On Jesus' Side?
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Delivered By
Pastor Ed Dinkins
Delivered On
March 19, 2016
Central Passage
Exodus 32:25-35
Subject
Third Sunday Service
Description

Commentary - Data Source:  "Who Is On the Lord's Side"? 

     "We all look at the world through a lens, a little lens in our eye, and we tend to believe what we see.  And we also look at the world through a spiritual lens.  As Christians our spiritual lens is Christ.  We interpret Bible and the world through the lens of Christ – which is right and proper – we are Christians!  Our basis for this is Jesus, who said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” and the Holy Spirit, who leads us into all truth.  Our interpretation of Exodus is Christological.

     I mention this because this text appears a hard text.  The LORD, through Moses, orders the Levites to kill their brothers, friends and neighbours.  As I have studied it through the lens of Christ I no longer find it a hard.  Christians (and the Jews as well,) don’t use this text, or any other text to justify killing apostates.

    Main Points

1. Taking sides (25-26)

     Ex 32:25 (NIV) “Moses saw that the people were running wild, and that Aaron had let them get out of control and so become a laughing stock to their enemies.”  We know the people were having massive party and were wildly out of control.  But I think we can easily miss the main point about this verse.  The word for “running wild”, as in the KJV, it can also translated as “naked”.

     Ex 32:25 (AV) “And when Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies:)”  This doesn’t mean they were completely naked, but it means they had become vulnerable.  This verse is more than moralising.  Through their sin the Israelites had become vulnerable to their enemies, and Moses was acutely aware of this.  They had become physically vulnerable.  Instead of being alert and on guard, they were partying.  If the Amalekites had attacked at this moment, instead of defeating them (Ex 17), they would have been obliterated.

     They were also spiritually vulnerable.  Their sin had exposed them to their spiritual enemy, satan, who was always looking for the opportunity to destroy God’s plan.   When we sin God removes his hand of protection from our lives.   We see this in Romans 1, where Paul shows that the root of our immorality is idolatry.  It starts here: “They exchanged the truth about God for a lie.” [Rom 1:25]  Then, “Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.”  “God gave them over” means that God has removed his hand of protection.  If it’s temporary it means God will use it to discipline us; if it is permanent you will be eternally lost and it’s unlikely you will even ‘hear’ what I’m saying.

     The most tragic thing about the Israelites at this point is that they became objects of ridicule.  It was tragic because they had a special God-given calling to glorify God among the nations.  But instead they became a laughing-stock.

     The same is true for the Church.  Even non-Christians know what God’s standards of holiness are.  You get drunk; you indulge in internet pornography; you make obscene jokes; live with compromise.  And the non-Christian, who is probably too polite to say it, thinks, “and he calls himself a Christian!”

     Moses realised he had to do something, so:

     Ex 32:26 Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, “Who is on the LORD’S side? let him come unto me.” And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him.  This is the measure of the grace and mercy of the LORD.  “[The LORD] does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities” [Ps 103:10].  Moses gave an opportunity for the people to repent and return to the LORD – who is on the LORD’s side?

     But this means there is another side.  There’s the LORD’s side, and there’s the side of idolatry.  There’s the LORD’s side and there’s satan’s side.  There’s the LORD’s side and the side of sin.  There’s light and there’s darkness.   There’s heaven and there’s hell.  In this world there’s no neutrality.  We can sit on the fence for a while, but in the end, as Jesus said, “You are either for me or against me.”

     Are you really on the LORD’s side?  I remember shortly after I became a Christian and I felt my soul tumbling into hell, and it was a frightening experience, and I cried out to the LORD and he saved me.  If we are going to take Jesus seriously, Jesus who taught us to love, we need to take hell seriously, because Jesus taught about hell more than anyone else.  Our eternal destiny hangs in the balance.

     Are you really on the LORD’s side?  To be on the LORD’s side means that we have to cross the line.  It means we have to humbly trust and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ."

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