Talk 10

PHILIP SUMERA: Good Morning, Everybody! Today is the last talk of our series on Exodus.

It’s Talk 10, and it’s titled Show Me Your Glory!

This is actually a bold prayer of Moses— a bold prayer telling God, “Show me Your glory!”

And you know what, I pray that I would have that kind of relationship with God. That I could make this bold prayer as well, telling God, “Lord, show me Your glory.”

So, this is my question to everybody: Is your relationship with God so close that you can pray like this too?

Di ba ang ganda kung ganito ang relasyon natin sa Diyos? —Isn’t it beautiful if this is the kind of our relationship with God?

I have a quick story, my beloved friends.

When I was still in college— that was five years ago. How many of you know what’s FX? FX is the vehicle— you know, that you ride on, and there’s that blower, because it’s hot inside… I came from school— my class ended at 7:00 p.m., so it was late. When your school is around the University Belt (in Manila), expect that you’d go through a traffic jam. It was so difficult to get home and by that time, I was so hungry.

I called home and asked my mother, “Ma, what’s for dinner?” My mom said, “Sopas— soup.”

Wow. The more I felt hungry.

I was going home to Valenzuela (Bulacan) and I could not find a ride. So, I was praying, “Lord, I’d ride — even on a jeepney.”

I was on España Boulevard, running after jeepneys.

No luck. Some 30 minutes passed, still could not catch a jeepney… 40 minutes… I kept on praying, “Lord, You will eventually give me a ride.”

You know what I was doing? Naglalambing ako kay Lord.— I was being sweet with the Lord.

And I said, “Even FX— even if it’s more expensive than jeepney.” Then, after a few minutes, I saw an FX making a U-turn toward where I was standing.

I immediately prayed in tongues, “Shala…Shala…Sha…

And the FX stopped right in front of me. No passenger. And the placard indicated exactly where I would be going.

That’s not all. When I opened the door, it cast the smell of a brand-new vehicle. I was just so, so, so happy for that answered prayer. It was a bold prayer. Because I believe God will not abandon me.

Some would say it’s a coincidence. But for me, it’s God working. It’s God providing. Telling me that He was there. He was with me along España. He was with me when I was hungry. The Lord was with me and He got this. He got this and He loves me.

For I would like to believe that God is the greatest engineer. God set me up. It was not a coincidence. It was not an accident. It was God’s plan.

This situation showed me that the Lord listens. That I am important to Him.

So, with that, my friends, I would like to ask you: What is God telling you lately? With all the things that you’ve been through?

Are You Listening?

The year 2022. To some, or maybe to most of us, it has been a tough year. I know many tears fell from your eyes this 2022. You have been through a lot of difficulties in life. But God provided a solution. And with that, what is God telling you? That amid this hardship, this Coronavirus Disease (COVID) Pandemic, God did not abandon you. What is God telling you?

That yes, there were a lot of tough times — but He was there.

The Lord is always Present to us. He is working in the background. And you know, that’s the only reason you are able to overcome life’s trials. And because of this, we can see that God actually loves to talk to us. In these situations, God is communicating with us.

Question: Are you listening? Are we listening?

That’s my encouragement, my dear friends: to listen to God.

Last week, we talked about the Israelites making the golden calf — how they disobeyed God. But one thing with this amazing God that we worship today: that when God says “I love you,” it means “I will not give up on you.”

And every day, God is saying, “Anak, mahal kita.— Child, I love you. Hindi ako susuko sa iyo. I will not give up on you.”

That was what God said to the Israelites. Despite their disobedience, God did not give up on them. Tuloy ang plano.— His plan continued. But there was a slight change.

Join me in reading Exodus 3:3:

I thought God does not forsake His people… So, what’s this?

My beloved friends, don’t take this literally.

In this scenario, nagpapakipot ang Diyos.—God is playing hard-to- get. It’s not in God’s vocabulary to abandon His people.

God was playing hard-to-get with Moses because He wanted to see if Moses would pursue Him.

Heart Check

Let’s continue. This was the response of Moses, Verses 12-13:

The Lord replied:

Let’s pause here.

Some think Moses was able to control God. That Moses was able to convince God. And God changed His mind because Moses convinced Him.

Wait…

Remember that God knows everything. Do you agree? God knows everything and He does not change His mind.

Remember the story I told you earlier about the FX? When I said God set me up? My beloved friends, here, God was also setting up Moses. I would like to believe that God wanted to see if Moses still knew God.

As we go back to our story… The Israelites disobeyed God. They were so quick in forgetting who God is. He was the One who set them free, the One who provided for them. But they forgot. Even Aaron, who was the witness of the goodness of God— but also forgot. And I would like to believe God wanted to see, this one also forgot?

I want to throw that question to us. Have we also forgotten?

So, it’s good to have a heart check today. Are there times when we are forgetting God?

Intimate Relationship with God

Going back to our Scripture…What’s good is, Moses had an intimate relationship with God.

So, his response was: “Lord, wait, I know You. You will not abandon us.”

It’s because of this deep relationship with God.

You will know about a person if you have a relationship with him. Right?

Isn’t it that when we have friends who say, “I give up,” we would say, “I know you, you will not surrender.”

So, I love that Moses was saying, “Kilala kita, Lord. I know You, Lord.”

Moses had a deep relationship with God. Moses knew the heart of God.

You know what, friends? I pray that we too will have this kind of relationship with God— that we truly know Him.

That also, we would say, “Lord, I know, you will not abandon me. Though this is a tough, tough challenge, trial year, I know Your heart. You will not abandon me because You love me.”

And it’s because of this beautiful relationship of Moses with God that he got to boldly pray,

“Show me Your glory!”

You know what? In Hebrew when we talk about glory, it means kavod: the physical, tangible, visible manifestation of God’s Presence.

In the Exodus event, there were many manifestations of God’s Presence: the Burning Bush; the Ten Plagues; the Parting of the Red Sea; the Fiery Summit of Mt. Sinai.

But what Moses was asking for was a personal revelation. When Moses said “Show me Your glory,” it meant Moses was asking God, “May we grow closer?” Moses was aspiring for a deep relationship with God. Sana tayo rin. I wish we would do the same.

May we also pursue God to have this wonderful and beautiful relationship with Him.

Sad to say, that yes, you are physically present— but what are you thinking of? “Mag-jo-Jollibee kami mamaya.”

You are here, yes, you’re listening to me— but you’re also thinking, “Malapit yung Tropical Hut.”

Manifestations of His Glory

So, sana tayo rin— that we get to aspire to this relationship with God, that God would be present to us. But we too should be present to Him.

There’s no problem on God’s part. Because He’s been showing up. He’s been showing His glory.

For example, nagising ka pa.You woke up this morning. That is God showing His glory. Remember, what is glory? Glory is the physical, tangible, visible manifestation of God’s Presence.

Your seatmate woke up. That’s God showing His glory. You’re healthy. We’re here in Feast Bay Area, here at the Aliw Theater.

This is God showing His glory.

The only problem with us is that most of the time, we fail to recognize God’s glory. And that’s the sad part. We fail to love Him back. That’s the problem.

So, today, let’s have a new habit. A new habit to remember His glory. Let’s open our eyes and see God’s glory. Recognize it in our family, recognize it in our career, recognize it in our health, recognize it in our dreams.

So, let our prayer be: “Lord, please open our eyes that we may see Your glory. Exodus 5:37:

Lord, ang ganda na ng sinabi Mo, pero may pahabol pa.—

Lord, what You said was so beautiful…

Lord, okay nah, e.

But You added something negative, destructive …

But isn’t it that mercy is actually excusing the guilty?

Listen, my beloved friends: God’s mercy and God’s justice are one.

God does not only forgive us— but He also calls us to repent. And that call for repentance can take the form of judgment.

How many of you believe that God hates sin?

God hates sin. That’s right. Why? Because sin destroys us. And that is so true. The thing is this: God is really very intelligent. God loves us so much that

He allows destruction to happen. Hah? Gagamitin ‘yan ng Diyos.— God will use that destruction so you can come near Him.

To make it clear, I’ll give you an example.

The one speaking to you right now used to be the black sheep of his family.

Drugs na lang po, quota na po ako— just with drug addiction, I already met the quota for all sins. And I’m just grateful for the mercy of the Lord dahil binago Niya ko— because He transformed me.

I’m just so grateful that God embraced me, accepted me, and again, forgave me for my transgressions. I’m also so grateful to the Lord that He allowed me to experience the effects (consequences) of my sins. He let me experience being broken because of my sins.

Because through those moments of brokenness, I woke up. I felt something lacking in my heart. And I realized that only God could complete me. Only God could heal me. Only God could make all things new.

Gagamitin ‘yan ng Diyos para makalapit ka sa Kanya.— God will use your brokenness so you can come close to Him.

My beloved friends, did you experience as well the bad consequences of your bad decisions?

God will allow you to taste the bitter fruits of your sinful behavior so that you’ll grow up. Walang sinasayang ang Diyos. — God does not waste anything. He wants you to be close to Him. Remember that we serve a God who can turn everything into good. What the enemy meant for evil, God can turn into good.

Now, we end with the story in Exodus on the building of the Tabernacle that God gave to Moses with a blueprint.

This is a long story— 11 chapters long. That’s why some would stop reading because it’s already boring. But little by little, let’s discuss it. Don’t worry we will not discuss it all…

When God gave Moses the blueprints of the Tabernacle, He gave him a vision of a Heavenly Temple. So, for the Israelites, the Tabernacle was a special place — where Heaven touched Earth and this was where God resided.

Look, the blueprint is so detailed. And every detail means something.

When the Jews entered the Tabernacle, it seemed like they would be in two places at once. They would be in Heaven and Earth at the same time. And look, inside the Tabernacle, at the end part, with the tent, is the Holy of Holies. And they believed that was where God resided.

No one could simply enter there. Not every person had access to the Holy of Holies. See, it is blocked by a big veil — a partition. Not everyone had access to God.

You know what? Today, that Tabernacle is no longer in Israel…

Jesus became the Kavod— the glory that Moses and all the Old Testament prophets were praying for.

When Jesus is already present, I would like to believe there is no more need because Jesus is now the Kavod, the glory of God — the physical, tangible, audible, visible manifestation of God’s Presence.

Just what is said in John 1: 14:

Through the death of Jesus, the veil that limited reaching God, and being with God, was torn from top to bottom. And that means there is no more blockage.

We already have access to God. We can now believe there are no more limitations. We can now say and declare, “True enough, God is with me.”

Because God is no longer hidden in the Holy of Holies. No more partition.

God is now with me…And is actually within all of us.

And with that, my beloved friends, I repeat, no more Tabernacle.

No more partition. And God is with us. God is within us.

Yes, you are now God’s Tabernacle. This is God’s calling to everybody: to make your daily, ordinary life God’s Kavod for others.

Again, what’s Kavod? It’s the physical, tangible, audible, visible manifestation of God’s Presence.

So that when we pray, “Show me Your glory,” we experience that glory.

We experience that goodness. We experience that blessing. We are reminded that we are now God’s Tabernacle.

Pero hindi doon hihinto.— But it’s not going to stop there.

Yes, today, as we pray, “Show me Your glory, Lord,” we may not fail to recognize God’s Kavod. May we not fail to see, may we open our eyes to really see the fingerprints of God working in our life.

But again, it does not stop there. Because our action plan now as go out from this theater, is this: Show them His glory.

It’s not anymore, “Show me Your glory. ”

Now it’s our turn to show everybody God’s goodness, God’s heart, God’s love, God’s forgiveness. Show them your glory.

Put your hand over your heart please, and just feel it beating. Let every beat of your heart say:

“Lord, it’s difficult to be like You. It’s difficult to forgive. It’s difficult to love.

It’s difficult to be good. But Lord, as I continue to be Your witness — a witness of Your Love, a witness of Your glory, a witness of Your goodness, Lord, my prayer: Please overflow in this heart. This is a broken heart, Lord, with many cracks.

That’s why we run to You today. We can’t do this without You. It’s so difficult, Lord. But with You nothing is impossible.

And let me share Your glory with others. Through You overflowing in my heart, I may share Your glory with others. Because I alone will not be able to do it. I can’t do it without You, Jesus. So, please, every day, Show me Your glory. Amen