I want to notice the context surrounding the giving of the 10 commandments.
Who is the God of the 10 Commandments?
What are His attributes? What is He like?
Read Exodus 19:21-25 – verses following the scripture reading.
Read Exodus 20:20 – right after the giving of the 10 Commandments
What was God’s purpose in giving the law?
God’s principle purpose at Sinai was to communicate His nature and character to His people.
God gave the 10 Commandments.
He also gave some 613 laws.
365 negative ones
248 affirmative ones
Law governed – political, social, marital, economic areas of life.
Transcendence = beyond the ordinary, rises above and beyond the limits
Tiger Woods transcends golf; Babe Ruth transcends baseball
Exodus 19:2 – camped in front of the mountain
Traveled 22 miles from the Red Sea
Came to a level plain –2 miles long, half mile wide
Exodus 19:12 – No one is allowed to touch the mountain, man or animal
Verse 16 – Thunder, lightning, loud, people trembled
The meaning of the term – theological term – opposite of transcendence
3 words – sound alike, spelled differently – often confused
Eminence – Importance, refer to a monarch, “His Eminence”
Imminence – Pending, an imminent disaster
Immanence – Nearness, approachability of God
King, Lord, Ruler
Shepherd, Gentle, Kind
Jeremiah 23:23 – “Am I a God near at hand,” says the LORD, And not a God afar off?
Isaiah 40:10-11 – 10 Behold, the Lord GOD shall come with a strong hand, And His arm shall rule for Him; Behold, His reward is with Him, And His work before Him. 11 He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, And carry them in His bosom, And gently lead those who are with young.
V. 10 – Transcendent – Rules with power, his arm rules for Him
V. 11 – Shepherd, takes in His arms, gently leads the young
Exodus 19:4 – You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself.
both are present in Exodus 19:4
Both are present in other passages
Clearly – taken as a whole, God’s transcendence is prominent.
Because of the personal work of Christ – Immanence is more clearly seen.
John 1:18 – Jesus revealed the nature of God
Colossians 1:19 – Fullness of godhead bodily, dwells in Christ
Hebrews 12:18 –
Not come to darkness, gloom, storm
Have come to Mt. Zion, assembly, names written in heaven, new covenant
We must not borrow from the OT worship for NT worship.
We can celebrate and enjoy the nearness of God.
Familiarity must not breed contempt.
Prepare for worship, dress
How we approach God in prayer
Don’t ignore the power, might, awesome Almighty God.
Don’t assume that His love has done away with His Transcendence.
Will you allow this God to become your Awesome Friend?
NOTE: The basic outline was adapted from some material by Michael P. Andrus, Manchester, MO.