Seated on the Throne, High & Lifted Up: Is Your View & Vision of God Too Small

Today’s selected reading continues in the Old Testament poetic book of the Psalms, which is a compilation of prayers, praise and petition within psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. More specifically, today’s passage is found in chapters sixty-eight through seventy-two of this Old Testament book. YOUR HEART SHALL LIVE THAT SEEK GOD! O GOD, THOU HAST TAUGHT ME FROM MY YOUTH: AND HITHERTO HAVE I DECLARED THY WONDROUS WORKS. NOW ALSO WHEN I AM OLD AND GRAYHEADED, O GOD, FORSAKE ME NOT; UNTIL I HAVE SHEWED THY STRENGTH UNTO THIS GENERATION. THE GREATNESS OF GOD, THE GREATNESS OF THE KING! PSALM 45! PSALM 72! PSALM 18! PSALM 97! THE PRAYERS OF DAVID THE SON OF JESSE ARE ENDED! PSALMS VERSUS PRAYERS! [GOLDEN PSALMS OF DAVID—PSALM 16, PSALM 56, PSALM 57, PSALM 58, PSALM 59, PSALM 60] [PSALM 3: PSALM! PSALM 4: PSALM! PSALM 5: PSALM! PSALM 6: PSALM! PSALM 8: PSALM! PSALM 9: PSALM! PSALM 11: PSALM! PSALM 12: PSALM! PSALM 13: PSALM! PSALM 14: PSALM! PSALM 15: PSALM! PSALM 18: PSALM! PSALM 19: PSALM! PSALM 20: PSALM! PSALM 21: PSALM! PSALM 22: PSALM! PSALM 23: PSALM! PSALM 24: PSALM! PSLM 25: PSALM! PSALM 26: PSALM! PSALM 27: PSALM! PSALM 28: PSALM! PSALM 29: PSALM! PSALM 31: PSALM! PSALM 32: PSALM! PSALM 34: PSALM! PSALM 35: PSALM! PSALM 36: PSALM! PSALM 37: PSALM! PSALM 38: PSALM! PSALM 39: PSALM! PSALM 40: PSALM! PSALM 41: PSALM! PSALM 51: PSALM! PSALM 52: PSALM! PSALM 53: PSALM! PSALM 54: PSALM! PSALM 55: PSALM! PSALM 61: PSALM! PSALM 62: PSALM! PSALM 63: PSALM! PSALM 64: PSALM! PSALM 69: PSALM! PSALM 70: PSALM! PSALM 101: PSALM! PSALM 103: PSALM! PSALM 109: PSALM! PSALM 110: PSALM! PSALM 138: PSALM! PSALM 139: PSALM! PSALM 140: PSALM! PSALM 141: PSALM! PSALM 143: PSALM! PSALM 144: PSALM!] {PSALM 17: PRAYER! PSALM 86: PRAYER! PSALM 142: PRAYER!] [PSALM 30: PSALM AND SONG! PSALM 65: PSALM AND SONG! PSALM 68: PSALM OR SONG! PSALM 108: PSALM OR SONG!] [PSALM 11: SONG OF DEGREES! PSALM 124: SONG OF DEGREES! PSALM 131: SONG OF DEGREES! PSALM 133: SONG OF DEGREES!] [PSALM 145: PSALM OF PRAISE!]

When you come to this particular passage of Scripture you will find the sixty-eighth chapter of the book of Psalms to be “A Psalm or Song of David”—something which is found three other times within the book of the Psalms. What makes the words which are found within this psalm or song of David so absolutely intriguing is when you think about and consider the fact that its entire foundation is built upon the greatness, the might, the power, the strength, the splendor, the majesty, and the sheer wonder of the living God. You cannot read the words found within this particular psalm and not encounter and come face to face with the truly incredible reality that David sought to ascribe unto the LORD praise and worship—and not only ascribe unto Him praise and worship, but also declare unto Him His worth and value. I find the words which are written and contained within this psalm to be truly captivating when you take the time to look at and examine them, for from beginning to end David sought to exclaim and extol the the living and eternal God, and sought to magnify and worship Him. This reality is quite interesting, for when you read the words which are found in the Old Testament book of the Psalms you will find that there were psalms which were indeed prayers and petitions which flowed from the heart and soul of David as he found himself in the midst of various conflicts, struggles, trials, and troubles. There are a great number of the psalms which David wrote which although they would gradually progress into worship and praise before and unto the living God, would first begin with a prayer and petition from the very heart and soul of David. There are psalms which were written by David the son of Jesse in which he found himself facing something that was much greater and much stronger than he was, and he knew the only way to make it through that which he was experiencing was to cry out to the One person he could throw the full weight of his confidence and his trust. One of the most intriguing realities surrounding the Old Testament book of the Psalms—specifically the psalms which David the son of Jesse wrote—is that if you take the time to look at and view them you will discover a vast majority of them are referred to as “psalms” of David, while there are others which are considered “prayers of David.” Even more than this, there were other psalms which were considered “psalms and songs of David,” which were literally just that—songs which David sang before the LORD. Pause for a moment and consider the reality that within the book of the Psalms and those written by David you will find psalms, you will find “golden psalms,” you will find psalms or songs, and you will find prayers of David. Not only this, but you will also find psalms which have very specific titles connected them in terms of specific events which took place within the life of David.

As I sit here this morning and think about the words which are found within this particular psalm, I can’t help but encounter and come face to face with the tremendous reality that with these words David sought after and desired the living and eternal God be extolled, be magnified, be praised, and to be worshipped. What’s more, is that when David wrote these words—although he himself would magnify and extol the living God—he would invite those who would listen to and participate in the psalm itself to join in the act of magnifying and extolling the LORD. What I so absolutely love about the psalms is that although they were psalms written by specific individuals, they weren’t meant to be solely for those individuals themselves. It would indeed be true that David would write these words, and with these words worship and magnify the living and eternal God, however, the psalm itself would be so much more than the personal worship of David. Beyond simply being the person worship of David, this particular psalm would be an invitation beyond David and to others to worship before the throne of the living God. I absolutely love the book of the Psalms, for I am absolutely and completely convinced that they aren’t meant to simply be read, but they are meant to be invitations to participate in a collective and corporate worship of the saints before a holy and righteous God. We cannot and must not read the words which are found within the book of the Psalms and think about the fact that these psalms are meant for our reading and enjoyment pleasure. We cannot and must not think for one minute that the psalms found within this Old Testament book are meant to be psalms which somehow appeal to our emotional heartstrings and make us feel good. If you come to and approach the book of Psalms and read the words contained therein solely for the ability to feel and experience spiritual and religious goosebumps you have severely and sorely missed the point. The book of the Psalms are not meant to merely be words which we causally use to make us feel good and to make us feel better, but they are meant to be an invitation to actively participate in the worship which is found within this book. The entire book of the Psalms is meant to stand as a means to invite us into the glorious and wonderful presence of the living God, and in His presence worship Him with everything that is in our beings. The book of the Psalms is meant to bring us in humility, in wonder and in awe of the living and eternal God before the very presence of Yahweh, and bring us to the place where our heart cries out to Him in worship, and when “deep truly cries out to deep.” I can’t help but be reminded of the words which where written unto the chief musician for the sons of Korah in the forty-second chapter. Consider if you will the following words which were written in this chapter concerning our response before and unto the LORD our God:

“As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: For I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holy day” (Psalm 42:1-4).

“Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life. I will say unto God my rock” (Psalm 42:7-9).

With these passages we encounter and come face to face with the desperation and longing that is to be found within the depths of our heart, within the depths of our soul, and within the depths of our spirit as we yearn for the living and eternal God. This particular psalm opens up with the psalmist declaring before and unto the LORD that as the deer pants after the water brooks, so his soul does after the LORD their God. What’s more, is the psalmist also goes on to describe and declare unto the LORD how their soul thirsts for God, for the living God, and how they poured out their soul within themselves. The author of this particular psalm went with the multitude, and went with them to the house of God with the voice of joy and praise, and with a multitude that kept holy day. There would be more to this desperate longing and yearning within the heart and soul of this psalmist, for the psalmist would go on to write how deep calls unto deep, and how all the waves and billows were gone over them, and how the LORD would command his lovingkindess in the daytime, and in the night his song would be with them. I find the words which are written and recorded within this psalm to be truly captivating and utterly remarkable, for they express the deep and inner longing that should be in the very depths of our heart and soul for the living God. The question I can’t help but ask you who are reading these words is whether or not this longing is present within your heart and soul. Are you one who feels completely and utterly dissatisfied without and apart from the presence of the living God? Do you feel completely and utterly lost without and apart from the glorious presence of the living God? Does your heart and your soul earnestly and eagerly long for the living God of heaven and earth? When you wake up in the morning, does your heart explode with desire to enter into the presence of the living God? When you rise from your bed in the morning, does your heart burst with intense and fervent longing to commune and fellowship with the living God? If you were truthfully able to answer “No” to any of these questions then I would emphatically and without reservation declare that the God whom you think you know, and the God you think you worship is entirely too small and you are entirely too big. What’s more, is that I would dare say that the God whom you think you know, and the God whom you think you worship might not be the true and living God at all. Oh, I can’t help but be reminded of very distinct encounters with the living and eternal God that truly and radically changed and transformed the lives of those who experienced His glory and his presence. Consider if you will the following narratives which are written and contained within the Old Testament, as well as within the New Testament books of Matthew, the New Testament book of Acts, and the New Testament prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus the Christ:

“Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place where on thou standest is holy ground. Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God. And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; and I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 3:1-8).

“And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? And the captain of the LORD’s host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place where on thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so” (Joshua 5:13-15).

“In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the LORD sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: and he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. Also I heard the voice of the LORD, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me” (Isaiah 6:1-8).

“And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire. Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man. And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings. And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf’s foot: and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass. And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they four had their faces and their wings. Their wings were joined one to another; they turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward. As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle. Thus were their faces: and their wings were stretched upward; two wings of every one were joined one to another, and two covered their bodies. And they went every one straight forward: whither the spirit was to go, they went; and they turned not when they went. As for the likeness of the living creatures their appearance was like burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps: it went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning. And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning” (Ezekiel 1:4-14)

“And there was a voice from the firmament that was over their heads, when they stood, and had let down their wings. And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it. And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about. As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I hear a voice of one that spake” (Ezekiel 1:26-28).

“In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision. In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled. And in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel; then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold, a certain man clothe din linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz: his body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like I colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude. And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves. Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength. Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground. And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands. And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling. Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help. Me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days. And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb. And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength. For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? For as for me, straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me. Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me, and said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let me lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me” (Daniel 10:1-19).

“And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. The answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only” (Matthew 17:1-8).

“And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, and desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any o this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: and he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the LORD said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into. Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink” (Acts 9:1-9).

“I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatria, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; and his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; the mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches” (Revelation 1:9-20).

“After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothe din white raiment; and they had on their heads crowds of gold. And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. And before the throne, there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:1-11).

You might be wondering why I would choose to incorporate each of these passages from both the Old and New Testament, and yet the answer is actually quite simple, for the words which we find within these passages of Scripture present us with individuals who encounter the glory, the splendor, the wonder, the holiness, and the awesome brilliance of the living and eternal God. Whether it was Moses at the burning bush or Joshua outside of Jericho, whether it was the prophet Isaiah seeing the LORD high and lifted up or the prophet Ezekiel seeing the throne of God and the image and likeness upon the throne, or whether it was Daniel who saw a vision in the third year of the reign of Cyrus or the disciples who saw the transfigured Christ atop the mountain, or even Saul on the road to Damascus and the apostle John on the isle of Patmos, we encounter individuals who encountered and experienced a tremendous revelation and vision of the holiness of God, the glory of God, the splendor of God, and a vision that would dramatically and utterly change and transform them. One of the things I believe with all my heart is that there is a great and powerful need to not only encounter the glory of the living God, but to also encounter the greatness of that God. These men saw and beheld the greatness of the living and eternal God, and Isaiah, Ezekiel and the apostle John all saw—not only the throne of God, but also the living and eternal God seated upon the throne. I am absolutely and completely convinced that there is a great and tremendous need within our hearts and lives to encounter and experience a vision and revelation of the throne of God, and there within, upon and around the throne the glory, the splendor, the majesty, the holiness, the righteousness, and the judgment that flows from the throne. I can’t help but be reminded of the words which are found within the eighteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of the Psalms, as well as words which are found in the ninety-seventh chapter of the same Old Testament poetic book which directly point to and reveal the awesome power and the awesome glory of the eternal. God. These words are directly linked and related to the words found here in the sixty-eighth chapter of the book of the Psalms, and before I present you with the words found within this passage I invite you to consider the words which David wrote in Psalm 18, as well as the words which are found in Psalm 97:

“Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth. There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet. And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness his secret place; his paviliion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies. At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire. The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire. Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them. Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils. He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me” (psalm 18:7-17).

“The LORD reigneth; let the earth rejoice; Let the multitude of isles be glad thereof. Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne. A fire goeth before him, and burneth up his enemies round about. His lightnings enlightened the world: the earth saw, and grumbled. The hills melted like wax at the presence of the LORD, at the presence of the LORD of the whole earth. The heavens declare His righteousness, and all the people see his glory. Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all ye gods. Zion heard, and was glad; and the daughters of Judah rejoiced because of thy judgments, O LORD. For thou, LORD< art high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods” (Psalm 97:1-9).

With this mind, I can’t help but also be reminded of the words which are written and recorded in the Old Testament book of Exodus concerning the glory of the LORD which descended upon, covered and consumed Horeb in the wilderness of Sinai. If and as you turn your attention to this Old Testament book you will find specific references to the glory of the eternal God which descended upon and consumed this mountain in the wilderness in the sight of the entire congregation of Israel who not only beheld the glory of the living God, but also heard the thunderings, the trumpet, and the voice of God speaking. Consider if you will the following words which are found within this Old Testament book beginning to read with and from the nineteenth chapter:

“And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp tremelbed. And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount. And Mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly. And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered Him by a voice. And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the LORD c called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up” (Exodus 19:16-20).

“And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: For God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not. And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was” (Exodus 20:18-21).

“Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: and they saw the God of Israel: and a there was under his feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness. And upon the nobles of the children of Israel He laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink. And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them. And Moses rose up, and his minister Joshua: and Moses went up into the mount of God. And He said unto the elders, Tarry ye here for us, until we come again unto you: and, behold, Aaron and Hur are with you: if any man have any matters to do, let him come unto them. And Moses went up into the mount, and a cloud covered the mount. And the glory of the LORD abode upon mourn Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the blood. And the sight of the glory of the LORD was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel. And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights” (Exodus 24:9-18).

The words which we find in the Old Testament book of Exodus bring us face to face with an encounter the entire congregation of the children of Israel had with the glorious and great God who had not only delivered them out of their slavery and bondage in the land of Egypt, but had also opened up the waters of the Red Sea and led them straight through. There at Sinai in the wilderness the congregation and assembly of the children of Israel would encounter the glory and majesty of the eternal God who had destroyed their enemies in the waters of the Red Sea after bringing each and every one of them safely through—down to the very last one. There was not a single person of the congregation of the children of Israel that was not brought safely through the waters of the Red Sea, and yet when their enemies and adversaries attempted to pursue them through the wall of waters, the LORD not only confounded their chariots, but also thrust the horses and riders into complete and utter confusion in the midst of the Red Sea before the LORD brought the waters crashing down upon and over Pharaoh’s army which pursued the children of Israel into the waters of the sea. Now here we are at Sinai the mountain of God in the midst of the wilderness and the God who demonstrated and showed His judgments, His wrath and His power in the land of Egypt through the plagues, and the God who delivered them out of their slavery, bondage and oppression, and the God who brought them through the waters of the Red Sea and destroyed their enemies was now inviting them unto Himself in order that He might reveal himself unto them. It would be there at the mountain of God in the midst of the wilderness that the congregation and assembly of Israel would be brought forth before and a unto the eternal God in order that He might reveal and make Himself known unto them, and that they might know Him beyond merely His judgments, beyond His wrath, beyond His strength, beyond His power, and beyond His salvation at the Red Sea and deliverance in the land of Egypt. It would be here at the mountain of God in the midst of the wilderness that the LORD would reveal Himself—not only through the storm, and not only through fire and smoke, but also through the Law. It would be here at the mountain of God the eternal God would enter into covenant with the congregation of the children of Israel, as He would not only give them the Law, but He would also give them the pattern for the Tabernacle, as well as the entire sacrificial system.

When you come to the sixty-eighth chapter of the Old Testament book of the Psalms you will find David penning a psalm or song before and unto the living God whom he worshipped and whom he heart and soul delighted in. What so amazes me about the words contained within this psalm is that within it David was seeking to ascribe unto the eternal God—not only worship and praise, but he was also looking to magnify His holy name, and extol His holy character and nature. You cannot read the words found within this psalm and not encounter and come face to face with the awesome reality that for David the God whom he worshipped and the God whom he walked with and followed with immensely great, and immensely glorious. It’s one thing to speak and reveal the fact that David placed his trust and confidence in the LORD his God, however, we must recognize and understand that his confidence was not some misguided and misplaced reality within his life. The confidence and trust David placed within the LORD his God was rooted and grounded in just how great and just how glorious the LORD truly was—not only for him and within his life, but in general. There was not a doubt within David’s heart concerning whom he worshipped, and I would dare say that for David, “he knew in whom he believed.” You cannot read the words which David wrote within the book of the Psalms—even the words which Asaph, the words which Moses and Solomon, the words which were written for the sons of Korah, and the words which were written by the Ezrahite—and not come face to face with the reality that for each and every one of them trusting in and placing their confidence in the living and eternal God was not something they found difficult, nor something they found to be cumbersome and hard to come by. For men such as David they didn’t need to conjure up their trust and confidence in the eternal God, for David was a man who had a proper perspective and revelation of who God was. David was the man who was not afraid to march straight into the valley of Elah where the Philistine giant Goliath was because he knew the battle belonged to the LORD. David knew the LORD did not deliver by sword, or by spear, or by shield, but by and through His name. Moreover, David was confident to take on the Philistine giant Goliath because through the power of the Holy Spirit which came upon him after he had been anointed king over Israel, he not only struck down and smote a bear, but also struck down and smote a lion which attempted to steal, kill and destroy one of his father’s sheep. When men attempted to declare unto David that he could not face and fight this Philistine giant because he was a youth, David emphatically and boldly declared unto them—not only his personal confidence and trust in the LORD his God, but also his personal victories and triumphs against enemies that in the natural would be much stronger, and much more powerful than he was.

The words which are found in this particular psalm are words which are in my opinion absolutely captivating, and should be words which are considered by each and every saint who makes the decision to walk with and serve the LORD. I sit here today and I can’t help but think about the fact that one of the greatest tragedies facing many saints in the house of God today is a minuscule revelation and vision of the eternal God. One of the greatest tragedies found within the pews are people who might sing about God within and during our worship services, and yet they have no confidence or trust in Him. It’s not enough to merely sing about God, as the church has enough songs that were created to sing about Him. There is something truly astounding about knowing in whom we have believed, and being able to place our full and complete trust and confidence in Him because we know His character and his nature. I firmly believe that one of the most spiritual things we can do within this life is to have a proper and right view of the God whom we profess to worship, and the God whom we profess to serve. For David, the words which we find in the book of the Psalms are more than simply rote words which were placed on a scroll or parchment. For David these words were his very life and were his very being, for David was one who knew his God and knew in whom he believed. David knew the nature and character of the true and living God, and for David the LORD God of Israel was not a small god who was bound by the impossible. For David, the LORD God of Israel was not bound by those things we deem difficult, and those things we deem as being hard, for David knew the God whom he worshipped, and the God whom he served was stronger, was greater, was more powerful and was mightier than anything or anyone else. For David, there was no one greater than God, and there was no one stronger than the LORD his God, for no one else was as great, and no one else was as glorious as the God whom he worshipped and served. I can’t help but be reminded of the words which A.W. Tozer so eloquently wrote in his masterful work “The Knowledge of the Holy.” In the preface of this wonderful book you will find the following words which were written by this late scholar, theologian and general in the army of the LORD:

“The church has surrendered her once lofty concept of God and his substituted for it one so low, so ignoble, as to be utterly unworthy of thinking, worshipping men. This she has done not deliberately, but little by little and without her knowledge; and her very unawareness only makes her situation all the more tragic. The low view of God entertained almost universally among Christians is the cause of a hundred lesser evils everywhere among us. A whole new philosophy of the Christian life has resulted from this one basic error in our religious thinking. With our loss of the sense of majesty has come the further loss of religious awe and consciousness of the divine Presence. We have lost our spirit of worship and out ability to withdraw inwardly to meet God in adoring silence. Modern Christianity is simply not producing the kind of Christian who can appreciate or experience the life in the Spirit. The words, ‘Be still, and know that I am God,’ mean next to nothing to the self-conscious, bustling worshipper in this middle period of the twentieth century. This loss of the concept of the majesty has come just when the forces of religion are making dramatic gains and the churches are more prosperous than at any time within the past several hundred years. But the alarming thing is that our gains are mostly external and our losses wholly internal; and since it is the quality of our religious that is affected by internal conditions, it may be that our supposed gains are but losses spread over a wider field. The only way to recoup our spiritual losses is to go back to the cause of them and make such corrections as the truth warrants. The decline of the knowledge of the holy has brought on our troubles. A rediscovery of the majesty of God will go a long way toward curing them. It is impossible to keep our moral practices sound and our inward attitudes right while our idea of God is erroneous or inadequate. If we would bring back spiritual power to our lives, we must begin to think of God more nearly as He is” (The Knowledge of the Holy, A.W. Tozer).

What makes these words all the more challenging and convicting is when you think about and consider the fact that they were written towards the middle of the twentieth century when this country, yea, this world didn’t have nearly the same struggles, conflicts, sins, hypocrisies, immoralities, transgressions, whoredoms, and the like, as it has now. If Tozer was able to write these words during the middle of the twentieth century, I have to wonder what he would think, what he would say, what he would preach and what he would write if he not only beheld this current culture, society and generation we are living in, but also the present state of many churches and houses of worship. I can’t help but wonder what Tozer would have thought if he entered into our church services today, heard our worship, heard the songs we sing, heard the preaching of the preacher, and heard the words which we ascribe unto the LORD our God. What’s more, is that I can’t help but wonder if men such as David, and Moses, and the apostle Paul, and the apostle Peter, and the apostle John would think if they entered into our churches and houses of worship and beheld the worship we profess and proclaim to offer unto the living God. Would the apostles of old, and the ancient men of God cringe and fall on their faces as they hear and listen to the songs we think are actually true worship before the throne of the living God? Would these great men of old—some men whose names were even written and recorded in the eleventh chapter of the epistle written unto the Hebrews—weep between the porch and the altar when they hear the songs we sing as we actually believe that we are worshipping the eternal God? Would such men enter into our midst and say that what we are doing is nothing more than worshipping God in the image we have made? It is absolutely necessary and imperative for us to recognize and understand this, for between the latter half of the nineteenth chapter of the book of Exodus and the latter half of the twentieth chapter of the same book we find what generations have known and come to understand as “The Ten Commandments.” It’s truly something worth noting and paying attention to when you read these Ten Commandments, for within them you will find that the first four commandments deal specifically and exclusively with our relationship with the LORD our God. More specifically, the first four commandments deal with our view of the LORD our God, and ensuring that we always have a high and lofty view of Him. I absolutely love how in the year king Uzziah died the prophet Isaiah saw the LORD seated on his throne high and lifted up, for if we are going to have a truly right perspective and view of the LORD our God we must not only see Him on the throne, but we must also see Him as high and lifted up. This was the sin and danger David fell into when attempting to bring the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem on a new cart led by oxen rather than on the shoulders of the priests high and lifted up. I fear that two of our greatest dangers in the church today is worshipping God in the image(s) we have made, and trying to worship Him through new carts carried by oxen. We must carefully and diligently guard our hearts and our minds from the dangerous trap of fashioning an image of God after our own liking and after own own making, as such a reality can and will lead us down a dark and dangerous path of a God who is not great enough, who is not glorious enough, who is not holy enough, who is not worthy enough. With that being said, consider if you will the words which are found in the twentieth chapter of the Old Testament book of Exodus beginning with the first verse:

“And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it” (Exodus 20:1-11).

“And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me. And all the people break off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made a proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD. And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play. And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves: they have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed there unto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people: now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation. And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand? Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever. And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people. And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written. And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables. And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses, There is a noise of war in the camp. And he said, It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear. And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount. And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to power deer, and strawed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it. And Moses said unto Aaron, What did this people unto thee, that thou hast brought so great a sin upon them? And Aaron said, Let not the anger of my lord wax hot: thou knowest the people, that they are set on mischief. For they said unto me, Make us gods, which shall go before us: for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. And I said unto theme, Whosoever hath any gold, let them break it off. So they gave it me: then I cast it into the fire, and there came out this calf. And when Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies) 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. And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour. And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men. For Moses had said, Consecrate yourselves to days to the LORD, every man upon his son, and upon his brother; that he may bestow upon you a blessing this day” (Exodus 32:1-29).

When you read the words which are written and recorded in the twentieth chapter of the Old Testament book of Exodus you will find the LORD specifically declaring unto the children of Israel that they were not have any other gods before Him, and they weren’t to form or fashion any idols or images, and yet when you come to the thirty-second chapter of the book you will find the children of Israel under the guidance of Aaron the brother of Moses forming and fashioning a golden calf. What makes this golden calf so dangerous is when you consider the fact that when Aaron presented the calf to the children of Israel he declared unto them that this be their god which delivered them out of the land of Egypt. On the surface the words and language which Aaron used seemed holy, and he did in fact acknowledge the deliverance of the children of Israel, however, that which Aaron was presenting unto the children of Israel was nothing more than an image made of gold which the LORD had specifically commanded and instructed the children of Israel not to create, nor worship. It is necessary that we understand this particular reality, for I am absolutely and completely convinced that two of the greatest dangers facing countless churches today are men and women who worship God in the image they have made, thus engaging in an idolatrous and false worship; as well as having a low vision and view of the living and eternal God. For the Church to be the true Church which Jesus Christ shed His blood for, and for which He died upon the cross, she must have the living God in His proper place of being high and lifted up as He is exalted, as He is glorified, as he is magnified. The church needs to be a people who not only see the LORD seated upon the throne, but who also see the LORD as high and lifted up. I fear there are many within and among the church whose vision and view of the eternal God is not high and not lofty enough, and as a direct result of this tragedy their faith, their trust, their confidence, their prayers, their worship, and their praise is shallow, is weak, is mediocre, and might very well accomplish absolutely nothing. This is precisely what is so beautiful about the words which David wrote in the sixty-eighth chapter of the Old Testament book of the Psalms, for within this chapter we once more find David ascribing to the LORD greatness, splendor, majesty, awe, wonder, holiness, strength, power, and so much more. Perhaps the questions we must ask ourselves is if our worship is so small because our view and vision of God is so small. Are our prayers so small because our view and vision of God is so small? Is our praise so small because our view and vision of God is so small? We must recognize that our view and vision of God is the very foundation of every virtue within our lives—from our trust to confidence, from our worship to our praise, from our prayers to our intercession. The greater our view and vision of God truly is within our hearts and lives, the greater our response before and unto Him is going to be in the midst of the earth. Oh that we would read these words which are found within this chapter of the Old Testament book of the Psalms and fall on our faces and ask the Holy Spirit to give us a proper view and vision of God who is seated upon the throne, and who is high and lifted up.

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