John 4:19-24 Meeting God Jesus was speaking to the woman at the well. She was a Samaritan; that is, she was international, half Jew and half Gentile. The Samaritans lives in an area that once belonged to Israel but when God removed them for 70 years because of sin, the people who were left began to intermarry with the Gentiles, producing the Samaritans. These two nations of people stayed at odds with each other, most having nothing to do with the other. But not Jesus. Jesus went walking into Samaria like it did not matteróbecause to Him, it did not. Sinners are sinners and all of them need a Savior. Religiously, the Samaritans had taken the Jewish religion and corrupted it, making themselves Godís chosen people instead of the Jews. That is why the woman asks the questions of \\#20\\. She perceived that Jesus was a prophetólittle did she know how right she wasóand so she decided to ask Him, "What mountain are we supposed to worship in? Mount Gerizim or Mount Zion?" Donít worry about the actual answer. Just noticed Jesusí response. \\#22\\ "Ye worship ye know not what." Jesus was telling her that her people did not know God. 1. No one who was born and raised in the world is going to have an accurate picture of God. a. We are finite. He is infinite. b. We are sinners. He is holy. c. We are the created. He is the Creator. d. We are fleshly and physical. He is spirit. e. We live 70 or 80 years and think we know everything by the time we are 25. He is eternal and really does know everything. f. There are no similarities between us at all. 2. He then uses the inclusive pronoun "we" to indicate that the Jewish people did. However, it is not easy for Godís people to know God either. Job 11:7 Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? Proverbs 30:3 I neither learned wisdom, nor have the knowledge of the holy. Matthew 11:27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. a. These verses are not saying that one CANíT comprehend God. b. But they are saying that it is not easy! c. It should become the lifeís goal of every believer to seek out and understand God. What do we need to know about God? I. God is the Planner. A. I am reminded of the children of Israel coming out of Egypt. 1. The first lesson God taught them about Himself was that He was the Planner! 2.He did this by taking them a DIFFERENT way into Israel. Ex 13:17 And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt: 18 But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt. 2. Israel and Egypt were almost neighbors. a. The land that separated them was small and disjointed. b. It really was not even a nation but a group of small kingdoms. c. It was called "the land of the Philistines." d. If God had taken the children of Israel through that land, they could have easily been in the Promised Land within two or at the most three weeks. e. But God took Israel not north and east but SOUTH into the Sinai Peninsula. f. In fact, He took them to the extreme southern point of the Sinai Peninsula. (1) That added an extra 500 to 600 miles to their journey. (2) And the land was totally undesirable! (3) The children of Israel often talked about returning to Egypt but do you ever recall them wanting to return to the wilderness? (4) Four times in the book of Exodus I found the children of Israel complaining about the wilderness! 3. The first problem Israel had on this route was running into the Red Sea! a. The people knew that they were following God for He manifested Himself in a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. b. Since they were following God, they could not believe He had lead them into a problem but having mountains on both sides, a sea behind them, and an enemy army coming at them IS a problem. c. The truth is that God leads us to problems just like He leads us to blessings! (1) These problems can be anything from mildly humorous to all out heart wrenching. (2) They can be minor aggravations to major disasters. (3) And if we are not wearing our girdle of truth, our helmet of salvation, and standing behind our shield of faith, they leave us emotionally, mentally, and spiritually bruised, broken, and bleeding. d. But in the problems, God always has a plan - Go Forward! Ex 14:15 And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward: e. God was showing them that no matter what the situation, He had a plan! B. By the way, Jesus had to teach His disciples about God the Planner too. 1. Jesus had taught, sent the people away, and constrained the disciples to get on a boat. 2. The boat ran into a storm and they rowed to the fourth watch - 9 to 12 hours. 3. The disciples thought they would die but then Jesus comes walking on the water. 4. Jesus was showing them that He had a plan! C. God always has a plan! He is the Planner. Trust Him. Follow His plan. II. God is the Provider. A. One of the next lessons God gave to Israel was that He was their Provider. 1.In Exodus 13, God picks the longer route and in Exodus 14, they bump into the Red Sea. a. By Exodus 16, they are getting hungry so God sends them Manna. Ex 16:4 Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no. b. \\#Psalm 78:25\\ calls manna angelsí food. c. This is God providing for His people! 2. By Exodus 17, Israel is getting thirsty. a. What did God do? b. God provided water out of a rock at Rephidim. 3. In all of this, God was showing His people that there was no need that B. Jesus did the same thing. 1. He fed the multitudes, healed the sick, cured the lame, the deaf, the mute, and the blind. He even raised the dead. 2. What kind of problem could you have that God could not provide? 3. The problem is not that God has lost His power. 4. Itís that we have come up short in the ask and believing department. a. Now donít get me wrong. I donít want to be confused with the name-it-and-claim-it crowd. b. We do have to be asking according to His plans. c. But the truth is that most of us never get to the place to where we are really interested in what Godís plans even are! We just want to tell God our will in the matter and for Him to do it. d. It does not work that way. 5. Donít confuse our lack of faith, prayer, and obedience with Godís power to provide. III. God is the holy. A. Most people do not talk about Godís holiness today. They talk about Godís love. 1. Both are good topics. 2. However, the attribute that is mentioned more than any a. Isaiah did not hear the angels saying, "Love, love, love, is the Lord of hosts" but "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts." \\#Is 6:3\\ b. The book of Revelation, one of the Bibleís most heavenly books, only records the word "love" twice-both times were a rebuke to the church. c. But the word "Holy" is found 13x. d. Peter did not tell his readers to "be loving as the Lord God is" but to be "holy" as He is. e. Old and New Testaments alike proclaim God without as Light, without shadow, having no darkness, glorious in holiness, righteous, and on the list goes. f. People did not JUST GO into Godís presence. Even the most favored entered into Godís presence and fainted, falling out, because of Godís glory and holiness! (Daniel, Ezekiel, Habakkuk, John) B. Do not let the people of the world dictate your theology about God. 1. You do need to love like God loved but without holiness, you will never even see God! Heb 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: 2 God is NOT the Santa Claus of heaven! a. They have painted a picture of God who is not offended by any sin, who accepts all, who loves all no matter what. b. I do not find that God in the Bible! c. I find a God that does love but requires both confession, repentance, faith, and obedience. (1) Confession means to agree with God about what sin is and then to declare that God was right. (2) Repentance means to turn from sin. (3) Faith is to believe that Jesus is who He said He was, that He did what He said He would do, and that He will do what He has promised He will do. (4) Obedience is to surrender yourself to His will.
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