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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