Today’s reading is: Ex. 32-34
Exodus Chapter Thirty-Two
- During Moses’ 40 day sojourn on the mountain, the nation of Israel grew tired of waiting (Ex. 32:1).
- They assume that Moses is dead, and are making light of his humanity.
- They ask Aaron to make a god for them, to lead them into the promised land.
- Aaron takes the leadership in this idolatrous rebellion (Ex. 32:2-6).
- He instructs them in obtaining the necessary gold.
- He fashions the gold into an idol.
- He presents the idol for Israel’s worship, builds an altar for the idol, and proclaims a feast to the idol.
- He presides over Israel’s evil activity. They rose up “to play.” צָחַק tsāchaq #6711: to laugh, mock, play; cf. Isaac: laughter. Used in a sexual context (Gen. 26:8; 39:14,17; Ex. 32:6).
- The Lord notifies Moses of what is going on at the bottom of the mountain (Ex. 32:7-14).
- He orders Moses to descend immediately and observe the evil of Israel (Ex. 32:7-9).
- He also warns Moses against getting too close, because He intends to blast Israel, and build a nation out of Moses (Ex. 32:10).
- Moses responds to the test, and becomes the intercessor for undeserving Israel (Ex. 32:11-13).
- The Lord “changed His mind” (Ex. 32:14). נָחַם nācham #5162: to be sorry, console oneself, repent, regret, comfort, be comforted.
- This is obviously an anthropopathism (figure of speech), using human terms to describe Divine activity. God does not change His mind (Num. 23:19; 1st Sam. 15:29).
- Other occurrences of God “changing His mind” include the flood (Gen. 6:6,7), the cycle of judges (Jdg. 2:18), making Saul King of Israel (1st Sam. 15:11,35), destroying Jerusalem over David’s sin (2nd Sam. 24:16; 1st Chr. 2:15).
- God’s activity in v.14 is a direct response to Moses’ prayer in v.12.
- Moses obeyed the Lord’s command to descend immediately, and was filled with wrath by what he observed (Ex. 32:15-29).
- Joshua misunderstood the sounds he was hearing from a distance, but Moses knew the reality (Ex. 32:17,18).
- Moses’ anger burned (Ex. 32:18), and he administered immediate justice.
- He smashed the stone tablets, and destroyed the golden calf. He also made Israel drink the powder that the golden calf was ground into (Ex. 32:19,20).
- He challenged any faithful believers to step forward (Ex. 32:26).
- He ordered executions against the “out of control” (Ex. 32:27-29).
- This was God’s judicial sentence (Ex. 32:27).
- Aaron could only offer lame excuses (Ex. 32:21-24).
- Moses confessed the sins of Israel before the Lord (Ex. 32:30-35).
- Moses is willing to suffer spiritual death on behalf of Israel (Ex. 32:32).
- The Lord answers that only the guilty shall bear the guilt (Ex. 32:33).
- The Book of Life will be more fully developed in Revelation (Rev. 3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12,15; 21:27).
- Some doubt that Moses could have known about the Lamb’s Book of Life, but David obviously did (Ps. 69:28). So, too did Daniel (Dan. 12:1).
- The Lord declared that Israel will have to face long-term Divine discipline for their rebellion with the golden calf (Ex. 32:34,35).
Exodus Chapter Thirty-Three
- The Lord instructed Moses to take Israel on to Canaan (Ex. 33:1-6).
- The Lord promised to send an angel before them (ahead of them), but that He would not be among them (Ex. 33:2,3).
- This message accomplished its purpose—the mental attitude repentance and sorrow on the part of Israel (Ex. 33:4-6; 2nd Cor. 7:9,10).
- The Lord’s message had another benefit—accelerating Moses’ prayer life (Ex. 33:7-17).
- Moses routine was to communicate with the Lord face-to-face in the tent of meeting outside the camp (Ex. 33:7-11).
- Moses is not satisfied with the Lord going ahead to prepare the way. He wants the Lord “with him” (Ex. 33:12,13).
- The Lord answered Moses that He would be with him, and provide him faith-rest (Ex. 33:14).
- Moses celebrates God’s answer to his prayer, and anticipates the unique position of Israel in contrast to the surrounding gentile nations (Ex. 33:15,16).
- The Father is pleased to provide according to what Moses asked (Ex. 33:17), and indeed beyond all that we could ask or think (Eph. 3:20).
- The final request Moses makes, is to behold the glory of God the Father (Ex. 33:18-23).
- The Father is pleased to reveal Himself through His works, the proclamation of His name, and the manifestation of His grace (Ex. 33:19).
- The Father cannot be personally viewed except through the personal view of the Lord Jesus Christ (Ex. 33:20; Jn. 1:18; 12:45; 14:9; Col. 1:15; Heb. 1:3).
- The Father permits Moses to observe a veiled “back-side” view of Himself (Ex. 33:21-23).
Exodus Chapter Thirty-Four
- Moses is required to cut his own tablets out for the replacement of the ones he smashed (Ex. 34:1; 32:19).
- Moses is required to ascend Sinai for another period of forty days and forty nights (Ex. 34:2-4,27,28).
- The Lord pronounces His own majesty, which prompts Moses to plead on behalf of Israel once again (Ex. 34:5-9).
- The Lord promised His works of power in the Conquest will be greater than His works of power in the Exodus (Ex. 34:10,11).
- He warns Israel, in light of this, to guard themselves from the idolatry of the land they were conquering (Ex. 34:12-17).
- His name is Jealous. קַנָּא qannā’ #7067: jealous (Ex. 34:14).
- The Lord reviewed some of His previously revealed instructions (Ex. 34:18-26).
- Although the Lord made Moses cut out the tablets himself, the Lord once again did the writing on the second set of tablets (Ex. 34:1,27,28; cf. 31:18; 32:15,16; Deut. 10:1,2,4).
- Moses custom of meeting the Lord face-to-face will continue, but now Moses will have to wear a veil in the presence of his fellow Israelites (Ex. 34:29-35; 2nd Cor. 3:7,8). Church Age believers today have the privilege of face-to-face, unveiled worship with the Lord Jesus Christ (2nd Cor. 3:18).