Exodus 34:10-28 Do Over

God did the writing last time, now it’s Moses’ turn to take dictation.

It’s time to set God’s word down in stone again. Most of what Moses writes here was given to him earlier by God. But now it is his time to inscribe it into the stone.

The last time Moses was on the mountain top with God much of the focus was on the tabernacle that was to be built. I’m not doubting that God gave Moses those instructions again. He was there 40 days and nights. Moses was busy writing the words of the Lord the whole time. He didn’t even take meal breaks.

One thing I notice God focusing on in this encounter deals with other gods. That was Israel’s most recent HUGE sin. God does NOT want a repeat of that performance. So He takes care in addressing this area. He doesn’t stop with “Have no other gods before Me” but goes on to say “Have no dealings with others who worship other gods.” He is especially referring to those He is about to drive out of the land He intends to give to Israel. “I will drive out before you the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites” (verse 11). ALL these nations will be displaced, in God’s time. But more than their people being moved out to make way for Israel, their gods are to be torn down so only the true God remains. Read more »

Exodus 34:1-9 New Tablets

Tablets ready for God’s hand again.

Moses is going to get that encounter he asked for the last time we were together. But the people are going to get something too; God’s written commands.

We are not told how long it was between Moses coming down from the mountain and finding the children of Israel celebrating another god and when he came to God and pleaded for another chance. “If You don’t go with us, don’t send us. We are nothing without You!” We know that God answered Moses’ cry though so it was just a matter of time before He put things back in motion.

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Moses wakes early this morning, like every other day, but he has an expectancy in his spirit that had been missing for a while. Three days ago he had petitioned the Lord regarding His presence going with Israel on their journey. God had agreed to go with them but He had Read more »

Exodus 33:12-23 Pleadings

God put him somewhere safe and protected him until he could share something special!

Moses intercedes again on behalf of the people. And he uses God’s own words as his ammunition.

God was so angry with the children of Israel that He wanted to wipe them out over their searching after another God. Moses stepped up and pleaded on their behalf. God relented but that didn’t end the issue. There was still punishment due for this egregious sin. The first part of that punishment came at Moses’ hands and the Levites. Then God stepped in with a plague, of which we have no specifics. But the greatest “punishment”/consequence was God refusing to accompany Israel on its journey.

God would send His angel to lead the people and even to drive their enemy out but He said He wouldn’t go with them. He was separating, distancing, Himself from them. THEIR sin put the first brick in the dividing wall and God’s anger put the final pieces in.

Thinking about God’s withdrawal brings to mind the fears of the people that started this whole scenario. The people were afraid they no longer had God with them because Moses was gone. That prompted them to go searching for another god who would take care of Read more »

Exodus 33:7-11 Tent of Meeting

This is where Moses would meet with the Lord BEFORE the tabernacle was constructed. It was OUTSIDE the camp.

This tent had s SPECIAL purpose. This is where Moses, and anyone else searching for the Lord, would go to meet with Him. This tent is NOT the Tabernacle that would be constructed later.

Moses received elaborate plans for constructing God’s house. God gave these to him personally but it wasn’t time to put those plans into action. Right after receiving the plans, Moses was confronted with the people’s great sin of turning away from God. The plans he was given had to be put on hold to deal with this enormous issue.

God put these plans on hold by sending the people back on the road. He was so disgusted with their behavior that He didn’t even want to be around them. He would still keep His promise of leading them but it would be a second hand leading; an angel would lead them on His behalf. But there was one man He wanted to meet with; Moses was that man.

So how do you meet with one person while avoiding the rest of the group? By having Moses separate himself for your time together. I have a feeling Moses had been erecting their special tent all along but now we get to see it and its significance. Read more »

Exodus 33:1-6 Broken

Israel’s behavior was a direct blow to God’s heart

God is still hurt and angry at Israel’s behavior but He is faithful even when man is not. He will keep His promise to Abraham but there need to be some changes along the way.

When I first started thinking about today’s reading I was angry with Israel for being so prideful. The main reason I was thinking them prideful was because God told them to take off their “ornaments.” I’m assuming this was jewelry. God’s direction spoke to me of humbling the people but I wonder if I’m attributing my cultural ways to this story.

In the American culture, wearing jewels is a status symbol. A lot of people think the more jewels you have the wealthier or more important you are. If Israel had this same attitude then stripping them of their “ornaments” would be humbling them. Read more »