We have finally come to the last chapter of Exodus. It has been a long, good journey through this action packed book. Now as we look at the final chapter, there are a couple important things to highlight.
Have you ever wondered what your God-given gift is? Have you taken spiritual gifts test to try and get an idea of what your special talent is? I have, and while they are helpful, they don’t always accurately assess who you and what your strengths and weakness are. Also, sometimes our God-give gifts are not as obvious as the ones listed on the tests, but rather subtle and seemingly mundane.
After Moses returned from Mount Sinai and the people of Israel recovered from his radiant appearance, Moses assembled the people and re-gave them God’s Ten Commandments and then shared with them God’s instructions for building the Tabernacle. Remember, these were instructions God gave Moses back in Exodus 29-31. However, the Israelites never got to hear these instructions because of their idol worship and rebellion.
Now, after a couple months and the death of thousands of their number, the Israelites finally get to hear the message God gave Moses for them. A message of hope and comfort, since God renewed His covenant with the people and promised to be with them through their journey. But God did ask one thing of the Israelites. He asked them to build Him a dwelling place and to contribute to it as their heart led them. Moses was not going to take a mandatory collection, but the people were to give freely and as they felt led. The result was an amazing outpouring of generosity from a previously rebellious people.
The saga of the golden calf ends on a tragic note as the LORD sent a plague upon the people because of their sin. However, Exodus 33 opens with a beautiful reminder that even though the Israelites had failed, God is faithful to keep His promises and that His word remains true. Therefore, even though the Israelites experienced moral failure at the base of Mount Sinai, it was time to move on and march forward into the Promised Land under the blessing of God.
Moses interceded on behalf of the Israelites, and his prayer turned the heart of God. However, that didn’t mean that the Israelites didn’t have to face consequences for their sin. On the contrary, their sin brought death and other severe results. So as we look at the closing story of the Golden Calf, we are going to focus on three different people and their responses to God’s judgment: Aaron and his pitiful excuses, the sons of Levi and their willingness to serve the Lord at great personal cost, and Moses and his heart of sincere love and compassion for the Israelites.
The intent of this study through Exodus was to observe and learn about leadership and how God shapes His leaders. There have been many side trails and other topics we’ve explored as we’ve gone through the Scriptures; however, the goal has remained the same. And today, we’re going to see what godly leadership does not look like. We’re going to examine a leader who had no fear of God and who used his power to lead the people to death. That leader was Aaron.
Moses was with God on Mount Sinai for forty days and forty nights. During that time, he received from God all the laws and commands the new nation of Israel was to follow, and instructions on how to build a physical dwelling for the LORD their God. God also told Moses the men He had chosen to build the house and where to find them. Now, as we near the end of Exodus 31, the LORD gives Moses one final command for the Israelites.
Last week, we learned that God gives us the materials we need for the work He sets before us, and that we are called to build with what we’ve been given. Now, as we move forward in Exodus, we will see that God not only provides the resources to accomplish His plan but also partners and helps to get the job done. So let’s dive into Exodus 31.
Moses spent forty days on Mount Sinai with God. For the Israelites, it felt like a silent period, but God was speaking volumes to Moses. The next six chapters of Scripture cover all that God spoke to Moses. Instructions about building the sanctuary, alter, Ark of the Covenant, and more were given. We are not going to dive in depth into all the details God gave Moses, but there is one thing that stands out to me in this portion of Scripture: how often gold is mentioned in the building of God’s holy abode.
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