Today we’re jumping back to Moses and his second 40 days on Mount Sinai with God. If you remember back to chapter 32 and the golden calf situation, Moses had received two stone tablets which contained the Law of God, written by God himself. However, in a fit of anger over the people’s sin, Moses broke the tablets. Remember, even though Moses was a great leader and an example for us today, he wasn’t perfect. Therefore, God commanded Moses to re-climb the mountain and rewrite the two tablets for the Israelites.
Last week, we explored the power and profound meaning of what it means to be known by God. We talked about how God honored Moses’ request because He knew Moses and shared intimate relationship with Him. Therefore, the LORD answered Moses’ intercession with a change of heart and showed Moses His glory while protecting him from the pure beauty and holiness of His presence.
After all that, I was prepared to move on from this topic; however, God stirred my heart and pointed out another perspective to this amazing encounter: Moses’ point of view. We never explored what prompted Moses to make that bold request to see God’s glory. So let’s do that today.
“When Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent, and the LORD would speak with Moses. Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.”
~Exodus 33:9, 11a
What a relationship Moses shared with God! The Bible tells us that he spoke with God face to face as a man talks with a friend. The intimacy of that relationship is hard to grasp! Obviously, Moses knew the Lord deeply, and more importantly was known by God just as deeply. Today, we’re going to explore the wonder of being known by God, the access that allows us to enter God’s presence, and the power we have as a known child 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.
Prayer is powerful. Prayer moves the heart of God. And prayer is often overlooked and rushed through in our modern, crazy life. However, as we find ourselves in a season of slowness due to COVID-19, we have the opportunity to grow our prayer life and learn from one of the greatest intercessors in biblical history, a man who not only prayed big prayers but moved God’s heart and saved an entire people from destruction.
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.
“Then Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. The glory of the LORD dwelt on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. And on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. Now the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. Moses entered the cloud and went up on the mountain. And Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.”
Moses was called into the darkness. He waited for six days. Six days of nothing but darkness, nothing but waiting for God to show up. But oh, how the wait was worth it!
The Ten Commandments. The building blocks of Judaism and, thus, Christianity. Many of us were raised with them, and were taught them from a young age. They are posted in Sunday school class rooms and displayed in prominent places. You could probably rattle them off from memory. However, we must be careful that familiarity doesn’t breed nonchalance. The Ten Commandments are not something we should take lightly. They are the standards our holy God set for us to be a people worthy of His name.
Things were looking good for the Israelites. They had just won their first battle and were being fed daily with God’s gift of manna. However, as with any group of sinful people gathered together, conflict arose among the people. So while everything seemed to be going great, Moses was stuck listening to the complaints of the people and judging between them day in and day out. Not a very exciting task! But being the servant leader Moses was, he didn’t complain, but tirelessly sat and judged the people each and every day
Welcome back to Exodus! It’s been awhile, but I’m excited to dive back into the life of Moses and the story of God as He transformed a ragtag group of ex-slaves into a conquering nation. Israel had a long ways to go, but each step in their journey brought them closer to the Promised Land and closer to the heart of God. So let’s return to following their footsteps through the pages of Exodus that we may learn from their mistakes and see how God can use broken, imperfect people to accomplish His divine purposes.
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