- TAKE TWO- THE LAW MUST BE REWRITTEN; THE NEW COMMANDMENTS ARE ENTRUSTED TO THE ARK OF THE COVENANT (EXODUS 34:1; 25:16; 40:20)
- TECHNICALLY MOSES IS THE FIRST PERSON WITH A TABLET TO HAVE DOWNLOADED DATA FROM A CLOUD (EXODUS 34:4-5)
- MOSES IS WITH THE LORD ON MT SINAI FOR 40 DAYS AND 40 NIGHTS (EXODUS 34:28)
- MOSES’ RADIANT FACE FRIGHTENS THE MASSES (EXODUS 34:30)
The Israelites’ pledge of allegiance to keep God’s commands was short-lived (Exodus 19:8). By Exodus Chapter 32, before Moses had come down from Mt. Sinai, they had already become full-fledged idolaters, engaged in pagan revelry worshiping the golden calf. Not only did the people break the commandments, but so did Moses when he cast the tablets down in anger (Exodus 32:19).
The Lord asks that the tablets be replaced. He mercifully renews His covenant with His people, as Moses asks for forgiveness on behalf of the people. Then the Lord makes His attributes known. He is a God of justice who is also slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness and truth. Yet sin must be punished.
Exodus 34:6-7 6 Then the LORD passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; 7 who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.”
Have you found the Lord to be merciful? We can thank God that His demand that sin be punished was met in Christ willingly taking our place on the cross.
It is important to note that the tables of stone were to be put INSIDE the ark of the testimony. This speaks of the fact that Jesus, the God-man, perfectly fulfills God’s demands for righteousness on our behalf. Only He has kept the commandments through His active obedience. He fulfills the Law also by His passive obedience- that is by submitting to death on the cross. Because of His testimony and that of His shed blood, mercy has triumphed over judgment–the Judgment Seat has become a Mercy Seat! The Throne of Righteousness has become a Throne of Grace!
God is a jealous God and expects spiritual fidelity from His people. (Exodus 34:14)
In the context of spiritual fidelity, the Lord demands that young goats not be boiled in its mother’s milk. What is that all about?
Exodus 34:26b “You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.”
This law was given in the context of God’s requirements for purity in worship. Cooking a young goat in its mother’s milk was a pagan ritual, and the Lord was commanding that none of these pagan superstitions and worship practices be adopted by His people (Exodus 34:13-17). Later the rabbis would embellish and twist this law, interpreting it as a stipulation to separate meat from dairy products. As far as we can tell, this was never the original intention, but one of the many added traditions that obscured the true meaning of the Law.
When Moses comes down from the Mountain his face is shining as a result of his face-to-face communion with God. He must wear a veil when addressing the people. The Apostle Paul draws out the spiritual implication of this.
2 Corinthians 3:7-18 7 But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading as it was, 8 how will the ministry of the Spirit fail to be even more with glory? 9 For if the ministry of condemnation has glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness abound in glory. 10 For indeed what had glory, in this case has no glory because of the glory that surpasses it. 11 For if that which fades away was with glory, much more that which remains is in glory. 12 Therefore having such a hope, we use great boldness in our speech, 13 and are not like Moses, who used to put a veil over his face so that the sons of Israel would not look intently at the end of what was fading away. 14 But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ. 15 But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart; 16 but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
We have the benefits of beholding the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:6 6 For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
John 1:14 14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Moses reminds the people that participation in the major festivals will require that the men make three annual pilgrimages to appear before the Sovereign Lord. He also emphasizes the importance of keeping the Festivals, including the Sabbath. (Exodus 34:18-24)
“No one is to appear before Me empty handed” (Exodus 34:11). The Lord wants our participation in worship.
The Offering for the Tabernacle (Exodus 35:4-9)
The people were to contribute to the building of the tabernacle from the resources that they had with them in the wilderness. Moses published a list of needed items, and the people gave willingly.
NEW TESTAMENT READING: Matthew 27:15-31
The events leading up to the crucifixion are a lasting indictment of the depravity of the human heart. The people choose to put to death an innocent man rather than a proven criminal.
The crowd cries, “Give us Barabbas!” (Matt 27:21)
Pilate knew that the religious leaders had arrested Jesus out of envy (27:18). At least seven times he attests to Jesus’ innocence saying in effect, “I find no fault in him.” (John 18:38; 19:4,6; Luke 23:4,14,15; Matthew 27:23)
Pilate’s wife knew Jesus was innocent and suffered a nightmare because of him (27:19).
Pilate challenges the crowd that demands Jesus’ death, asking “What crime has he committed?”
Pilate washed his hands- “I am innocent of this man’s blood. The responsibility is yours.”
The people yelled back- “We will take the responsibility. We and our children.”
However, Pilate is not off the hook. None of us are. We are all responsible and accountable for what we do with Jesus.
Pilate, having claimed Jesus innocent, still has him brutally beaten, then turned him over to be crucified. Such is the fickleness of the human heart.
Jesus is stripped, beaten, mocked, and crowned with thorns.
DAILY READING FROM THE BOOK OF PSALMS
PSALM 33:12-22 This section of Psalm 33 deals with the Lord’s special government of His people.
Psalm 33:12 12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance.
Psalm 33:13-15 13 The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men; 14 From His dwelling place He looks out On all the inhabitants of the earth, 15 He who fashions the hearts of them all, He who understands all their works.
Psalm 33:20-22 20 Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield. 21 For our heart rejoices in Him, because we trust in His holy name. 22 Let Your lovingkindness, O LORD, be upon us, according as we have hoped in You.
DAILY READING FROM THE BOOK OF PROVERBS
Proverbs 9:1-6 1 Wisdom has built her house, She has hewn out her seven pillars; 2 She has prepared her food, she has mixed her wine; She has also set her table; 3 She has sent out her maidens, she calls from the tops of the heights of the city: 4 “Whoever is naive, let him turn in here!” To him who lacks understanding she says, 5 “Come, eat of my food and drink of the wine I have mixed. 6 “Forsake your folly and live, and proceed in the way of understanding.”
PRAYER: O Gracious Father, You have included us in Christ, so that we who believe are ‘in Him’. By Your doing, You have made Him to be for us our wisdom, our righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. We are complete in Him. What a solid foundation this is! What a refuge and what nourishment we have in Him. He has fulfilled the Law on our behalf. He has given us Sabbath rest.
Lord, we are aware of our fickle hearts, so prone to plead for the Barabbases and underestimate the testimony of Your righteousness in Christ. Thank You for Your active obedience that said ‘Yes’ to the commands, and Your passive obedience that said ‘Yes’ to the cross. When we should have been penalized at the Judgment Seat You have seated us with Your Son in mercy! May we live to glorify You and sing of Your mercy forever! In Jesus’ Name. Amen