SBC Banner


Wednesday in the Word

Second Baptist Church

June 13, 2018

Exodus  34:1-35

  1. Verses 1-3. What we are to gather from this passage is that the grace and goodness of the Lord are abundant. God will renew the covenant out of the goodness of his grace. God didn’t have to give the nation a second chance, but he will. The Lord speaks to Moses and commands him to meet the Lord on the mountaintop again the next morning. God will tell Moses to chisel out a second set of tablets so that the covenant and commands can be rewritten. God did not tell Moses to break the stone tablets the first time, but we don’t see god getting mad with Moses about this since it symbolized the fact that the people broke the law. For this second set of tablets, instead of God giving them to Moses (Exodus 24:12), Moses will have to chisel them himself and present them to God. This is a picture of us presenting ourselves to God for him to write the law in our hearts (Jeremiah 31:33). God tells Moses to come by himself. This is also a picture of the idea that we all need to come to the Lord personally. We must present ourselves to God as willing vessels.

  2. Verses 4-7. These are some of the most powerful verses in scripture. Moses gets up early like he was commanded and takes the new tablets to the mountaintop to meet with God. Once Moses gets there, God passes by him declaring that he is the Lord who is compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love, faithful, maintaining love to thousands and forgiving wickedness rebellion and sin. God basically tells Moses that he is GOOD beyond understanding. God makes it clear to Moses that there is no one like him regarding grace and mercy. This is shouting material right here. Even when God says he will not leave the sins of the guilty go unpunished, he is not really talking about people’s children paying for their parent’s sin as much as he is talking about putting the sins of the world on Christ (Romans 3:21-26). The ancient Hebrews didn’t know that God was talking about Christ, but we now know that God knew no one would ever be able to keep the law. The law of God would only teach us that we are lawbreakers/sinners in need of a savior that can take our punishment and give us new life (Isaiah 53:5-6, 12).

  3. Verses 8-9. Moses’s only appropriate response was to bow and worship God at this moment. Humbly bowing was a sign of a person’s unworthiness to be in the presence of the great Lord. Moses pleads with God to go with them, forgive them and give them an inheritance in-spite of their inability to obey and follow the commands. And this is still the prayer we are praying today. God go with us in-spite of us, forgive us in-spite of us, and bless us in-spite of us. The presence of God, the mercy of God, and the love of God are enjoyed by us in-spite of our sinful ways. We should never think that we have earned our blessings. Our blessings have come by the grace and mercy of a wonderfully compassionate God.

  4. Verses 10-28. In these verses, we get just a small picture of what happened on the 40 days Moses spent with God on the mountain. We get a reiteration of the admonishment not to worship idols and to avoid the idolatry of the foreigners they would encounter. God not only admonished the people to not get involved in idol worship, but to focus on how to really worship the Lord. God reminds them about bringing offerings, and the Sabbath days as well as the festivals. God wanted them to focus on real worship as opposed to idol worship. We can assume that God gave Moses the same commands as he did the first 40 days, but what we see here is that the writer only highlights the emphasis God placed on real worship versus idol and empty worship. The regular worship was to be a constant reminder to the people that it was God who had been good to them, it was God who had delivered them, It was God who gave them all their provision. The worship was to be a regular reminder of the goodness and grace of God. If we can keep the goodness of God at the forefront of our minds, we can avoid a lot of things that get us into trouble. This is the reason why good worship is so important. Most of the time when we get in trouble, we are not focused on God and God’s goodness. God also reminds the people that they should worship with their best. The idea of first-fruits comes up and a symbol of not giving God some half-hearted worship, but worship that is significant. And meaningful.

  5. Verses 29-35. The Israelites were waiting once again, for another forty days and nights, until Moses returned with the tablets of stone containing the Ten Commandments. The mood was very different this time from the last. The first time Moses came down from Mt. Sinai, Moses found the people worshipping a golden calf, but this time the people were most careful to wait patiently for Moses. If every Israelite stood at the doorway of his tent when Moses went out to the tent of meeting (33:8), you can be sure that every eye was fixed on Mt. Sinai, waiting for the first sign of Moses’ return. Moses was unaware of the fact that his face was radiant, literally aglow with the glory of God. As Moses drew near, the people became increasingly aware of his radiant countenance, and in fear, they backed up from him. Moses then called the people to come near to him and he gave the nation all the commands of God. When Moses finished he put a veil over his face. Whenever he would go into the Lord’s presence, he would remove the veil and after speaking with God he would come out and the people would see that his face was radiant. After the people would see his radiant face, he would put the veil back on until he met with God again. The question would be why put the veil on in the first place. The apostle Paul gives us the answer to that question in (2 Cor. 3:7-4:6). Moses put the veil on because the glory was fading. The glory was awesome, but it didn’t last. The glory we have now last and doesn’t fade. The new glory is better than the old glory even though the old glory was awesome. The new glory is Christ in us. This Glory doesn’t fade, but produces light for all to see (Matthew 5:14-16). The old covenant, Paul tells us, was one that was written in stone; the new is written on men’s hearts (3:3). The old covenant produced condemnation and death; the new produces righteousness and life (3:6, 9). The old covenant had a fading glory, the new an eternal glory (3:7, 11). The old covenant was reflected in the face of Moses; the new in the face of Christ (3:7, 18; 4:6). The apostle Paul uses the imagery of the veil, to even show that not only did Moses use it to hide that fact that the glory was fading, the veil symbolized the idea of the people not being able to fully enjoy the glory of the Lord because of sin. We might be able to conclude that the glory faded due to Moses being with the people and not in the presence of God. The more time Moses spend with the people, the more the glory faded. Like a battery loses its charge when away from the charger. Paul then speaks about the believers of Christ having unveiled faces, meaning lives where the glory of the Lord never fades. The only way a person can’t see the light or the glory of God, is because they are veiled by Satan and unbelief. Paul then takes it further, to say that God has placed his glory to “clay pots” speaking of humanity. Paul said that God has let HIS light shine IN US so that HIS light might shine THROUGH US. Paul will later develop the point that this glory/light is most revealed when we go through persecutions and preach the life changing gospel of Jesus Christ.

click here to select another lesson