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Today Exodus chapter 32 verse 1 made me think about spiritual "boredom" - "When Moses failed to come back down the mountain right away, the people went to Aaron. "Look," they said, "make us some gods who can lead us. This man Moses, who brought us here from Egypt, has disappeared. We don't know what has happened to him." I guess what made me think in this verse was this - Moses was gone only 40 days and 40 nights, up Mt. Sinai. Granted, the Israelites were in the middle of nowhere, so this actually might be quite a long time for him to be gone in these circumstances. But, my thought is this - Do you think maybe the Israelites had somehow gotten "bored" with God? And I ask this because I wonder if maybe we today get "bored" with God or "bored" with our faith? And if so... why? Why did the Israelites get bored? Why do we get bored? What makes me nervous about getting bored with our faith is that what we see take place later in this chapter to the Israelites I think can happen to us - we can pursue false Gods and indulge in dangerous sins. Typically, I find faith in God and a relationship with God to be the most adventurous thing on earth! However, I will admit that there have been seasons in my walk where I somehow got bored with my faith. And I think if I honestly look back at those seasons, I think the boredom came because I stopped moving forward in my relationship with God. I let my faith kind of stagnate as a status quo. I started to get distracted by worldly things. And I got spiritually bored. And this was not good. So - I wonder - what's our cure for boredom in our faith? What keeps our faith fresh? Part of me thinks that daily spiritual disciplines are part of the answer. Reading the Bible every day. Really praying every day. Giving thanks to God every day. How about for you? What do you do to keep your faith fresh? If you have any spiritual disciplines or habits you are willing to share with others please post up in the Comments section below! Thanks.
Today in verses 7 & 8 about the golden calf – “Then the LORD told Moses, "Quick! Go down the mountain! The people you brought from Egypt have defiled themselves. They have already turned from the way I commanded them to live. They have made an idol shaped like a calf, and they have worshiped and sacrificed to it. They are saying, `These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you out of Egypt.'” What about us in our lives today? Are we so different from the Israelites? Do we make our own versions of “golden calves” today? Do we have idols that we worship? Money? Career? Popularity? Relationships? Addictions? Our Intelligence? Technology? Do these idols stand in the way of our worship of God? Do they stand in the way of our relationship with God? Do these idols defile us? Do we think sometimes that these idols have actually “brought us out of Egypt” – instead of God? Will we give up these false idols and return to worshipping only God the Father, Son & Holy Spirit with all of our hearts, minds, soul and strength? Will you give up your “golden calf” at the feet of Jesus today? Below is the painting “The Adoration of The Golden Calf” by Nicolas Poussin from 1633 -
Verse 30 stood out for me in this chapter as Moses interceded to God for the people of Israel after their sin - "The next day Moses said to the people, "You have committed a terrible sin, but I will return to the LORD on the mountain. Perhaps I will be able to obtain forgiveness for you."" And today, we have one more powerful than Moses who intercedes for us to God - and that is Jesus. Our High Priest. The Suffering Servant. The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Commentary on Exodus chapter 32 at bible.org is at this link. Commentary on Exodus chapter 33 at bible.org is at this link. Below is a portrait by artist Guy Rowe of Moses speaking to God, what looks to be the "stiff-necked" people, and the broken tablets from today's readings. It seems like 32:31-32 might be the fitting verses for this image below - "So Moses went back to the LORD and said, "Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made themselves gods of gold. But now, please forgive their sin—but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written."
Exodus chapter 34 verses 6 & 7 are beautiful and we will hear these words repeated again later in the Old Testament a few times: ""I am the LORD, I am the LORD, the merciful and gracious God. I am slow to anger and rich in unfailing love and faithfulness. I show this unfailing love to many thousands by forgiving every kind of sin and rebellion." How do these words resonate with you? Do you believe God is merciful and gracious? Slow to anger? And rich in unfailing love and faithfulness? Have you asked God for forgiveness for your sins and rebellion?
Verses 33 through 35 in today's readings tell us: "When Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face. But whenever he went into the Tent of Meeting to speak with the LORD, he removed the veil until he came out again. Then he would give the people whatever instructions the LORD had given him, and the people would see his face aglow. Afterward he would put the veil on again until he returned to speak with the LORD."
And today's guest commentary on these preceding verses is from none other than Paul! This is the Bible giving commentary on the Bible. Here is Paul in his 2nd letter to the Corinthians chapter 3 verses 7 - 18 (read this carefully... read this twice... this is good....) - "That old system of law etched in stone led to death, yet it began with such glory that the people of Israel could not bear to look at Moses' face. For his face shone with the glory of God, even though the brightness was already fading away. Shouldn't we expect far greater glory when the Holy Spirit is giving life? If the old covenant, which brings condemnation, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new covenant, which makes us right with God! In fact, that first glory was not glorious at all compared with the overwhelming glory of the new covenant. So if the old covenant, which has been set aside, was full of glory, then the new covenant, which remains forever, has far greater glory. Since this new covenant gives us such confidence, we can be very bold. We are not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so the people of Israel would not see the glory fading away. But the people's minds were hardened, and even to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, a veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ. Yes, even today when they read Moses' writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, then the veil is taken away. Now, the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, he gives freedom. And all of us have had that veil removed so that we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more." Not a bad commentary, eh?
Below is an image for verses 29 & 30: "When Moses came down the mountain carrying the stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant, he wasn't aware that his face glowed because he had spoken to the LORD face to face. And when Aaron and the people of Israel saw the radiance of Moses' face, they were afraid to come near him."
Bible.org's commentary on Exodus chapter 34 titled "A New Beginning" is at this link.
Worship Video: Our readings in Exodus today about the golden calf reminded me of the Building 429 song "Glory Defined." Here's a great live version of this song:
Do you know our glory defined? Click here for Glory!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "'I have seen these people,' the LORD said to Moses, 'and they are a stiff-necked people.'" Exodus 32:9 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray that you are not stiff-necked. Pray that you are soft hearted and open to the Lord's leading in your life each and every day.
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
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