March 11, 2014
Exodus 32-Part 3
Moses replied: "It is not the sound of victory; it is not the sound of defeat; it is the sound of singing that I hear." Exodus 32:18
LET IT GLOW
I think I will listen today for the different sounds people make. I wonder if I can distinguish their activities or attitudes. Moses was able to. Join me as we read more of chapter 32.
Can you picture an eighty-something year old man, slowly walking down Mt. Sinai where he has spent 40 days with God? Verse 15 says he turned and went down the mountain. When we have a mountaintop experience with God, we have to turn and go down the mountain to the people in the valley below. That is where we minister to the hurting, pick up the broken hearted, love the unlovely, weep with the mourning.
Don't forget that Moses is carrying in his arms two heavy tablets of stone on which the Ten Commandments were written. These tablets were the work of God. His finger engraved the words.
Did Moses cling to them closely to his breast as he carefully placed each foot, step by step? Or was his anger growing inside him with each step? Did God's anger spill over to Moses?
Joshua had been somewhere on the mountain or at the foot of it. Anyway, Joshua was conversing with Moses as we pick up in verse 15.
What sounds were heard?
- To Joshua, they were the sound of war.
- To Moses, it was not the sound of victory,
- not the sound of defeat,
- but it was the sound of singing.
Do our activities make God happy or angry with us? What sounds do we make-those of sin or praising God?
LET IT GROW
Sadly, Moses reacted to what he saw and heard God's children doing. When he approached the camp, Moses saw the golden calf and the people dancing, what were his reactions?
- Moses threw down the tablets out of his hands, breaking them to pieces at the foot of the mountain. (verse 19)
- Moses took the calf they had made and burned it in the fire, then ground it to powder.
- He scattered the powder on the water and made the Israelites drink it.
The Israelites' present conduct had made a breach in the covenant, broken the laws of their Maker. We must not excuse this act; it was rash and irreverent; God's writing should not have been treated in this way. The Israelites' god was reduced to powder and strewed on the water. It was reduced to a useless state. (Matthew Henry)
Moses had a right to be angry and to humble Aaron and the people. By breaking the two tables of the Law, written by God, Moses dramatically showed the people the greatness of their sin. In His grace, God forgave their sins, but in His government, He had to discipline the people. How many tears have been caused by the painful consequences of forgiven sins!
Moses pictured the nation breaking God's commandments by actually breaking the tablets on which they were written. (MacArthur)
Does our sin break the heart of Christ? What about our lack of faith? trust?
Sweet heart, it is time we took seriously our sins and confess them.
LET IT GO