March 14, 2014
Exodus 33-Part 1
Now take off your ornaments and I will decide what to do with you. Exodus 33:5 NIV
LET IT GLOW
When we give and give, yet it isn't appreciated. When we have tried all that we know to do and nothing changes. When our children disobey, don't listen to us, then it turns out bad. We get at the end of our rope, so to speak. Under our breath, we ask, "What am I going to do with you?" Did you know that God got to that point with His children, too? Read on.
We are still in the shadow of the calf of gold, though it was ground to powder, mixed with water, and drank by the people. You will recall that Moses broke the two tablets on which God's commands were written by Him. He threw them down as he reached the foot of the mountain, as he saw the ugly sins of the people, his heart broken, as well as God's heart broken, shattered into pieces.
Moses confronted Aaron about all of this worshiping an idol and singing and dancing before it-an object made of their gold. Aaron only made excuses. Moses called for those that were on the Lord's side to come to him. Only the Levites came. They were sent to kill the idol worshipers-3,000 died that day.
Moses went back to the LORD and interceded for the Israelites to God, begging Him to spare this nation of people, by offering his life in their place. Their sin was paid for with a plague that struck the camp. Whew!
The LORD spoke instructions to Moses:
- Leave this place, you and the people you brought out of Egypt;
- Go to the land of promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob;
- He would give that land to their descendants;
- God would send an angel before them;
- He would drive out the Canaanite, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites;
- Go to the land flowing with milk and honey;
- God would not go with them because they are a stiffnecked people and He would destroy them.
God's judgment had fallen upon His people. He keeps His promises, thus He never lies. God's glory was at stake here. Can you hear the disappointment in God's voice?
Do we disappoint God?
LET IT GROW
Here was the good news/bad news. Israel would still enter the Promised Land, but without God's presence on the way. God's sworn covenant-promise couldn't be broken. His divine presence could be set aside due to sin of the people.
God wasn't going one step farther with Israel in the desert. He was fed up, and He let Moses know exactly how He felt. (Warren)
Moses told the people what God had said. How did the people react to this news?
They mourned and did not put on ornaments.
The removal of their jewelry depicted outwardly of the people's sorrow of heart. It was a response analogous to donning sackcloth and ashes. (MacArthur)
Did you catch the twist? God added that He would decide what to do with them.
In aspiration, haven't we often said to our children, "What am I going to do with you?" We don't want an answer, just thinking out loud, at the end of our rope of hope.
Do you hear the silence? The children of Israel wondering what would happen to them without God with them. It would only be land, not a land of love, not a land surrounded by God's love.
I closed the Book. That's it. It's over. No more. I'm done. Where's the good ending?
Don't we feel that way when our problems surround us, enemies taunt us, we feel lower than skum?
But it's not the end, my friend.
Grace is coming. Hold on just a little bit longer. Hope is around the corner. God is working it out for our good and His glory. Hang on, sweet one. Jesus is here!
LET IT GO
of the end of the rope and fall into Jesus' loving arms.
Let Him wipe away those tears.
Let Him dust me off (sin of doubt), set me back up on my feet, and start walking by faith.
Take His hand.