As Moses was called to be ready in the morning, to go up the mountain to meet with God, I’ve always seen this as God’s invitation to wake up and “come up” to spend time with Him. Back then God wrote on the tablets of stone, today He writes on the tablets of our hearts (2 Corinthians 3:3).
Moses was allowed to see the afterglow of God Who revealed Himself with a description of mercy, grace, and long-suffering with toward us and our sins and at the same time, God is revealed as holy and just, by no means clearing the guilty. This Biblical balance of the revelation of God in His own words is critical to remember. God is willing to forgive our sins, but can only do so in Christ.
The LORD renewed His covenant with Israel and was about to do marvels unparalleled. The Canaanites would be defeated and expelled from the land. Israel was not to make any covenants with them, just as we are not to do so with the world.
This section reminds me that commandments need to be repeated; some are more personal to me, for some reason God’s commandment not to appear before Him empty-handed has always struck a chord within (give to God what belongs to God). And how important it is for the men to gather (Exodus 34:23).
Moses fasted supernaturally for 40 days and 40 nights…can you imagine the fellowship he experienced with God?
In reference to the shining face of Moses there’s a deeper lesson in all this. Moses’ face glowed as he spent time with God intimately, and personally. We stand in awe of such an experience don’t we? And yet we who are under the New Covenant have even more than Moses had! Moses was compelled to wear a veil so that the people would not see the fading glory, but we in Christ can not only meet with God face to face, but we can have a glory that never fades as we are transformed into the image of Jesus.
I’ve always admired the ladies for loving our Lord the way they did, willing to anoint His body early that Sunday morning. God blessed them for the heart they had, and it came to pass, they were the first witnesses to the resurrection of Christ! Initially it was surreal, it was a mixture of fear and great joy. Can you imagine what was going through their minds?
The instruction from the angel was to “go and tell”; the instruction from Jesus, was to “go and tell”…I have a hunch the instruction for us is the same.
When the ladies saw the Lord, they worshipped Him (Mathew 28:9)…it’s something they had been doing all along.
With the most wonderful truth in the history of the world about to stare them square in the face, the religious leaders chose to deny it, and in that foolishness denied life. They bribed the soldiers and appeased the governor. It’s tragic what pride, power, and money can buy.
When the eleven disciples saw Jesus, they also worshipped Him (yes He is God), but some doubted…just keeping it real. Jesus dealt with the doubts of Thomas in John 20:24-29.
How beautiful the Great Commission is! Jesus, the One with ALL authority is with us wherever we go, and that we must do – He commands us to GO, preach the Gospel and make disciples of ALL nations. Help us Lord, to do just that.
Initially the LORD would not have gone with the people in His special presence, this is what they deserved, but Moses pleaded with the LORD on their behalf.
Moses would meet with the LORD in the Tabernacle of Meeting outside the camp, and those who sought the LORD joined him (in one sense). It’s here we read those amazing words that Moses spoke to God, “Face to face.” What a privilege! And then to think that in the New Covenant all Christians can meet with God in an even more intimate way (2 Corinthians 3:12-18).
As Moses pleaded with God for His special presence, God graciously answered in the affirmative and Moses would be blessed to see the “afterglow” of God. Wow!
Tragically 40 days was too long for these impatient people to wait for Moses and God. Aaron completely lacked all aspects of Spiritual Leadership and rather than lead, he followed the people.
After all that the LORD had done for them, they turned away so quickly. In Exodus 32:6 the word “play” is in reference to perversity. God saw everything, so He sent Moses down while disowning the people (in one sense, Exodus 32:7). Moses interceded, mentioning to the LORD that they were in all reality HIS people (Exodus 32:11).
In His justice God could have consumed Israel, but in His grace and by the intercession of Moses, God spared them. Moses prayed for God’s glory and He prayed God’s Word. The tablets were broken because the people had broken the Law. Moses teaches us/me the importance of leadership in that Aaron was to blame for not restraining the people (Exodus 32:25). Aaron even lied in how the idols were fashioned. Moses ground the idols to powder and made the people drink shameful shakes illustrating the consequences of forgiven sin (Galatians 6:7). Moses would stand in the gap…once again.
God provides not only the money or resources we need but also the people who are Spirit-filled and gifted in order to finish His work. Leaders and assistants personally called even by name.
The sabbath would be a perpetual law for the Jews. It would be a blessing to the people, but require faith to keep. Today we can no longer judge others regarding the sabbath, it’s the only one of the Ten Commandments that is not repeated in the New Testament (Romans 14:5; Colossians 2:16).
The Altar of Incense symbolized prayer (see Revelation 5:8; Revelation 8:3-4). Can you visualize the prayers rising as incense before the Lord? Here we read of special prayers every morning and twilight, as well as perpetual prayers going on constantly. I couldn’t help but think of 1 Thessalonians 5:17.
O Lord, please grant me victory in my prayer life.
As the people are preparing to construct and maintain the tabernacle a tax of “Ransom Money” is established. Here it is half a shekel of silver for every man 20 years and above. In Jesus’ day it would be one-third of a shekel.
O Lord, please help me to give my part towards Your “house” and “work.”
The Bronze Laver provided the place and water for the priests to wash their hands and feet before entering in to serve the Lord. This brings to mind (John 13:5-10 and Ephesians 5:26).
O Lord, please create in me a clean heart. Please forgive me, wash me, allow me to serve You with clean hands and clean feet.
The Holy Anointing Oil is symbolic of the Holy Spirit. This anointing must be pure as prescribed in God’s Word and not manufactured by men.
O Lord, please anoint me, anoint us with the personal presence and power of Your Holy Spirit.
The Incense (prayer) must be pure as well, may it be Spirit led and from the heart. Twice in this chapter we read those words in the NKJV, “Where I will meet with you.” How beautiful is that? But it makes sense doesn’t it, for 141 times we read of the “Tabernacle of Meeting.”
Another amazing day in Israel. The rain didn’t damper the hearts set to seek the Lord. Today we visited Tel Dan, Abraham’s Gate, Caesarea Philippi, and Nimrod’s Castle. It’s so cool seeing the Bible in 3D! We’ll never be the same.
So blessed to sail the Sea of Galilee, preach a Sermon on the Mount, visit the Synagogue in Capernaum, have lunch by the Lake, fellowship with family and friends, and baptize such precious people in the Jordan River! Wow, Lord, Your so gracious and good to us!
A quick glimpse from Israel. After a long plane ride we were all tired, but chose to spend some time at Caesarea. This is a city mentioned 20+ times in the Bible. After BEING HERE we’ll never read the book of Acts the same way again!
Philip lived here, Peter came here, and Paul did both prison time and preaching time in Caesarea. He went through many actual trials, but all those hard times brought him to a place where he was able to testify to kings, governors, and influential men and women. God will do the same for you. It was cool preaching where he preached and walking where he walked – now my prayer is to walk LIKE he walked (Philippians 3:17; Acts 25:23).
A quick word from my devotional reading this morning in Matthew 13:1-9, 18-22. This is the Parable of the Sower, the Seed, and the Soils.
A Parable is in one sense, an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. The people were not able to understand the straightforward teaching of Jesus because they were not saved and they were not open, so Jesus tried even harder to reach them with everyday things they might more easily understand.
In the Parable, the Sower is the same (Jesus). The Seed is the same (God’s Word). The only variable in the story is the Soil. The four places the seed landed is:
The shallow stony ground
Among weeds and thorns
On good ground
To summarize briefly, these represent the different hearts God’s Word lands on. Some people have hearts that are not hungry or open at all, so the Seed doesn’t penetrate, they don’t understand, and the enemy comes and takes the Seed away. What a tragedy! Other are more open but shallow, and they get excited about the Lord and His Word when all is well, but the moment trials hit, they fade away because their faith has no depth. The third example is intriguing – it might even describe some Christians, who are saved, but have seasons of virtually no fruit – and why is that? Because their hearts are crowded and not exclusively devoted to Christ. We read in:
Matthew 13:22, “Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.”
But the fourth heart is the heart that I pray for (Psalm 51:10; Proverbs 4:23). It’s the heart that’s open. It’s good ground and soft soil. I pray this would be us friend. Open up that Bible with an open heart. Sit in that study eager to hear…always be sensitive – for the Spirit of God will take the Word of God and conform us into the image of God. God will do miracles in your life if you take this Seed seriously!
Love you, praying you have a blessed day and abundant life!