(Suggested reading – Exodus 34)
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.
(Suggested reading – Exodus 33)
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!
(Suggested reading – Exodus 32)
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.
(Suggested reading Exodus 30)
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.”