EXODUS 34: GOD INTRODUCES HIMSELF AGAIN
The Lord said to Moses, “Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones, and I will write on them the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. 2 Be ready in the morning, and then come up on Mount Sinai. Present yourself to me there on top of the mountain. 3 No one is to come with you or be seen anywhere on the mountain; not even the flocks and herds may graze in front of the mountain.”
4 So Moses chiseled out two stone tablets like the first ones and went up Mount Sinai early in the morning, as the Lord had commanded him; and he carried the two stone tablets in his hands. 5 Then the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the Lord. 6 And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, 7 maintaining love to thousands,and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.”
8 Moses bowed to the ground at once and worshiped. 9 “Lord,” he said, “if I have found favor in your eyes, then let the Lord go with us. Although this is a stiff-necked people, forgive our wickedness and our sin, and take us as your inheritance.”
10 Then the Lord said: “I am making a covenant with you. Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the Lord, will do for you.11 Obey what I command you today. I will drive out before you the Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 12 Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land where you are going, or they will be a snare among you. 13 Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and cut down their Asherah poles. 14 Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.
READING EXODUS 34
What is happening in Exodus 34? Moses had come down from Mt. Sinai and saw his brother Aaron had misled the people to give credit for redemption to a golden calf!
Moese was so enraged by this that he threw down the Ten Commandment tablets and broke them.
The commands, we learn in Exodus 34, are so important that God etches them with his own hand. And why not!? Why rush and get humans to invent the chisel or power grinding router when you've got such a mighty hand and an outstretched arm?
So God makes a backup copy of the Ten Commandments, also called the Tablets of the Testimony.
In addition to the tablets, watch also in this story for the incredible action of God to reveal Himself to Moses. Did you think God portrayed in the Old Testament was only a God of wrath and law? Read Exodus 34 and that gets blown up. Exodus 34:5-8 may change your mind.
Do you get discouraged thinking guilty, unjust people go unpunished in this world? Or maybe you are--like me--one of those who has sinned and grateful for God's grace! Read Exodus 34:5-8!
Lord, when Moses returned from the mountain, being with you forty days and nights, fasting, what people noticed and what is recorded in your Scriptures is not a disheveled, gaunt look but his glow. His face was glowing because he'd been in your presence. Moses did not even seem aware of this glow. Maybe he needed a mirror, but the people acted as a mirror, reacting and even cowering at the strange glow. Aaron and Israel saw the radiance of Your face in the face of Moses and were afraid. But Moses called them and told them all that You commanded them. Afterwards, Moses wore a veil to conceal Your radiance from Israel.
Greg Taylor preaches for The Journey. Greg's wife, Jill, teaches math at Broken Arrow High School and Tulsa Community College. Greg and Jill have three adult children, Ashley, Anna, and Jacob. Greg is the author of many books, including his latest co-authored with Randy Harris, Daring Faith: Meeting Jesus in the Book of John.