Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Railroad tracks near our place in Bannalec

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for Feb 10, Ex 33-35

Today's readings are Ex 33-35. Tomorrow's are Exodus 36-38. 

In Ex 33, It's time to leave Sinai. The Promised Land is their final destination, not the Mountain of the Law. 

God also declares the consequences for the people's sin. He will no longer have fellowship with them. They are a stiff-necked, unfaithful people. The consequence of sin is a broken relationship with God! Moses intervenes on behalf of the people and God agrees to remain with them. The healing of the relationship is founded solely on God's mercy and compassion, not on the faithfulness or merit of the people. 

In Moses, we see a righteous mediator, an advocate for God's people. Even though Moses is only righteous in a manner that a man can be righteous, not perfectly so, the template is set for a truly holy and righteous mediator who will restore God's fellowship back to His people. 

God rewrites the commandments on new tablets, the old ones having been smashed by Moses. Even in this we see a lesson. The tablets are not eternal. They can be destroyed. But, God will preserve His word. Because of Moses's intercession, the covenant is renewed, this time in more detail. God has purged the sin from His chosen ones, albeit temporarily for the moment and the relationship with them is restored by His grace.

God names the tribes that will be displaced by His people when they arrive in the Promised Land, giving His people a stern warning not to intermarry with them, neither are they to worship their gods. This will prove to be an interesting tension that develops once they arrive, but they have to get there first!

Only after the restoration to fellowship with God occurs is work started on the Tabernacle - another lesson. God will dwell permanently among His people through the work of a mediator/advocate and by the work of His grace. Moses is not Christ. But, he is one who points toward Christ as the perfect mediator/advocate. This is one of the reasons Moses will come to be revered among His people.

Meanwhile, we see Moses as he begins to understand God’s glory. It’s been growing in Moses all along, a gradual realization that God does what He does for His glory, not for Moses’s benefit. Moses is certainly a benefactor of God’s mercy and grace. But, the benefit comes from God revealing Himself and His glory through the work He does in Moses, not because of who Moses is, but because of who God is. This is depicted in the events in Ex 33 & 34.

In Ex 35, construction of the Tabernacle begins. Here we see the true reason for the gold carried out of Egypt. Previously, the gold was used for personal adornment and the building of the calf, both representations of man worshiping himself rather than God. Now, the humbled and chastised people stop wearing the gold for ornamentation and begin donating it to the building of the Tabernacle (Ex 35:20-27). The gifts the people received were meant to honor God, not themselves! It is interesting that those who give are the ones whose “hearts were stirred” (Ex 35:29). This does not necessarily indicate that God coerced them into giving. It is meant to indicate those whose hearts were thankful to God for His deliverance.


1 comment:

  1. Interesting also how all the Israelites accumulated (and plundered while leaving) Egypt were now given to the LORD's tabernacle, taking what He gave them and giving it back in worship and obedience. They suffered, were delivered, strayed, and now gave back *all* to the one who delivered, forgave, and called them His own people.

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