I just might get this posted before kids and dog are up and before 9:00am! Let's see! :)
There is a new picture today....of the 12 stones of Israel (with the tribes names on them--remember--they are the sons of Jacob) and of the ephod on the breastplate that the high priest wore.
Chapter 33 Well....where we left off yesterday left the Israelites were in a rather contrary position and in a crisis. They had just worshiped the golden calf and the Lord was not happy. In fact, he struck them with a plague! They were under assault....from the Lord!! Uh-oh! They stakes are very high here...for they used to not be "a people" -- and now they are the covenantal people of the Lord!!! Verse 3 is pretty harsh......the Lord is telling them to go on to the land of milk and honey, but He might not go with them! In fact, He might even destroy them along the way!!! Then He says, "you are stiff necked people....and I haven't decided what to do with you yet!!"Did you get that? GOD has to DECIDE?!! He doesn't know what He is going to do next. He still is deciding!! Like a kid asking a parent if they can go to the movies....maybe...maybe not. I don't know yet! Never a good answer! After all...they are being a stubborn and resistant people.
Moses goes into the tent of meeting to have a conversation with the Lord. The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a friend would. Moses is starting to intervene and plead to the Lord on behalf of the people. He says to the Lord, "You have been telling to lead these people, but you have not let me know whom you will send with me." Moses even tells the Lord "remember that this nation is your people!" Did God forget? Did He really need reminding? So God says that His presence will go with them. That He won't send them on their exodus journey alone. And Moses asks the Lord to show him His glory and the Lord says, "my goodness will pass in front of you." Moses was able to "see" the Lord's compassion, presence, and mercy but not his face, or else he wouldn't live! And so life goes on....even after the calf episode! :)
Chapter 34 New Stone Tablets. Moses broke the first set of stone tablets when he came down the mountain the first time. Dropping them in shock and awe at the people worshipping the golden calf. Moses had to carve out new stone tablets again and go back up the mountain again! We've had the broken covenant (chapter 32), the intercession and crisis of presence and God "deciding" what to do (chapter 33) and now a renewal and restoration of the covenant. There is drama and sternness yet God's mercy, grace, patience, love, faithfulness, more love, and forgiveness abounds. God makes this renewal of the covenant and it is a repeat of the previous covenant. God is a jealous God...make no mistake about that. Why so? He expects love and loyalty and in return he blesses them as they could never bless themselves! Moses' whole being changes when He has met with the Lord. "His face was radiant" (v. 30). Moses was so full of the Lord's glory that he had to put on a veil. Moses was then prepared with the commands of the Lord and was to give the commands to the people.
Chapter 35 Moses assembled the whole community of the Israelites said to them: "These are the things the Lord has commanded you to do...." And the entire chapter is a complete adherence to God's will....just as He commanded. Chapter 25-31 included "The Lord saying...." Now, we have "Moses said to the community...." Moses is being obedient to the Lord. This is his work to do....to tell the people about the details of the construction of the tabernacle and all of its materials. Moses and the Israelites prove their obedience again after their sinning. Isn't that how God works anyway? Aren't we glad He "decided" to forgive them? And moreso, aren't we glad we have Jesus??! Oh thank you Jesus for dying on the cross and saving us from our sins! Jesus, come quickly!! :) Reading this chapter might make you think the publishers of the Bible made a mistake and put the pages in the wrong place. They didn't. :) The next 4 chapters will be that exactly, too! It will be Moses obediently telling the people exactly what the Lord told him. BUT!!! If it's repeated, it must be important!
Lessons learned: spend time in the presence of the Lord and let His light shine through you! Be radiant with His glory! Be loyal to the Lord.....some days, He's all you've got and you don't want to go through your journey without Him. Do what the Lord commands. Moses was so faithful and obedient..... with such great responsibility! We can surely do the same!
Come, Holy Spirit, Come!!!