02 December 2014

BSF 2014-2015: Exodus 33:7-34:35

When we left the Israelites last week, they were mourning for their grievous sin against God – idolatry. Today, God shows His mercy and grace to His people, in spite of their sin.

Moses pitches the Tent of Meeting outside the Israelites’ camp. In this tent, he meets God. Moses creates this tent because God can not be among His people due to their sin.

Moses enters the Tent of Meeting to speak to God. Then he returns to the Israelites' camp. The people demonstrate their repentance when they expectantly watch Moses enter the tent.

While in the tent, God speaks to Moses "face to face, as one speaks to a friend." This was not a literally face-to-face conversation, but it was a personal, intimate conversation with God.

Moses asks to know God more. He wants God’s presence to go with the Israelites. Moses also asks God to show him His glory. But God says no one can see His face and live.

God instructs Moses to chisel two new tablets so He can write His law again. God shows His mercy and His grace to the Israelites by giving them His laws again. Mercy is not getting what we deserve (ultimately, this is eternal death). Grace is getting what we don’t deserve (forgiveness for our sins and eternal life).

Because God says no one can see His face and live, God passes in front of Moses. Moses responds immediately by bowing down to worship Him. Moses stays on the mountain with God for 40 days and 40 nights. When Moses comes down from the mountain, his face is radiant because he had spoken with God.

The Israelites see Moses’ radiant face and are afraid. They see God’s presence in Moses. They can see that Moses spent time with God. Moses met with God and was transformed by it. And the people recognized that Moses was in God’s presence.

Things to Think About

  • Do I earnestly seek God the way Moses sought Him through prayer?
  • To see God’s glory is to see His character. When we reflect God’s glory, we reflect His character. Can people see God’s characteristics in me?
  • God’s people are transformed by God’s presence.
  • How often do I spend quality, quiet time with God?
  • Do I see quality time with God as a blessing instead of a burden?