Continuing a plan to get through the entire Bible in a year, follow as I journal through the reading. I have chosen a straightforward approach that begins in Genesis and ends in Revelation. This will not be an in-depth study or a comprehensive commentary. There are plenty of sources for such material. This is stage one Bible reading, taking the text at face value and sharing impressions.
Today’s reading comes from the book of Exodus, chapters 33 through 35, where God reconciles with Israel after their gross sin of idolatry. Some impressions from the text:
- “Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; but I will not go up among you, lest I consume you on the way, for you are a stiff-necked people.” Every parent has reached a similar point of exasperation with their child’s defiance. Of course, in this case, the offense was far greater because of the One who was offended. It wasn’t just that God wanted to be separate from the people, he had to be. His holiness could not coexist with their sin.
- “‘But,’ [the Lord] said, ‘you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.'” This was God’s response to Moses’ request to see him, and further expresses the distinction — the holiness — of God from anything less than God, or anything which falls short of his standard.
- Acting as an intercessor, Moses asks God to pardon the people for their sin. This repentance prompts God’s grace, and he acts to renew his covenant with them. This is like a marital reconciliation after one spouse cheats, and reads as such. God speaks of his jealousy, and warns strongly against any liaison with those who “whore after” false gods. Whore is a strong word, but an accurate one in this context.
- “All the men and women, the people of Israel, whose heart moved them to bring anything for the work that the Lord had commanded by Moses to be done brought it as a freewill offering to the Lord.” Contrary to the view of some, freewill exists, and clearly holds value to the Lord. It’s an essential component of his redemptive plan, and a prerequisite for displaying his glory. God could have made automatons who did his will automatically. Nothing stopped him from doing that. But it would not have fulfilled his purpose, which was to infinitely glorify himself. Redemption has value beyond that which we can conceive, so much so that Peter said of the angels in heaven that they “long to look” in on grace because they will never experience it. It is through redemption that God most fully displays his glory. And redemption requires choice.
Return soon as we continue our year-long journey through the text of the Bible.
Catch up on the previous entries:
Moses gets a mission from God. – Exodus 1-3
God makes his name known by plaguing Egypt.– Exodus 7-9
“Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously…” Exodus 13-15
God continues to provide, even for an ungrateful people. – Exodus 16-18
Moses receives the Ten Commandments. – Exodus 19-21
Israel receives the Law at the foot of Mount Sinai. – Exodus 22-24
God commissions the building of the tabernacle. – Exodus 25-27
Equipping the priests of Israel. – Exodus 28-29
Israel crafts a false god — the golden calf. – Exodus 30-32