THE SIN OF THE GOLDEN CALF (continued) THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD EXODUS 33:1-23

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1 1 THE SIN OF THE GOLDEN CALF (continued) THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD EXODUS 33:1-23

2 2 Text: Exodus 33:1-23, THE SIN OF THE GOLDEN CALF (continued) THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD 1. The Lord said to Moses, Go up from here, you and the people whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, to the land I promised on oath to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, I will give it to your descendants. 2. I will send an angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite. 3. Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey. But I will not go up among you, for you are a stiff-necked people, and I might destroy you on the way. 4. When the people heard this troubling word they mourned; no one put on his ornaments. 5. For the Lord had said to Moses, Tell the Israelites, You are a stiff-necked people. If I went up among you for a moment, I might destroy you. Now take off your ornaments, that I may know what I should do to you. 6. So the Israelites stripped off their ornaments by Mount Horeb. 7. Moses took the tent and pitched it outside the camp, at a good distance from the camp, and he called it the tent of meeting. Anyone seeking the Lord would go out to the tent of meeting that was outside the camp.

3 And when Moses went out to the tent, all the people would get up and stand at the entrance to their tents and watch Moses until he entered the tent. 9. And whenever Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent, and the Lord would speak with Moses. 10. When all the people would see the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people, each one at the entrance of his own tent, would rise and worship. 11. The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, the way a person speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his servant, Joshua son of Nun, a young man, did not leave the tent. 12. Moses said to the Lord, See, you have been saying to me, Bring this people up, but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. But you said, I know you by name, and also you have found favor in my sight. 13. Now if I have found favor in your sight, show me your way, that I may know you, that I may continue to find favor in your sight. And see that this nation is your people. 14. And the Lord said, My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest. 15. And Moses said to him, If your presence does not go with us, do not take us up from here. 16. For how will it be known then that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not by your going with us, so that we will be distinguished, I and your people, from all the people who are on the face of the earth?

4 The Lord said to Moses, I will do this thing also that you have requested, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name. 18. And Moses said, Show me your glory. 19. And the Lord said, I will make all my goodness pass before your face, and I will proclaim the Lord by name before you; I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, I will show mercy to whom I will show mercy. 20. But he added, You cannot see my face, for no one can see me and live. 21. The Lord said, Here is a place by me; you will station yourself on a rock. 22. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and will cover you with my hand while I pass by. 23. Then I will take away my hand, and you will see my back, but my face must not be seen. (NET) Introduction: I. Key points:... A. The Lord responds to Moses intercession. (verses 1-6) 1. Losing the presence of God. B. The presence of the Lord. (verses 7-23) 1. The tent of Moses is moved outside the camp. (verses 7-11) 2. The Lord meets Moses in the tent. (verses 12-23)

5 5 a. My presence will go with you. (verse 14) b. Show me your glory. (verses 18-23) II. Key quote: Exodus 33:14, And the Lord said, My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest. (NET) Commentary: The Sin of the Golden Calf (continued) I. The Lord responds to Moses intercession. (verses 1-6, The Lord said to Moses, Go up from here, you and the people whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, to the land I promised on oath to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, I will give it to your descendants. I will send an angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite. Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey. But I will not go up among you, for you are a stiff-necked people, and I might destroy you on the way. When the people heard this troubling word they mourned; no one put on his ornaments. For the Lord had said to Moses, Tell the Israelites, You are a stiff-necked people. If I went up among you for a moment, I might destroy you. Now take off your ornaments, that I may know what I should do to you. So the Israelites stripped off their ornaments by Mount Horeb. (NET)) A. Losing the presence of God.

6 God promised Moses He would be faithful to the covenant He had made with Abraham, that He would deliver His people to the promised land and He would help them inhabit the land. An angel would still guide and protect them, but the most important element was missing. 2. God s presence would no longer be with them. a. They were a stiff-necked, stubborn people prone to evil. b. If they continued to fall into apostasy and reject God, He could not dwell with them; His wrath would destroy them. 3. God in His holiness could not condone sin, nor could He be in the presence of sin. a. The sin of the Israelites automatically excluded them from being with the lord until they repented and were forgiven. i. Ezra 9:10, And now what are we able to say after this, our God? For we have forsaken your commandments (NET) ii. Psalm 51:9-10, Hide your face from my sins! Wipe away all my guilt! Create for me a pure heart, O God! Renew a resolute spirit within me! (NET)

7 The fear of facing the wrath of God and losing His presence caused the Israelites to strip off their ornamentation and repent. a. The ornaments were associated with worshiping the gold calf and other pagan practices. b. The act of removing the gold calf indicated that they truly were repentant. c. They did not want to be in the desert without the protection and guidance of God. i. Ezekiel 18:31, Throw away all your sins you have committed and fashion yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why should you die, O house of Israel? (NET) ii. Deuteronomy 32:37-38, He will say, Where are their gods, the rock in whom they sought security, who ate the best of their sacrifices, and drank the wine of their drink offerings? Let them rise and help you; let them be your refuge! (NET) iii. Acts 3:19, Therefore repent and turn back so that your sins may be wiped out, (NET)

8 8 iv. Acts 8:22, Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that he may perhaps forgive you for the intent of your heart. (NET) v. Proverbs 1:33, But the one who listens to me will live in security, and will be at ease from the dread of harm. (NET) The Presence of the Lord II. The presence of the Lord. (Verses 7-23, Moses took the tent and pitched it outside the camp, at a good distance from the camp, and he called it the tent of meeting. Anyone seeking the Lord would go out to the tent of meeting that was outside the camp. And when Moses went out to the tent, all the people would get up and stand at the entrance to their tents and watch Moses until he entered the tent. And whenever Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent, and the Lord would speak with Moses. When all the people would see the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people, each one at the entrance of his own tent, would rise and worship. The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, the way a person speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his servant, Joshua son of Nun, a young man, did not leave the tent. Moses said to the Lord, See, you have been saying to me, Bring this people up, but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. But you said, I know you by name, and also you have

9 9 found favor in my sight. Now if I have found favor in your sight, show me your way, that I may know you, that I may continue to find favor in your sight. And see that this nation is your people. And the Lord said, My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest. And Moses said to him, If your presence does not go with us, do not take us up from here. For how will it be known then that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not by your going with us, so that we will be distinguished, I and your people, from all the people who are on the face of the earth? The Lord said to Moses, I will do this thing also that you have requested, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name. And Moses said, Show me your glory. And the Lord said, I will make all my goodness pass before your face, and I will proclaim the Lord by name before you; I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, I will show mercy to whom I will show mercy. But he added, You cannot see my face, for no one can see me and live. The Lord said, Here is a place by me; you will station yourself on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and will cover you with my hand while I pass by. Then I will take away my hand, and you will see my back, but my face must not be seen. (NET)) A. Moses tent was moved outside the camp. 1. Moses set up his tent a good distance from the camp. a. Exodus 33:7, Moses took the tent and pitched it outside the camp, at a good

10 10 distance from the camp, and he called it the tent of meeting. Anyone seeking the Lord would go out to the tent of meeting that was outside the camp. (NET) 2. It was designated as the tent of meeting, the place where God appeared in a pillar of cloud to speak with Moses. 3. When the cloud descended on the tent, the people would worship at their tents. B. The Lord meets Moses in the tent. (Verses 12-23) 1. (Verses 12-13) Even though God has assured Moses that He has found favor in His sight, Moses asks God to teach him His ways that he may know Him more intimately and continue to grow in His favor. 2. This driving hunger, this thirst to grow ever closer to our Lord God should be the primary focus of all Christian believers lives. 3. The wish of God is to have this intimate relationship with you, too. a. Jeremiah 29:13, When you seek me in prayer and worship, you will find me available to you. If you seek me with all your heart and soul, (NET)

11 11 b. Deuteronomy 4:29, But if you seek the Lord your God from there, you will find him, if, indeed, you seek him with all your heart and soul. (NET) c. Hebrews 11:6, Now without faith it is impossible to please him, for the one who approaches God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (NET) d. Isaiah 55:6, Seek the Lord while he makes himself available; call to him while he is nearby! (NET) 4. Moses ends his petition by asking God to acknowledge the Israelites as His chosen people, the ones he will use to build his Nation. a. Moses is asking God s assurance not only for himself, but also for the Israelites that they will continue to be His people. i. Deuteronomy 7:7-8, It is not because you were more numerous than all the other peoples that the Lord favored and chose you for in fact you were the least numerous of all peoples. Rather it is because of his love for you and his faithfulness to the promise he solemnly vowed to your ancestors that the Lord brought you out with great power,

12 12 redeeming you from the place of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. (NET) 5. God verified that His presence would continue to be with them. a. His presence gave them the peace of mind that can only come from the knowledge that God was with them. (verse 14) i. Philippians 4:6-7, Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God. And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (NET) 6. Moses stressed the point that if they do not have God s presence with them, they should not even continue on their journey. (Verses 15-16) a. If they are no longer God s chosen people and lack His presence, they are no different than any other pagan nation. b. It is the presence and protection of God that distinguishes them from all others.

13 13 c. God has guided and protected them and brought them this far. i. Without His continued presence, it would be futile to continue on. ii. Even other nations would notice the absence of God. iii. Psalm 85:7-8, O Lord, show us your loyal love! Bestow on us your deliverance! I will listen to what God the Lord says. For he will make peace with his people, his faithful followers. Yet they must not return to their foolish ways. (NET) 7. In His grace and mercy, God acknowledged that He will do all that Moses has asked because He has found favor in the sight of God, and he knows Him by name. (Verse 27) a. The increasing faith of Moses and his desire to get ever closer to God made this possible. i. Psalm 33:12, How blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen to be his special possession. (NET) ii. Psalm 94:14, Certainly the Lord does not forsake his people; he does not

14 14 abandon the nation that belongs to him. (NET) iii. Revelation 22:3-4, And there will no longer be any curse, and the throne of God and the Lamb will be in the city. His servants will worship him, and they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. (NET) 8. Show me Your glory. (verses 18-23) a. Moses asked to see the glory of God. b. Because of Moses favor with God, He agreed to allow him to get a glimpse of Himself as he passed by. c. The statement, I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious. I will show mercy to whom I will show mercy, tells us that grace and mercy come only from the will of God. d. Through His compassion and forgiveness, we are allowed to seek His grace and mercy. e. I have read that grace is getting what you don t deserve and mercy is not getting what you do deserve. f. Sinful man does not warrant God s mercy; this truly is a gift from God.

15 15 g. Because of the extraordinary relationship Moses had with God, he asked to see Him face to face, to view the full majesty of the Lord. h. He had allowed Moses and the elders to witness His splendor on Mt. Sinai and survive. i. Exodus 24:9-11, Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up, and they saw the God of Israel. Under his feet there was something like a pavement made of sapphire, clear like the sky itself. But he did not lay a hand on the leaders of the Israelites, so they saw God, and they ate and they drank. (NET) i. This time Moses wanted to see the face of God. ii. He reminded Moses that it was not possible to view His face, but He would show His splendor as He passed by. j. God did not allow mankind to view His face until he manifested Himself as a baby born of the virgin Mary in the town of Bethlehem two thousand years ago. i. Luke 2:10-11, But the angel said to them, Do not be afraid! Listen carefully, for I proclaim to you good

16 16 Conclusion: news that brings great joy to all the people: Today your Savior is born in the city of David. He is Christ the Lord. (NET) k. This was later confirmed by Jesus Christ when he was asked to show his disciples the father in heaven. i. John 14:8-9, Philip said, Lord, show us the Father, and we will be content. Jesus replied, Have I been with you for so long, and you have not known me, Philip? The person who has seen me has seen the Father! How can you say, Show us the Father? (NET) I. This chapter shows us the amazing grace and mercy of our Father God. A. The Israelites had sinned against God by breaking His laws by which they had agreed to abide. B. After their verbal agreement, Moses was on Mt. Sinai for forty additional days to receive the stone tablets from God. II. Forty days were as long as the Israelites were able to keep their covenant with God.

17 17 A. Moses had splashed blood on the people making this a blood covenant between the Israelites and God. 1. The customary punishment for breaking a blood covenant was death. 2. Of the four laws of the covenant pertaining to their relationship with God, they broke the first two. III. God had every right to pour out His wrath and destroy them, but instead He showed the Israelites and us how great His grace and mercy are. A. If we earnestly repent, confess our sins and ask His forgiveness, He is willing to grant grace and mercy. 1. One dictionary definition of grace is,... undeserved favor, especially that kind or degree of favor bestowed upon sinners through Jesus Christ. 2. God, through His Son Jesus Christ, has provided grace and mercy for all who believe in Him. a. Titus 2:11, For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all people. (NET) IV. God s promise of grace and mercy to Moses and the Israelites would sustain them through their journey. A. We are inheritors of grace and mercy obtained through Jesus Christ who was sacrificed for our sins.

18 This is a blood covenant, a promise that is meant to sustain Christians throughout lives. 2. We have the blood assurance of grace, mercy and life everlasting. a. John 1:14, Now the Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We saw his glory the glory of the one and only, full of grace and truth, who came from the Father. (NET) b. Acts 20:32, And now I entrust you to God and to the message of his grace. This message is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. (NET) c. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles so that we may be able to comfort those experiencing any trouble with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (NET) d. Hebrews 4:16, Therefore let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace whenever we need help. (NET)

19 The Holman Bible Dictionary, page 679, states,... Grace... (is) the idea of the continuance and inexhaustible supply of God s grace to believers. It is never interrupted and knows no bounds. V. As we receive grace and mercy from God, so are we to show mercy to others. A. This was an important part of Jesus teachings in the beatitudes and became one of the cardinal virtues of Christian believers. 1. Matthew 5:7, Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. (NET) 2. Matthew 22:34-44, Now when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they assembled together. And one of them, an expert in religious law, asked him a question to test him: Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest? Jesus said to him, Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the law and the prophets depend on these two commandments. While the Pharisees were assembled, Jesus asked them a question: What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he? They said, The son of David. He said to them, How then does David by the Spirit call him

20 20 Lord, saying, The Lord said to my lord, Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet? (NET) 3. Galatians 5:22-23, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (NET) 4. James 2:13, For judgment is merciless for the one who has shown no mercy. But mercy triumphs over judgment. (NET) 5. Luke 6:36, Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (NET)

21 21 Questions on Exodus 33: In the beginning of this chapter, God told Moses the Israelites would be delivered to the promised land. However, one important element would be missing. Explain what that was. 2. God promised to send to do this. 3. Explain why God made this decision. 4. God told the people to remove their ornaments. With what were these ornaments associated?

22 Moses set up his tent outside the camp and called it the tent of meeting. Was this the same as the tabernacle? Explain. 6. Moses showed God that his faith and trust in Him were growing when he asked God to 7. Moses said to God, If your presence does not go with us 8. It was the that distinguished the Israelites from other nations. 9. Moses asked to see

23 Had Moses previously witnessed the splendor of God? Yes No 11. If yes, where and when did this happen? 12. Did God allow Moses to see His face this time? 13. If no, what part of God did Moses view? 14. What is the most important lesson learned from this chapter? Explain your answer.

24 Israel s goal was to reach the promised land. What was the best way for them to reach this goal? What is your primary goal in life? What is the best way for you to reach this goal?

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