Bible Discussion — Exodus 31-34

August 8, 2007, 12:00 pm; posted by
Filed under Bible, Chloe, David, Djere, Josh J, MC-B, Steve, Tom  | No Comments

This week, Bweinh.com looks at the next four chapters of the Bible, Exodus 31-34.

Previously in Exodus: 1-4 | 5-8 | 9-11 | 12-14 | 15-18 | 19-22 | 23-26 | 27-30

The book of Genesis:
1-4 | 5-9 | 10-14 | 15-18 | 19-22 | 23-26 | 27-29
30-32 | 33-36 | 37-39 | 40-43 | 44-46 | 47-50

 
INTRODUCTION:
David:
In this section Moses received the law, Israel fell away, God came close to destroying them and starting over with just Moses, Moses pled for, and received, mercy for God’s people, and God gave Moses another set of laws to replace the set Moses broke in anger.

MC-B:
I know we haven’t talked in a long time, but I wanted to let you know you’re still the only one for me. Much love. ~Mike

 
SOMETHING YOU’D NEVER NOTICED BEFORE:
Djere:
God is serious about his weekends. Whomever doesn’t honor the Sabbath must be put to death. Dag, yo.

Josh:
In my head I had always pictured Moses throwing the tablets directly at the golden calf, but upon closer inspection I see that I just made that up. Or maybe I saw it in Superbook.

Steve:
God was going to send the Israelites to the Promised Land with an angel guide, because He didn’t trust Himself not to kill them all on the way…

Chloe:
Moses, through reason and with righteous intent, turned the Lord from His wrath, just as Abraham did. More proof that prayer is powerful!

Tom:
3000 people were killed in the aftermath of the Golden Calf debacle. It’s easy to look at the forgiveness and overlook the punishment.

David:
God promised them feast insurance. Every man was required to leave his lands and come together for a feast that would leave their homesteads open to raiding. God’s promise here foreshadows Jesus saying, “Seek first the Kingdom of God.”

 
BEST BAND NAME FROM THE PASSAGE:
Tom, Djere: Finger of God
Steve: Godfinger; Go, Get Down!
David: Face Shone; Wot Not
MC-B: Tablets of the Testimony
Josh: Empty Handed
Chloe: Tribe of Dan

 
STORY IT REMINDS YOU OF:
Chloe:
Moses tells the people who killed the three thousand Israelites, “You have been set apart to the Lord today, for you were against your own sons and brothers, and He has blessed you this day.” His words remind me of when Jesus told the people, “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me,” and “From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three.”

Josh:
When Moses makes the Israelites drink the golden calf powder water, it reminds me of the old school stories of parents who caught their kids trying a cigarette and then taught them a lesson by making them smoke the whole pack.

David:
31:11 reminds me of the song, “Take Me In.”

Steve:
Anyone, especially a child, caught in a sin. They gave me the gold, Aaron said, and I, uh, cast it into the fire, and then — um — then this calf, you see, it just, it just came out! Sure it did, Aaron. Of course the natural result of a smelting fire is a giant bovine.

Djere:
In Exodus 32:5-6, they built a calf and had a festival with fellowship offerings, indulging in “revelry.” The connotation is sensual; the root word is ‘caressing.’ This reminds me of a portion of the Simpsons Movie, when the end of the world approached and everyone ran out of the church and immediately into the bar.

 
DEEP THEOLOGICAL MEANING:
David:
God announced his intention to withdraw and replace himself with an angel, but Moses said that if God wasn’t going, He shouldn’t send them. How could they prove to the world that they had favor with God if His presence didn’t remain among them? How important is the presence of God in what we do now? I think it’s still the determining factor.

MC-B:
The Lord warned Moses that the new nation had to be careful of who it allied itself with, and so must we be in pursuing friendly relationships. We should interact with all so they may see the radiance that we reflect, but we must simultaneously be careful to live in the world without being of it.

Steve:
Even after the deaths of 3000 of his brothers, Moses still understood that the Lord was the only hope for him and his nation. He wouldn’t go without his people, and he wouldn’t go without God’s presence — if that meant separation from the rest of the world and years in the wilderness following a fleeting glimpse of glory, it was okay. As long as the Lord was there.

Tom:
God is faithful to forgive, but — there’s always a cost.

Chloe:
God declared that anyone who worked on the Sabbath should be put to death. Jesus, in healing people on the Sabbath, was in very real danger of being put to death, and He knew it. That’s the kind of sacrifice He calls us to — losing our own lives to save another.

 
RANDOM THOUGHT:
Josh:
I wonder if Moses realized he would have to re-chisel the tablets after he broke them in his anger. I wonder if he still thought the dramatic moment was worth it as he did the work, or if it just made him more ticked off at his charges.

MC-B:
God gave skill to all the craftsmen to make the Tent of Meeting, the Ark of the Covenant, etc. I wish I could get a little more knowledge through divine impartation. These student loans are going to be killing me soon enough.

Tom:
Moses bought Aaron’s story?

Steve:
I like that Moses made the Israelites drink the ground-up calf in their water right away. You want an idol? I’ll give you an idol! Open up!!

Djere:
Take a look at 32:17. Why did Moses reply in song or poetic form? How did Joshua, a seasoned veteran in war, confuse the sounds of singing with the noise of battle?

Chloe:
Aaron sounds like a child when pleading with his brother. He knew he did wrong, and yet he still insisted it was by some miracle that the calf came into being. “Aaron, where did the calf come from?”

“It jumped out of the fire!”

“Now, Aaron, I know you made it.”

“The people made me do it! It’s not my fault!”

David:
Only Moses, Elijah and Jesus were ever recorded as fasting for 40 days. There are more similarities among the men who stand for the Law and the Prophets (the written and spoken word) and “the Word that became flesh and dwelt among us.” Check out Romans 3:21. “And now the righteousness that is without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets.” Sounds like what was happening on the Mount of Transfiguration.

 
WHERE IS JESUS IN THIS PASSAGE:
David:
Around 1762, Augustus Toplady was preparing for ordination and went for a stroll. As a sudden storm hit, he sought shelter among some rocks and found a large cleft that gave him security from the violence of the storm. He realized for the first time how Moses felt and understood that Jesus was that Rock. He wrote the lines “Rock of Ages/Cleft for me/Let me hide/myself in Thee” the same day.

Tom:
Renewing the covenant — again — in the face of Israel’s idolatry.

Djere:
33:19 — “Then He said, ‘I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.'”

MC-B:
The Lord relented and didn’t bring wrath against the idolaters because Moses stood in the gap, going so far as to be willing to die permanently for them. I don’t think I have to spell out a great deal more.

Josh:
This passage actually deepens my appreciation of Christ — a visible manifestation of God who could be seen and touched. There was no need to look away from Him, to be protected from His very presence, because He humbled Himself to the point of taking on our broken flesh, relating directly with us out of His great love.

 
VERSE TO REMEMBER:
David, Steve:
33:15 — “Then he said to Him, ‘If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.'”

MC-B:
34:17 — “You shall make no molded gods for yourselves.”

Tom, Josh:
33:19 — “Then He said, ‘I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.'”

 
PORTION YOU WOULD MOST LIKE EXPLAINED IN HEAVEN:
David:
Why the Sabbath was such a big deal that violators were put to death.

MC-B:
The Lord asked Moses to leave Him alone so His anger could burn against the idolaters. Does that happen a lot? What about grace for all?

Tom:
The “young goat in the mother’s milk” thing — what the heck?

Josh:
Was God really ready to give up on his chosen people in chapter 33? Were his promises to the patriarchs and his deliverance from bondage really ready to be canceled out? Or was it more like a parent threatening a child with a worst-case scenario they never want to enforce to get a response?

Steve:
How were the people “unrestrained,” how did it cause them shame among their enemies, and why did it lead to the death of 3,000 Israelites at the hands of the priests?

 
LESSON TO TAKE AWAY:
Steve:
Spending time in the presence of God produces very real change, both inside and out.

Tom:
34:6-7 — “And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon their children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.'”

David:
There was tangible evidence that Moses had been with God, and in Acts 4:13, the boldness of Peter and John made the Pharisees realize they “had been with Jesus.” People should notice something about us.

 
GENERAL RESPONSE TO THE PASSAGE:
David:
“I threw the gold into the furnace and out came this calf!,” Aaron said. It’s always hard for a man to admit when he has sinned.

MC-B:
Good, but unsatisfied. I’m ready for the next few chapters of Exodus. Not looking forward to Leviticus at all, though.

Chloe:
Moses’ relationship with God is so beautiful, summarized in 33:11 — “The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend.” If only we could all have that relationship with God, truly understanding how powerful and frightening He is, and yet knowing firsthand His compassion and deep love.

 
CONCLUSION:
Steve:
These four chapters are kind of a microcosm of the whole Bible, of all of history. The Law comes, the people rebel, they pay the price, intercession is made, God forgives, the Covenant is renewed. A powerful passage.

David:
The constant moving of God on Israel, while they continually fall short, is proof to me the Bible is true. The Jews didn’t develop a great system of religious and moral teachings that changed the world. They had it imposed upon their culture from the outside, and it took thousands of years to yield permanent results.


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