February 06, 2012

37 - The LORD a God Merciful and Gracious

The Adoration of the Golden Calf by Nicolas Poussin:
Chareen's Thoughts:
  • Exodus 32:1-29 is all about the golden calf and how the people wanted something to worship because Moses had not reappeared from the mountain. 
  • I have been reading a commentary on the golden calf by Rabbi Ken Spiro where I learned a lot about the story of the golden calf and it's implications to the Jewish nation. 
  • In Exodus 32:26-29 we read how Moses asks Who is for the LORD ? and the levites stand with him and then go through the camp and kill those who were involved in the sinful act.  You see that Jew kills Jew. One of the moral lessons learned by the Jewish nation through the story of the golden calf is:  Judaism teaches you're either part of the problem or you're part of the solution, and that you have a legal obligation to be part of the solution. Being a by-stander is not an option. (Till today, the Bible is virtually the only moral/legal code in the world that demands that you actively do good as epitomized by the expression "...go in His ways." (Deut. 28:9) - Rabbi Ken Spiro
  • Its at this point the Lord chooses to leave the people and let the angel lead because He is so angry.  He says to Moses: ... But I will not go with you because you are a stiff-necked people; otherwise, I might destroy you on the way. Exodus 33:3
  • At this point the people remove their jewellery as a sign of repentance/mourning for their actions. Exodus 33:4 - 6
  • Tent of Meeting was made and erected outside of the camp as a symbol of the Lord separating Himself from the people as a consequence of their sin. This is where Moses went to meet with the Lord. Exodus 33:7-11 Interestingly I note that Moses came and went but Joshua would not leave the inside of the tent (verse 11).  It also interested me that each time Moses went to the tent of meeting the people spent that time in worship (verse 10)
  • Exodus 33:12-23 Moses interceded for the people and God says He will return and lead His people.
  • Exodus 33:18 Moses asked the Lord to show him His glory.  What an amazing request of the God who made the heavens and the earth. Even more importantly the Lord grants His request. (verse 19 - 23)
  • Exodus 34:1-28 Moses once again remains with the Lord for 40 days and the Lord sustains him.  The Lord renews his directions for worship and following Him.
  • Exodus 25:1-7 The Sabbath rest for the land.  Interesting.  The Lord made the harvest of the sixth year 3 times the normal size so the people would have food for the sabbath year, the year they sowed up to the next harvest.
  • The year of Jubilee !  Wow imagine living with this gracious law.  To be set free and celebrate! Exodus 25:8-24
And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord! the Lord! a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in loving-kindness and truth, Keeping mercy and loving-kindness for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but Who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children's children, to the third and fourth generation. Exodus 34:6-7
“For the word of the Lord is right; and all His work is done in faithfulness. He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the loving-kindness of the Lord.” Psalm 33:4-5 AMP

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