Summary of passage: God renews the covenant with Moses and His people, repeating the same stipulations as before, promising to make them into an amazing people as long as they obey His commands and not make treaties with neighboring peoples or worship any other god. Don’t intermarry either because the foreigners will only lead you astray.
God reminds them to make no idols, observe His feasts of Unleavened Bread, Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Ingathering and give Him the firstborn. Observe the Sabbath. Moses stayed on Mount Sinai another 40 days and nights without eating or drinking and he wrote down God’s commands on the tablets.
Moses descended Mount Sinai and his face was radiant from speaking with God. The people were afraid at first but then Moses veiled his face except when speaking with the Lord. He would relay the commands of God and his radiant face proved he had spoken to God.
10a) The people had just been told God would not accompany them and had been threatened to be killed by God. To know they were back in God’s favor would renew their faith in Him and His grace.
b) God said He is making a covenant with the people and He would do wonders never before done in all the world so the people whom they live among will know He is God.
c) Personal Question. My answer: I hope in my faith, my giving, my living out His commands and following Him, my prayers, my good deeds, and my love for Him and all.
11a) God, being the One, True God must guard this position. He must preserve His honor and supremacy. And as the One, True God He demands of His people exclusive worship and devotion. Hence, He is jealous when Israel turned from Him with the golden calf.
God wants everyone to obey Him. He wants the best for us. He wants to protect what is precious to Him (us). God is jealous because He is sovereign over all. He has to protect that which is His (us and Israel in the Old Testament). Note God is jealous when the people are worshipping other idols because then they are not His. God wants us completely and when He doesn’t have it, He is jealous.
This all comes down to the meaning of the word “jealous”. God’s jealous is different than what we normally think of as “jealous”. Hence, it confuses us. In essence, God is jealous when someone gives to another what rightly belongs to Him. In the case of the Israelites, their worship. [See End Notes for wonderful links on this topic].
b) To reassure the people who have just sinned against Him and almost paid the ultimate price. Obviously, the people need a reminder of just who God is and what He desires from them. They aren’t understanding yet how they are His treasure. He is trying to get them to understand their uniqueness and reveal in that and in Him.
12a) This is a ‘DUH!’ question. He was with God. Anything is possible with God. God sustained Moses. He is enough.
b) His face was radiant because he had spoken with God and some of God’s glory had been passed on to Moses.
c) Personal Question. My answer: These are always hard ones because it is those around us who notice the changes more so than we do because the changes are usually so subtle every day that we absorb them and they go unnoticed. It’s only when you run into someone you haven’t seen for a while that the changes are noticeable. It’s like when you lose weight and someone comments on it even though you never noticed it (this has happened to me a bunch of times in my life).
Anyways, this question is hard because we rely on others who sometimes don’t tell us when they notice changes in us for whatever reasons. Honestly, none. I haven’t heard anything from others. No one has commented. So it makes me wonder if I have changed or I’m still the same hard-hearted, selfish, conceited person.
Conclusions: Loved the jealousy question as we as Christians need to understand why God is jealous and get the “envy” definition out of our minds in order to understand God more fully. This is one of the hardest attributes of God to grasp and I am still trying to grasp it–how the Almighty Lord could so love me that He is jealous of me. It is my prayer to have this penetrate deep into my soul.
The 2 Corinthians passage made it seem like Moses’ veil was a selfish thing because the glory faded. I see it as for the people’s benefit who were afraid of Moses’s radiance. Furthermore, because the glory faded, the people might begin to believe that the Lord faded from Moses as well and be afraid that God had abandoned them. The veil was for the people; not for Moses.
Also, note how Moses’s shining face reflects the Old Covenant. The Old Covenant wasn’t powerful enough to give glory forever. Only the New Covenant. Hence, we can shine for all of eternity.
The personal questions are the same: how do people see God in you? Great question but unfortunately, I don’t know the answer to it.
End Notes: We must remember that the covenant is all for God’s glory and Israel was the nation God chose to receive His blessing and grace.
Everything spoken here by God is repetition from before: same laws, same stipulations, same requirements, same blessings.
Three times a year Israelites are to appear before God are Pentecost, Passover, and the Feast of the Tabernacles (Exodus 23:14-17).
Leaven or yeast frequently represents sin the Bible. Hence, it is outlawed here with the blood sacrifice.
No one in the Bible has ever gone 40 days or nights without water except in this instance. Great illustration of how we are to live on the Word of God alone.
The remarkable thing about Moses’s face shining is that he had no clue he shone. He was humble, not a bit of pride or superiority to be found. Awesome!
Great reads on a jealous God: https://bible.org/seriespage/jealous-god
Fun Fact: Only two men in the Bible have faces that shone: Moses and Stephen (Acts 6:15).
Cool Mistranslation Fact: The verb “shone” in Hebrew has two meanings: “shot forth light” and “having horns”. Hence, when monks first began to translate the Bible into Latin in the Middle Ages, Moses was thought to have horns so you often see depicted Moses with horns on his head in medieval paintings and drawings.