Unlike Lesson 9 Notes where there was not a lot to glean, Lesson 10 Notes will inspire you and motivate you to improve something in your life whether it be prayer, work for God and His enabling, or the belief that you are holy, etc. Great job by BSF in capturing the essence of Exodus 25-31 that is hard for most of us to get because it is buried in such legalism.
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.
Summary of passage: God gives Moses another set of identical tablets that Moses broke in his anger at seeing the golden calf. Moses chiseled out the tablets and went up on Mount Sinai so that God could re-engrave them. Here, God proclaimed His name to Moses in a cloud, saying He is compassionate and gracious and loving but punishes the guilty. Moses bowed down and once again asked for the Lord’s forgiveness of the people.
8 ) God knew the importance of having written laws for the people’s sake so graciously made another set once Moses broke the first set. He forgave the people their sin and continued on with His plans for them.
9a) Compassionate: Inspires me to be more compassionate as God is/was
Gracious: Inspires me to extend grace to those who don’t deserve it
Slow to anger: Inspires me to exercise more self-control
Abounding in love: Inspires me to open up more and love more
Abounding in faithfulness: Inspires me to keep my word and be more faithful to Him
Maintaining love to thousands: Inspires me to care for others
Forgiving wickness: Inspires me to forgive the evils of this world and those done to me
Forgiving rebellions: Inspires me to forgive myself when I rebel inside
Forgiving sin: Inspires me to forgive myself of my sins and forgive others sins.
Punishes the guilty: Inspires me to let things go for I know God is the mete of justice.
b) Moses bowed to the ground at once and worshiped and asked for forgiveness and for God’s presence.
c) Personal Question. My answer: God’s goodness and faithfulness and grace.
Conclusions: Liked the questions. Not for sure they went deep enough.
End Notes: This description of God became the cornerstone for the Jews as the most profound statement of God’s nature.
As Christians, knowing God as Moses knew God–His character–should be our highest striving.
Fun Fact: Exodus 34:6-7 is the most alluded to passage in the Old Testament.
Summary of passage: Moses is speaking with God and beseeches to know Him better. God says His Presence will go with Moses on his journey. Moses says if God’s Presence doesn’t accompany them, then he doesn’t want to go and nothing will distinguish God’s people if God doesn’t. God grants Moses request and when Moses asks God to show him His glory God says His goodness will pass in front of Moses for no one living can see God’s face.
5a) To know Him better. To learn more about God so he can better lead and have more confidence. To be closer to God. To know God approves of him.
b) Personal Question. My answer: To be honest, I’ve never really asked God to know Him better. But I just did!
c) That God remember that these people are His people, that they are distinct from the rest of the world because of God’s favor upon them, and thus God had to go with them so that all others will know these are God’s people.
d) Personal Question. My answer: I pray more and more for others but never really thought of it as leading to my personal growth. Sounds a bit selfish to me if that’s the only reason you are praying is to grow personally. Others first, then you. Like Jesus did.
6) Confidence in their course, freedom from worry, desire to help others and do what’s right in God’s mind, an inner peace in their lives, compassion on others, living God’s way not the world’s.
7a) God Himself, but I’m not for sure Moses knew exactly what he expected. After all, it is God and God’s ways are not ours. Moses just wanted to be close to God so badly that he asked to see God and I believe Moses didn’t really care here if he saw God or not. He only wanted to be as close to God as humanly possible and I think Moses achieved that more than any other person besides Jesus while on Earth.
b) “Do the very thing you [Moses] have asked”, which is to go personally with the Israelites on their journey to the Promised Land because God had said in Exodus 33:3 that He wouldn’t due to His anger over the golden calf. He also promised to show Moses His goodness and proclaim His name in front of Moses. He will have compassion on who He has compassion and mercy on whom He will have mercy on. He will cover Moses until His glory has passed and Moses will see God’s back but not His face.
c) No one can see God’s face and live.
Conclusions: I do need to ask God to know Him more, and I need to pray for others not for me but for them as they need mercy more than I do. I would like to be seen as someone who knows God, but I fear when people look at me, they don’t see God but me. Something to pray about.
End Notes: What makes the Promised Land special is God. Without God, the land is nothing. Hence, Moses begs God to go with them. The word “know” is repeated here. We need to know God and desire to know God like Moses did.
Moses was bold here, pressing God and using grace as his reasoning. God responds. Great example for us as well. Delicate balance of Godly-fear with the right heart.
Moses wanted more and more and kept asking. God granted. So must we.
God’s glory lies in His goodness. That is the first thing we must know about God–that He is good. To understand God, we must understand His goodness. This is the essence behind God’s glory.
Elijah may have met God in this exact same rock cleft (1 Kings 19:8-18).
Here we see the hymn Rock of Ages: Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee.
I would expect to sing this hymn when we do this lesson in BSF.
Take away: If you seek Him, you will be rewarded beyond your imaginings.
Summary of passage: The tent of meeting was pitched outside the Israelites’ camp. Whoever wanted to inquire of the Lord would go here. Moses would go inside the tent and the pillar of cloud (God) would descend and the Lord would speak to Moses as if with a friend and all the people would worship when Moses was with God. Joshua stayed behind at the tent.
3a) The Israelites had lost their privilege of having God amongst them when they formed the golden calf. God punished them by removing Himself. Hence, God had to remain separate since He is holy and the people are not.
b) They worshipped whenever God was present.
4a) Moses didn’t see the face of God, but God’s presence descended and Moses spoke with God.
b) Personal Question. My answer: When we ask Him to. When we come to Him in prayer. When we beseech Him. Whenever we want, God will speak to us. We only have to be willing.
Conclusions: I jumped up and down at this lesson! Short and sweet! Emphasized how we all can approach God and be with Him if we are only willing. Great lesson on choosing God and Him meeting us when we do so. Yay, BSF!
End Notes: In the ancient world, places of worship were built outside of towns. God had desired to change this until the sin of the golden calf. Furthermore, by placing the tabernacle outside of the city, those who truly wanted to meet God had to go out of their way to do so. It was an act of separation. God’s people had to be separate. They had to choose Him. We can assume some of the Israelites did not do so.
Moses set a strong example for the people. When he worshipped, so did they. This is what leaders do.
Moses had a special relationship with God. He didn’t see God’s face for John tells us no one has (1 John 4:12), but Moses heard God clearly and “sees the form of the Lord” (Numbers 12:8). It is clear Moses is special. What an amazing honor!
I see two reasons for Joshua staying: 1) To guard the tent. 2) He was so moved by the Lord’s presence that he did not wish to depart. He yearned for God and by staying at the tabernacle he was as close as humanly possible to God’s presence. I believe we all have this yearning and why we are all drawn to church wherever we are–to be as close to our Maker as possible.
Summary of passage: Moses goes up to the Lord again to plead for the people’s forgiveness, saying to blot him out of the book if God does not forgive them. God says He will but when the times comes for punishment (judgment), He will punish them and blot them out of His book. He struck them with the plague as punishment (death of 3000).
God commands Moses to leave for the Promised Land and He will send an angel before them to drive out their enemies. However, God will not go with any longer for His anger is such that He may destroy them anyways for their sins. The people mourned these words and put on no ornaments at Mount Horeb.
10a) Both of them wished to sacrifice themselves for the people, to take on God’s wrath and be cut off from God. Love for the people, God’s great heart.
c) Jesus sacrificed himself and atoned for our sins through his blood sacrifice to demonstrate God’s justness (Romans), to redeem us so that we may receive the full rights of sons (Galatians), to be our ransom so that we are set free from our sins and are able to receive our eternal inheritance (Hebrews).
11) Without belief in Jesus, you will die for your sins.
12a) The instructions are the same–to go up out of this place and head to the Promised Land with an angel to guide them–except God will not go with them this time.
c) They began to mourn and did not put on any ornaments.
d) Personal Question. My answer: Confess our sins and receive God’s forgiveness and truly repent in our hearts (like the Israelites who mourned). We should be sad and bereft and crave God’s fellowship once more.
Conclusions: Overall, much more focused study. I like this one better than all the readings. Great example of Paul and Moses pleading for us-how they have such a heart for God and others that they are willing to sacrifice themselves. So inspiring.
I would imagine without God, Immanuel with them, the Israelites feel very alone and even more fearful. I can imagine once you have God the thought of losing Him would be devastating. Good lesson for the Israelites to appreciate and learn from their sins.
End Notes: Moses understood the gravity of the people’s sin so asks for forgiveness again, even offering himself as a sacrifice, sensing that an animal’s blood would not suffice. God says no because He knows Jesus is coming. I want such a sacrificial heart. Moses appeals to God’s grace and mercy. Still, God’s punishment is that none of these adults will see the Promised Land.
This would merely be an angel, not Jesus, with them. God wanted to see if they truly cared if they had Him or not if they just wanted the possessions. They cared and God later relented again in His infinite mercy (Exodus 33:15-17).
Here, we see what should be done after sin: 1) Repent of God’s loss of Himself 2) Do not outwardly adorn yourself for it is the inward that matters.
Later, we see what the Israelites should have used their gold for–the tabernacle (Exodus 35:22), which they did. Learning is taking place, which is all God asks of us.
Summary of passage: Moses was not pleased that Aaron had made the Israelites a laughingstock to the world. Moses asks whomever is for God to come to him. The Levites come. God told the Levites to kill everyone else who is not for the Lord and they killed about 3000 that day. They will now be set apart and blessed for their loyalty to God.
8a) They were running wild, not thinking or caring about their sin
c) Personal Question. My answer: I am responsible for those in my charge. I set the environment and if it’s sinful, then all will be infected. If it’s full of God, all will be filled with God. I need to be more mindful of what I do.
9a) He asked, “Whoever is for the Lord, come to me.” Those who didn’t come to him, were slaughtered.
b) As punishment/judgment for their sin for He knew their hearts would never change. The same reason why He wanted to kill all of them in Exodus 32:10.
c) They were set apart as disciples (and we know as priests) for the Lord. They became worthy of the Lord because they put Him above their brothers, sons, and family.
Conclusions: Like yesterday, another easy day. We are all responsible for ourselves as well even if we have no one immediate under us or in our care. We affect everyone we come into contact with. We either shine the Lord or we don’t. Which are you?
Again like with Pharaoh who witnessed God firsthand, we see here that some people will never change and will never come to the Lord and we can do nothing about it and neither can God. In this case, He kills them as their judgment. Good reminder in our struggles with others to come to God. We can only do so much.
End Notes: Other translations say the people were “unrestrained”. Basically, they had no moral compass and were following whatever made them feel good. Hence, their hearts were hard and they paid the ultimate price.
The Levites were the only group who decided, acted, and separated for God. So we must as well.
Stand for God, or you stand for nothing.