Highlights In Today's Reading:
The bull, the principal god of Egypt, later became a god of the Ten Tribes of Israel, a great sin (I Kings 12:28). This pitiful apostasy of turning from the Living God to a molten calf so soon after the marvelous miracles in Egypt reveals how deceptive "worship" can become when left to human reasoning. It was a crisis calling for immediate discipline, which was swift and severe as there fell . . . about three thousand men (Exodus 32:28).
God withdrew His presence from Israel partly in judgment: I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a stiffnecked people. But it was also in mercy lest I consume thee in the way (33:3). His holy nature cannot remain in the presence of sin no more than a light can remain with darkness. Whenever we violate the will of God, His blessings leave us.
The Lord said unto Moses, Depart, and go up hence . . . Unto a land flowing with milk and honey: for I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a stiffnecked people: lest I consume thee in the way. And when the people heard these evil tidings, they mourned: and no man did put on . . . his ornaments (33:1-4).
Upon hearing the judgment of God, Israel with great sorrow, stripped themselves of their ornaments and sought the Lord (33:6-7). In losing God's presence they had lost their greatest treasure and blessing, so putting away their ornaments was fitting evidence of their repentance. The presence of God was their assurance of victory, and if He did not go up in the midst of them their failure was inevitable.
Moses would not continue further toward the promised land until he had a clear manifestation of God's presence: If Thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence (33:15).
Many believers feel they are blessed by God (in the promised land) but actually give little thought concerning their relationship and walk with God.
Thought for Today:
Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Psalm 16:11).
As the One who is ever-present. My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest (peace) (Exodus 33:14). He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee (Hebrews 13:5; compare Matthew 11:28; John 14:27).
32:7 corrupted themselves =behaved sinfully; 32:9 stiff-necked people =willfully disobedient; 32:12 mischief =evil intent; repent of =denounce; 32:14 repented =loved with compassion and turned from; 32:20 strawed =scattered; 32:25 naked =out of control; made them naked =allowed them to sin; 32:30 peradventure =perhaps; 32:34 will visit =inflict punishment; 32:35 plagued the people =caused them to suffer; 34:10 covenant =binding agreement with qualifications given by God; terrible =amazing; that I will do =in awesome fear of God; 34:12 snare =drove to be your ruin; 34:13 groves =idol places of worship; 34:17 molten gods =metal idols; 34:18 unleavened bread =bread without yeast, a symbol of Christ as the sinless offering; 34:19 openeth the matrix =womb, the firstborn; firstling =firstborn; 34:21 in earing time =at plowing time; 34:26 seethe a kid =took a young goat; 34:27 after the tenor of =according to.
Pray for The Arabic International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts sponsored by Mrs. A.C. Tarjan • Staff: Benjamin Wallace • Government Officials: Rep. Brian Bilbray (CA), Rep. Linda Sánchez (CA), and Rep. Bennie Thompson (MS) • Country: Benin (6 million) in western Africa • Major languages: French and tribal languages • Some hostility toward Christians • 59% animism and voodoo; 17% Muslim; 16% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Pray and praise God that the answers to your prayers are granted through the grace of God (Isaiah 30:19).
Optional Reading: Matthew 28
Memory Verse for the Week: Philippians 3:10