Exodus’ reading today brings us to where God has given the tablets of stone on which He had written the Ten Commandments to take to the people. Today we read chapters 30 to 32.
Chapter 30 –
An additional altar was to be constructed. This altar is for the burning of incense. Only a specific type of incense was to be burned and no unauthorized incense was to be used.
Each man twenty years and older was to pay a ransom to the Lord. This served two purposes (1). Is served as an atonement for their lives and prevented the plague coming on them should they disobey, (2). The money was used to maintain the tent of meeting.
A bronze basin was prepared for priests to do the ceremonial washing. Nothing about the worship was left to human ingenuity it was all established and laid out by God. Specific instructions are given for making incense. It must be holy and used in the tabernacle. If anyone was to make a batch of incense such as this they were to be cut off from the people.
Chapter 31 –
Two men were appointed by God to build the tabernacle. He endowed men with wisdom to do the work He had commissioned.
The next few verses we are reminded to observe the sabbath and anyone not doing so would be put to death.
When the Lord finished talking to Moses, He gave him two stone tablets containing the Ten Commandment in scribed by the finger of God. They were to be placed inside the ark of the covenant.
Chapter 32 –
Moses was on the mountain for what seemed to be too long for the children of Israel so they demanded a god to worship saying they did not know what had happened to Moses, he was gone for forty days and nights.
Unfortunately Aaron listened to them and gave into heir demands and fashions a molten calf for them to worship. Israel had turned their backs on the great “I AM’ and turned to idol worship. A golden statue received the praise due to God.
Chapter 32 –
You will note something important in your reading in this chapter. Aaron said they would have a festival to the Lord (32:5) and the people offered burnt offerings and presented fellowship offerings. They referred to the idol as “the Lord.”
They sat down to eat and drink and this was clearly no innocent celebration, they knew what they were doing. Simply put, they were worshipping an idol.
While on the mountain Moses had no idea what was going on below. However, God informed him of what was happening and the Lord said He would destroy them because they were a stiff-necked people.
Moses pleads with god to spare them because the Egyptians would ridicule God’s name for bringing them into the desert to kill them. He further reminded God of His promise to the patriarchs to make them a great nation.
We come to an interesting palce is scripture here. God Himself does not change (Mal. 3:6). Yet He does declare that He may choose to relent and not bring about judgement to people if they would change their ways.
Moses comes down the mountain holding the two tablets given him by God but when he saw the actions of the people he threw the tablets breaking them into pieces since they had broken their covenant with God.
Upon questioning Aaron who was to lead Israel allowed Israel to lead him. Aaron’s response was not exactly accurate. He says When I threw the gold into the fire, out came the calf. He falsely implied it was a supernatural event.
Moses called them out and into repentance but those who did not repent were killed at the hand of the Levites as directed by Moses, three thousand men died.
The following day Moses reminds the people for their sin and declared to them he would intercede on their behalf to God. If God would not forgive them then Moses asks God to kill him. God does not destroy but does inflict a plague upon them. God would not allow Moses to take their sin because he himself was a sinner.