Exodus 32 – 34
I really sympathize with Moses in these chapters. He has trusted and remained faithful to God. He has led the Israelites out of Egypt and saved them from lives of servitude. However, as soon as Moses turns his back they become a corrupt and sinful people. They mould a Golden Calf and fall on their knees in worship to this false god.
I think there are two points we can reflect on from these chapters:
- What a contrast for Moses it must have been to come down from the mountain in communion with God to bear witness to such a wicked world. We can relate to how Moses must have felt. When we are in the presence of God we feel at peace. We notice all that is beautiful and harmonious in the world. However, when we are far from God it is easier to notice all the wickedness, all the sin and all the corruption.
- We recognize God’s wrath when he turns his back on the Israelites. This has to be the greatest punishment of all; a broken relationship with God. The people lament and mourn for their sin. They remove all their jewels and ornaments before God in token of their sorrow and shame. They realise that Canaan would be no pleasant land without the presence of the Lord. Again, I think we can all relate to how the Israelites must have felt. We can surround ourselves with material possessions. We can idolize other gods such as money, high profile careers, fast cars, fashion, sport. We can have all of these things but if we have a broken relationship with God we have nothing.
It is comforting as we read on to, once again, bear witness to the grace of God. Although we continue to fail and sin against Him he remains a loving and merciful God.