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Moses: Law & “Disorder” – Exodus 19-20 & 32

Nov 12, 2023
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Law & “Disorder” (Exodus 19-20 & 32)

The story of the Israelites moves from the action-packed saga of chapters 1-18 to the more monotonous explanations of the law in chapters 19-40. That said, without understanding the law, we all would still be slaves. James M. Boice said, “Deliverance from slavery is one thing, but freedom without law leads to license and license is only another form of slavery.” Moral Law (Ex 20) – Since it flows from God’s character, it is to be obeyed. (The 10 commandments) Civil Law (Ex 21-24) – This was given to Israel uniquely and is not binding on us. Ceremonial Law (Ex 25-40) – No need to perform the sacrifices because they pointed forward to Christ who fulfilled it completely. Moses goes up Mt. Sinai and meets with God, who gives him the law in the form of the 10 commandments on two tablets. While Moses is on the mountain for 40 days, the masses below get impatient and anxious, and want another “leader”. They told Aaron to “make us gods who shall go before us.” The promises of a God they could not see or touch were not enough. They were used to seeing these two pillars that represented God’s presence to them. They wanted something tangible. Aaron told them to bring him the gold earrings from the people, and he fashioned a calf made from that gold. This is the same gold that God had provided for the people as they left the land of Egypt. Aaron made a calf, probably after the Egyptian bull god, Apis. The people “rose up early the next day and offered burnt offerings and brought peace offerings. And the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.” The word “play” refers to gross sexual immorality. God told Moses to “Go down, for YOUR people, who YOU brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves.” It is a condemning word to the Israelites, but Moses reminds God that they are HIS people. Moses goes down, rebukes the people, broke the tablets, burned the calf, ground it to powder, scattered it in the water, and made the people drink it. Then, he ordered the sons of Levi to go throughout the camp and kill about 3000 men. The consequences were severe because idol worship is severe. Idols never deliver what they promise. We are controlled by the idols of our lives. An idol is anything more important to you than God, and anything that controls our heart and imagination more than God. An idol has such a controlling position in your heart that you can spend most of your passion and energy, your emotional and financial resources, on it without a second thought. Idols can represent good things like family, children, careers, and achievements. External idolatry – typically easy to spot because it is obvious in the culture Internal idolatry – soul worship of the heart and mind. It takes the honor only due to the Lord. Moses prays again and asks God to forgive the people. He even offers to be the sacrifice for the people, but God responds with, “Whoever his sinned against me, I will blot out of my book”. The Law was insufficient to forgive us of our sins, but it points to the person of Jesus Christ! Questions:

  1. What controls your time? What do you spend your money on?
  2. If you seek power, it will control you. If you seek friendships, they will control you. What are you seeking? Is this compromise worth what you give to it?
  3. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you anything that is taking your devotion away from the Lord. Commit to do the work to destroy those idols.
  4. Read through the 10 commandments (Ex 20) and commit to follow God’s heart.