Great spiritual experiences are rare. We read in the Scripture stories about the miraculous, there are many glorious events that take place, and many question why those things no longer happen, especially to them! It should be noted that the miraculous events in Scripture did not happen every day but over thousands of years. God has never made a habit of proving Himself through miracles. The way that He shows Himself is through Words. Today we will have a great spiritual experience by reading God’s Word and He will reveal Himself to us if we listen.
We will continue our study of Exodus chapters 33 and 34 today as we discuss chapter 34 verses 1-9. This text describes the event that took place after Moses requested to learn God’s ways and to see God’s glory. God accomplishes both, as He said He would, in one event. Keep in mind that our Scripture from last week also contains some of the details.
In these Words, God will tell us who He is…
READ SCRIPTURE- This is the Word of God
Point 1: Cut Two Tablets of Stone
A. These are great words of mercy to the ears of Moses.
B. The first set were supplied by God himself, this set is prepared by Moses.
a. And God points out that the first were broken.
b. God makes clear the fact of His forgiveness. God is faithful, Israel wasn’t.
c. His commands weren’t simply violated, they were BROKEN.
C. God is forgiving the people and activating the covenant once again.
Connective: God has forgiven the people and given Moses the directives on reestablishing the covenant- Moses is to cut new stones and present himself to the LORD in the morning. Surely Moses is going to the same place on the mountain where he had met with God the other times. Unauthorized beings could not be around this mountain when God was there less they were consumed for trespassing on holy ground.
Point 2: Moses Rose Early in the Morning
A. As a side note, it is almost comical that this detail is mentioned.
a. Do we actually think that Moses slept the night before?
b. Can you imagine the suspense that night while trying to sleep?!
B. God’s presence with the people had been in limbo and Moses had spent time with God the day before asking for forgiveness. After His mercy was promised, Moses asked to see God’s glory. Now God said He would pass before Moses, but it would be the next day.
C. It is logical to rise early in the morning:
1. Long journey 2. Better climate 3. Anxiousness 4. Commanded
Connective: Moses did all that the LORD commanded him by cutting two tablets of stone, rising in the morning, and presenting himself on the mountain. As I noted in our Wednesday night studies, especially in Matthew, but obviously in other places in Scripture, God uses a mountain when bringing about a new revelation.
Point 3: The LORD Descended
A. The LORD descended- God’s dwelling place is considered to be above ours.
He comes from a high and holy place.
B. The cloud came down and stood. Moses didn’t have some feeling or dream of a concept. He knew that there was a real, personal being in his presence. It was YAHWEH.
C. In the cloud- not just “a” cloud, but “the” cloud.
a. Of course Moses had seen this cloud before.
b. Moses had actually been in the midst of the cloud.
c. The cloud would cover the entire mountain.
D. The LORD passed before him- all of God’s glory (goodness) surrounding Him
a. Exodus 33:18-19 Point out again that God equates His glory with His goodness
b. Exodus 33:21-23 Details of the “passing”
Connective: This encounter is unlike the other times that Moses witnessed the cloud of God since Moses had seen the cloud and had actually been covered by it. This time is different because God shows Moses a glimpse of His glory and proclaims His name.
Point 4: Proclaimed the Name of the LORD
A. “The LORD, the LORD God”
a. God repeats His name for emphasis, no doubt.
b. There is none like Him. Yahweh literally means “I AM” or “I CAUSE TO BE”
c. The proclamation of God’s name to Moses may be considered more significant than physically seeing God’s glory. It’s God’s Name that really reveals His glory.
B. God’s Traits are in Accordance with His Name
1. Merciful- compassionate
a. God really cares about people, especially His covenant people
b. “For the LORD you God is a merciful God, He will not forsake you…”
c. Jesus said, “Therefore be merciful as your Father is merciful.”
a. Grace is always beyond what is expected.
b. Psalm says, “Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; Yes, our God is merciful.”
3. Longsuffering- slow to anger
a. His patience with our failures is great.
b. 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
4. Abounding in Goodness and Truth
a. Goodness = Loyal, Covenant Love // Truth = He is completely reliable
b. Ex. 33:19 Glory = Goodness // “Let God be true and every man a liar”
C. Mercy and Forgiving
a. Keeping mercy for thousands
b. Forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin
c. God is more willing to show mercy than wrath.
D. By No Means Clearing the Guilty
a. This speaks to His justice
b. God never clears anyone without intercession being made- that is justice
c. Visiting the iniquity of the fathers
aa. Many have misapplied these words.
bb. The original context of this statement is Exodus 20:5 where God says, “of those who hate me.”
cc. For the Scripture says in Deuteronomy 24:16, “The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: each one shall be put to death for his own sin.”
Connective: The point is that God is more willing to show His mercy than wrath, but His justice is very real. He will visit the sin of every individual that hates Him.
Moses Made Haste--
Moses made haste to humble himself because of this glorious. He quickly bowed his head and worshiped. God’s glory and His goodness should impel us to worship Him and Him alone. Make haste to worship God. He has revealed Himself to you this day.