Sunday, 13 February 2011


Taking two days worth of readings today with observations on Exodus 32-34. There's a lot here and this will by no means be comprehensive.

In the garden of Eden, God withdrew from Adam and Eve to see if they would follow him wholeheartedly. When he came back, he found them scratching around trying to cover their shame. So here, God and Moses withdraw up the mountain. The people decide that Moses is spending too long up there with God and so decide to take matters into their own hands. They ask Aaron to make them gods to go before them, just like Moses and the Angel in the Cloud had before.

Abraham waited nearly 20 years for the fulfilment of God's promise. Even with all the wonders God had performed through Moses, even after hearing the voice of God boom from the mountain, Israel didn't manage 40 days.

They kindle God's anger with their unfaithfulness, and he is about to destroy them, but Moses steps in and takes the bullet, metaphorically speaking, for all Israel by reminding God of his promise to Abraham and therefore imploring God to vindicate his own great name before a watching world. Moses' offer to stand in the gap on their behalf is not accepted by God, the reason being that only God's own Son can do that for us, nevertheless Moses' standing in the gap is a picture of how Christ does the same.

Having just been joined in "marriage," to God, God's people have been unfaithful and so there must be an inquiry into who is guilty. Moses does the test of Numbers 5:11-31 on a national level and appoints the Levites to execute those who become sick as a result of drinking the water. (Note that the dust of one golden calf (wood overlaid with gold) spread among millions of people would have done them no medical harm, but the Spirit would then make sick those who had been unfaithful).The Levites would have to go through the camp (like another Passover but this time without the covering of blood) showing no mercy to the guilty, even if they were their own son or brother so that the anger of the LORD would be turned away and he could show them his favour again.

God (the Father) then says - as a result of their sin - he will not go with them, but his Angel (the Son) will. The people mourn over this verdict.

The Tent of Meeting, which was pitched outside the camp was where Moses would talk to the (Angel of the) LORD (that is the Son) face to face - just like Abraham.

According to Jordan, the Hebrew is misleadingly translated here. God (the Father) says that Moses has found favour in his sight, yet he reiterates that he will not go with the people, but he will send his Angel, the Lord, (Christ) in whom is his very own name.

For more on the Trinitarian (as I see it) nature of Ex 34, click here.

The Covenant is renewed, and Moses comes down the mountain with a face that shines having seen the direct presence (albeit the back) of the Father. No other man in the Bible had this privilege - not even Elijah.

Yet now with the Spirit of God with and in us, New Testament Christians' faces beholding the glory of God, that is Christ, shine even brighter!

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