Summary: We are to live by faith, not by emotions!
Moses was called by God to go up the mountain for 40 days and nights with God. Joshua was called to be at the mountain, but not all the way up with Moses. We know in the beginning of Exodus 32, the Israelites were participating in many ungodly acts which Moses and Joshua did not really know was going on! And so, as they went down the mountain…..
v17: Joshua thought there was a war going on!
v18: God answered his prayer, so Moses thought the Israelites were singing (Moses was happy as can be)!
In v19-20 now seeing the sinful acts of his people, Moses became very angry, threw down God’s tablets to break, took the gold calf idol and burnt it and grounded it to powder, scattered it on the water and made the people drink it!!!
Now, God does not tell us whether that water with burnt gold powder tasted bad or even hurt the people, but we can note that Moses forced them to drink it! And so, what do you think is the main point of v19-20??
God makes a point for us to note Moses’ emotions as a human being! v19-20: Moses’ emotions went from being happy (because God answered his prayer) to a madman anger as he saw the reality of sin, as God actually had told him earlier!
Can’t we say that Moses depended on his emotions and saw things through “rose colored glasses” (i.e. had delusions of grandeur) because he did not listen to God!
Now, why do you think Moses was thinking when he asked that question in v21 to Aaron??
v21: Knowing Aaron his brother was also a spiritual leader, Moses thought the people may have forced Aaron to participate in awful sins! Moses forgot that his brother, although a spiritual leader, was still a sinner just like every other person!
And how did Aaron respond to Moses? Just like the first man and woman who sinned, v22-24: Aaron did not confess his sins but used the people as an excuse!!
In v25, what did the sins of Aaron and Israelites do for a testimony to the world??
v25: Because of their sins, the Israelites became a laughing stock to the world, an embarrassment to them and God!
v26-29: God gave instructions and the Levites followed to kill 3000 of their own people who did not repent!
There are always consequences to sin! The consequences to sin was immediate to the Hebrews; discipline, embarrassment, and death to many!
v30-32: After a day of likely praying to the Lord, and likely resting and sleeping, Moses thought about mercy to his people, even sacrificing himself!
In closing, what can we say about God in how He responded to Moses and the Hebrews in v33-35??
a. God has power to blot out people from Himself (everything good forever) because of sin! Now, why do you think God did not rebuke Moses for thinking thinking that he could save the world with his soul??
b. God sees truly what’s in people’s hearts! Also perhaps, Moses was a prototype for Jesus at the Cross when He said “Lord, forgive them for they do not know what they do!”
c. God continues with His promise to His People in spite of their sinfulness!
d. Again, there are always consequences to sin in God’s schedule!
Biblical Principles from this passage for our lives as Christians today?
First of all, what did Moses do wrong in the beginning? Moses did not listen to God and based his actions on his emotions.
1. We must think and live by faith on what God tells us not our emotions (Hebrews 10:38)! How do we do this in a practical way? Listen to God’s Word daily! Talk to God daily (Pray)! Yield to the Holy Spirit within us!
L-T-Y!! Everyday, Listen to God! Talk to God! Yield to God!
Secondly, Moses thought highly of himself and assumed that Aaron could not sin!
2. We must always keep in mind that every person, including ourselves and our leaders, are all sinners in need of God’s grace. Pray always for each other not to sin and live in Christ! L-T-Y! Everyday, Listen to God! Talk to God! Yield to God! Pray for others!
Thirdly, we must not follow what Aaron did!
3. We must not allow the ungodly world influence us (Romans 12:2a) and we are to own and confess our sins (1 John 1:9….)! We all must always be reminded of this because we so easily fall to this trap!
And to conclude this morning:
4. Always keep God in mind! God is Holy, Almighty, All-Knowing, and Loving! We can never hide anything from God and will judge accordingly!