Summary: Sins are forgiven but there are consequences
A. DEAL WITH THE OFFENDING ONE – EXODUS 32:29 – 33:17
1. Challenge to godly living. “Concentrate yourselves today to the Lord”
(v. 29, KJV).
2. Remind them of their personal responsibility to God. “You have committed
a terrible sin” (v. 30).
3. Point out sin. “A great sin . . . made for themselves a god of gold” (v. 31).
B. THE ATTITUDE OF AN INTERCESSOR
1. Be willing to stand between them and God. “I will go up to the Lord” (v. 30)
2. Be willing to ask for forgiveness of their sin. “I shall make atonement for
your sin” (v. 30). The word atonement is kaphar, “to cover.”
3. Confess the awfulness of their sin. “This people have committed a terrible
sin” (Jewish Bible).
4. Be willing to sacrifice yourself for them. “Yet now if thou wilt forgive their
sin – if not blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book” (v. 32).
Sin Is Personal
God holds each one accountable. “I will blot out whoever has sinned
against me” (v. 33, LB).
Individual responsibility. “Your sin is your own” (Ez. 18:24, ELT).
Individual accountability. “The soul that sinneth, it shall die”
Family influence. “Our fathers have sinned . . . we have borne their
iniquities” (Lam. 5:7).
Sin will be judged.
C. SINS ARE FORGIVEN BUT THERE ARE CONSEQUENCES
1. The record in heaven is clear, but there are consequences on earth.
a. A criminal dies for murder.
b. Children suffer a parent’s drug addiction.
c. Employees lose their job when boss is bankrupted.
d. The results of failures, i.e., uncontrolled consequences.
2. You lose God’s special presence. “I will not go up with you” (33:3, LB).
3. You live with God’s second best. “I will send an angel before thee” (32:34;
4. God doesn’t want to live with rebellious people. “Thou art a stiff necked
5. God’s atmospheric presence is lost. “Moses took the Tabernacle and pitched
it without the camp, afar off” (33:7).
6. God doesn’t want to identify His name with rebellious people. No longer
called “The Tabernacle of the Lord,” but “The Tabernacle of the
congregation.” It was known as their tent, not a sanctuary, i.e., where God
7. Backsliders have a harder time finding God. “Everyone who sought the
Lord went out” (33:7).
8. Backsliders need someone to intercede for them. “When Moses went out to
the tent, all the people stood in their tent door” (33:8).
9. Being sorry and crying was not enough. “They went into mourning”(32:4)
How Backsliders Come Home – 1 John 1:7-10
Realize you are not perfect. “If we say we have no sin, we deceive
ourselves” (v. 8).
See your sin as God sees it – horrible. “If we confess” (v. 9).
Ask for His mercy. “He is faithful” (v. 9).
Claim His cleansing. “To cleanse us” (v. 9).
Determine to walk blamelessly. “In the light” (v. 7).
Learn from your failure and sin.
D. THE SUCCESS OF AN INTERCESSOR
1. Enter God’s atmospheric presence. “Moses entered the Tabernacle . . . the
pillar of cloud descended” (33:9).
2. Intercession is prayer. “The Lord talked with Moses” (33:4).
3. Intercession needs support. “All the people rose up and worshipped”
4. Intercession is communion. “The Lord spoke to Moses, face to face, as a
man speaketh unto his friend” (32:11).
5. The intercessor claims grace. “If I have found grace in your sight.” Grace is
God giving us the exact opposite of what we deserve.
6. Intercede based on God’s promise. “Don’t forget that this nation is Your
very own people” (33:13). Reminded God of His promise to Abraham.
7. Be willing to sacrifice yourself. “If thy presence go not with us, carry us not
up hence” (33:15).
8. Intercession is based on God’s grace. “I will do this thing . . . for thou
hast found grace in my sight” (33:17).
9. Intercession is based on intimacy. “The Lord said to Moses, ‘I will do
this thing . . . I know thee by name’” (33:17).
If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:
Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins on the cross, and rose again the third day. I repent of my sins. By faith I receive the Lord Jesus as my Savior. You promised to save me, and I believe You, because You are God and cannot lie. I believe right now that the Lord Jesus is my personal Savior, and that all my sins are forgiven through His precious blood. I thank You, dear Lord, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.