Summary: How can I be the leader God wants me to be? 1. Show people the error of their sin (vs. 30). 2. Strive to help others get right with God (vs. 30). 3. Be willing to sacrifice yourself (vs. 31-32). 4. Submit to the Lord (vs. 32-35).
Moses on the Mountain with the Lord
Part 16: A Great Leader
Sermon by Rick Crandall
McClendon Baptist Church October 13, 2010
*How could they have done it? How could the Children of Israel have fallen so far so fast? -- After all they had heard and seen the Lord do they couldn’t even wait 40 days before they rebelled against God.
*So starting in Exodus 32:7,
7. The Lord said to Moses, "Go, get down! For your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves.
8. They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them. They have made themselves a molded calf, and worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, `This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!’’’
9. And the Lord said to Moses, "I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people!
10. Now therefore, let Me alone, that My wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them. And I will make of you a great nation.’’
*Great leader that he was, Moses pleaded for God’s mercy on the Jews. God heard Moses’ prayer, and spared His people. Then Moses returned to camp to begin to make things right.
*The key question found in vs. 26 was this: “Who is on the Lord’s side?”
-Three thousand of the Lord’s enemies fell that day, but the terrible consequences of the people’s sin were not over. This is where we pick up reading tonight in vs. 30-35. It will be Moses’ sixth meeting on Mount Sinai with the Lord. (1)
30. Now it came to pass on the next day that Moses said to the people, "You have committed a great sin. So now I will go up to the LORD; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin."
31. Then Moses returned to the LORD and said, "Oh, these people have committed a great sin, and have made for themselves a god of gold!
32. Yet now, if You will forgive their sin—but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written."
33. And the LORD said to Moses, "Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book.
34. Now therefore, go, lead the people to the place of which I have spoken to you. Behold, My Angel shall go before you. Nevertheless, in the day when I visit for punishment, I will visit punishment upon them for their sin."
35. So the LORD plagued the people because of what they did with the calf which Aaron made.
*One of the unexpected results of our Old Testament study is that my admiration for Moses has skyrocketed. What a great leader he was!
*Tonight Moses can show all of us how to be better leaders. Now you may be thinking, “I’m not a leader,” but all of us are leaders on some level. All of us have influence on other people. All of us are leading people either in the right direction or the wrong direction.
*How can I be the best leader God wants me to be?
1. First: Show people the error of their sin.
*Moses did this again in vs. 30: “And it came to pass on the next day that Moses said to the people, ‘You have committed a great sin. So now I will go up to the Lord; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.’”
*Moses told them, “You have committed a great sin.” By worshipping the golden calf, the Jews had broken several of God’s 10 Commandments:
-They broke the First Commandment, because in Exodus 20:3, God told them: “You shall have no other gods before Me.”
-They also broke the Second Commandment, for in Exodus 20:4 the Lord told them: “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.”
*On top of that, Aaron lied about making the golden calf, and some of the people probably committed adultery.
*These are all terrible sins. But we don’t want people to get the notion that there are some good sins. Obviously, on one level, killing someone is worse than calling them an ugly name. But all sin is sin, and any sin is bad enough to send you to hell. As James 2:10 says: “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.”
*On top of this, Matthew Henry reminds us that the great evil of sin can be measured by the price of pardon. (2)
*In vs. 30, Moses told the people, “You have committed a great sin. So now I will go up to the Lord; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin”