Summary: Exposition of Exodus 32 regarding at least four ways that this occurrence helps us fight sin.
Text: Exodus 32, Title: Silver Bullet #1, Date/Place: NRBC, 6/12/11, AM
A. Opening illustration:
B. Background to passage:
C. Main thought: this text gives us at least four ways that this occurrence helps us fight sin
A. Shows our depth of depravity (v. 1-6, 22-24)
1. This vast multitude of people has seen all the wonders of the exit out of Egypt. They have also seen the cloud resting upon the mountain with Moses as It had led them out of Egypt. But in spite of all that, and in less than a 40-day departure, they succumbed to or flew headlong into idolatry, to breaking of the first and second commandments. Not only did they make an idol, they affirmed polytheism, and the had drunken, riotous, immorality-filled parties, after they had supposedly worshipped. BTW, this is the important part for the Corinthians to link their experience to, that’s why Paul cites this part of these verses, to emphasize the eating in the presence of the idol. Their impatience, their convenience, their fleshly desires caused them to discount the past few months and the past few days! Even Aaron, the high priest, made up some crazy lie about a calf just coming out!
2. 1 Cor 10:12, Gal 6:1-3, Isa 64:6, Rom 3:10-19,
3. Illustration: 10 seconds away from stupid, story of Brent and Erica from Camp Jubilee,
4. How could they do it?! How can supposedly spiritual people fall or jump into sin like that? It’s easy, our nature is an idol factory, and our tendency to stray is immense. In fact, we are probably asking the wrong question altogether: how do I not do it? If we knew the reality of how corrupt we were in our inner being, we would thank God every day that by His grace we are not addicted to porn or crack or having an affair or stealing cars or gossiping or you name the sin. You are not as good as you think you are! Your ability to stand is not as much as you thought it was! You are more than capable of doing all those things that you can’t believe someone else did. I pray God opens your eyes to sin’s power in your life and your spiritual frailty by nature. And may this cause us to run from possible temptation, and flee from any potential source of stumbling.
B. Shows the gravity of sin (v. 9-10, 33:3)
1. Another staggering truth is the true nature of the offense of sin. As far as the people were concerned, they were just making a god to worship (even if they thought it was a representation of Yahweh). But God was infuriated! Israel had not only rejected Moses but God, his symbolic destruction of the tablets is a gesture to communicate this. They rejected His covenant, His reign, and Him as a person. And in a sense, this is what all sin is: a rejection of God in our life at a point, declaring our wills, our bodies, our desires, our agendas, our plans, our authority, better than God’s. This is the starting point, the foundation of all sin: it’s about me, and not about Him. That that is idolatry, the greatest affront to God.
2. 1 Pet 1:16,
3. Illustration: mortal vs. venial sin in the catholic church, #1 on the list of things immoral failure would bring is the anger of my Jesus,
4. How we definitely categorize sin in to groups of serious and not-so serious sins. There are a lot of things that we might do and think that it is really no big deal. Every time you and I tell a little white lie, say a little word that we shouldn’t say, take a little glance at something we shouldn’t, sow a seed of discord, spread a little gossip, forsake the assembling together of ourselves, keep back a portion of what belongs to God, we are infinitely offending a holy and righteous God whose standard is absolute perfection. We are kicking dirt in His face, and doing it our way, not His. Sin is deadly serious. It is the whole reason that Jesus died. It is the only thing that keeps you from God and eternal life. So let this influence your mind as you are tempted, that you are spitting in the face of God every time you sin. This should propel us on to holiness.
C. Shows the surety of punishment (v. 27-29, 33-35)
1. There is great shock value in what God did in punishment. He called those that were for the Lord to come to Moses. This was probably preceded by the identification of the chief offenders by the drinking of the calf. Then he told the Levites to get a sword and start killing all those that God had turned the light on. 3000 men were killed by the sword that day. God blessed the Levites for killing their kinsmen. Then Moses goes up again to possibly make atonement (covering) for the rest of their sin. Maybe going along with it???? Punishment was still coming to them. Moses again pleaded for the lives of the remaining (possibly less guilty, but still in danger of death), and God only sent a plague. But even in this intercession, God promises Moses that those who sinned will die.