Summary: 1. Fellowship Removed 2.Fellowship Restored 3. Glory Revealed! A lesson about God’s absence, His presence, and how our faces can shine like Moses’! Link inc. to formatted text, audio, PowerPoint.
From Guilt to Grace to Glory!
[read vv. 1-3, 13; ch. 34:29-35
God actually gave 3 things to Moses on Mt. Sinai:
• The 10 Commandments—the revelation of God’s Law.
• The Book of the Covenant—the regulation of God’s Law.
• The plans for the Tabernacle—our next study in this book.
The Book of the Covenant [Ex. 24:7] took the 10 commandments and applied them to everyday life for the Hebrew nation. It was a list of 70 regulations inc. such things as how to make restitution for stolen property, capital punishment, rules for lending money, how to treat widows and orphans, etc. We aren’t going to study this, but you can read it. [Ex. 20:22-24:4] As you do, remember the cultural atmosphere of that day was different. Also, remember that there is a progressive revelation throughout the Word of God. Today all those regulations culminate in the great commandment to love your neighbor as yourself.
Next came a detailed pattern for the tabernacle. And everything about this study is a beautiful picture of Christ and what He came to do.
In Exodus 32 the people are guilty of idolatry and immorality even as Moses is returning with the commandments, and the result is:
1. Fellowship Removed
v. 1-3 God’s absence is the worst form of discipline a person can receive. Hell is separation from God, not annihilation. The former is even worse than the latter. And God’s presence will be what makes heaven the best place beyond imagination!
“Jesus will be what makes it heaven for me!”
This removal of God’s presence is a judgment to Israel.
• In Eden it was sin that withdrew God’s presence from Adam.
• In I Sam. 28 it was sin that withdrew God’s presence from King Saul.
• It was sin that caused God to hide His face from David, and he needed the ‘joy’ of his salvation restored.
• And the sins of the world laid on Jesus on the cross caused God to turn His back on His own Son, and Jesus cried out at being forsaken from God’s presence!
If you feel distant from God know this: it is sin that comes between you and Him, but close fellowship is not far off if you desire it!
What a terrible thing for Israel to be alone in the wilderness without God!
That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
2. Fellowship Restored
v. 4-6 The ornaments they had to put off were representative of the old life in Egypt. It’s not always true that the outside of a person is indicative of the heart. Sometimes good people are sucked in to worldly fads and fashions and trends. Some just need to be taught better. But often the outward signs are rooted in an inward rebellion.
God wants us to be different, first on the inside, but then as an outward testimony. We need to have a distinction, a separation from the world, that others may see the difference and want the deep down change for themselves!
God says, ok take that junk off, if your heart is truly right w/ me...show it!
Ill.—some who came to John for baptism were told, if you are serious, show some fruits of repentance, and then come back and I’ll baptize you! That baptism was a beautiful picture of the difference Christ makes as your old sins are buried and you arise to walk in newness of life!
v. 7 This is not the tabernacle we’ll study in detail, but just a temporary arrangement, likely Moses’ own personal tent. But the camp has been polluted, tainted by their sin. God said for them to meet Him outside the camp.
11 For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. 12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. 13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.
Moses went inside that tabernacle and the glory cloud came down, and God met with him. Moses mentions grace 4 times, and asks for it.
“We don’t want to go any further without your presence, Lord!”
And we should say, Amen Bro. Moses! We don’t want to take any steps in this world w/out the presence of God.
v. 17 It’s only by God’s grace that this is possible.
Fellowship has been restored, now...
3. Glory Revealed.
God’s grace leads to glory. That which begins in grace winds up in glory!