SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
Exodus 32:29-34:3532:29 Moses said, “You have been consecrated today for the Lord, for each of you was against his son or against his brother, so he has given a blessing to you today.”
30 The next day Moses said to the people, “You have committed a very serious sin, but now I will go up to the Lord—perhaps I can make atonement on behalf of your sin.”
31 So Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Alas, this people has committed a very serious sin, and they have made for themselves gods of gold. 32 But now, if you will forgive their sin…, but if not, wipe me out from your book that you have written.” 33 The Lord said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me—that person I will wipe out of my book. 34 So now go, lead the people to the place I have spoken to you about. See, my angel will go before you. But on the day that I punish, I will indeed punish them for their sin.”
35 And the Lord sent a plague on the people because they had made the calf—the one Aaron made.
33:1 The Lord said to Moses, “Go up from here, you and the people whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, to the land I promised on oath to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ 2 I will send an angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite. 3 Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey. But I will not go up among you, for you are a stiff-necked people, and I might destroy you on the way.”
4 When the people heard this troubling word they mourned; no one put on his ornaments. 5 For the Lord had said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites, ‘You are a stiff-necked people. If I went up among you for a moment, I might destroy you. Now take off your ornaments that I may know what I should do to you.’” 6 So the Israelites stripped off their ornaments by Mount Horeb.
7 Moses took the tent and pitched it outside the camp, at a good distance from the camp, and he called it the tent of meeting. Anyone seeking the Lord would go out to the tent of meeting that was outside the camp.
8 And when Moses went out to the tent, all the people would get up and stand at the entrance to their tents and watch Moses until he entered the tent. 9 And whenever Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent, and the Lord would speak with Moses. 10 When all the people would see the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people, each one at the entrance of his own tent, would rise and worship. 11 The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, the way a person speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his servant, Joshua son of Nun, a young man, did not leave the tent.
12 Moses said to the Lord, “See, you have been saying to me, ‘Bring this people up,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. But you said, ‘I know you by name, and also you have found favor in my sight.’ 13 Now if I have found favor in your sight, show me your way, that I may know you, that I may continue to find favor in your sight. And see that this nation is your people.”
14 And the Lord said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
15 And Moses said to him, “If your presence does not go with us, do not take us up from here. 16 For how will it be known then that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not by your going with us, so that we will be distinguished, I and your people, from all the people who are on the face of the earth?”
17 The Lord said to Moses, “I will do this thing also that you have requested, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.”
18 And Moses said, “Show me your glory.”
19 And the Lord said, “I will make all my goodness pass before your face, and I will proclaim the Lord by name before you; I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious; I will show mercy to whom I will show mercy.” 20 But he added, “You cannot see my face, for no one can see me and live.” 21 The Lord said, “Here is a place by me; you will station yourself on a rock. 22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and will cover you with my hand while I pass by. 23 Then I will take away my hand, and you will see my back, but my face must not be seen.”
34:1 The Lord said to Moses, “Cut out two tablets of stone like the first, and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you smashed. 2 Be prepared in the morning, and go up in the morning to Mount Sinai, and station yourself for me there on the top of the mountain. 3 No one is to come up with you; do not let anyone be seen anywhere on the mountain; not even the flocks or the herds may graze in front of that mountain.” 4 So Moses cut out two tablets of stone like the first; early in the morning he went up to Mount Sinai, just as the Lord had commanded him, and he took in his hand the two tablets of stone.
5 The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there and proclaimed the Lord by name. 6 The Lord passed by before him and proclaimed: “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, and abounding in loyal love and faithfulness, 7 keeping loyal love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin. But he by no means leaves the guilty unpunished, responding to the transgression of fathers by dealing with children and children’s children, to the third and fourth generation.”
8 Moses quickly bowed to the ground and worshiped 9 and said, “If now I have found favor in your sight, O Lord, let my Lord go among us, for we are a stiff-necked people; pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for your inheritance.”
10 He said, “See, I am going to make a covenant before all your people. I will do wonders such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation. All the people among whom you live will see the work of the Lord, for it is a fearful thing that I am doing with you.
11 “Obey what I am commanding you this day. I am going to drive out before you the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite. 12 Be careful not to make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land where you are going, lest it become a snare among you. 13 Rather you must destroy their altars, smash their images, and cut down their Asherah poles. 14 For you must not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. 15 Be careful not to make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, for when they prostitute themselves to their gods and sacrifice to their gods, and someone invites you, you will eat from his sacrifice; 16 and you then take his daughters for your sons, and when his daughters prostitute themselves to their gods, they will make your sons prostitute themselves to their gods as well. 17 You must not make yourselves molten gods.
18 “You must keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. For seven days you must eat bread made without yeast, as I commanded you; do this at the appointed time of the month Abib, for in the month Abib you came out of Egypt.
19 “Every firstborn of the womb belongs to me, even every firstborn of your cattle that is a male, whether ox or sheep. 20 Now the firstling of a donkey you may redeem with a lamb, but if you do not redeem it, then break its neck. You must redeem all the firstborn of your sons.
“No one will appear before me empty-handed.
21 “On six days you may labor, but on the seventh day you must rest; even at the time of plowing and of harvest you are to rest.
22 “You must observe the Feast of Weeks—the firstfruits of the harvest of wheat—and the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year. 23 At three times in the year all your men must appear before the Sovereign Lord, the God of Israel. 24 For I will drive out the nations before you and enlarge your borders; no one will covet your land when you go up to appear before the Lord your God three times in the year.
25 “You must not offer the blood of my sacrifice with yeast; the sacrifice from the Feast of Passover must not remain until the following morning.
26 “The first of the firstfruits of your soil you must bring to the house of the Lord your God.
“You must not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk.”
27 The Lord said to Moses, “Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.” 28 So he was there with the Lord 40 days and 40 nights; he did not eat bread, and he did not drink water. He wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.
29 Now when Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand—when he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him. 30 When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to approach him. 31 But Moses called to them, so Aaron and all the leaders of the community came back to him, and Moses spoke to them. 32 After this all the Israelites approached, and he commanded them all that the Lord had spoken to him on Mount Sinai. 33 When Moses finished speaking with them, he would put a veil on his face. 34 But when Moses went in before the Lord to speak with him, he would remove the veil until he came out. Then he would come out and tell the Israelites what he had been commanded. 35 When the Israelites would see the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face shone, Moses would put the veil on his face again, until he went in to speak with the Lord.