Exodus 33 – The Command to Leave Sinai

Climbing the trail near the summit of Mount Sinai.

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The Lord tells Moses to take the people and leave Mount Sinai for Canaan; and again tells him that He will send an angel, but He will not go with them.  The people feel the loss in this proclamation (verse 4), and Moses intercedes.  Moses has matured, and has found favor with God, and their relationship reminds us of that of the Lord with Abraham – as verse 11 even uses the comparison of their conversations to that which occurs between friends.  God’s favor with Abraham as friend is recounted in Isaiah 41:8, where He reassures His people; as well as in James 2:23.

Moses also brings Abraham’s bargaining intercession to mind (from Genesis 18:22-33), as he pleads for the people in verses 12-16.  the Lord agrees in verse 17 because Moses has “found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.”  Despite His very real and righteous anger, the Lord seems to be training Moses as the leader that He wants him to be.  His request in verse 18 should be understood as desire for an outward sign of his favor with the Lord as His chosen leader of the people.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Robert
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some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Exodus 19 – Israel at Mount Sinai

Deutsch: Sinai Halbinsel, Aussicht vom Mosesbe...

Image via Wikipedia

Verses 1-3 tell us how Israel arrives at Sinai to worship the Lord on the mountain as God told Moses they would in Exodus 3:12.  Peter refers to verses 5-6 in 1 Peter 2:9-10, as he applies what is said of the Lord’s people here to the church.  The instructions to Moses to consecrate the people and to set boundaries they cannot cross (verses 10-13, and 23-24) prepare them for life as it will be when the tabernacle is built.  The instructions for abstaining from sexual relations are merely part of the consecration at this time, and should not be construed as more.

As we have learned from other passages, the Lord could manifest Himself in any number of ways that He sees fitting.  In this case, the spectacle He creates in verses 16-20 serves to demonstrate that He has been speaking to Moses from the mountain, which is made holy because of His presence – and that the people would do well to listen to Moses.

The sights and sounds – the smoke, fire, and trembling of the mountain (verse 18) bring fear and expectation for the Lord’s people, as though something great was happening here.  And indeed it was.  The words that the Lord conveyed to Moses would shape the very lives of His people, and things would never be the same as they once were.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Robert
___________________
image via Wikipedia

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.