2020-08-23 - Exodus Study Continued: God's Response to the People
Exodus Study, Continued
The Decalogue Conclusion, Exodus 20: 22-26
Exodus Study Continued
- God‘s Response to the People
So Moses again went before God as Israel‘s spokesman. And God in turn spoke to the people through Moses. God pointed out that He had acted in a manner that made it clear He had spoken to Moses out of Heaven. He did not want the day to arise, when the people will say, “Moses you put this whole system together on your own. This is simply your personnel view of God.”
Today, we often hear, “That is your interpretation.” Men act as if we have no way of knowing what God has said to man. They reject the fact that God has reveled Himself. That there are three ways by which God has made Himself known; through general revelation,
"Yet He did not leave Himself without a witness - He did good by giving you rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling your hearts with joy and gladness." (Acts 14:17, Tree of Live Version-TLV)
"His invisible attributes - His eternal power and His divine nature - have been clearly seen ever since the creation of the world, being understood through the things that have been made So people are without excuse - and through special revelation. There are two forms of special revelation, they are the “living word,” which of course is Christ, and the written word, Scripture. (Romans 1:20, TLV)
"In the beginning was the Word.The Word was with God, and the Word was God.. He was with God in the beginning. All things were made through Him, and apart from Him nothing was made that has come into being.Christ is the living revelation of God. (John 1:1-3, TLV)
"Yeshua said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life! No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you have come to know Me, you will know My Father also. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him.” Philip said to Him, “Master, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Yeshua said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time, and you haven’t come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? (John 14:6-9, TLV)
The second form of special revelation is the written word, the Scripture.
“And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it re- ally is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers” (1 Thess. 2:13 ESV).
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16–17 ESV).
God leaves no man in the position, assuming that he is willing to be honest with God and himself, without a way on knowing who God is and what is His will. He makes it clear to Israel that He Himself spoke to them out of Heaven.
He was, still is, the living God of Israel, and therefore they were not to worship other gods, along with Him. Remember having just come out of Egypt, they were used to a culture that was polytheistic. Accordingly, this idol worship could be a problem for them. In fact in Exodus 32 we will see the people fall into idol worship while Moses is still up the mountain with God. God would not share the spotlight with anyone or anything. And, as we have seen we cannot allow anything to take first place in our lives ahead of the Lord or we too will be guilty of idolatry.
Instead of worshiping other gods, the Lord gave some pre-tabernacle instructions in the construction of an altar and the need for sacrifice. The people were to offer sacrifices and peace offerings. As we will see when we study the Tabernacle, the altar spoke of the cross and Christ‘s shed blood. Anyway, as they traveled, they were to make an altar of earth and perform sacrifice. Later, with the Tabernacle, they would have a much more elaborate system.
Dr. McGee takes the position that the offerings here do not include a sin offering, that the sin offering was given at a latter time. Murphy, in his Commentary on the Book of Exodus, says:
“ … burnt-offering, which implies on the part of the offerer the confession of guilt and of the need of an atonement… . peace-offering … is that species of offering which was designed to express the thanksgiv-ing of the offerer for peace with God or any of its attendant benefits” (pg. 242).
The people were allowed to make an alter of stone, but it was to be unworked. This was to prevent artisans turning it into something that could become a source of idolatry. In addition, there were to be no stairs up to the altar, so that no one could see up under the priests‘ robes. This again was to prevent the potential for the kind of abuse that occurred in pagan practice, i.e. sexual immorality.
They were to worship God in simplicity, nothing occurring that could take their focus from Him. This can be a problem today with some churches creating structures that in and of themselves can be a distraction from worship. This doesn‘t mean a church can‘t be beautiful, but its beauty must draw attention to the Lord, not away from Him.
So God had given Israel His moral law. He had given them His standard of sinlessness. And He had also prepared the way for a system which looked toward Christ, His advocate. God, in giving the Law, also demonstrated His mercy and love. Much of what is given was intended to prevent people from falling into sin and therefore having to face His angry judgment. With their obedience, with their sacrifice, with their offerings, the Lord could say … “In every place where I cause my name to be remembered. I will come to you and bless you.” (Exodus 20:24 ESV)
As we are called to not sin, we also must remember that we have an advocate. We are called priests of the most high. How do you think it might help, keeping in mind the Old Testament context, to think of ourselves as priests and our service of the Lord as a priestly service? Are there any ways you can think of carrying out your service over the coming week?
“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
And while we are not to sin, instead we are called to service, to sacrifice;
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire” (1 John 2:1; 1 Peter 2:9; James 2:18; Hebrews 12:28-29 ESV).
Exodus Study to be continued.
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