Hello, my name is Cathy. My husband Dale and I have been part of the Elder team for the past two years, and part of Riverside since it began 11 years ago. We both grew up in this area, and have three sons, and seven grandchildren. The passages you are going to read today are: Exodus 32 and Exodus 34:1-14.
Israel has been rescued from slavery, led through the parting of the Red Sea, and were sustained through the desert. The people have entered into a covenant relationship with God, and have received the law and the Ten Commandments. While Moses remained on Mt. Sinai with the Lord, the people became restless and asked Aaron to make them gods to go before them. They longed for the familiar patterns of their former life. Aaron went along with their request. God’s anger burned against the people. He tells Moses of their disobedience, and His plan to destroy them. Moses intercedes for the people, pleading for mercy, and in His mercy God spared them. Even though God in His mercy spared the people, harsh consequences remained.
The next part of the passage describes the new stone tablets made after Moses broke the original ones after seeing the evil that the people had done. The Lord proclaims his compassion and forgiveness of their wickedness to Moses, making a covenant with the people to go with them and give them victory, as long as they obey His commands.
These passages demonstrate how often we forget what God has done and who He is, and long to make Him into an image that suits our desires. God displayed his mercy and forgiveness to the people, keeping his covenant with Abraham through many generations, even though they deserved his wrath. In the same way we have been granted pardon from the penalty of sin and death, through Jesus Christ.
- What false god’s have moved into my/your life, preventing the true God from living in and through me/us?
- What action do we need to take to restore or preserve God’s reign and rule in our lives?