Wednesday, SEPTEMBER 19
SCRIPTURE: EXODUS 33
BY: Josh Boles
As is fitting with the theme of a large portion of the Old Testament, the Israelites once again find themselves in a predicament due to their inability to obey God. The first verse we read seems positive, as if they are finally gaining the Lord’s favor to enter the promise land. We soon find out that this is not the case. In verse three the Lord tells Moses that He will not go with them. Ouch! We then read that the Lord’s anger is burning so harshly against them that if He were to go with them He would probably end up killing them.
In verse 7-11 there is a bit of a break in this story line. We see again the pillar of smoke which represents God’s abiding presence in the Israelite nation as well as the continued relationship with Moses. There certainly is a lot more we could learn from this section but I would like to move on to verse 12. I would encourage you to do some investigating of your own for verse 7-11.
We have talked throughout the book of Exodus how to life of Moses foreshadows the life of Christ. Today, in chapter 33 is perhaps one of the most important ways the foreshadowing manifest in the life of every believer. We have already read that the Lord was angry with the Israelites and He would have killed them if He had to deal with them. In verse 12-16 Moses speaks on behalf of the Israelite people, and intercedes for them. And then the Lord shows favor on the Israelites because of Moses’ faith and obedience.
I am almost at a loss for words trying to find a way to express my thoughts on these verses. There are simply no human words that can paint the beauty of this picture of redemption that we find in Exodus 33. Moses intercedes for the people and in return, God does not wipe them off the face of the planet. This right here is the Gospel! There is nothing about our lives that has ever been, or ever will be deserving of salvation and eternal life. Nothing we could ever say or do could grant this to us. There is only one thing that keeps us from the wrath of God, and that is the fact that Jesus is constantly interceding for us!
Just like Moses, the Lord is constantly pleading our case. Far too often we criticize people in the Old Testament for their lack of faith, but are we really any different? The simple answer is no. We are just as much of a sinful generation as they are if not worse. Romans 8:43 says “Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.” Take a look with me also at Jude verse 24. “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy.”
How awesome is this! I can assure you that if it weren’t for Jesus, the anger of the Lord would certainly burn against us. Notice how Jude says the He keeps us from stumbling. This primarily is talking about the matter of falling away from the faith because sin, when left unchecked, will lead to just that. We see this plain as day with the nation of Israel. This is where Jesus steps in, in our lives! He takes us as we are and he holds on to us by his grace and love, never letting us go. That my friends is the only way we are able to be in the fold of God. That is the only way we are able to be considered blameless before the Lord.
Did you catch that? Blameless! That means that none of our sins are counted against us. Wow! What a Savior! This does not mean however, that we get to live our lives however we see fit just because we get off scotch free. This should be motivation for holy living. We are to live for Christ because of all that He has done for us. We are to show Him love and devotion because of the great love and devotion he has shown to us! Live like you are saved!