Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

7. The Breaking of the 10 Commandments – Part 4

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Exodus 33:1-3

The Lord said to Moses, “Get going, you and the people you brought up from the land of Egypt. Go up to the land I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I told them, ‘I will give this land to your descendants.’ And I will send an angel before you to drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. Go up to this land that flows with milk and honey. But I will not travel among you, for you are a stubborn and rebellious people. If I did, I would surely destroy you along the way.”

Exodus 33:12-23

12 One day Moses said to the Lord, “You have been telling me, ‘Take these people up to the Promised Land.’ But you haven’t told me whom you will send with me. You have told me, ‘I know you by name, and I look favorably on you.’ 13 If it is true that you look favorably on me, let me know your ways so I may understand you more fully and continue to enjoy your favor. And remember that this nation is your very own people.” 14 The Lord replied, “I will personally go with you, Moses, and I will give you rest—everything will be fine for you.” 15 Then Moses said, “If you don’t personally go with us, don’t make us leave this place. 16 How will anyone know that you look favorably on me—on me and on your people—if you don’t go with us? For your presence among us sets your people and me apart from all other people on the earth.” 17 The Lord replied to Moses, “I will indeed do what you have asked, for I look favorably on you, and I know you by name.” 18 Moses responded, “Then show me your glorious presence.” 19 The Lord replied, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will call out my name, Yahweh, before you. For I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose. 20 But you may not look directly at my face, for no one may see me and live.” 21 The Lord continued, “Look, stand near me on this rock. 22 As my glorious presence passes by, I will hide you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand and let you see me from behind. But my face will not be seen.”

Exodus 34:1-3

Then the Lord told Moses, “Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones. I will write on them the same words that were on the tablets you smashed. Be ready in the morning to climb up Mount Sinai and present yourself to me on the top of the mountain. No one else may come with you. In fact, no one is to appear anywhere on the mountain. Do not even let the flocks or herds graze near the mountain.”

It’s here on the heels of repentance that we see God’s:

  1. Restoration

Our problem is that we’re too much like Aaron and not enough like Moses. Aaron and Moses were brothers. The same family but different decisions. Unlike Moses Aaron wouldn’t take a stand for God. When the pressure was put on him, he compromised his standards. Instead of standing for God he cowered to the crowd and accommodated their wishes over God’s Will. He did what the people wanted him to do and not what God wanted him to do. What about you, are you following the wants of people or the Will of God? If we are not careful, we will end up with one foot in the church and one in the culture. Moses on the other hand wanted nothing to do with the worship of the golden calf. Why because he was pursuing God’s presence not pleasure. Are you making it about your happiness or your holiness? The truth is holy people are happy people because happiness is a byproduct of holiness. We need to be careful not to chase after the byproduct, happiness, or we will miss the product, holiness. Unlike Aaron Moses doesn’t try to please the people, instead he prayed for the people. He didn’t just interrupt the party he intervened for the people. How much time do you spend praying for people? How much time do you spend in intercessory prayer for your nation? Why do we need to intercede in prayer because we are living in a day an age when most people are hell bent on worshipping their wants over God’s way. Real leadership means to love people enough to intercede on their behalf. Why was Moses in a place to intercede for the people because he had made the goal of His life God. While everyone else was pursuing pleasure, Moses was pursuing God’s presence. Hebrews 11:25-26 says, 25 He chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin. He thought it was better to suffer for the sake of Christ than to own the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to his great reward.”Moses was Father focused not folly focused. Instead of pursuing the temporary trinkets he pursued the truth.  So, what was this great reward? We may be tempted to conclude that it was the Promised Land, but it was God’s presence which he first experienced at the burning bush. Moses time wandering in the desert was filled with stress, and people problems but God spoke and told him to go to the promised land, saying that He would send an Angel to guide them to this rich and fertile land but that God himself would not go with them. So how did Moses respond to this place of milk and honey. “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.” Exodus 33:15. Moses’s reply is mind-boggling. He would rather dwell in the desert with God than live in the luxury and abundance of the promised land deserted by God. What’s more important to you a problem free life or the presence of the Lord of life? Because Moses’s heart was set on God, it directed him to make the best choice even when God offered him a good choice, one which common sense and uncomfortable circumstances dictated he should accept. But Moses’s was pursuing God presence not a problem free place. His highest reward was a relationship with the Redeemer. Is God’s presence your greatest priority? Or is it something lesser, something that seems good but keeps you from seeking intimacy with God? It’s here that we see the grace of God as He invites Moses back to the mountain to write His word on the second set of tablets. Do you need to repent and recalibrate your heart and your life so that, like Moses, you seek the greatest reward and stop settle for substitutes? Are you living for pleasure or living for His presence?

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