Mar 22, 2022 – part 1

(Exodus 33, John 12; Optional Psalm 57, Proverbs 15:10-14; I’m catching up from Spring Break with my family last week, so I’m still breaking some things into 2 parts…)

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EXODUS 33 – The clear message of this chapter is that God HIMSELF is the best gift He gives. This is why Paul can be so grateful that when God didn’t answer Paul’s prayer request (see 2 Cor 12:7-10) that God gave something BETTER – He showed Paul more of Himself. This is why it was BETTER for Martha and Mary that Jesus STAYED where He was in Jn 11 even when they wanted Him to come heal their brother Lazarus, so that He could reveal Himself to be the Resurrection and the Life. In Ps 63:1-3, David reminds us that knowing God and His faithful love is better than life itself!

Ex 33:1-6 – God is so upset at the quick turning away from Him to idolatry (Ex 32:8) that He tells Moses that He will still SEND the people to the promised land, but that God Himself will not go with them. Because of His holiness, they would be completely destroyed as they are right now.

Ex 33:7-11 – Even in the midst of the sadness and judgment being poured out in Ex 32:25-33:6, don’t miss the sweet oasis of worship in these verses. When times are dark in your country (even among those who are called God’s people), God still meets sweetly with those that desire Him. Note there’s some COST and inconvenience in pursuing God (v 7). But meeting with Yahweh FAR surpasses any cost or inconvenience!

Ex 33:12-16 – Moses won’t be satisfied with “progress” or having apparent “success” in reaching the promised land. He won’t go anywhere unless God Himself is WITH THEM! Don’t miss the wonderful truth that goes along with this – if God IS with you, that’s all that matters – see Heb 13:5-6.

Ex 33:17 – As much as we’ve noticed (correctly) the absolute sovereignty of God, don’t miss that Ps 106:23 says that Moses’ intercession for the people was NECESSARY. Of course God had sent Moses down from the mountain in Ex 32:7, sovereignly and graciously placing Moses as the necessary mediator, so even in Moses’ necessary intercession God is the foundational and decisive reason.

Ex 33:18-23 – This is the text where the song Rock of Ages comes from (and the fact that Jesus was cleft for us, like the rock in Ex 33:22, to make a hiding place for us so that we can WORSHIP at God’s glory and not be DESTROYED). Ex 34:5-8 is where this actually happens and is the cornerstone of theology in the OT. But here we’re getting important insight as God prepares Moses to see a limited glimpse of His glory (a full look would kill him – see v 20).

Don’t miss that CENTRAL TO GOD’s GLORY is His sovereign choice in showing grace and mercy. Ex 33:19 is quoted in Rom 9:15 (so in my margin I’ve written a cross and “Rom 9:15”). In Rom 9:14-23 we’re reminded that God is both sovereign in where He shows mercy and grace and also sovereign about whom He hardens (using Pharaoh as an example). Moses wanted to see God’s glory, and central to God’s glory is this truth about the absolute sovereign freedom of God. At the end of the often-controversial Rom 9-11 (also about the absolute sovereignty of God), Paul bursts into praise at the beauty and glory of God (see Rom 11:33-36). And Jesus overflows with thanksgiving and praise after declaring God the Father’s sovereignty over salvation (see Matt 11:20-27).