Tag: Exodus 34:14

Taking a courageous stand!

Scripture reading for March 7: Joshua 22-24

Its been said that “if you don’t stand for something, then you will fall for anything.”  I am not ashamed to tell people publicly that I love Jesus Christ!  I have repeatedly told our children that our family serves the Lord and we are known as followers of Christ.  I don’t want the Lord to be ashamed of me because I have been ashamed of Him! (Luke 9:26)

Joshua was giving his farewell address to the people God had allowed him the privilege of leading into their inheritance.  He had lived a hundred and ten years and understood their propensity for stubbornness.   As he was ready to die, he made a strong declaration of faith to provoke them to serve the Lord.  Life and death are in the power of our tongue. (Proverbs 18:21) 

The closing chapter records the famous confession of Joshua:”. . .but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)  This confession has stood over the years as a beacon to fathers, pastors, and those who fear the Lord.  Joshua’s confession brought a positive statement from the Israelites as well!  (Joshua 24:16-18)  Despite their positive response, Joshua stated:  “You are not able to serve the Lord.  He is a holy God; He is a jealous God.  He will not forgive your rebellion and your sins.  If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, He will turn and bring disaster on you and make an end to you, after He has been good to you.” (Joshua 24:19-20)

God knew His people well. He gave Moses a song and God’s prophetic word that told of Israel’s future unfaithfulness.  (Deuteronomy 32:15-22)  God had warned these leaders so that they could do what they could to preach and prepare the people to avoid the temptations of idolatry and unfaithfulness.  Joshua also knew God’s holiness and his jealous nature!  (Exodus 34:14)  God would not put up with these sins.  .  Prophesy was God’s way of helping His people and showing them love and care!

Have you made a bold confession of faith in Jesus Christ and received God’s promise of salvation? As a believer, have you been baptized in water to declare your faith? Today is the time to act on God’s Word! 

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God’s stiff-necked people!

Scripture reading for January 30: Exodus 32-34

Exodus 32:9 “And the Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people. Now therefore let Me alone, that My wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them, in order that I may make a great nation of you.”

The nation of Israel quickly turned away from their commitment to obey God alone.  When Moses was on the mountain in the cloud and fire for 40 days, the people came to Aaron, who was left in charge and asked for gods who would lead them.  Aaron gave in quickly and asked for gold earrings and ornaments.  From them Aaron fashioned a golden calf as the god that led them from Egypt.  They made hasty plans for a festival, built an altar and sacrificed.  They bowed down to the calf-god made by Aaron and God’s anger and jealousy was aroused!

God told Moses about the idolatry and His plans to destroy them.  God’s verdict–“They are a stiff-necked people.” (Exodus 34:14)  God had just written the tablets on which He emphasized with two commands His order to have no gods before Him and to make no idols.  (Exodus 20:3-6)  Moses smashed the tablets in holy anger indicating the breaking of God’s Word by the very people who had sworn to obey!  (Exodus 32:19; Exodus 24:3) Moses, however did intercede with God, asking Him to spare the people.  He asked on the basis of God’s reputation and promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  These were precious promises that caused these patriarchs to live by faith and walk by faith.  God listened but judgment still fell on those who sinned.

Moses called for those on the Lord’s side and the Levites stepped up.  They were told to strap on swords and execute those who participated in the idolatry, even if it was their brother, friend or neighbor!   (Exodus 33:27-28)  Three thousand were executed that day.  Sin is deadly, particularly idolatry!  God was jealous because Israel was His Bride!  The Messiah, God Son, would be born through her.

What forms does idolatry take in our culture today? Why are God’s people sometimes characterized as stiff-necked?’ What does the Levites using their swords to kill the idolater tell you about our response?

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