Saturday, December 13, 2014

Exodus 33:7-40:1-38 - The Life of Moses

(My BSF Notes)

Since my PC has been down and I have not been able to post weekly, I am trying to catch up so I am combining lesson 12 and 13.  Then I should be on track for the next lesson.  However lesson 14 will not be posted until after the first of the year.  BSF takes a Christmas break and we will not return to class until January 2015.  So enjoy your Christmas and have a blessed holiday.

                               Exodus 33:7-34:1-35 – Lesson 12

Exodus 33:7-17 – God’s Presence

In the last lesson we learned that God was not willing to live among the Israelites since they had disobeyed and worshiped the golden calf.  They had lost that privilege.  Moses set up a temporary tent until a more permanent one could be built.  This Tent of Meeting was outside the camp where he could go and worship God.  The people stood at their tents and paid attention and watched Moses when he went into the tent.  Each time Moses went into the tent the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance.  When they saw this, they bowed down and worship.  This showed the people were sorry for their disobedience of worshiping the golden calf and they repented.

“The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend.”Ex. 33:11.  God spoke directly to Moses probably not actually face to face, because the Bible says that no one can see God’s face and live (Ex. 33:20).  It was more mouth to mouth, maybe feeling His presence and even seeing the form of the Lord.  Moses made an appointment with God regularly.  God wanted a relationship with Him as He does with us.  He wants us to make an appointment with Him and keep it.  You make hair appointments and you wouldn’t dare miss them, would you?  So don’t miss your appointments with God.  Set aside a time and a place and keep your appointment.

Moses yearned to know more of who God was.  He asked God to teach him God’s ways so he could please God (Ex. 33:13).  Moses said if He would go with them everyone would know that He was pleased with Moses and the Israelites.  Moses wanted him and the people to be distinguished from other peoples of the earth (Ex. 33:16).  Then the Lord said He would do all the Moses asked. 

Do you know God?  To know God we must listen to Him, study our Bible, and stay on our knees in prayer.
Will you commit to spend with time with God daily?  Pray out loud and hear yourself worship Him.
Will you ask God to partner with you?
Does your character distinguish you from those who do not know God?

Principle:  A believer’s greatest need is the awareness and leading of God’s presence.

Exodus 33:18-34:28 – God’s Glory

Moses got what he asked for and now he’s wanting more.  He said show me your glory.  The more you know about God the more you want to know.  God gives Moses something better.  The Lord then revealed Himself to Moses.  He showed Moses His goodness by passing by him and protecting Moses by hiding him in the cleft of a rock as He passed by.

Then the Lord told Moses to chisel out 2 stone tables like the first ones and write on them the same words.  God then revealed His attributes to Moses, “The Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.  Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.”Ex. 34:6-7.

What does it mean to punish children to the third and fourth generation?  It means that there are consequences to general sin.  An example of this is when a parent is arrested for murder or theft and serves time in prison.  Their children suffer.  They are deprived of their fathers love and companionship.

Moses bowed down and worshiped God and asked forgiveness for him and the people and to take them as His inheritance.  Then God renewed His covenant with the people.  This reminded them of their faith and renewed their confidence for now God would be with them again.  This covenant is known as the Ten Commandments.

Principle:  God reveals His character and glory through His Word.

Exodus 34:29-35 – God’s Radiance

Moses was there on the mountain for 40 days and nights writing all the things the Lord had told him.  When he came down from the mountain with the tablets, his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord.  Some of God’s radiance was passed onto him.  The people were afraid when they saw him.  Then he called to them and gave them the commands of the Lord.

They had a glimpse of God’s power.  The golden calf did not show any change, but God’s power showed on Moses face.

Principle:  God’s glory is reflected in believers who seek His presence.

Do others see God’s character in you?

This lesson teaches us about God’s character.  He is loving and merciful.  He is a forgiving God and is always ready to forgive when we ask Him.  He wants to reveal Himself to us.  He wants us to see His glory.


                              Exodus 35-40 – Lesson 13

Exodus 35-40:16 – God’s Instructions

Moses received instruction for the work of the tabernacle.  The first command of God given before the people began their work was to work 6 days and rest on the 7th, the Sabbath.  God wanted the people to set aside a day to worship Him.  He wants us to worship Him, not only on Sunday, but every day of the week and in everything we do. 

The people supplied all the materials needed for the tabernacle.  God said if they were willing to bring offerings of gold, silver, bronze, blue, purple, scarlet yarn and fine line, etc. (Ex. 35:4-9).  They had so much offered that Moses had to tell them to stop bringing anymore. (Ex. 36:5-7).  They gave joyfully and out of gratitude.  “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” - 2 Cor. 9:7

Are you a cheerful giver?

Principle:  God’s forgiveness changes duty into joyful obedience.

The Lord chose Bezalel and Oholiab and filled them with His Spirit and with skills, abilities, and knowledge in all kinds of crafts.  He also filled Oholiab with the ability to teach others.  The Lord also filled others who were willing with skills.  Every person had a part to play in building the tabernacle.

This is a good lesson for us.  God gives each one of us skills and abilities and He wants us to not waste them, but use them.  When He calls, He also equips.  God uses all kinds of people to do His work.  If you think you are not sure just what your abilities are, ask God to show them to you.  Then ask Him to show you how to put them to work for Him.

How do you use the skills and talents God has given you?

God repeats the details from Exodus 25-31.  He does this to show the importance of the tabernacle.  The tabernacle is the picture of Jesus’ work to come.  He repeats the phrase “as the Lord commanded”.  This phrase is repeated 8 times in these verses.  The people had been ungrateful and disobedient by making the golden calf, but now their hearts were willing and they did what the Lord commanded and so Moses blessed them.  Blessing always follows obedience. 

In what ways do you do as the Lord commands?

Exodus 40:17-33 – Moses’ Inspection

Moses inspected the work and blessed the people, because they did just as the Lord commanded.  It must be done His way to receive a blessing.  It had to be done exactly His way for Him to dwell with them.  They didn’t understand it, but Heb 8:5 says - “They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven.  This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle; ‘See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.’”.

They were set it up on the first day of the first month in the second year.  This was the anniversary of the Passover, when the Israelites were delivered from slavery in Egypt.  God told Moses to set up the Ark of Testimony first.  This was where God would dwell.  God was fulfilling His plan.  This is a picture of God’s design for salvation.  We don’t get that from Exodus, but from Heb. 8-10.

What do you need to change to do just as God commands?

Principle:  God’s biggest work is done in the hearts of people.

He wants to dwell in your heart.  You are His tabernacle.

Exodus 40:34-38 – God’s Dwelling

When the tabernacle was fully assembled, the cloud covered it and was filled with the glory of the Lord.  Moses could not enter the tabernacle, because God was so majestic and powerful that no man could enter.  God kept His promise.  He promised He would dwell among them and He did just that.  Pentecost is equivalent of this event.  There at Pentecost the Holy Spirit filled the early Christians.  The Holy Spirit fills Christians today.  “Repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your fins.  And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”Acts 2:38.

Has God given you the Holy Spirit?

We don’t have the cloud of glory, but we have something better.  We have the Holy Spirit.  God gives His Holy Spirit to each one who is His child through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  The Holy Spirit is the very presence of God.  He indwells in us.  He guides and protects us.  He is God’s voice.  He gives us wisdom and understanding.  He is God’s gracious gift to us.

The Lord promised to guide and protect them and He did just that.  When the cloud was lifted the people could travel and when it did not lift they did not move.  “So the cloud of the Lord was over the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel during all their t ravels.” Ex. 40:38.  The cloud protected them from the harsh desert conditions.  It protected them for their enemies by shielding them as they traveled.  We need to Holy Spirit for our protection.

The tabernacle points to the work of Jesus.  Jesus is our Moses, our salvation.  Jesus is our mediator before the Father.  Jesus is the lamb that was sacrificed for our sins.  Jesus is our way out of Egypt.  Jesus is our bread in the wilderness.  Jesus is the light on the lampstand bringing light to a dark world.  Jesus is the basin of our cleansing that cleanses us from our sins.  Jesus is our great High Priest interceding for us to the Father.  Jesus is the blood on the mercy seat, the atonement that reconciles us to God.

God entered the finished work of the tabernacle.  When God sees the work of Jesus, His presence enters us through the Holy Spirit.  We are His tabernacle, the place when God is dwelling.

Principle:  The Holy Spirit lives in us and glorifies God through us.

What changes do you need to make to prepare your tabernacle?

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Monday, December 8, 2014

Exodus 25-31; 32–33:6 – Lesson 10-11

These two lessons are combined, because my PC died a couple of weeks ago and I could not get my posts done in time so I am combining these lessons.  To see the specific instructions for the Ark of the Covenant, please see Exodus 25-31.  I am sorry to be so late in getting them done for you.  If it wasn't for my wonderful son getting my PC fixed, I would not be posting at all.  I will probably combine the next two lessons as well.  I hope this has not caused anyone any inconvenience.  Thanks for being patient with me. 

Last time we learned God calls us to apply the principles of His laws to our life.

Exodus 25-31 – Lesson 10

Exodus 25-27 – The Ark of the Covenant

God gave instructions on gifts He was to receive.  The people were to give as their heart prompted them.  He gave specific instructions as to how the Ark of the Covenant was to be made down to the smallest detail.  He gave specific instructions for the furniture within the Holy Place as well as the Tabernacle that was to be built for the ark and everything else was built around the ark.  This was to be the dwelling place for God so he could be among the people.  God said to make the Tabernacle exactly as He had said.

The entire chapter 26 gives instructions for making the Tabernacle.  Chapter 27 concerns the courtyard where the Tabernacle stood.  The Tabernacle had 2 rooms, the Most Holy Place and the Holy Place with a curtain separating the rooms.  This curtain showed that sinful people could not approach God.  In the outside courtyard was the altar of the burnt offerings – a reminder that every approach to God required a blood atonement.  God said to make these exactly as He had said.

The tabernacle furnishings point to the life and work of Jesus Christ:
The table with the bread of the Presence - a description of Jesus Himself as the bread of life.
The golden lampstand – Jesus said He was the light of the world.
Inner curtain or veil – When Jesus died, the veil was torn from top to bottom giving us access to God.
Altar of burnt offering – Jesus was our perfect sacrifice, the lamb without blemish.

Why was it important to make the Tabernacle exactly as God said?  It’s His sanctuary; His dwelling place and it need to be done exactly as He said.

Exodus 28-30 – The Priests

God even gave instruction to the clothing of the priests.  The priests were also to be consecrated.   Moses consecrated and ordained Aaron and his sons as priests.  There was to be an altar of incense and a basin for washing.  Every time to priest entered the Holy Place, they were required to wash their hands and feet.  If they did not, they would die.  They needed to be cleansed from their sins to serve God.  Believers today are to be cleansed from sin.  We need to confess our sins and He will forgive us and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Exodus 31 – The Sabbath

God’s final instructions to Moses were to observe the Sabbath.  Moses had spent 40 days and 40 nights upon the mountain.  When he came down, he had God’s instructions and the 10 Commandments written by God on 2 stone tablets.


Exodus 32 – 33:6 - lesson 11

In lesson 10 we learned God chooses and prepares His servants for special service.

Exodus 32:1-6 – Aaron’s Compromise

Moses spent 40 days and 40 nights on the mountain with God and while he was gone the people became impatient and wondered what happen to him.  They went to Aaron and asked him to make them a god who will go before them.  Then Aaron told them to take the gold earrings they were wearing and bring them to him.  He then took the gold and cast an idol in the shape of a calf.  Aaron built an altar in front of the calf and said tomorrow there will be a festival to the Lord.  The next day they sacrificed burnt offerings on the idol and ate and drank and indulged in revelry. (Exodus 32:1-6).

Moses left Aaron in charge.  He was to shepherd the people in the ways of God, not break His commandments!  What was Aaron thinking?  He gave in to the people instead of standing up to them and guiding them in the right way.  He was a people pleaser.  We sometimes misuse the gifts God has given us by being people pleasers.  We put our desires first and the things of the world before God.  It might be our job or our kids or even our ministry.

How are you being a people pleaser?
Do you misuse the gifts God has given you?

The Israelites needed a god.  They were not focused on the1 true God.  They were ungrateful for what Moses and God had done for them by bring them out of slavery.  They needed a leader so they went to Aaron.  They became impatient and didn’t wait on Moses to return.  The problem probably started with a little grumbling by 1 or 2 people, then grew into a mob.   They need faith to know God was working, but they desired results and settle and compromised.

Aaron did not have boldness to do the right thing.  He compromised.  He didn’t go to God, but made the decision as to what to do himself.  Aaron made this idol for the people.  These are the same people that said they would do everything God said.  They broke the 1st and 2nd commandment.

Principle:  Our Daily choices turn us toward God or away from God.

On what are you making decisions?
Do you ask God to help and guide you in making decisions?

Exodus 32:7-14 – Moses’ Compassion

The Lord told Moses what the people were doing.  God called them “your” people, whom “you” brought up out of Egypt.   He said they had become corrupt and were quick to turn away from His commandments.  He called them stiff-necked people and told Moses to leave Him alone so His anger may not burn against them and destroy them.  God said, “I will make you into a great nation.” – Ex. 32:10.  Moses could have been tempted by what God said, but he did not.  He said to the Lord, “Why should your anger burn against your people, who you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand?  Why should the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intent that he brought them out, to kill them in the mountains and to wipe them off the face of the earth’?  Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on your people.” Ex. 32:11-12.  Then Moses reminded God of His promises to Abraham, Isaac, Israel and their descendants.  The Lord responded by relenting and did not bring disaster on them.

Moses’ intercession changed God’s mine.  Moses is concerned about God’s reputation and reminds Him of His promises.  God was making a record that sin has consequences.  If we do not recognize our sin, when we don’t know what we are saved from.  The Bible says the wages of sin is death and the price has to be paid.  God never changes, but here He shows us that prayer really does matter.  He’s teaching us to pray. 

Principle:  Intercession based on God’s character is powerful in accomplishing God’s plan.

When you pray are you acknowledging His character?

We are to worry less and pray more.  God wants us to pray.  Moses interceded for the people and God listened and relented.  So prayer does matter!

Exodus 32:15-33:6 – Israel’s Consequences

So Moses went down the mountain with the 2 tablets from God.  “The tablets were the work of God; the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets.”Ex. 32:16.   There Moses found the people dancing.  He became enraged and threw down the tablets and broke them.  He took the calf burned it, ground it into powder, scattered it on the water and made them drink it.  By breaking the tablets, it showed the people that they had broken God’s laws.  By destroying the calf, it showed that this god had no power.  It could not even save itself from 1 man.

Moses confronted Aaron.  Aaron was left in charge and he was to shepherd the people in Moses absence.  Moses said to Aaron, “What did these people do to you, that you led them into such great sin?” Ex. 32:21.  Aaron made several excuses.  He blamed the people saying they were proned to evil and that he threw their gold jewelry into the fire and a calf came out.  He blamed the people and the fire, but not himself.  The people were out of control.  They were running wild and had become a laughingstock to their enemies.

What excuses do you make for your sin?
Do you blame others or your circumstances?
What idols do you make?
Will you reject whatever you know to be wrong?

Moses called to the people to come to him if they are for the Lord.  All the Levites rallied to him.  Then they were to take their sword and kill those who were against God.  They did as he said and about 3,000 died.  The Levites who were faithful to the Lord were set apart and blessed.  It all started with a little grumbling and ended in 3,000 deaths.  Sin was serious and requires serious consequences.

Moses tired to repair the peoples’ relationship with the Lord.  He went to God and offered his own salvation for the peoples’ sin.  He offered to die as a substitute for the people.  He was motivated by his love for them.  He asked God to spare them and block his name from the His book.  This is not the Lamb’s Book of Life talked about in Revelation.  It is the book of the living.  God said no, but He would still send His angel to go before them, but this time He said He will not go.  When the time comes, he will punish them for their sin. (Ex. 32:33-34)

When the people heard that God would not go with them, they mourned.  In other words, they repented.

Do you mourn because of your sin and your distance from God?

God sent Jesus, the perfect sacrifice to die for us.  Sin separates us from God, but through Jesus we can have a relationship with Him.  Jesus is our mediator.  God accepted Jesus sacrifice for us.  Jesus is the only adequate substitute for sinners.

Principle:  God allows sin’s consequences to bring us to repentance and restoration.

How have you allowed Jesus to atone for your sins?
For whom do you intercede? 

He wants us to pray for others, to plead for the lost and intercede for sinners.

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