Worship IX Day 15 The God Who Is: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

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The Questions

1) What were the first stone tablets Moses had and what happened to them? (verse 4)

2) Why did the Lord pass in front of Moses? (verse 6)

3) Why did Moses immediately worship? (verse 8)

Exodus 34:4-9

4 Moses cut two stone tablets like the first ones. He got up early in the morning, and taking the two stone tablets in his hand, he climbed Mount Sinai, just as the Lord had commanded him.

5 The Lord came down in a cloud, stood with him there, and proclaimed his name, “the Lord.” 6 The Lord passed in front of him and proclaimed:

The Lord—the Lord is a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and abounding in faithful love and truth, 7 maintaining faithful love to a thousand generations, forgiving iniquity, rebellion, and sin. But he will not leave the guilty unpunished, bringing the consequences of the fathers’ iniquity on the children and grandchildren to the third and fourth generation.

8 Moses immediately knelt low on the ground and worshiped. 9 Then he said, “My Lord, if I have indeed found favor with you, my Lord, please go with us (even though this is a stiff-necked people), forgive our iniquity and our sin, and accept us as your own possession.”

Original Intent

1) What were the first stone tablets Moses had and what happened to them? (verse 4)
Reading backwards for greater context, we see that God called Moses up the mountain where He gave him two stone tablets “with the law and commandments written on them”. (Exodus 24:12) These tablets contained the instructions for God’s people. Moses spent time on the mountain with God receiving these instructions. While he was with the Lord for 40 days, the Israelites chose to question whether God was truly God and began creating for themselves an idol in the form of a golden calf. (Exodus 32) God, of course, saw their rebellion and sent Moses down the mountain to witness firsthand the Israelites’ sin against God’s very first command, “Do not have other gods besides Me”. (Exodus 20:3) In Moses’ anger, he threw God’s tablets, shattering them at the base of the mountain. (Exodus 32:19) Moses then needed a second set of stone tablets from God so Israel could have His law and commandments as evidence of their covenant relationship. (Exodus 34:1)

2) Why did the Lord pass in front of Moses? (verse 6)
A few scenes earlier in Exodus 33:18, Moses requested to see the presence of God, “Please, let me see Your glory.” Moses knew God was calling him to continue leading a stubborn and rebellious people through the wilderness, and he was willing to follow God in obedience, but he wanted one thing. He wanted to see the presence of God. In Exodus 34:6, God lovingly and generously fulfills this request, “The Lord passed in front of him and proclaimed: The Lord—the Lord is a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and abounding in faithful love and truth…” In God’s revelation to Moses He displayed His love and kindness in His glory. In this precious and intimate encounter, God declares His grace, faithfulness, and love while still remaining true to His holiness for there would still be consequences for sin and payment for that sin would still be required. Moses was given exactly what he’d requested, and God revealed the exact attributes of His character that Moses specifically needed as he faced the continued mission of wilderness leading. Moses leaned into his relationship with God, and the Lord comforted Moses in rich ways.

3) Why did Moses immediately worship? (verse 8)
Moses had physically experienced God’s presence before. In Exodus 3, God spoke to Moses through a burning bush that wasn’t consumed by the fire. It was here that the Lord called Moses to lead His people out of slavery in Egypt. At first, Moses was merely curious about the bush and its flames (Exodus 3:3), but as he came near God called him by name, “Moses! Moses!”. (Exodus 3:4) The Lord then gave Moses instruction on how to be in His presence and encounter the Holy One, “Do not come closer,” He said. “Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” (Exodus 3:5) The Lord was teaching Moses how to humbly worship in the presence of God’s holiness. When God told Moses who He was, as the God of his forefathers, Moses’ immediate response was to hide his face “because he was afraid to look at God.” (Exodus 3:6) Surely, Moses was reminded of his encounters with God’s presence as God graciously passed in front of him on the mountain, telling Moses again what kind of God He was. (verse 8) God had previously revealed Himself and Moses knew Him and His holy character, this drew him deeply into the immediate and full worship God deserves.

Everyday Application

1) What were the first stone tablets Moses had and what happened to them? (verse 4)
God knew the Israelites needed His commands to be written down before them, even though He also knew they were incapable of following them. God knew there was no chance the Israelites could keep these commandments. He knew their sin-nature would always rebel against Him, but still He gave them as a definition of His holiness in their everyday lives. The Lord knew that the constant presence of the Law would tangibly remind Israel of their need for God to act on their behalf and forgive them as only a gracious and merciful God could. Despite their gross sin of idolatry and giving worship to something besides God, the Lord graciously gave Israel another opportunity for true worship placed squarely on Yahweh as the One True God. As evidence of His mercy, He made a second set of tablets for Moses. Just like Israel, we continue in our own patterns of sin and rebellion, but still the Lord gives new opportunities for corrected worship. Where can you identify these gracious gifts from the Lord in your own life and relationships? The Lord was faithful to Moses and Israel, even in their faithlessness. Celebrate His specific faithful acts toward you!

2) Why did the Lord pass in front of Moses? (verse 6)
God is no less graceful, forgiving, and loving today than He was when Moses stood before Him petitioning Him to know Him deeper. Neither is He less holy, nor will He relent on the punishment of sin. This is why we need someone, a perfect Someone, to take the penalty of sin for us on our behalf. This is what Jesus did when He died on the cross and rose from the dead 3 days later. Unlike Moses, we are not privileged to physically stand in the presence of God and His glory. God is still ever-present, and He reveals Himself to us differently than He did to Moses, but His interaction with us is no less rich, sweet, and intimate. He is always prepared and willing to give us exactly what we need from Him in His presence by the Holy Spirit. We are blessed to live after Christ’s death on the cross and His resurrection from the grave. We no longer live under the Law of Moses and the sacrificial system to pay for our sins. We are also blessed to have recorded for us in Scripture exactly who God is; we can go directly to the Scripture any time and learn of His character. Just because God doesn’t pass physically in front of us as Moses did does not mean His presence is not just as active and waiting for us to engage with Him. We must live by the steady promise that God will never leave us. I challenge us, sisters, to cling to this truth; let’s live our lives as an overflow of God’s active presence as we connect with Him through His word!

3) Why did Moses immediately worship? (verse 8)
God is timeless and unchanging; therefore, He is no less holy and deserving of our worship today than when Moses encountered Him. Just as the Lord called Moses by name, showed him Himself, and taught Moses how to enter humbly into worship, so He will do with us. The more we study God’s character and engage with Him through reading Scripture and prayer, the more deeply our hearts will be drawn into humble worship in light of the Holy God who has come near to us. It’s easy to become caught up in the busyness of our daily lives and the hurry of the world we live in; we become distracted from the only One worthy of our worship. As our focus imperceptibly shifts off the holiness of God, we can take for granted the incredible gift of a restored relationship with the Holy One. Our sin separates us from a relationship with God, but because of Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf, we have the opportunity to be forgiven and restored to Him. There is nothing we can do aside from trusting Christ alone through faith alone; we have nothing we can offer Him except our whole selves. We cannot earn His free gift of salvation. (Ephesians 2:8-9) The truth that we have access to God through Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection from the dead should bring us to our knees in worship.

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Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use www.studylight.org, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (www.esvbible.org)
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

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Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and www.studylight.org is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

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