We are looked deeper this week at Exodus 32: 7-14. Today we are going to look at the World of the Text. What do we find in the text in front of us?
This passage is interesting to me, in that we see a conversation between God and Moses. The people are at the base of the mountain and they have created a golden calf that they are worshiping it as their God. This has angered God and it is from this perspective we see this scene play out. We see God say to Moses – your people who you led out of Egypt have done this. God is telling Moses that the people were his. But look at what Moses says. No, YOUR people who YOU led out of Egypt have done this.
Don’t destroy them. Remember your promise that you made of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. Remember your promise and your word. Now, let me ask you a question. Do you think that God has forgotten His promises or what He has said to these before? Of course not. This testing and this conversation are not for God’s sake but it is for Moses’ sake. God remembers. This shows to Moses that He is remembering.
We’ll talk more about this tomorrow, but always remember that when God tests us, it is never for His benefit, it is always for ours. The testing doesn’t show God what He has in us, it shows us what we have in God.
Then we see that Moses’ words have an effect upon God. He changes his mind, but a more appropriate word in Hebrew here is that He reconsiders. This is the same word used in Jonah. God’s compassion and pity are aroused. God shows mercy, instead of the judgment that He could have rightly claimed. God’s mercy is present. Moses’ words show that God was always desiring to give mercy, even here. God is a God of mercy. The text here points, even when we deserve judgment, God longs to give mercy.
Tomorrow we’ll talk more about what this means for our lives.
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