Did you forget what just happened? Did lose hope because it was taking longer than you expected? Did you give up and try to go it your own way? Do you realize that trying to get it all down in your own power will remove the blessing of the process? Do you realize the pain it may cause others? Do you realize the impact it could have on those around you? What if you had waited? What if you had trusted? What if it had of gone differently? Then what?
Today’s reading starts with such a scenario. Imagine God showing up and parting the Red Sea. Imagine God showing up and leading you by smoke during the day and fire by night whenever and wherever He wanted you to go. Imagine God providing food and water even though you were wining and complaining. And now if the process is taking longer than you expected and making you anxious or worried, how would you respond? Would you trust Him? Would you wait on Him? Or would you do something and have to deal with the consequences?
Molten Calf and Smashing Tablets1Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said to him, “Get up, make us gods who will go before us. As for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what’s become of him!” 2So Aaron said to them, “Break off the golden rings that are in the ears of your wives, your sons and your daughters, and bring them to me.” 3So all the people broke off the golden rings that were in their ears and brought them to Aaron. 4He received them from their hand, and made a molten calf, fashioned with a chiseling tool. Then they said, “This is your god, Israel, which brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” 5When Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it. Then Aaron made a proclamation saying, “Tomorrow will be a feast to Adonai.” 6They rose up early the next morning, sacrificed burnt offerings and brought fellowship offerings. The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to make merry. 7Then Adonai said to Moses, “Go down! For your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have become debased. 8They quickly turned aside from the path that I commanded for them. They have made a molten calf, worshipped it, and sacrificed to it, and said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, that brought you up out of the land of Egypt.’” 9Adonai said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people. 10Now therefore, leave Me alone, so My wrath may burn hot against them, and so I may consume them—and make from you a great nation!” 11Then Moses sought Adonai his God and said, “Adonai, why should Your wrath burn hot against Your people, whom You have brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? 12Why should the Egyptians say, ‘He brought them out to do evil, to slay them in the mountains, and to annihilate them from the face of the earth?’ Turn from Your fierce wrath, and relent from this destruction against Your people. 13Remember Abraham, Isaac and Israel, Your servants, to whom You swore by Your own self, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of I will give to your offspring, and they will inherit it forever.’” 14So Adonai relented from the destruction that He said He would do to His people. 15Then Moses turned and went down from the mountain, with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hand, tablets that were written on both sides, on one and on the other. 16The tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets. 17When Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said to Moses, “There is the sound of war within the camp.” 18But Moses said: “It is not the voice of a shout of victory, nor is it the voice of crying from defeat, but I hear the sound of singing.” 19Then it happened, as soon as Moses came near the camp, he saw the calf and the dancing, and his anger burned hot. So he threw the tablets out of his hands, and smashed them at the foot of the mountain. 20Then he took the calf that they had made, burned it with fire, ground it to powder, scattered it on the surface of the water and made Bnei-Yisrael drink it. 21Then Moses said to Aaron, “What did this people do to you, to make you bring such a great sin upon them?” 22Aaron said, “Don’t be angry, my lord! You know these people yourself, and how they are set on evil. 23They said to me, ‘Make gods for us, to go before us! As for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we don’t know what happened to him.’ 24So I said to them, ‘Whoever has any gold, let them break it off.’ So they gave it to me and I threw it into the fire—and out came this calf!” 25When Moses saw that the people were unrestrained, because Aaron had let them run wild, to become a joke among their enemies, 26Moses stood at the gate of the camp and said, “Whoever is on Adonai’s side, let him come to me.” Then all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him. 27He said to them, “This is what Adonai, the God of Israel says, ‘Every man put on his sword, and go to and fro, from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay his brother, his friend, and his neighbor.’” 28So the sons of Levi did as Moses said, and that day from among the people there fell about 3,000 men. 29Then Moses said, “Consecrate your hands today to Adonai so that He may give you a blessing today, for every man has been against his son and his brother.” 30So it happened the following day, Moses said to the people, “You have committed a horrendous sin. So now I will go up to Adonai—perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.” 31Then Moses returned to Adonai and said, “Alas, these people have sinned greatly, and made gods of gold! 32Yet now, please forgive their sin. But if not, please blot me out of Your book that You have written.” 33Adonai said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot out of My book. 34Now go, lead the people to the place that I told you about. My angel will go before you. Nevertheless, on the day when I take account, I will hold them accountable for their sin.” 35So Adonai struck the people because of what they did with the calf that Aaron had made.–from Exodus 32
How would you take responsibility? How would you respond? How would you apologize? How would you try to make things right? Could you have helped others be more patient? Could you have helped other to trust? Could you have helped others to wait for it? Would you lead? Would you stand in the gap for their actions? Would you plead with God to save them? Would you stand in the middle pleading their case? How would you have respond? How do you respond?
Will you trust God? Will you do it His way? Will you walk it out His way? Will you trust Him? Will you obey Him? Will you be one who will not need an interpreter but will speak face to face with Him? Will you bring your asks, your needs, your ideas, your worries, your curiosities, your everything to Jesus and discuss it? Will your hopes, your plans, and your desires be based on God’s plan? Will you seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness? Will you trust God and do good? Will you delight yourself in Him and then He will give you the desires of your heart? Will you want to stick so close that if God isn’t going with you that you won’t move? Will you ensure God’s presence is with you to the point where you won’t move until you know He is moving too? Stick with Him!
1Then Adonai said to Moses, “Leave, get out of this place, you and the people that you have brought out of the land of Egypt, into the land which I swore to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob saying, ‘I will give it to your seed.’ 2I will send an angel before you. I will drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and the Jebusites. 3Head up into a land flowing with milk and honey, but I will not move within the midst of you, so that I do not destroy you along the way, for you are a stiff-necked people.” 4When the people heard these dreadful words, they mourned, and no one put on any ornaments. 5Adonai said to Moses, “Say to Bnei-Yisrael, ‘You are a stiff-necked people. If I were going up among you for one moment, I would consume you. Take off your ornaments, so that I may consider what to do to you.’” 6So Bnei-Yisrael stripped themselves of their ornaments from Mount Horeb onward.
Show Me Your Glory!7Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp, far off from the camp, and he called it the Tent of Meeting. So it happened, everyone who sought Adonai would go out to the Tent of Meeting, which was outside the camp. 8Whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people would arise and stand, everyone at the door of his own tent, and look after Moses, until he had gone into the Tent. 9After Moses entered, the pillar of cloud descended, stood at the door, and He would speak with Moses. 10When all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the Tent, they all rose up and worshipped, every man at the entrance of his own tent. 11So Adonai spoke with Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Then he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, did not leave the Tent. 12So Moses said to Adonai “You say to me, ‘Bring up this people,’ but You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My eyes.’ 13Now then, I pray, if I have found grace in Your eyes, show me Your ways, so that I may know You, so that I might find favor in Your sight. Consider also that this nation is Your people.” 14“My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest,” He answered. 15But then he said to Him, “If Your presence does not go with me, don’t let us go up from here! 16For how would it be known that I or your people have found favor in Your sight? Isn’t it because You go with us, that distinguishes us from all the people on the face of the earth?” 17Adonai answered Moses, “I will also do what you have said, for you have found favor in My sight, and I know you by name.” 18Then he said, “Please, show me Your glory!” 19So He said, “I will cause all My goodness to pass before you, and call out the Name of Adonai before you. I will be gracious toward whom I will be gracious, and I will show mercy on whom I will be merciful.” 20But He also said, “You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live.” 21Then Adonai said, “See, a place near Me—you will stand on the rock. 22While My glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and cover you with My hand, until I have passed by. 23Then I will take away My hand, and you will see My back, but My face will not be seen.”–from Exodus 33
Will you be like Abraham and be called a friend of God? Will you be like Jacob and wrestle with God? Will you be like Isaac and follow God even at the risk of death? Will you be like Moses and plead with God? All for His glory and for the good of those under you? Will you receive it with open hands and be a conduit for God? Will you go about it God’s way? Let’s take a hold of His hand and go it His way!
Torah Is a Tree of Wisdom1Happy is the one who has not walked in the advice of the wicked, nor stood in the way of sinners, nor sat in the seat of scoffers. 2But his delight is in the Torah of Adonai, and on His Torah he meditates day and night. 3He will be like a planted tree over streams of water, producing its fruit during its season. Its leaf never droops— but in all he does, he succeeds. 4The wicked are not so. For they are like chaff that the wind blows away. 5Therefore the wicked will not stand during the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6For Adonai knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to ruin.–from Psalms 1
In whom will you put your trust? To whom will you turn for wisdom?
Will you be a ace maker? Will you be a person who brings people together? Will you produce unity by the way you live? Will you use your words to build up or tear down? How will you lead others?
Unity in Community1Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of disputes about opinions. 2One person has faith to eat anything, but the weak eats only vegetables. 3Don’t let the one who eats disparage the one who does not eat, and don’t let the one who does not eat judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him. 4Who are you to judge another’s servant? Before his own master he stands or falls. Yes, he shall stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. 5One person esteems one day over another while another judges every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. 6The one who observes that day does so to the Lord. The one who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and the one who abstains, abstains to the Lord, and he gives thanks to God. 7For none of us lives for himself, and none dies for himself. 8For if we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9For this reason Messiah died and lived again, so that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living. 10But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you too, why do you look down on your brother? For we all will stand before the judgment seat of God. 11For it is written, “As I live, says Adonai, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.” 12So then each one of us shall give account of himself to God. 13Therefore let us not judge one another from now on, but rather decide this—not to put a stumbling block or a trap in the way of a brother. 14I know, and am persuaded in the Lord Yeshua, that nothing is unholy in itself; but it is unholy for the one who considers it unholy. 15For if your brother is grieved on account of food, you are no longer walking according to love. Do not destroy by your food the one for whom Messiah died. 16Therefore do not let what is good for you be spoken of as evil— 17for the kingdom of God is not about eating and drinking, but righteousness and shalom and joy in the Ruach ha-Kodesh. 18For the one who serves Messiah in this manner is pleasing to God and approved by men. 19So then let us pursue what makes for shalom and for the building up of one another. 20Stop tearing down the work of God for the sake of food. Indeed all things are clean, but wrong for the man who by eating causes stumbling. 21It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything by which your brother stumbles. 22The faith you have, keep it to yourself before God. How fortunate is the one who does not condemn himself for what he approves. 23But the one who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because it is not of faith. And whatever is not of faith is sin.–from Romans 14