Moses Meets with God

Scripture Passage: 
Exodus 33:1-23; Exodus 34:1-9, 27-35

INTRODUCTION: Israel has grievously sinned against God. The people have made a golden calf and worshipped it. The tabernacle, as God’s presence, is removed from their midst. Moses now goes to work as the primary Old Testament mediator to bring God and His people back into a right relationship with one another.

  1. GOD REMOVES HIMSELF FROM ISRAEL (Exodus 33:1-7)
    1. God Removes Himself from Israel’s Camp (Exodus 33:1-3).
      1. An angel to be sent before them (Exodus 33:1-2; Exodus 23:20, 23; Exodus 32:34)
      2. The danger of God consuming them (Exodus 33:3; Exodus 32:10; Numbers 16:45)
    2. They Mourn Their Loss (Exodus 33:4-6).
      1. The Lord considers their fate (Exodus 33:4-5).
      2. They remove their ornaments (Exodus 33:6).
    3. The Tabernacle Pitched without the Camp (Exodus 33:7)
      1. Pitched afar off from the camp
      2. Called the tabernacle of the congregation
      3. Those who sought the Lord went without the camp (see Hebrews 13:11-13Hebrews 13:13 has 13 words).
  2. MOSES COMES BEFORE THE LORD (Exodus 33:8-11)
    1. Moses Enters the Tabernacle (Exodus 33:8-10).
      1. The people rise up and stand (Exodus 33:8).
      2. Moses goes into the tabernacle (Exodus 33:8-9).
      3. The cloudy pillar descends (Exodus 33:9; Psalm 99:7).
      4. The people worship in their tent doors (Exodus 33:10).
    2. The Lord Speaks with Moses (Exodus 33:9, 11).
      1. He speaks to him in the tabernacle (Exodus 33:9).
      2. He speaks with him face to face (Exodus 33:11; Numbers 12:8).
    3. Moses Leaves the Tabernacle (Exodus 33:11).
      1. He returns to the camp.
      2. Joshua remains in the tabernacle.
  3. MOSES SEEKS THE PRESENCE OF GOD (Exodus 33:12-17)
    1. “Show Me Thy Way” (Exodus 33:12-13).
      1. If you have sent me (Exodus 33:12)
      2. If I have found grace in thy sight (Exodus 33:12-13)
      3. That I may know thee (Exodus 33:13)
    2. “My Presence Shall Go with Thee” (Exodus 33:14-17).
      1. God promises His presence and rest (Exodus 33:14).
      2. Moses requires God’s presence (Exodus 33:15).
      3. Moses seeks proof of God’s presence (Exodus 33:16).
      4. The Lord agrees to give him proof (Exodus 33:17).
  4. MOSES SEES THE GLORY OF GOD (Exodus 33:18-23)
    1. The Lord Agrees to Moses’ Proposal (Exodus 33:18-19).
      1. Moses asks to see God’s glory (Exodus 33:18).
      2. The Lord agrees: (Exodus 33:19)
        1. To make His goodness pass before Moses
        2. To proclaim His name before Moses
    2. The Lord Explains How He Will Appear (Exodus 33:20-23).
      1. No man can see God’s face and live (Exodus 33:20; 1 Timothy 6:16).
      2. Moses can hide in a cleft of the rock (Exodus 33:21-23).
        1. Moses will stand in a place by God (Exodus 33:21).
        2. God will cover him as He passes by (Exodus 33:22).
        3. Moses can see God’s back parts (Exodus 33:23).
  5. MOSES PREPARES THE TABLES OF STONE (Exodus 34:1-4)
    1. The Command Given (Exodus 34:1-3)
      1. Hew two tables of stone (Exodus 34:1); this is the second set of stones.
      2. Bring them up in the morning (Exodus 34:2).
      3. Bring no man with you (Exodus 34:3).
    2. The Command Obeyed (Exodus 34:4)
  6. THE LORD PROCLAIMS HIS NAME TO MOSES (Exodus 34:5-9)
    1. The Descent of the Lord (Exodus 34:5)
    2. The Name of the Lord (Exodus 34:6-7)
      1. The proclamation of the name
        1. The proclamation (Exodus 34:5-7)
        2. The setting
          1. Israel had sinned in the matter of the golden calf (Exodus 32:1-4).
          2. God separated Himself from the presence of the people (Exodus 33:1-7).
          3. Moses pled for the presence of the Lord and the Lord granted his request (Exodus 33:12-17).
        3. The event
          1. Moses then asked additionally to see the glory of the Lord (Exodus 33:18).
          2. God granted his request (Exodus 33:19).
            1. He would make His goodness pass before Moses.
            2. He would proclaim the name of the Lord before Moses.
          3. The Lord gave instructions for Moses before He passed before Him (Exodus 33:20-23).
          4. The Lord had Moses prepare two more tables of stone to replace the broken ones (Exodus 34:1-4).
          5. The Lord passed before Moses and proclaimed His name (Exodus 34:5-7).
          6. Moses worshipped the Lord and renewed His request for the Lord to go among His people (Exodus 34:8-9).
      2. The name proclaimed throughout scripture. Some form of this proclamation is used numerous times in the Old Testament (Exodus 20:5-6; Numbers 14:17-19; Deuteronomy 5:9-10; Psalm 86:15; Psalm 103:8-9; Psalm 145:8; Joel 2:13; Jonah 4:2).
      3. The meaning of the name proclaimed
        1. The list of items in the name proclaimed
          1. The LORD (Exodus 34:6)
          2. The LORD God (Exodus 34:6)
          3. Merciful (Exodus 34:6)
          4. Gracious (Exodus 34:6)
          5. Longsuffering (Exodus 34:6)
          6. Abundant in goodness (Exodus 34:6)
          7. Abundant in truth (Exodus 34:6)
          8. Keeping mercy for thousands (Exodus 34:7)
          9. Forgiving (Exodus 34:7)
            1. Iniquity
            2. Transgression
            3. Sin
          10. Refusing to clear the guilty; visiting iniquity to the third and fourth generations (Exodus 34:7)
        2. Notes on the name proclaimed
          1. The name is predominately positive. Depending on how the last items are counted, there are only one or two negative items.
          2. The entire list is an expansion of the name of LORD; that is, Jehovah.
          3. God’s refusal to clear the guilty must be taken in context of the rest of the name which proclaims His mercy, grace, and forgiveness. The guilty in this passage are those who do “despite unto the Spirit of grace” (Hebrews 10:29). They will receive a sorer punishment and fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:29-31).
    3. The Grace of the Lord (Exodus 34:8-9)
      1. Moses worships (Exodus 34:8).
      2. Moses prays (Exodus 34:9).
        1. Go among us.
        2. Pardon our iniquity and sin.
        3. Take us for thine inheritance.
  7. MOSES SHINES WITH THE GLORY OF GOD (Exodus 34:27-35)
    1. Moses Receives God’s Covenant (Exodus 34:27-28).
      1. He writes the words of God (Exodus 34:27-28).
      2. He fasts for forty days and nights (Exodus 34:28).
    2. Moses Comes Down from the Mount (Exodus 34:29-35).
      1. The face of Moses shines (Exodus 34:29-30).
        1. Unknown to Moses (Exodus 34:29)
        2. Fearful to Israel (Exodus 34:30)
      2. Moses speaks through a veil (Exodus 34:31-33; 2 Corinthians 3:13-18).
      3. The veil is removed only in the presence of God (Exodus 34:34-35).

CONCLUSION: Moses successfully intercedes for the people of Israel. But, more than that, Moses has seen the back parts of God and has heard Him proclaim His name. He already spoke to God “as a man speaketh unto his friend.” But now he has seen and heard Him. Job, in a similar experience, said, “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee” (Job 42:5). May we allow our trials and problems to bring us ever closer to the Lord.

David Reagan and Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 22:22

Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate: