Exodus 33: 1-6…The ordeal of removing evil from the camp is done. The survivors of the consequences of sin are those who are ready to follow Moses. Depart from where they were and this is a new start. The Lord tells Moses to depart that place and head for the Promised Land. Remember that Moses is a foreshadow of Jesus. By repenting and making Jesus Lord, the One to follow, we are “born again”, and get a new start. We are to continually repent of sin, depart from it and start again in following Jesus to His Promised Land of heaven.
Our God always stands for TRUTH but He also has immense GRACE. He is a perfect, good Father. He forgives the repentant. He gives the opportunity to repent and change, and then try again to learn righteousness. Righteousness is right being and doing, right character and behavior, in truth. That is God’s way, His pattern. He gives forgiveness to those who repent and encourages them to pursue TRUTH into the Promises Land of heaven!
1 John 1:9, “If we freely admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises), and will forgive our sins and cleanse us continually from all unrighteousness (our wrong doing, everything not in conformity with His will and purpose.” Amplified version.
BUT, His grace and forgiveness is no excuse to continue doing unrighteousness by living the wrong way. He wants hearts and minds that love Him and desire/strive to follow Him and His right ways. And His grace and forgiveness requires real repentance and change! This is so much more than just asking Him for forgiveness! It means a heart change, a mind change, and a behavior change. We must kill the old, to grow into the new. We do this by paying attention to Him and His Word to learn what is right, then turning away from and killing the wrong, deceptive, false, and worldly, knowledge and ways, and begin practicing His truth and ways.
1 Corinthians 15: 36, “You fool! Every time you plant seed, you sow something that does not come to life (germinating, springing up and growing) unless it first dies.” We are supposed to learn from Him and grow up!
1 Peter 2:2, “Like newborn babes you should long for the pure milk of the Word, so that by it you may be nurtured and in respect to salvation, it’s ultimate fulfillment.”
Here in the beginning of Exodus 33, we see that God can see that their hearts are still stiff-necked, stubborn, and rebellious. God is still angered by their adulterous hearts and minds, so He tells Moses that He will not travel with them. God’s righteous wrath against evil might kill them!
Before moving on, let’s consider this message for American today. Historically, America has claimed to be a Christian nation. When trouble (like 9/11 falling towers in NY) or plague (like Caronavirus) comes, people pray and claim verse 2 Chronicles 7:14, that if we humble ourselves and pray then God will heal our land. But we forget the middle of this verse that says we must seek His face and turn from our wicked ways! When things seem to get better, America just goes back to sexual immorality, abortion, greed for wealth and popularity and power, selfishness, pleasure seeking fleshy entertainment, humanism, tolerance of evil, and othr idols with some people just claiming and performing religion. we are still-necked, stubborn, and rebellious…refusing to submit to
God’s truth and ways, to go our own ways, refusing to learn and grow up in His Word! If we really lie and walk in so much evil, allowing it to possess our hearts, minds, and behavior, can He walk with us? NO. We are an adulterous people and His holy righteousness will kill us!
When Moses confronts and tells the people of their stubborn rebellious hearts, they do listen and mourn becoming penitent. They take off their ornaments, accessories and worldly jewelry…and even for the rest of their wilderness journey! Remember, it was their gold jewelry that they used to make the gold pagan idol. This is a step i the right direction.
Are we willing to remove all the extra accessories, riches, and decorations of our lives for the rest of our earthly wilderness journey? Are you willing to ask God if there are any accessories, riches, distractions, or idols you need to lay down? If He asks you to lay something down, know that it is for your own good! He loves you and wants the best for you….to grow up in Him, to live blessed in righteousness and truth, to walk together with Him continuously, to be made into the image of Christ!