Life of Moses Lesson 11 Day 5

Meditation by Marian Trinidad CC

Exodus 32:30-33:6

10.  a.  Moses and the Apostle Paul would willingly give up their own relationship and eternal destiny with God to secure forgiveness and eternal destiny with God for the Jews.

This reminds me of Jesus’ words recorded in John 15:12-13 “This is My commandment: that you love one another [just] as I have loved you.

No one has greater love [no one has shown stronger affection] than to lay down (give up) his own life for his friends.”

UPDATE: I found a notation on the records kept by the Jews. The names of the living were recorded. When someone died, their name was removed from that list. So it is more likely Moses and Paul were speaking of their earthly life rather than eternal damnation.

b.  God sent Jesus to do what Moses and Paul could not. See Matthew 1:21

Life of Moses Lesson 11 Day 4


Exodus 32:25-29

8.  a.  How idolatry affected the community—

  • It made the people weak in the sight of their enemies.
  • Their behavior made them the object of amusement and shame in the eyes of their enemies and others.
  • Those who chose the Lord’s side had to rise up against to those who did not.
  • Under the old covenant law, 3000 died.

b.  Moses held Aaron responsible. “…the people were unruly and unrestrained (for Aaron had let them get out of control…” Exodus 32:25 AMP

c.  Our behavior influences and creates consequences for children, employees, and others for whom we are responsible.

9.  a.  Moses’ response to the out-of-control Israelites— He said, “Who is on the Lord’s side, come here and join me.” The Levites joined him, and he instructed them to take up their swords and kill their fellow Israelites.

At first, I assumed they killed all those who participated in the calf worship. But they didn’t kill Aaron.

Earlier verses made it sound like most of the people participated. Since 3000 were killed, that’s a small percentage of the population. So I’m confused.

I found an interesting comment on this text. It also includes a contrast between Old Covenant and New Covenant—

There were, certainly, more than 3,000 male Levites. So, not every Levite carried out Moses’ instructions. And not every person who participated in this idolatry was killed. This was only a token punishment.

At this first giving of the Law, 3,000 died. At the giving of the Holy Spirit, 3,000 came to new life in Christ. What a great contrast between the O.T. Law and the N.T. grace. Law kills, but grace gives life (2 Corinthians 3:6-10). Andrew Wommack’s Living Commentary

b.  The Lord commanded drastic action to highlight the stark difference between wicked Egyptian idolatry and worship of the only True, Holy God. This “evil rebellion had to be rooted out or it would infect the entire nation.” AWMI

Even though the punishment is harsh, God’s mercy shines through. As always.

c.  Because the Levites, or at least many of the them, chose the Lord’s side and put him first before family and friends, they were rewarded with God’s blessing. Exodus 32:29

Photo Credit Craig Sunter CC


My answers—not THE answers—to study questions for BSF Life of Moses Lesson 11 Day 4

I appreciate comments and further insight. Thanks for visiting! 
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Life of Moses Lesson 11 Day 3


Exodus 32:15-24

6.  a.  Exodus 32:16 uses the following phrases to show God created the two stone tablets—

  • The tablets were the work of God,
  • The writing was God’s writing, engraved on the tablets.

b.  Reasons Moses burned the golden calf and ground it to powder—

  • I thought Moses did this due to his righteous anger and his tendency to overreact.
  • Perhaps God inspired this odd punishment because He was jealous due to their unfaithfulness. It reminds me of the punishment for a wife thought to be unfaithful. Numbers 5:11-26 Although, there is no doubt the Israelites are guilty. Moses caught them in the act.
  • The golden-calf-god was helpless against the fire and the pounding that ground it to powder.*
  • The gold used to create the idol was defiled.
  • Moses’ actions reminded the people their real God detested idol worship.
  • Moses also reminded them God placed him as their leader.

*The respect Moses commanded was awesome. There were thousands of them and only one of him. But Moses had God on his side and the people knew it. It all came because of his relationship with the Lord. Anyone with God on their side is a majority.

Think what this said about the god they had made. Moses took the thing they worshiped and burnt it and ground it to powder. Their god was helpless to do anything about it. Then he made them drink their god. I’m sure drinking gold wasn’t tasteful, and what did they think when they saw it come out in their waste? That’s what Moses thought of their god.  AWMI

7.  a.  Moses held Aaron responsible for the people’s sin because he left Aaron the other elders in charge. Exodus 24:14 The people did go to Aaron with their complaint/hair-brained scheme, but Moses didn’t expect Aaron or any of the elders would go along with something so sinful.

b.  Aaron’s defense—He blamed “those evil people.” Exodus 32:22-24

Aaron displayed the number-one characteristic of a person who has not truly repented. He blamed someone else. It was the people’s fault. But true repentance accepts responsibility.   AWMI

c.  Ah, foolish excuses. I’ve got a million of ‘em. When I was a child, my dad once accused me of rationalizing. I still excel at it. I catch myself working on my story even before I’m asked to ‘splain myself, as Ricky Ricardo often demanded of Lucy. (I decided against posting a video link so you won’t get sidetracked like I just did.) (And why am I having flashbacks of Jimmy Durante and Desi Arnaz old black and white reruns?)

The quote above in 7. b. really hits home. Lack of repentance on my part stems from pride and the need to please others. Maybe the root is fear of man. I certainly suffer from that. I need to finish reading that book on humility.

Photo credit Chad Madden CC

Life of Moses Lesson 11 Day 2

Meditation by Marian Trinidad CC

Scripture text for this study — Exodus 32:1-14

3.  a.  The Israelites made and worshiped the golden calf idol because they probably thought Moses was dead.

At first, I thought they wanted an idol to worship instead of the God who delivered them from Pharaoh. If they thought Moses was dead, it seems they would be afraid God might kill them, too. Or that He had abandoned them altogether.

Maybe they were following Moses, not God, and had lost confidence in him (Moses).

But in their perverted minds, they were simply worshiping the true God by making a graven image of Him that they could see. And if they had used their heads, what a great insult this image would be to God. They likened Him to a cow.
Andrew Wommack’s Living Commentary.

b.  Aaron willingly participated in creating the golden calf, built an altar, and proclaimed a feast day.

This makes no sense to me. He actually saw the Lord along with Moses and the seventy elders. It hadn’t been that long.

Was Aaron afraid of the people? That still doesn’t explain the way he took a leadership role in the project. Fear doesn’t explain why he said the calf was responsible for bringing them out of Egypt. Surely, he knew that wasn’t true.

If the people thought Moses was dead, their celebration makes it appear they didn’t miss him. They still related to and preferred Egypt and its pagan ways.

It’s amazing how Aaron and the people could see and experience the signs, wonders, and miracles and still fall. But then, many of the people who lived at the time of Jesus fell away, too.

Lord, help us.

c.  The gold items plundered from Egypt went into making the golden calf. Exodus 12:35-36

4.  a.  Modern day idols—Growing up, my pastors often mentioned boats or vacation homes as idols because they kept people out of a church pew on Sunday. I suppose any possession can become an idol. Or a career. Or a business. A hobby. So could a child, friend, spouse, or pet.

Money buys all sorts of entertainment and worldly pleasures.

1 Corinthians 10:6 mentions—

  • Coveting
  • Uncontrolled sensual desires
    • Eating and drinking to excess—quantity, extravagance, exotic. etc.
    • Sexual sins “Most of the oriental dances were grossly indecent and licentious.” Barnes’ Notes on the New Testament. This description reminds me of the dance Salome’s daughter performed for Herod.

b.  Ways to resist idols1 Corinthians 10:6-7, 11-13

  • Don’t worship anything other than the one true God. This warning referred specifically to man-made idols. Many parts of the world such as India still worship idols. Statues of Buddha are gaining popularity as decorations in American homes. A disturbing trend even if they aren’t actively worshiped.
  • Avoid focus on eating more food or types of foods than are beneficial to our bodies.
  • Avoid events where illegal drugs and heavy consumption of alcohol is likely.
  • Avoid whining and complaining.
  • Run from temptation.

5.  The Lord’s dialogue with Moses:

a.  The Lord said the people —

  • have corrupted themselves.
  • have quickly turned away from the way I commanded them to live.
  • have melted down gold and made a calf, and they have bowed down and sacrificed to it.
  • They are saying, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.’ NLT
  • These people are stubborn and rebellious.

b.  The question suggests God tempted Moses when He offered to make him a great nation instead of Israel. James 1:13 says  “And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else.” So, if Moses was indeed temped, God did the tempting. Since God does not tempt us, this was not a temptation. ??

c.  Moses reasoned with God by making the following points—

  • He reminded God that He staged a mighty rescue of His own people from slavery.
  • The Egyptians might think God rescued them to destroy them Himself.
  • Moses reminded God of His promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—The promise to make their offspring numerous and give them the land He promised they would possess forever. 

d.  “So the Lord changed his mind about the terrible disaster he had threatened to bring on his people.” Exodus 32:14

This is an amazing exchange between God and a man. If someone shared that conversation today, we would have all sorts of problems with their theology. In fact, some say God was testing Moses or simply trying to get him to intercede. But Psalm 106:23 says God would have destroyed them if Moses hadn’t persuaded Him to repent.

Photo credit  Marian Trinidad CC

These are MY answers to the study questions, not THE answers. I’m a BSF student.

Life of Moses Lesson 10 Day 5

Prayer incense
Photo Credit Luke Skilbeck CC

My answers to BSF Life of Moses study questions on Exodus 30-31

9.  a.  The altar of incense symbolized the prayers of the saints. Revelation 5:8; 8:3 & Psalm 141:2

b.  God through Moses instructed Aaron to burn fragrant incense every morning as the sun rose and every evening as the sun set. Exodus 30:7–8

c.  Application: I love that our prayer and worship is a sweet-smelling aroma to God.

I don’t think the timing of the incense offering applies to my prayer and worship. I’m not obligated nor am I limited to a certain time of day. However, I do usually begin the day with prayer, even if it’s short. It orients me for the day. I also usually end the day with prayer.

In between, I used to visualize a phone left off the hook. The Lord and I never hang up. Now, I visualize a Bluetooth earpiece. Throughout the day I ask for wisdom, guidance, patience, direction, and forgiveness. While listening to music, I sing along,  worship, and dance a little. (Iwill not be postinga a video. Sorry if youare disappointed. ;-)Sometimes I play the piano and worship. (Not as often as I should.) I pray in the Spirit when driving alone. I pray while I’m gardening, cooking, etc.

I believe my spirit prays and worships while I sleep. I usually wake up to a song playing inside.

10.  a. “When Aaron and his sons enter the congregation tent, or when they approach the altar to minister before Me by offering a sacrifice by fire, they must wash their feet and hands so that they will not die.” Exodus 30:19-20

b.  We need regular cleansing from our sin nature by renewing our minds with the Word of God. “We know He gave Himself up completely to make her His own, washing her clean of all her impurity with water and the powerful presence of His word.”

11.  a.  If the priest did not wash before entering the tent of meeting, he would die.

b.  Consequences for misusing anointing oil or incense, using a formula other than the original “recipe”, or creating similar incense or anointing oil for personal use—This personmust be cut off from the community.Exodus 31:14 seems to indicate cut off means the same thing as put to death. In Strongs, the definition for the word translated as cut off means destruction. If you cut off or cut down a tree, it dies.

Even if it means put them out of the community (alone in the desert?), wouldn’t that result in death, too?

c.  The consequences for disobedience were severe because these items are holy (a sacred, dedicated, consecrated, hallowed place or thing—Strongs Hebrew and Greek Concordance

  • Anything that touches them will become holy.
  • Must be treated as holy.
  • Is reserved for ministering before the Lord.
 12.  a.  God filled the craftsmen with Spirit-of-God-Given gifts—

  • wisdom
  • ability
  • understanding
  • intelligence
  • knowledge in a variety of crafts
  • able to devise skillful works
b.  God gifts and anoints us for tasks far beyond the five-fold ministry. 1 Corinthians 12 goes into greater detail about gifts of the Spirit. The arts aren’t mentioned there, but it is interesting to take note of the reference to artisans in Exodus.

c.  I could use the gifts God has given me to benefit an institutional church. In fact, I did just that for many years. I’ll spare you and myself the details.

Now, the Lord has me ministering to five children of an invalid mother and overwhelmed father. And my father who has dementia.

It is exhausting at times, but I know I’m doing what God wants me to do. I seldom felt that way in church work. I did what I thought I was supposed to do as this question implies.

When I wound up burned out, demoralized, and disillusioned, I went to the Lord about it. He said, “I never asked you to do all those things.”

Whoa, was that a wake-up call! Somewhere along the line, I got the idea I should do whatever I’m asked to do at “church.”

In the New Covenant, God inhabits each of us individually and when we gather together. He no longer inhabits a tent or a building. He inhabits believers.

We are all full-time ministers if we are willing.

Don’t just assume because someone is begging you to help out in an institutional setting, God is behind it. I’m not saying He’s never behind it, I’m just saying…ask Him first. And have the guts to say no, when necessary. As a card-carrying member of PPA—(People-Pleasers Anonymous), I know how hard that can be.

We are stewards of the time, energy, gifts, and resources God entrusts to us. Don’t squander them. In His hands, our efforts multiply and yield eternal results.

What stood out to you in this lesson?

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