8. a. God demonstrated His justice because Israel was unfaithful.
He saw the Israelites offering sacrifice and bowing down to a gold idol. They exclaimed, “O Israel, these are the gods who brought you out of the land of Egypt!” (Ex 32:3 NLT)
Even Aaron participated. He made the idol and built the altar.
God wanted to destroy the people and make a great nation of Moses. After Moses pleaded for them, God instructed Moses to have call out, “All of you who are on the Lord’s side, come here and join me.” And all the Levites gathered around him. (Exodus 32:26)
The Levites gathered around him. He instructed them to kill everyone [all who continue in pagan worship] (Exodus 32:27 AMP). 3000 people died that day.
God erased the name of everyone who had sinned (and did not repent). “Then the Lord sent a great plague upon the people because they had worshiped the calf Aaron had made.” (Exodus 32:35 NLT)
God demonstrated His mercy
God listened to Moses and “changed His mind and the terrible disaster He had threatened to bring on His people.” (Exodus 32:14 NLT)
God caused His goodness to pass before Moses declaring,
“Yahweh! The Lord!
The God of compassion and mercy!
I am slow to anger
and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.
I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations.
I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin.
But I do not excuse the guilty.
b. God relented from destroying the people.
Relented means “moved to pity.” (Exodus 32:35) “It shows the tension that exists between God’s judgment and mercy. His decision was not totally reversed, merely tempered.” (Note in Spirit Filled Life Bible)
Moses didn’t say the Israelites weren’t guilty. He pleaded with God on behalf of the Israelites. He reminded God of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Moses also pleaded with God to consider His honor. “Why let the Egyptians say, ‘Their God rescued them with the evil intention of slaughtering them in the mountains and wiping them from the face of the earth’? Turn away from your fierce anger.” (Exodus 32:12 NLT)
Moses similarities with Jesus
Moses went up on the mountain to obtain forgiveness for the sin of the people. He was willing to give up his own place with God for their sake.
c. The people did not get what they deserved.
Even after seeing God’s amazing deliverance from slavery in Egypt, the Israelites abandoned Him. They threw an Egyptian-style worship festival to an idol made of their jewelry. Aaron participated in making the idol and building an altar.
When Aaron—one of the sons of Levi—repented (Exodus 32:26), and Moses interceded on behalf of all the people (Exodus 32:30), God forgave them.
9. God’s response
God is jealous for the hearts of His people. This encounter shows a surprising aspect of God. He listened to Moses because of their relationship and because Moses loved the people, too. God respected Moses for His loyalty to Him and to the people He also loved.
My answers—not THE answers—to study questions for BSF Revelation Lesson 21 Day 4
I appreciate comments and further insight. Thanks for visiting!
If you found this content helpful, please subscribe and “like” or “share” this post via the buttons below. This will make it easier for others to find the information. Thanks!