The Book Of Exodus Chapters 19-33 PT2
In chapter 32 and 33, we read of the Israelite's worshiping a golden calf, and committing adultery in a feast to their idol. Moses had gone to the top of Mount Sinai and was away from the camp for just forty days. That was enough time for the people to go astray. Aaron was powerless to control them, Israel was preserved in the ways of God by just one man-Moses. As long as He was present in the midst, they feared him and obeyed God's laws. The moment he went away, they fell into sin. It was just one man who preserved those two million people in God's ways for 40 years. This is how it has been throughout the centuries in Church history also. During the three years that Saint Paul was present in Ephesus, the wolves could not enter the Church. The moment Paul left, the wolves entered in, (Acts 20:29-31). It was the same here in the wilderness as well. The moment Moses went away, decay set in.
God is looking for men like Moses today who can arrest the decay among his people.
God can do more through one man like Moses than through a thousand who compromise like Aaron. When Moses came back to the camp, he once again set matters straight and led the people back to God.
It is here that we read of Moses asking who would be on the Lord's side to stand with him against all the sin in the camp (Exodus 32:26). the tribe of Levi alone came out and stood with Moses that day. Moses commanded them to go into the camp and kill all the leaders of the idolatry. And not to spare there own relatives in the process. And they went into the camp and did that. That was the reason why the Lord gave the tribe of Levi the privilege of being His priests. That was not an arbitrary choice. He chose them because they chose to stand for Him. If you would like to read more, take a look at Deuteronomy 33:8-11 and Malachi 2:4-5. Aaron's grandson Phinehas also acted in the same spirit some years later and God made a covenant of priesthood with him too (Numbers 25:7-12). Even today, God appoints as His representatives, those who will deal ruthlessly with sin in the Church.
It is here as well that we see how much Moses had drank of the spirit of Christ, through His long talks with the Lord on the mountain. He goes before the Lord in intercession and says that he is willing to be sent to hell eternally, if only God would forgive the sin of the Israelite's (Exodus 32:31-32). This is the spirit of Calvary's cross.
It is here also that we read of God Himself telling Moses that a person's name can be blotted out of the book of life, even if it was once in it (Exodus 32:33). Everyone whose name appears in this book on the last day will be saved: “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life, was cast into the pool (or lake) of fire. . . . . There shall not enter into it any thing defiled, or that worketh abomination or maketh a lie, but they that are written in the book of life of the Lamb.” (Revelation 20:15, 21:27).
People’s names are written in this book during the present life. Paul speaks of certain women who “have laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement and the rest of my fellow labourers, whose names are in the book of life.” (Philippians 4:3).
The question is: Does the fact that one’s name was written in the book of life when one came to God and received initial salvation mean that one’s name will stay in the book of life until the last day, when one would receive final salvation?
The answer is: No. Scripture indicates in dozens of places that one can lose salvation, and it does so in specific connection with the book of life.
But all arguments that anyone may have are silenced when we see this warning in Exodus 32:33 repeated in the New Testament by the Lord Jesus Himself in Revelation 3:5- a warning that we will all do well to take heed to.
In 32:34 and 33:14-16, we read of Moses passion for the person of the Lord. This has always been the hall mark of all godly men. They have a passion for the Lord Himself more than for His work. Moses tells the Lord that he and the Israelites will not move from that place if a mere angel from heaven were sent with them. The Lord Himself must accompany them. God, Who is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him, granted Moses that request.
Moses 'passion for the Lord is seen further in 33:18 where He prays that he moight see the glory of God. God told him that it was impossible for any man to see His face and live. But He would hide Moses in a cleft of a rock (a type of our crucified Lord) and then Moses would be able to see a bit of His glory. That glory, God also said consisted of “His goodness” (33:19). and when that glory comes into our lives, it will make us do good to both good and evil people, just as we see Jesus did in Acts 10:38.
Next week we will begin our study on the Tabernacle in the wilderness.