In this chapter we receive a greater commentary on why the Israelites were not prepared at Mt Sinai, and why they so quickly moved away from the will/purposes and revelation of G-d.
v1: The people saw: Faith comes by hearing. These people made their decisions based upon looking (their own perspective -Gen 3:6) – rather than from hearing the revelation of G-d.
· Moses delayed – the people had their own expectations of when they expected Moses to come down the mountain. They did not recognise nor understand the timing of G-d.
· These people (and the vast majority so aften are) were unified, but not in the things of G-d.
· A man cannot make G-d – he can only make idols. G-d makes man.
· We do not know what has become of him: The people are not interested in what G-d is up to. At the first opportunity they turn to do their own will, to fulfil their own objectives – and they do it in a seemingly religious way.
v2: The focus of idolatry is money (gold here). Aaron is operating here as a false teacher.
v3: Because these people were getting what they wanted they were willing to give.
· Brought them to Aaron: Perfect obedience as they’re getting, they believe, what they want.
v4: The desires of their flesh were so powerful that they were willing to forget or deny the way they actually came out of Egypt (wipe out and rewrite the past – so much of this going around today) These people believed a lie. Everything that is not of G-d is a lie.
v5: Aaron used the sacred name of G-d here (the L-RD). Oftentimes a false teacher will use the right name/things based upon truth in order to mislead people.
v6: They rose early – When people believe they’re getting what they want they’ll make all types of sacrifices.
· Rose up to play: Idolatry is often rooted in sexual immorality. This is a very clear indication that the people had rejected G-d.
v8: Notice how great the exodus from Egypt is. We are reminded over and over again about it in Scripture. The problem is that they have set the redeemer aside, turned quickly from “The Way” and are worshipping their own desire.
v9: I have seen – G-d has evaluated these people.
· Stiff necked refers to an inability or an unwillingness to bow/humble themselves.
v10: G-d gives Moses a commandment in this verse – a command to step aside so G-d’s wrath could be kindled against this people and so that He could destroy them.
· A great nation – this is a citation from Gen 12:2 (speaking about the Abrahamic covenant). Presumably G-d is now offering to Moses that he could be the new patriarch. This would have been a very tempting offer to Moses.
v11: G-d was testing Moses here – not testing Moses to sin, but testing Moses in order to grow him – giving Moses an opportunity to demonstrate truth within him. Moses was a humble man, and he was committed to the purposes of G-d. Those two things go together – humility will manifest itself by being committed to the things of G-d.
v12: G-d gave Moses an opportunity to profess truth and he professed the right thing here. Moses was concerned about a bad testimony – what the people would think about G-d.
v13: The patriarchs are known for two things: faith and promise. They were interested in
the promise of G-d (related to His will) and therefore they acted faithfully.
v14: Relented – better translated “comforted”.
v15-16: The work on these tablets was supernatural.
We must not be people who reject G-d’s revelation. We need to be people who are committed to the purposes and will of G-d.