I made these notes several years ago on Exodus 31-33. I know this is more than one day’s reading in Exodus but these events are seamless. There are so many things in this section of Exodus worthy of consideration, therefore, today’s comments are just on these three chapters. Scripture is italicized and my comments are regular font.
Sabbath...is a sign between you and me...that you may know that I, the LORD. God set one day apart as a sign for me to know He is LORD. Is that day as special to me as it is to Him? What do I do on that day to acknowledge Him?
...Sanctify you. God sets people apart for His purpose. He alone makes me holy.
Everyone who profanes it...death. Am I desecrating His day, or do I uphold His day as holy?
When Moses was slow in returning, the people said to Aaron, Up, make us gods who shall go before us. Wow, how quick to forget the One True God! When I think I have waited long enough, what idol do I turn to? Where am I stiff necked before the LORD?
My wrath...consume them... God was prepared to destroy the people He had just delivered because of their idolatry.
I may make a great nation of you. God offered to make a nation from Moses and his descendants instead of the Israelites.
Turn from your burning anger...Remember Abraham, Isaac and Israel. Moses was concerned about the name and reputation of God. Moses was more concerned for God's name than his own. Am I?
Moses asked Aaron what happened that you have brought such a great sin upon them. Please Father, keep me from leading those who would follow me into sin.
The people had broken loose...to the derision of their enemies. The NIV translates this as By running wild and out of control the people became a laughingstock to their enemies. When I become impatient with the LORD and begin to do my own thing, am I a laughingstock to the enemies of my King?
The Levites were on the LORD’s side before their brother, friend and neighbor. Jesus said in Luke 14:25, If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. The Levites met this high standard. Do I?
Moses stood before God to perhaps make atonement for the people's sin. He asked forgive their sin—but if not, please blot me out of your book. Not only did Moses have great concern for God's name and reputation, he had great care for the people of Israel even to his own detriment. Is this the way I care for others and respond to their sin?
Now go, lead the people...my angel shall go before you. God was willing to give the Israelites the promised land but unwilling to go with them. Moses was more concerned about God's presence with them than taking possession of the land. Which is greater to me, the presence of God in my life or physical possessions?
What an amazing description the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Oh Lord, I would never be so bold as to ask You to speak to me the way You spoke to Moses. But, I do want to hear Your voice through Your Word as You uniquely apply it to me.
Moses’ request of God was teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. LORD, this is also my prayer. Teach me Your ways so that I may know You and continue to find favor with You.