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Exodus 34 English Standard Version (ESV)
Moses Makes New Tablets
1 The Lord said to Moses, “Cut for yourself two tablets of stone like the first, and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. 2 Be ready by the morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai, and present yourself there to me on the top of the mountain. 3 No one shall come up with you, and let no one be seen throughout all the mountain. Let no flocks or herds graze opposite that mountain.” 4 So Moses cut two tablets of stone like the first. And he rose early in the morning and went up on Mount Sinai, as the Lord had commanded him, and took in his hand two tablets of stone. 5 The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. 6 The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, 7 keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” 8 And Moses quickly bowed his head toward the earth and worshiped. 9 And he said, “If now I have found favor in your sight, O Lord, please let the Lord go in the midst of us, for it is a stiff-necked people, and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for your inheritance.”
- To get a broader feel for what’s happening, you may start reading from 33:12.
- God directed Moses to restore the covenant revelation by recopying the Ten Commandments on two new stone tablets. God both provided and wrote on the first tablets, but Moses provided and God wrote on the second set of tablets.
- God also revealed His character to Moses. Moses experienced the character of God in a dramatic way. This was summed up in one of the Old Testament’s most famous confessions:
The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.(vv6-7)
- God’s compassion and love must be seen against the background of His obligation to punish sin. The God who “will by no means clear the guilty” is first of all the God who displays overwhelming compassion and grace. His loving, gracious, and giving character do not “cancel out” His righteousness. Because of the work of Jesus, the righteousness of God is satisfied and the grace and mercy of God are righteously given.
- Moses’ first, and primary reaction was simply worship. When we come to know who God is and all His great love for us, the most practical thing it makes us do is worship Him more than ever.
- How well do you know and appreciate who God is? How compelled are you to worship and obey God? Read vv6-7 slowly a few times, ponder deeply what His character mean to you. Have a conversation with God for clarification, correction or acknowledgement and thanksgiving.