“Then Moses returned to the Lord, and said, ‘Alas, this people has committed a great sin, and they made a god of gold for themselves. But now, if You will, forgive their sin-and if not, please blot me out from Your book which You have written!’ The Lord said to Moses, ‘Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book.” [Exodus 32: 31-33]
Sometimes I just want a feel-good response from God. I’m not having a good day… pity me, Lord, whine, whine, whine…And I really want God to say, “Awww, poor baby, come here let me take all your troubles away and make everything all better instantly.”
But we don’t serve a Sugar Daddy God. He’s not there to hand me a good day on a plate because I chose to call Him Daddy. I mean come on, taking up a cross daily (Luke 9:23) is not a walk-in-the-park kind of experience! And yet so many times I want to see more flowers and feel a light breeze on a fake park-walk Christianity.
I read this passage this morning from Exodus. It really floored me how “This is reality” God was with Moses about sin. Moses cries out in a passionate plea for the people of Israel and God speaks a harsh, but real Truth. Moses so passionately hands the Lord his eternity in place of the people of Israel, with whom Moses was just furious ( a righteous anger as Matt calls it). But even beyond that, the Truth is still the Truth. Sin causes separation. There must be a payment for sin. And the people haven’t paid it. Sin causes great consequence.
God’s mysterious grace continues in the following verses as He promises to send His angel with the people to guide them, yet the punishment still remains (Exodus 32:34-35). The discipline is still necessary.
And as uncomfortable and inconvenient as the honest Truth may feel, we are so blessed to at least know the Truth. I mean could you imagine what the desert wandering could have been if God had chosen not to tell Moses that sin equals blotting out of the book? What disillusion Israel would have created and lived in. What fake reality.
The Old Testament is a huge flashing neon sign pointing toward the need for and the coming of Jesus Christ as Savior. So for those of you who have this unsettling feeling in your stomachs after reading the unfinished “blot you out” words of God, please do take it in full context. Not only is Christ coming to be the perfect sacrifice for our sin so that we could be in God’s book of life, but also God goes on to lead his rebellious and sinful Israelites through the desert for 40 years! He daily leads the people and while that particular generation of Israelites never makes it into the promised land as a consequence of their sin, God pours out His mercy and grace in allowing their children to experience His blessing in the promised land.
But even in light of the whole picture context and the cut-down-to-just-Exodus-32-and-prior context, it still delivers quite a wake-you-up punch of Truth. God doesn’t hold anything back and speaks the Truth in love to His people.
Even when the Truth hurts, He still knows and does best.
– What has He revealed to you through these passages? –