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Sermon Discussion + Prayer: "What Moses Couldn't Do"

Overview of Sermon:
Exodus 32:15-35
In continuation from last week, Moses descends from the mountain, God’s divine writing in hand, to discover with holy indignation the sin of God’s chosen people. At the foot of the same mountain that Israel pledged their allegiance to God, laid shattered the commandments and covenant graciously extended to this Holy Nation by their perfectly just God. Israel is left questioning: Is there hope for restoration of this covenant relationship? Moses understands that atonement is required, so much so that he heroically offers himself for the people. But God already had a plan in place, and it couldn’t be accomplished by sin-stained Moses, but instead by his spotless Son. Being fully God and fully man, Jesus is the only mediator that can atone for our sin and reconcile us to God.

Discussion Questions:

  1. As R.C. Sproul wrote regarding this chapter of Exodus, “Whoever reads the Old Testament must struggle with the apparent brutality of God’s judgement found there. . . In this chapter I want to stare the Old Testament God right in the eye.” How do these verses help or challenge you to avoid shying away from who God is telling you He is?
  2. Rather than taking advantage of the opportunity to repent, Aaron digs his heals in deeper and demonstrates how to dishonestly distract from the responsibility for one’s own sin. How do Aaron’s shortcomings serve as a warning in regard to your repentance?
  3. Phil Ryken’s reminder, “The more we study Moses, the more we learn about Jesus” should stir an affection for Exodus. How do these particular verses point forward to, or give us an even greater appreciation for, Jesus?
  4. The picture of our depravity is painted even clearer in the New Testament. The line is drawn more distinctly between being deserving of God’s wrath but being offered God’s truest expression love through His Son. How can we use this understanding to remain confident and persuasive when approaching an unbeliever who can’t stomach God’s wrath?

 Praying the Passage:

In our passage this morning we are going to stare the Old Testament God right in the eye.
Lord God, as I read and re-read this passage, please open my eyes to see not simply what you do, but how what you do reveals who you really are – in all your glory, purity, and holiness...in all your majesty, mercy, and grace.  Lead me to a place of wonder, worship, and awe.

Ex. 35:16 “The tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets.”
This was God’s law, not Moses recommendations-a gift from God himself to His people, with the full weight of God’s authority.
Holy Spirit, impress upon my heart the eternal authority of the Bible. May the most familiar to the most obscure verses compel me to faith and obedience, to rejoicing with trembling.

Philip Brooks - Let me refuse to listen for one moment to any voice which would make my sins less mine.”
Father, please show me anything in my heart or in the world around me that I allow to successfully compete for my attention and affections at the expense of whole-hearted devotion to you. And when I see such an idol, let the clarity of my sin lead me to clear conviction and fruitful repentance.

Ex. 35:26…Moses stood in the gate of the camp and said, “Who is on the Lord’s side? Come to me."
The guilty who refused to repent were not spared. They received God’s justice, not injustice. They received what they deserved because of their sin.
Lord, when I am tempted to question the severity of your wrath, remind me that the fault is in my ignorance of your awesome holiness, not in a flaw of your perfect justice.

Phil Ryken – “The more we read the more we see the full extent of our sin, and the wrath of God against it. But this does not lead to despair, because we also start to see the forgiveness that God offers through the sacrifice of a Savior.”
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Cor. 5:21
Father, through the prompting of the Holy Spirit, may my meditation before sleep, my thoughts as I awake, and my ponderings throughout the day be filled with the wonder of having been mercifully saved for all eternity by your mercy and grace...through the sacrifice of your sinless Son, Jesus Christ