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Sermon Quotes: "What Moses Couldn't Do"

“Whoever reads the Old Testament must struggle with the apparent brutality of God’s judgment found there. For many this is as far as they read. They stumble over the violent passages we call the “hard sayings.” Some people see these sayings as sufficient reason to reject Christianity out of hand. They seem ample reason to hold the Old Testament God in contempt…Some even go so far as to argue that the Old Testament God is a different God from the New Testament God-a shadowy God with a bad temper, a kind of demonic deity whose blazing wrath is beneath the dignity of the New Testament God of love. In this chapter I want to stare the Old Testament God right in the eye.” R.C. Sproul

“Seeing the spectacle of Israel’s idolatry caused Moses to realize the gravity of the offence in a way he had not before, thereby triggering the fierce reaction…” Ross Blackburn

“These two tablets were the most valuable material thing on earth at that time…so that later when Moses breaks them, the reader can appreciate the severity of the sin that would have caused him to do something so destructive to something so precious.” Douglas Stuart

“Let me refuse to listen for one moment to any voice which would make my sins less mine.” Philip Brooks

“A modern person accustomed to the sentimentalism of Western liberal thinking might find the idea of killing idolaters impossible to justify. Moses, on the other hand, understood that leaving idolaters in the midst of Israel to influence others away from the opportunity for eternal life was impossible to justify. God revealed to him that a fight was underway over saving truth. If the idolatry was allowed to continue, many people in ancient Israel would turn from saving truth to condemning falsehood, from the promise of eternal life with God to destruction in hell-and since Israel was the repository of God’s saving truth at the time, allowing idolatry to continue might have affected the potential for eternal life of countless future generations of Israelites and Gentiles alike. Moses actions as described in this passage are not to be copied exemplaristically, the New Covenant does not allow for killing as a means of preservation of orthodoxy.” Douglas Stuart

“I am speaking the truth in Christ-I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit-that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh.” Romans 9:1-3

“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