Exodus 32:15-35


Verse 15-18, And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written. {16} And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables. {17} And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses, There is a noise of war in the camp. {18} And he said, It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear.

I.    The judgment upon Israel.

A.  Verse 20 - Moses made the people drink the golden calf.

B.   Verse 28 - The Levities killed 3,000 people.

C.   33:7 - God left them.  (verse 34).

D.  Deut. 9:20 - God came close to killing Aaron.  (Lev. 10:1-7 - This may help explain why Aaron didn't complain when his two sons were killed.)


II.   Verse 19,20, And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses' anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount. {20} And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strowed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it.  When Moses saw for himself the sin of the people, he broke the law of God.

A.  He was not angry at God.

B.   He was not angry at the people.

1.   He was angry at their sin (false worship).

2.      Verse 31,32 - The next day he prayed for forgiveness of their sin.

3.      33:15 - Moses knew there was no reason to continue if God wasn't with them.

C.   Verse 21-24, And Moses said unto Aaron, What did this people unto thee, that thou hast brought so great a sin upon them? {22} And Aaron said, Let not the anger of my lord wax hot: thou knowest the people, that they are set on mischief. {23} For they said unto me, Make us gods, which shall go before us: for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. {24} And I said unto them, Whosoever hath any gold, let them break it off. So they gave it me: then I cast it into the fire, and there came out this calf.  Aaron described the rebellion as easy, but verse 2-6 declares it was a lot of work.

D.  Verse 25, And when Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies:)  Naked doesn't necessarily mean without clothes, but in their shame before God.


III. Verse 26-29, Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD'S side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him. {27} And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour. {28} And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men. {29} For Moses had said, Consecrate yourselves to day to the LORD, even every man upon his son, and upon his brother; that he may bestow upon you a blessing this day.  A price for service.

A.  It's easy to say, "I'm on the Lord's side."

B.   Will you leave your brother, companion, and neighbor for the cause of Christ?

1.      Matt. 8:18-22 - The people who would follow Christ, but had other things to do first.  Christ said they weren't worthy.

2.      Luke 9:62 - No man having put his hand to the plough and looking back is fit for the kingdom of God.


IV. Verse 30-35, And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses said unto the people, Ye have sinned a great sin: and now I will go up unto the LORD; peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin. {31} And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. {32} Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin--; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written. {33} And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book. {34} Therefore now go, lead the people unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee: behold, mine Angel shall go before thee: nevertheless in the day when I visit I will visit their sin upon them. {35} And the LORD plagued the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron made.

A.  The atonement was praying for their sinfulness, but an animal sacrifice.

1.   Ps. 51:16,17 - God desires a broken and contrite heart, not a form of worship.

2.   He still desires this today.

B.   Verse 35 - The plague is the chastening of the Lord, yet He still keeps His promises to them.