Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A New Beginning

By Mary Vee

Exodus 33-35:3

Aaron, Moses' brother

A few days have passed since our punishment from God ended.  Many of our people suffered because we chose to worship a golden calf.  I don’t know why I let them talk me into making an idol.  Moses wouldn’t have.

We haven’t heard instructions from God during the last few days. I wonder what will happen next. Do we stay camped here, or pack to go somewhere else?

Moses always knows what to do.  He set up a tent outside the camp, close enough to see, but far enough to be a long walk to get there.  He called the tent The Tabernacle of Meeting. 

Those who wanted to seek the Lord could go to the tabernacle.  I was surprised to see certain men who hadn’t acted like they believed or want to obey the Lord walk out to the Tabernacle. On the other hand, I was surprised to see men who seemed godly stay in the camp.

Each time Moses walked out to the tabernacle, those who stayed in the camp stood by their tent and watched him walk out to meet with the Lord. As the tent flap fell back into place, a huge cloud settled before the door.  We heard the Lord speak to him, but couldn’t understand the words.

The cloud touched the ground, yet also swirled high in the sky.  Those of us in the camp fell to the ground and worshipped the Lord.  I must admit, we finally realized God would really punish us if we didn’t obey.

One day Moses made two new stone tablets. “The Lord said He would rewrite the words from the broken tablet onto new tablets.  He told me to bring them up the mountain.”  Sure enough, he got up early the next morning and took the tablets up the mountain.

He stayed up the mountain for several days again. This time, we waited for him.  No more golden calf worship for us!  But something strange happened when Moses returned.  His face glowed like a bright light.  We had to shade our eyes to look at him.

We didn’t understand why his face blazed.  I joined the others by stepping back away from him.  I don’t think he realized how bright his face shone.  Maybe something terrible would happen if we stepped too close to him.

He called to us. “Don’t be afraid. I’m fine.  I have something to show you.”

He showed us the tablets and explained the laws God wanted us to obey.

1.     We shouldn’t worship any other gods.
2.     We shouldn’t make any idols.
3.     We shouldn’t say God's name without talking to Him or about Him
4.     We should remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.
5.     We should honor our fathers and mothers.
6.     We should not murder.
7.     We should not commit adultery.
8.     We should not steal.
9.     We should not lie.
10. We should not want what other people have.

…and the feasts God wanted to keep

1.     The Feast of Unleavened Bread
2.     The Feast of Weeks
3.     The Feast of Ingathering
4.     The Feast of Passover

Moses said there would be other feasts, but for now, this is what was given. 

I’m glad Moses is back.  Whatever he and the Lord talked about will help our people. 

I touched the tablets and felt peace. It seems like a new beginning—a new day—we only need to follow His Word.

God knows we will sin.  This doesn’t make sin right.  But, God also knows we need new beginnings.  He sent His Son to pay for our sins and to make a way for us to have a new beginning.  Anyone who believes in Jesus will have his or her sins forgiven.

1.     Why did God punish the Israelites?
2.     What strange thing happened to Moses?
3.     Name the tens laws written on the tablets.
4.     Name the feasts written on the tablets.

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