Exodus 34:1

1          The Lord said to Moses, Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones, and I will write on them the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke.

 God picked up where they left off before the church corrupted and Moses destroyed the original stone tablets. God will fix what you destroyed but it will require some work on your part. The first time God supplied the stone tablets.[1] This time Moses must supply the tablets.

This would be Moses last and the most glorious trip to the mountaintop. As bad as sin is, for the misery that it creates, when God is involved good can be found in the end result. Paul was accused of preaching that we should do evil because good would come from it.[2] He retorted that his accusers would be justly condemned. His doctrine only pointed out that all are sinners therefore something good can come from it; if all are sinners all can be saved.

On the heels of sin the greatest revelations of God came forth for when sin abounded grace abounded more.[3] When the camp sinned God stood afar off, yet it was in this far off place that God spoke to Moses face to face. God’s actions also taught us that we could go outside a sinning camp and find a sinless God still willing to receive us.

In the aftermath of sin are glimpses grace, for God never abandoned the people he was so angry with he refused to call them his people. When willing hearts brought him their due, the tabernacle was built and pitched in the center of the camp where it stayed through out the rest of their journey. In Moses struggle to overcome sins consequences, and maintain peace between God and man he cried out to see God’s glory. An angry God looked upon this peacemaker, a beautiful dove in God’s eyes and said OK! God’s glory could be seen not only in the name that was proclaimed but in the covenant that was made with Moses.


July 19, 1462 BC

 Exodus 34:4-7

4 So Moses chiseled out two stone tablets like the first ones and went up Mount Sinai early in the morning, as the Lord had commanded him; and he carried the two stone tablets in his hands. 5 Then the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the Lord.

 Moses had asked to see God’s glory and God responded by hiding Moses in a cleft of a rock as he walked by allowing Moses to see his back as the name of the Lord was proclaimed. Then God made a covenant with Moses.

 Exodus 34:10

10        Then the LORD said: “I am making a covenant with you. Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the LORD, will do for you.

 Did you hear what God said? Before all your people…not my people? Moses has not yet convinced the Lord to call these people “my people”. To God these people belong to Moses. Why won’t God relent and claim them as his own? He delivered these people, worked miracles for these people, fed these people with the food angels in heaven eat, and produced water out of rocks for these people, yet he refuses to call them “my people.”


 God would not relent and call them his people because it would be a lie and God cannot lie. Yes, as God told Moses the first time he ascended the mountain, the whole earth is Gods.[4] The bodies that cover our spirits belong to God but we are free to give our hearts to whom ever we will. There were individuals in the family of Jacob that God could call “my people”, Moses, Joshua, and Caleb to name a few. But there was never a time that God could call the nation my people. Hundreds of years later, when God sent his beloved son to the people he delivered from Egypt they still loved Moses and hated the image of God who walked among them in the flesh because their hearts belonged to Moses. Therefore, God promised by covenant that he would do wonders among them never before done in any nation in the entire world. What other nation has had the privilege of having God walk among them, teach them, and then die for people that don’t even want him.

 I know what you are thinking, “I thought he died for every one from any nation!” Yes and No! When he died for one nation he opened the door for everyone to be a citizen of the nation he died for and rose again to live for. The angel Gabriel told Mary her son would be given the throne of David and reign over the house of Jacob forever. I am not of the house of Jacob. They loved Moses. God made no provision for me to be a member of Jacob’s house but he has never and will never abandon the nation the children of Jacob became. Abraham is the father of my faith. By walking in the steps of Abraham’s faith I can become a citizen of the new nation God is creating by being faithful to deceitful Jacob. Jacob’s sin reveals to the entire world who God really is, so we can know him. When Jesus died for the nation whose hearts belonged to Moses or we could say it this way, whose hearts belonged to the law, he opened the door for whosoever will to obtain citizenship in the nation that had its character transformed and name changed from Jacob to Israel. The hearts of Israel’s citizens belong to grace.

God’s wisdom has peculiar twists and unexpected turns that can be hard to follow so don’t get confused and think that I just told you Jesus doesn’t belong to us or we don’t belong to Jesus. We do, ye are Christ’s and Christ is God’s,[5] but Jesus must fulfill the law for heaven and earth to pass away. The law will not be fulfilled until the house of Jacob, the only nation on this planet to enter into a covenant of law with God receives the blessing in that covenant. That can only happen when they accept Jesus as their Messiah.

The house of Jacob to this day belongs to Moses because even the great Moses had traces of Jacob in him. Jacob means deceiver. Moses willfully deceived the people. God refused to call these people his people because to this day the nation they became has refused to let go of the lie that the glory of the law will never fade. 

Forty days and forty nights after Moses ascended the mountain with a new set of tablets for God to write the covenant on he returned with the renewed tablets in his hands. This time the people waited. This time Moses was not angry when he returned. This time Moses descended the mountain radiant.

 Exodus 34:29-35

29 When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD. 30 When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him. 3           But Moses called to them; so Aaron and all the leaders of the community came back to him, and he spoke to them. 32 Afterward all the Israelites came near him, and he gave them all the commands the LORD had given him on Mount Sinai. 33 When Moses finished speaking to them, he put a veil over his face. 34 But whenever he entered the LORD’s  presence to speak with him, he removed the veil until he came out. And when he came out and told the Israelites what he had been commanded, 35 they saw that his face was radiant. Then Moses would put the veil back over his face until he went in to speak with the LORD.

 Moses didn’t know that being in God’s presence made his face glow and was no doubt perplexed that no one would come near him. When he called to them, Aaron and the leaders overcame their fear and approached him to hear the word of God with an interesting piece of information, “Moses, your face is so bright we can hardly stand to look at you.” The whole time Moses was speaking the people could see this radiance because he didn’t put the veil on until he was finished speaking. When he entered the Lord’s presence he removed the veil because it renewed the glow. Then he would leave the Lord’s presence to teach the people and when he was finished speaking put the veil over his face until he went to speak to the Lord again. Why did Moses keep putting that veil over his face after he finished instructing the people?

The same reason we put veils over ours! We don’t want people to know the truth. There are many who instruct God’s people who don’t want the corruption they have added to be known.

 2 Corinthians 3:17

17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God…

 Think about that word “many!” There are many who corrupt what God is saying to us. Few of them do it maliciously. They simply like being the glorious one God is using. If God has ever used you in ministry you know how addictive it can be. It is a rare person of great character that will not corrupt the word of God to hang on to the honor of being the one God uses. That is what Aaron did when he fashioned a cow and told the people this is the God who delivered you from Egypt.

 2 Corinthians 4:1-2

1 Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. 2Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God…

 Paul assured the Corinthians, I am not like “many!” There are many that use deception when they minister because they don’t tell you the whole truth. I can think of a few people in ministry that have corrupted the gospel so much they don’t even have truth to tell.

In one church I attended my husband and I met with the Pastor shortly after we came. Looking at his smiling face and listening to him talk put you at ease that this church was the best place in the world to attend. But during the course of the conversation, I sensed that he was hiding something. As I listened to his preaching it was easy to pick out things that were a distortion. In time, what I suspected proved true. He was hiding something. He confessed a sin and had to leave the church. The glory in his life had faded, yet he managed to hide that truth behind a veil for a long time because he did not want to lose his position as Senior Pastor.

Moses was not guilty of a carnal sin like this pastor was but he did distort the truth, in my opinion, for the same reason. He did not want to lose his glorious place to something more glorious that would supersede him. But in God’s kingdom you always get exposed, sooner or later. In Moses case it was much later, after Jesus fulfilled his ministry; Paul wrote a letter exposing Moses deceit.

 2 Corinthians 3:13-16 NIV

13        We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. 14 But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.

 Moses bad behavior created a problem that could be repaired. If any of Moses people turn to Jesus the veil covering their hearts can be taken away. Now think of your favorite teacher and insert his or her name in the five scriptures we just read because even the very best teacher can make your mind dull and cause you to miss an important truth. It doesn’t mean your favorite teacher is bad. It means they are human.

Consider who Moses was. He is listed among with the great men of faith in Hebrews chapter 11. He is called a faithful servant in all God’s house. In his generation he was the most humble man in all the earth. God spoke to him face to face as though speaking to a friend.[6] Moses was faithful to speak only what God told him to speak, yet his actions dulled the mind of multitudes because actions speak louder than words.

Words are important! Words are so powerful that no one would deny that the saying, “The pen is mightier than the sword” is true. Yet we are commanded to lead by example because what we speak with our actions is just as powerful indeed can be more powerful then our words.

 Song of Solomon 2:14-15

14        My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding places on the mountainside, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely. 15 Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.

 Moses, Moses sweet little dove that fought for peace between God and man hidden in the cleft of a rock why didn’t you show your face. It would have been so lovely to see the glory of the law fade away. That little foxy thing you did ruined God’s vineyard. A small seemingly innocent thing like wearing a veil blinded a nation.

Even a good man like Moses was not above a little deceit. I don’t believe Moses did it maliciously. I doubt he realized the long-term ramifications of hiding the truth about the glory of the law fading. Yet where sin abounded grace did much more abound. For when the nation refused to accept Jesus because their hearts belonged to Moses causing their minds to be dull it opened the door for the Gentiles to come in.

There are many teachers that do little foxy things that ruin God’s vineyard. The only teacher you should ever cling to is the Holy Spirit. Jesus said when the Spirit comes he would guide us into all truth. Moses guided them into the truth but he did not guide them into all of the truth. Jesus said the Holy Spirit would teach us all things.[7] Moses only taught them one of God’s things called law. John picked up this theme of teaching when he wrote,

 I John 2:27

27        As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit– just as it has taught you, remain in him.

 Don’t take what I’m saying to an extreme. The church needs teachers. Teacher is listed in the gifts of the Spirit. God appoints teachers in the church.[8] I have a gift for teaching that has been acknowledged by every minister I have ever met. I’m telling you if you become your favorite teachers “people”, you will never have ALL God desires you to have because teachers only have a part. I don’t know all things. The Holy Spirit knows all things. I can only give you the part the Holy Spirit gives me to give you.

The Holy Spirit is unlimited and therefore able to speak to us in many different ways. He may lead you to sit under a teacher for a time and then lead you to study the work of a different teacher. Let me clarify that I am not implying the Holy Spirit will move you to a new church every few years. I’m a believer in long-term commitment, because you won’t grow if you keep uprooting yourself. You don’t have to switch churches to study a teacher’s work, which can be done through books, tapes, etc. I am telling you don’t follow the teacher, and don’t refuse to move on. If you do you may end up like Israel with a dull mind that misses something more glorious than they already have. Follow the Spirit that is guiding you into all truth. If you cling to a human teacher like Jacob’s house was clinging to Moses you will never have ALL of God and you will not remain in Him because he is moving from glory to glory.

 2 Corinthians 3:7-11

7          Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? 9 If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! 10            For what was glorious [the giving of the law] has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory [of grace]. 11 And if what was fading away came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!

 The giving of the law was glorious. The earth shook, rain poured, fire blazed, smoke filled the sky, trumpets blared, people shook, and Moses glowed but for all that glory it was only a fading shadow of something more glorious.

 2 Corinthians 3:18 KJV

18        But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

 We are already created in the image of God and he did not make a mistake that needs to be changed.[9] The only image in us that needs to be changed is the image we have of God in our hearts. The only way for the image we hold in our hearts of God to be changed is to move from glory to glory as the Spirit of the Lord guides us.

The house of Jacob never changed because their hearts never belonged to the Lord. They gave their hearts to Moses. When the Lord moved on to something more glorious, they refused to leave the glory he manifested through Moses. We must behold one glorious thing the Lord does until we understand it. Then we must move on to the next glorious thing the Lord has done until we understand it. As we move from glory to glory the image we hold of God in our hearts of who God is will be changed from a lie to the truth. God is looking for a people who worship him in Spirit and in truth, or we could say it this way, God is looking for a people who worship a true image of God.

At Sinai God came to earth and spoke to people by his servant Moses that he might establishing a glorious covenant of law that will fade away. Nevertheless anyone who did not heed the warnings of that law did not escape. How much more then will we be counted worthy of punishment now that God speaks to us from heaven by his Son.

 Hebrews 12:25

25 See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven,…

 Don’t refuse him who speaks to your heart today. Let him bring you from glory to glory until the image of the God you worship is clear, concise and true. There is only one reason Israel rejected the God who delivered them. They loved the messenger Moses more than the message the Spirit was giving them.

Having a mentor for a season is a good thing. Unless you refuse to let go of your mentor like the house of Jacob did. When they refused to let go of Moses the nation, not every individual but the nation stopped growing in the knowledge of God and perished in darkness because they did not want anymore light especially a brighter light. 

When Jesus returns to fulfill the covenant of law it will be evident that the people who clung to the glory of the law perished but the law did not perish. How foolish to fear losing what you love when you never had to. Grace did not diminish the glory of the law its glory only paled in comparison. The law is holy, just and good.[10] If you don’t understand law you will never understand grace. Grace cannot void the law but the law can void grace. God did not replace the law with grace. The only problem with the law is that it does not give us life. God changed the law when he changed the priesthood so the law could give us life.

Remember the apple from the lesson  Applying God’s Teaching. We can learn a lot from a piece of fruit and its time for another lesson from a witness we can trust because God’s invisible qualities, his power and divine nature can be clearly seen by examining what he has created.[11] Now imagine that an apple seed or any seed is the law given at Sinai. The seed/law no matter how many apple seeds/laws we have will not give us life. If all I ever eat are seeds, I will not have the nourishment I need to keep my body alive. Paul called the giving of the law at Sinai the ministration of death[12] because that is all the law gave us. If you take an apple seed and put it in the ground it will die or it will change. What comes out of the ground is something that will nourish me and keep me alive, a tree full of apples. Does that mean that the seed is gone? Absolutely not! Cut the apple open and inside you will find a seed. The seed didn’t go anywhere it simple became something that will keep me alive instead of kill me. When God who is the law came and died he became or he was changed into a law that will give me life. The same law? Yes! Yet different? Yes! It is in the paradoxes of life truth is hidden. God is the same he changes not even as he changes.

There is nothing and has never been anything wrong with the law. It’s the way we use the law. Paul told Timothy,

 1 Timothy 1:8

8          We know that the law is good if one uses it properly.

 The law is only good when it is used properly. Paul went on to tell Timothy how the law was not made for the righteous but for lawbreakers, for sinners. He then gave us all a trustworthy saying.

 1 Timothy 1:15-16

15        Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners– of whom I am the worst.

 That my friend is the proper use of law for the law is only good in the hand of one who seeks to save. Jesus is the transformation of the law from one glory that brought death to a greater glory that gives life and that is why Paul called Jesus the end of the law.[13]

[1] Exodus 24:12, 31:18

[2] Romans 3:8

[3] Romans 5:20

[4] Exodus 19:6-7

[5] 1 Corinthians 3:23

[6] Hebrews 3:5, Numbers 12:3, Exodus 33:11

[7] John 14:26, John 16:13

[8] Romans 12:6-7, 1 Corinthians 12:28, Ephesians 4:11

[9] Genesis 1:26

[10] Romans 7:12

[11] Romans 1:20

[12] 2 Corinthians 3:7

[13] Romans 10:4

About Teena Myers

Teena Myers is the Chairman of Southern Christian Writers, a freelance writer and author of three books.
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