GOD, PART 1 | Wk 9: “The God Who Relents”
Mike Overstreet | 11.10.2019
Message recordings available at: https://vimeo.com/element3
Exodus 32:1-6 (NIV)
When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.”
Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.” So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”
When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, “Tomorrow there will be a festival to the Lord.” So the next day the people rose early and sacrificed burnt offerings and presented fellowship offerings. Afterward they sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.
Statements About the Golden Calf:
“Make us a God who will go before us…” —> a new god to guide them in the wilderness.
“These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt” vs. “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt.”
Exodus 32:11-14 (NIV)
But Moses sought the favor of the Lord his God. “Lord,” he said, “why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intent that he brought them out, to kill them in the mountains and to wipe them off the face of the earth’? Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on your people. Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self: ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.’” Then the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.
Exodus 33:12-17 (NIV)
Moses said to the Lord, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.”
The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”
And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”
Lessons from the God Who Relents:
- God’s character & how He wants to be known is defined by His faithful & eternal commitment to forgiveness, grace, & mercy.
- God seeks to heal our world by breaking the cycle of vengeance, revenge, & retaliation by rejecting them entirely.
God goes about healing our world through us – a transformed people who choose to relent by being dedicated fully to living out His new cycle of forgiveness, grace, & mercy.