After the LORD wrote the ten commandments in stone, Moses brought the tablets down from Mount Sinai to the camp where the Israelites were. Shouting and music could be heard from the camp while Moses was in some distance from the camp. Indignation gripped Moses when he realized the Israelites had fashioned a false god…a calf made of gold and were dancing around it in revelry. Moses questioned his brother, Aaron, “What did this people ever do to you that you should lead them into so grave a sin?” Aaron replied that the people were prone to evil and they wanted him to make an idol because they didn’t know what became of Moses when he climbed Mount Sinai. As you can see, the faith of the people was very weak in the LORD. Although the LORD had done so many signs and wonders………..remember the ten plagues, the parting of the Red Sea, the pillar of fire and and the column of cloud, water from the rock, and quail and manna to feed them……even though the LORD was constantly caring and providing for the people, their faith was so weak and still steeped in the pagan practices from Egypt, so that it was now a time of reckoning.
Moses came and stood at the gate of the camp and cried, “Whoever is for the LORD, let him come to me!” A group of Hebrews, named the Levites came to be with Moses. Moses told them to go into the camp and slay those who didn’t come to his side. That day about 3000 were slain. This makes one wonder. Why was the punishment so swift and severe? God had told Moses repeatedly that He wanted the people to worship Him and Him alone. Worship of the LORD would not allow any previous pagan practices or customs. The golden calf should never have been made, especially after all the miraculous events that the LORD had worked to show the Israelites that He and only He was the true GOD.
Then Moses has a very heartfelt conversation with the LORD (Exodus 33: 18- 23). Moses asks the LORD to help him know the His ways so that Moses may lead the people properly. Moses also asks the LORD to accompany them to the promised land. Our LORD replies, “I will make all My beauty pass before you, and in your presence I will pronounce My Name, ‘LORD’; I who show favors to whom I will. But My Face you cannot see, for no man sees Me and still lives. Here,” continued the LORD, “is a place near Me where you shall station yourself on the rock. When My glory passes I will set you in the hollow of the rock and will cover you with My Hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove My Hand, so that you may see My Back; but My Face is not to be seen.” (Exodus 34: 6-7) Thus the LORD passed before him and cried out, “The LORD, the LORD, a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity, continuing His kindness for a thousand generations, and forgiving wickedness and crimes and sin; yet not declaring the guilty guiltless, but punishing children and grandchildren to the third and fourth generation for their fathers’ wickedness.”
We are continually being invited to develop a closer relationship with the LORD. He Who made us wants us to love Him, talk to Him, worship Him and praise Him. There is a message from the Blessed Mot from August 25, 2015: “Dear children! Also today I am calling you to be prayer. May prayer be for you the wings for an encounter with God. The world is in a moment of trial, because it forgot and abandoned God. Therefore you, little children, be those who seek and love God above all. I am with you and I am leading you to my Son, but you must say your ‘yes’ in the freedom of children of God. I intercede for you and I love you, little children, with an endless love. Thank you for having responded to my call.”