Bible In One Year-Day 32 (Saturday, February 01, 2014)
Commentary: Exod33-36. ‘Dancing with the Egyptian god’. Egyptians have spiritual person whom they respect very much and could consult. At the death of such personality, they make up an image to represent the perceived power being used by that personality. The images are mostly in the likeness of animals, which is the demon behind the influence on that personality. An average Egyptian could spend a greater percentage, if not all, of his earnings to show his respect, love and dedication to this god. The treasures of the Egyptians were articles of gold and that of silver. They wear ornaments to celebrate and show their devotions to their gods. The Israelites adopted and carried this concept behind their minds out of Egypt. The Israelites perceived Moses to be a powerful and good shepherd, probably because of his rod which he was using to make miracles. You should remember also that they were known herdsmen, so they could easily think of Moses in terms of the power he was using. They thought that Moses whom they used to consult and rely on was no more there, therefore, it was better for them to use the blessing of God to make the image of their perceived nature of the God of Moses, a Calf that brought them out of the land of Egypt, Ex32:4.
Exodus 32:4 “And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.”
When a child of God chooses to take an alternative route out of impatience to achieve, or uses God’s blessings to enjoy or serve the pleasures of sin (Heb11:25), that is “DANCING WITH THE EGYPTIAN GOD”. Ironically, the result is Ex32:35.
Exodus 32:35 “And the LORD plagued the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron made.”
Whatever you have should be used to serve the Lord with a cheerful heart, Ex35:5,10&21 We could easily identify the great differences between a prophet of God and a priest of God. A prophet acts on the will of God while a priest acts on the will of the people. A prophet seeks to please God while a priest seeks to please the people. A prophet goes back to God to seek for solution, while a priest goes to the people to seek for what they want or their opinion. A prophet identifies and deals with the root of any problem while the priest dresses the problem up in adoring attire with the slang “it doesn’t matter” (there are ugly things under beautiful cloths). Moses went to God in the time of this plague and the solution was given to him, Ex33:5-6.
Exodus 33:5-6 “For the LORD had said unto Moses, Say unto the children of Israel, Ye are a stiffnecked people: I will come up into the midst of thee in a moment, and consume thee: therefore now put off thy ornaments from thee, that I may know what to do unto thee. And the children of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments by the mount Horeb.”
A prophet seeks for the way of God, knowledge and the grace to lead people through, Ex33:13, but a priest is interested in the acts of God, i.e. miracles, just for him to be accepted. Moses took his tent far from the camp because sin had entered the camp. So, a child of God must never identify with the vices prevalent in the society now. A prophet seeks to settle the matter of sin but the priest tries to bribe the conscience. Anytime you realize that you are so trouble in the heart concerning an act, seek to settle it by the standards of the bible. For example, where restitution is needful, don’t bribe the conscience, rather make it and get your peace back. Conscience is the voice of your inner witness (the spirit) which communicates with the Holy Spirit. Once you start listening to it (not hear it), your life becomes so peaceful and glorious. Another attribute of a prophet is that, he is so passionate and can go to any length to be of help for the deliverance of his flocks, especially when it comes to the issue of sin, Ex32:31-32.
Exodus 32:31-32 “And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin–; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.”
But for a priest, there is a way of escape for his own life and an accusation for your wrong doing without rendering any help to bring you out. Prophets don’t live by hear-say or sight, but by the directives and instructions of the Holy Spirit; whatever is not of the Spirit is not true. The priest, on the other hand, listens to what the people say or your story and act based on that report from man. Prophets promote the truth (i.e. as it is before God – real-time information) while priests promote facts (physical evidences as seen). Just as the prophet and the priest have their own roles to play, the followers must not be stiff-necked. A genuine man of God will not tell you what you want to hear but what God says. It will be disastrous for you to reject it and go for your own mind. However, it is good that you recognize a man of God by praying for revelation about him and not by acts, i.e. miracles or what the people say. God, in His package, will reveal a problem and also give the solution. A lot have received prophecies which were not from God. Prophecy which is not from God has its symptoms; it first leads into serious trouble and it is confusing (genuine prophecies are not confusing but could look unbelievable. The reality comes up with time). The spirit of a prophet, as seen in Moses, develops a deep relationship with God. Moses dialogued with God and won the grace of God, Ex33:12-23. He now used that grace to intercede for his flock, though, they were sinners, Ex34:9.
Exodus 34:9 “And he said, If now I have found grace in thy sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray thee, go among us; for it is a stiffnecked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for thine inheritance.”
That of a priest is shallow and all is to read the Bible for the purpose of preparing sermon in a philosophical manner (1Cor2:5) and argue with people, not to go deeper with God. You could know a man deep in God by the kind of glory that reflects out of him (Ex34:29-30), in wisdom, knowledge, understanding and power. The man of God with deep relationship with God delivers messages with power to the conviction of the hearer, but the philosophical preacher delivers messages to the excitement of the hearers. God is a jealous God and the simple meaning of Ex34:15 is that you be careful of counsels; not all good counsels are godly or of God. Only one type of offering is accepted by the Lord and that is the offering from a willing heart. Only one set of people could work for God in a pleasing manner; those with a willing heart and full of His Spirit, Ex35:30-36:2. The Spirit directs you through the details of God’s mind just as seen in chapter36. Compare with 1Cor2:10.
1 Corinthians 2:10 “But God hath revealed them to us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yes, the deep things of God.”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, empower me against the appearances and thoughts of sin. We are rounding up the book of Exodus today, Ex37-40. Keep the fire burning and alive. Spread the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ!!!