God Orders 3000 People Killed

When I was in my early twenties, I remember a young man who lived a very wildlife. One day he was intoxicated and driving his car down a two-lane highway. It was a hot summer day and he had the windows open and his left arm was sticking out the window on the driver’s side. Becaus … More

Consequences

Moses knew that the Israelites were out of control and it was Aaron’s fault (v. 25). The people had cast off all restraints. Moses realized that decisive action was required, so he challenged the people by standing at the gate and shouting, “Everyone who is on the Lord’s side come over here” (v. 26). The Levites who chose to follow God were commanded to strap on their swords and go through the camp killing everyone (v. 27). This was not the command of a prophet but of a holy God. The Levite men followed His orders and that day killed about 3000 people (v.28) who had to pay the consequences of their stiff-neckedness (Acts 2:41). Moses told them that they had done what was right by obeying the Lord so He will make them His priests (v. 29). 

Even though the people had repented, atonement for their sin was still needed. Moses felt sorry for them, so he promised to go to the Lord and see if something could be done to keep them from being punished (v, 30). Moses went to the Lord again and begged Him to forgive them, in spite of the terrible things they had done (v. 31). He even said, “If you don’t, please wipe my name out of your book” (v. 32). Moses offer was refused by the Lord who said, “I will wipe out of my book the name of everyone who has sinned against me (v. 33), and when the time comes, I will punish them for this sin” (v. 34). As a result, the Lord punished the people of Israel with a terrible disease for talking Aaron into making the gold idol (v. 35).

Application

I can never thank Jesus enough for forgiving me, loving me, and saving me eternally and I pray that I will never do anything to bring reproach to His name.

Exodus 32:25-35 (English Standard Version)

And when Moses saw that the people had broken loose (for Aaron had let them break loose, to the derision of their enemies), then Moses stood in the gate of the camp and said, "Who is on the LORD's side? Come to me." And all the sons of Levi gathered around him. And he said to them, "Thus says the LORD God of Israel, 'Put your sword on your side each of you, and go to and fro from gate to gate throughout the camp, and each of you kill his brother and his companion and his neighbor.'" And the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And that day about three thousand men of the people fell. And Moses said, "Today you have been ordained for the service of the LORD, each one at the cost of his son and of his brother, so that he might bestow a blessing upon you this day." The next day Moses said to the people, "You have sinned a great sin. And now I will go up to the LORD; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin." So Moses returned to the LORD and said, "Alas, this people has sinned a great sin. They have made for themselves gods of gold. But now, if you will forgive their sin--but if not, please blot me out of your book that you have written." But the LORD said to Moses, "Whoever has sinned against me, I will blot out of my book. But now go, lead the people to the place about which I have spoken to you; behold, my angel shall go before you. Nevertheless, in the day when I visit, I will visit their sin upon them." Then the LORD sent a plague on the people, because they made the calf, the one that Aaron made.

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