Moses Makes The Second Set of Commandments

I remember when I was a boy growing up on the farm and how I hated all the work I had to do. My dad was a firm believer that if we ate at the family table we needed to help produce the food on the table. When I was in elementary school he would ask me to go to the cornfield with… More


This passage gives the sequel to what has gone before. Up to this point in time God had dealt with Israel through His unconditional covenant with Abraham. In that covenant there was nothing in which Israel could keep. There was no conditions and no stipulations attached to it. It was a covenant of pure grace. But now, at Sinai, God purposes another covenant which is conditional. It is a covenant with Israel which must be kept if they were to enjoy the blessings attached to it. This covenant, known as “The Ten Commandments” was to be written on two tables of stone. As you know, because of the wickedness of the people, Moses broke the first tablets of stone which contained these commandments. Nothing but the intercession of a mediator (Moses) could have saved Israel at that time from utter extermination by the wrath of God.

Now in this chapter Moses is invited, by the Lord, to again ascend Mount Sinai with two stone tablets, chiseled like the first ones (vv. 1-4). On the mountain Moses experiences a new vision of the glory of God. God reveals his character to Moses (vv. 5-6). He tells him that His name Yahweh (the Lord) means that He is a God of compassion, grace, loyalty, love, faithfulness and forgiveness, as well as a God of righteousness and judgment. He says he will keep His promises forever, but He will punish anyone who sins including their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren (v. 7). At this Moses bows down and worships the Lord. He admits the people are sinful and rebellious but asks that He will forgive them and allow them to live (vv. 8-9).


It is so easy for me to give up on certain people because of sin in their life? This example of Moses and how God answered his prayers motivates me to continue praying for these people.

Exodus 34:1-9 (English Standard Version)

The LORD said to Moses, "Cut for yourself two tablets of stone like the first, and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. Be ready by the morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai, and present yourself there to me on the top of the mountain. No one shall come up with you, and let no one be seen throughout all the mountain. Let no flocks or herds graze opposite that mountain." So Moses cut two tablets of stone like the first. And he rose early in the morning and went up on Mount Sinai, as the LORD had commanded him, and took in his hand two tablets of stone. The LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation." And Moses quickly bowed his head toward the earth and worshiped. And he said, "If now I have found favor in your sight, O Lord, please let the Lord go in the midst of us, for it is a stiff-necked people, and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for your inheritance."

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