Exodus Bible Study – Week 6 – Part 2 – Chapters 33-37
Note: If you are looking for any posts you have missed including part 1 of this study, you can find the table of contents by clicking here.
Below are my thoughts for each of the chapters we studied this week along with the answers to the questions I posted in the study guide.
Also, make sure that you get a copy of the coloring page I have pasted below. Have a great weekend!
My thoughts on this chapter…
What I loved about this chapter was the heart of Moses, and how he humbled himself before God. After all of the miracles he had performed back in Egypt, and after leading the people across the Red Sea on dry land, Moses knew that he was nothing without the presence of God.
And so He went to God and humbly prayed that God would reconsider his request. Moses didn’t deserve God’s goodness he knew that all good things come by grace, which is why he said, “If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you.”
Questions and Answers…
When was the promised land first mentioned in the Bible?
“In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.” – Genesis 15:18-21
Why did the people mourn at the beginning of this chapter?
Because they were so stubborn and stiff-necked, God said that He wouldn’t go with them on their journey to the promised land. He appointed an angel to go before them, but when the people heard this, they mourned.
What took place whenever Moses entered the tent of meeting? (It’s interesting to note that the tabernacle wasn’t built yet at this point, but Moses had some sort of a tent called the “tent of meeting.”)
Whenever Moses went out to the tent of meeting, the people stood and watched until he entered the tent. Once he entered, a cloudy pillar came down and stood at the door of the tent while Moses talked with God.
How did God speak to Moses?
Verse 11 says, “The Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.”
In order to gain a better understanding of this verse, we must take the rest of the chapter, and the rest of the Bible into context.
In verse 20 God says, no man can see my face and live. John 1:18 and 1 John 4:12 say that no one has seen God at any time. 1 Timothy 6:16 says that God dwells in unapproachable light.
The Hebrew word, paniym (Strong’s H6440) translated here as “face,” is used in a variety of applications throughout scripture, both literally and figuratively. It can simply mean in the presence of the Lord. In fact (and this is interesting), the exact same word is used in verse 14 when God says, “My presence [paniym] shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.” You’ll find that word “presence” (paniym) again in verse 15.
And so we must be careful not to assume that Moses saw the literal face of God as that would contradict the rest of this chapter.
Moses made a request to the Lord that He would go with them. What reason does God give for granting this request?
Because Moses found grace in His sight, and because God knew Him by name.
In the same way, we’re saved by grace. Jesus knows each one of His follower by name. We’re more than a face in the crowd, or a stranger with a ticket to heaven. We have an intimate relationship with our redeemer and friend.
“To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.” – John 10:3
Compare verse 11 to verse 20. Did Moses see God’s face or didn’t he? Read verses 18 to 22 to for a deeper understanding.
Notice in verse 21, God instructed Moses to stand upon a rock. This rock symbolized Christ without whom no one has access to God.
Earlier in this chapter we see that God spoke to Moses, which is to say that Moses was in the presence of God speaking as one friend to another.
Then Moses asks if He might see the glory of God. He had been in God’s presence, but now He was asking to see the manifestation of that presence.
John Piper writes, “The Bible never gives us glimpses of God’s nature merely for intellectual discussion. It opens the name and glory of God to our understanding in order to help us revere God and love him and trust him and obey him. So when God stands before Moses and uncovers his innermost soul — the glory of his absolute divine freedom — he is doing it for a very practical purpose, namely, to give Moses encouragement to get on with his mission of leading a stiff-necked people on to the promised land.”
My thoughts on this chapter…
What I noticed in both this chapter and the last was that Moses was ready and will to pray for his people. This is the sign of a great leader. Instead of dwelling on their sin, he pled for mercy on their behalf.
The Bible tells us that Moses was humble–in fact the humblest man on the face of the earth. (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.) Numbers 12:3. After everything he had done on behalf of the Israelites he understood that he was merely an instrument in the hands of a mighty God. He understood the power of grace in his life and wanted that same grace for his people.
Questions and Answers…
What did the Lord ask Moses to do?
To carve out two stones like the first ones and bring them up on Mt. Sinai in the morning.
How did Moses illustrate compassion and love in both this chapter and chapter 33? What can this teach us about our prayer life?
He prayed that God would forgive the sins of his people. What’s interesting to note here is that Moses included himself when he prayed about the stiff-necked sinners. “pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for thine inheritance.” Verse 9.
This is reminder to humbly pray for others. If we see someone in sin, we need to bring that person to prayer.
The Lord descended on the mountain in a cloud. What other verses in Exodus speak about this cloud?
“And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.” – Exodus 13:21-22
What do we learn in this chapter about the character of God?
That He is merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but still He doesn’t ignore sin.
What three feasts are mentioned in this chapter?
The feast of unleavened bread
The feast of weeks
The feast of ingathering
From our study on Exodus 23:
Each of these feasts were fulfilled through the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Each of them were designed to help them understand salvation and to lead them to repentance.
Passover – Just as the Israelites were protected by blood during their flight from Egypt, we are protected by the blood of the Lamb. When Jesus became our Passover Lamb, His blood became our protection from sin.
Pentecost – The descent of the Holy Spirit, which Jesus promised He would send is also known as the Pentecost. This came 50 days after the resurrection of Christ (Acts 2). The original feast was celebrated 50 days after the wave-sheaf offering that took place during the feast of unleavened bread.
Tabernacles – John 1:14 tells us, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” That Greek word for “dwelt” here is skénoo (stong’s G4637). It is translated as, “to fix one’s tabernacle, have one’s tabernacle, abide (or live) in a tabernacle.” Further into the book of Exodus we’ll read about the tabernacle the Israelites were instructed to make in which God dwelt with His people. “And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.” – Exodus 25:8
“Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days: which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.”
– Colossians 2:16-17
How long was Moses on the mountain this time?
40 days and 40 nights
What did Moses look like when he came down from the mountain?
His face was shining
My thoughts on this chapter…
I combined these three chapters because much of chapter 36 and all of chapter 37 were covered earlier in this study as God dictated the details to Moses. Here we see faith in action as the Israelites skillfully work on the tabernacle. Every minute detail is executed according to plan without question.
We see a transformed group of believers as the Israelites are willing to give and ready to follow God’s plan Word for Word.
Questions and Answers…
Before they set to work on the tabernacle. What important law did Moses remind them of?
That they were to work six days and rest on the seventh. Even those who do the Lord’s work need to have a day to rest.
What were some of the offerings that the people were invited to bring?
Gold, and silver, and brass. Blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats’ hair, and rams’ skins dyed red, and badgers’ skins, and shittim wood.
Oil for the light, and spices for anointing oil, and for the sweet incense.
And onyx stones, and stones to be set for the ephod, and for the breastplate.
If you remember, in Exodus chapter 12, the Lord gave the Hebrews favor in the sight of the Egyptians so that they lent them jewels and fine clothing. Verse 36 of chapter 12 says, “they spoiled the Egyptians.”
Charles Spurgeon writes, “Let none say that this was robbery. It would have been, had it not been commanded of God; but as a king can set aside his own laws, so God is above his laws, and whatsoever He orders is right… Sometimes necessity has no law: how much more shall that God who is above all necessities be the master of his own laws? The great Potentate, the only wise God, the King of kings, hath a right to make what laws He pleases; and let not vain man dare to question his Maker, when his Maker gives him a command.”
Who brought these offerings to the Lord?
Whoever had a willing heart.
What were these offerings called in verse Exodus 35:29?
A “willing offering” or a “free-will offering”
What did some of the skilled women do?
They spun cloth and goat’s hair.
In addition to skill and wisdom, what ability did God give to Bezalel and Oholiab? See verse Exodus 35:34.
The ability to teach others to do the work.
What do we learn about their generosity from Exodus 36:5-6? How can we apply this to our own lives?
They were so generous that they brought more than they needed.
We can learn from their example to not only give with a willing heart, but to also give generously.
What does their adherence to detail and direction teach us about our walk of faith?
Sometimes it’s easier to cut corners, and other times it makes sense to do things our own way instead of God’s. In fact I’ve often heard people say, “Well my God wouldn’t do this…” or “My God wouldn’t do that…” when their agenda didn’t match the truth of God’s word.
The Israelites could have saved themselves a lot of time and effort if they simplified God’s plan for the tabernacle, but they didn’t because they trusted that His wisdom ran deeper than theirs. Every loop and every stitch went according to plan, because every minute detail was dictated by God.
The more that we read the Word and come to an understanding of His will, the more we find that the details were placed there with purpose. And so we walk by faith adhering to to God’s Word, whether it fits our agenda or not.
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This has been a very valuable study for me. I have never appreciated all this detail and found it very hard to even read through although I have many times. I saw for the first time our detailed God who is concerned about everything down to the finest detail for his tabernacle and temple. We are the temple of God after salvation through Jesus. He is also interested in the finest details of our lives. Spoke volumes to me. Love your studies. Can’t wait for the next one. I use them every morning for my quiet time. I am 68 and I never get over the freshness or newness of scripture even when we read it over and over and over again. It never gets old, it is eternal, no matter the age in our lives, it fits the ticket. God is amazing and a very “faithful Father”.