This week brings us to a break of chronological reading and lands us in a reading about Pesach (Passover). The reading comes out of Exodus 33 - 34:16, and itself doesn't explain much about Pesach, but a confirmed command to keep the Feast. The purpose for what is written in this parsha explains why this, a many other things in Covenant, had to be confirmed, and so we'll explore what was written and why it was written (or rewritten).
You will remember that Elohim called Moses up to Sinai to receive the written contract of the marriage Covenant, otherwise known as the Ten Commandments.
--- We know what when two people come together in marriage, they need a written contract of the covenant for the validity of the marriage. I can say someone is my husband all I want, but unless there is a contract with the names of my husband and myself, there isn't a valid marriage. Marriages are contracts, and they come with promises and terms -- promises like love, honor, and cherish, and terms like faithfulness/fidelity and placing the other in priority. These days, these promises and terms are verbally said, but signed for on the written contract. With the Ten Commandments, you find the same situation: it isn't just "God" entering marriage. He states His actual Name, just as marriage certificates don't just say "man and woman," but they say the names of the man and woman in this covenant. He also states His promises and terms. Failure to abide by these terms -- which all these terms are really just one, love and the highest byproduct being faithfulness/fidelity -- is a breech in the covenant and a removal thereof. ---While Moses was on the mountain, the people were in the very act of breaking the covenant he was up there receiving (Exodus 32). This act was when they made themselves a golden calf as their god and committed a spiritual adultery against the LORD their God. God is so upset with them and commands Israel take off her ornaments (Exodus 33:5). Her ornaments are her bridely adornments from her Husband. He says take off her bridely adornments because He is ready to put her away, just as we are Biblically able to do when our spouses adulterate against us (Matthew 19:9). He forgives her and agrees to rewrite the Covenant. The glory of God is this: When Israel adulterates repeatedly (which she did), which means she is therefore out of covenant and under the curse as adulterer and not free to remarry (only victims in the marriage are free to remarry in adultery cases, Matthew 19:9), and God ultimately frees her from the curse by dying (death breaks the covenant, Romans 7:3), therefore breaking the first covenant that she breeched and made a curse to her, freeing her to reenter Covenant and marry Him as Yehoshua the Messiah, her Kinsman-Redeemer. Reentering covenant when it seemed impossible... Now, THAT is Good News and that is the glory of God.
You see a repeat of the Covenant terms and promises, because it is the same Covenant re-offered. The glory of God is the Way in which the Covenant of Marriage is renewed in the Brit Chadashah -- translated as "Renewed Covenant," modernly accepted as "New Covenant."
Setting this aside for a moment, I wanted to touch on what happened before the rewriting of the tablets. Elohim is upset and the marriage is beyond 'on the rocks,' with grounds to be put away. Yet, He still remembers His promises to their fathers, and His mercy allows that He will still let them enter the Promised Land (Exodus 33:1-5). He says He will send a messenger before them, most translations accept this as an angel. I intreat you to read Moses' response in the rest of chapter 33, and challenge yourself if you were in this same position.
Moses replies to this mercy, "If Your Presence is not going, do not lead us up from here," (Exodus 33:15). These are a people that are in the wilderness, being prepared for, and traveling to, a land promised. There is an opportunity to go, and to go with an angel in God's mercy, but Moses says that isn't enough. How many times have we been in a wilderness, being prepared for a promised land, waiting on God to bring us there, waiting on God for something, possibly in the wait we sin against Him because we are so impatient. "I'm waiting on the LORD to deliver me to..." "I'm waiting on the LORD to bring me into..." And how many of us would jump at the opportunity to go, with an angel before us, not having fully reconciled ourselves unto the LORD? The question is are you waiting on the LORD to do something that is a promised land to you, or are you waiting on the LORD to be with the LORD? Do you want His hand or His presence? Do you want healing or God? Do you want heaven or God? Moses' response is beautiful because it reveals the sincerity in love towards the most High, in that the wilderness with God is heaven compared to the promised land without Him. It is the difference in perspective that heaven is heaven and He dwells there, or that He is heaven.
I have to reveal to you that I am not just a speaker of words, but really speaking a testimony as God opened my eyes in my own situation. It was just yesterday that I impatiently blurted out that I was sick of waiting for certain things. Just like the wilderness, it's like a waiting period until something I can call my own, my own "land" per say. I was strongly convicted as Brant read this passage to me today, how many times I have said I am waiting on God to bring me somewhere, fulfill a time in my life, bring me to the completion of a preparation, etc. I seem to mention the things I am waiting on more than I mention the joy of being with Him while I wait. There is so much joy in these preparatory, building, and feeding times. The relationship therein is so sweet. It's like heaven to me.
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