AtonementBro. David Chancellor
5/4/2008 11:00 AM
And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me. And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. 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. And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the Lord. And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.
This is a sad picture. What can we learn from this? The people thought Moses was gone too long and thought they needed other gods. It shows that they had the wrong picture of what happened up to then. They apparently equated Moses with God. We need to keep our eyes focused on God. These were looking for one to go before them. It should be God for them and for us. We don’t have to follow a golden idol to do the same thing that these did. Don’t get your eyes off of God and on men. God can use men, but keep your eyes on God, not on the ones he uses. Idolatry isn’t just worshiping statues. It’s following anything but God and letting that thing direct you through life. Don’t idolize others. People can be a good example, but don’t put them in God’s place. If you want what they have, go to God and get what you need. God had already promised to lead the Israelites. They had their focus in the wrong place. We don’t want to transfer what is rightfully God’s to anyone else. Let God have the glory and praise that belongs to him.
Exodus 32:26, 30-35
Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the Lord’s side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him.
And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses said unto the people, Ye have sinned a great sin: and now I will go up unto the Lord; peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin. 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. And the Lord said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book. Therefore now go, lead the people unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee: behold, mine Angel shall go before thee: nevertheless in the day when I visit I will visit their sin upon them. And the Lord plagued the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron made.
Who is on the Lord’s side? Who is following God? These went through and purged the camp of those who weren’t following God. We need to know that we’re following him. We need to stay on God’s side. This is a picture of what atonement is all about. Moses came and acknowledged their sin and asked for God’s forgiveness. It was personal with him. Moses is a type of Christ in some things. Jesus asked in the garden for the cup to pass, but he went to the cross and God turned his back on him so that we could be forgiven. Jesus still pleads for us.
1 Timothy 2:3-6
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. Who gave himself a ransom for all to be testified in due time.
Christ is the means of atonement for us. Moses couldn’t do the work of Jesus. He couldn’t pay the price of their sin. Our sins are forgiven. We have atonement through Christ.
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
God sent Christ to atone for us. Because of what Jesus did, we can be one with God.
And the Lord said unto Moses, Depart, and go up hence, thou and the people which thou hast brought up out of the land of Egypt, unto the land which I sware unto Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, Unto thy seed will I give it: And I will send an angel before thee: and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite: Unto a land flowing with milk and honey: for I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a stiffnecked people: lest I consume thee in the way.
And when the people heard these evil tidings, they mourned: and no man did put on him his ornaments. 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. And Moses took the tabernacle, and pitched it without the camp, afar off from the camp, and called it the Tabernacle of the congregation. And it came to pass, that every one which sought the Lord went out unto the tabernacle of the congregation, which was without the camp. And it came to pass, when Moses went out unto the tabernacle, that all the people rose up, and stood every man at his tent door, and looked after Moses, until he was gone into the tabernacle. And it came to pass, as Moses entered into the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended, and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the Lord talked with Moses. And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door: and all the people rose up and worshipped, every man in his tent door.
God doesn’t dwell in the midst of the world because if he did he would consume them. Moses put the Tabernacle outside the camp. Anyone that sought God had to go out there. If people would seek the Lord, they need to go out from the world. God’s presence won’t be found in the world. "Come out" – turn your back on the world and follow God only. There can be no other God but the one God. We have to go where God is if we would find him. We have to come to God on his terms. God dwells in his church. His church is built of those who come out of the camp and choose to follow Jesus. Get God first and keep your eyes on him. We need the Spirit of God to guide our lives. Make sure your eyes are on God.
For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
Jesus went and suffered so that we could be saved. Just as Jesus was rejected, we sometimes will also be rejected because there is a separation between us and the world. There is no way to make the world and the church compatible. They have different leaders. This is not our final place. We’re to follow Jesus until we come to that place. It may not be an easy way, but God will provide along the way. He gives what we need.