07 January 2017

Harmful Substitutes

Theme: The Snare of Idolatry

Know: The Israelites turned from following God to worship idols and God was very angry with them.
Think: Always maintain the mindset that God is to be my only object of worship.
Do: Worship God alone. Remove from your life anything that prevents you from giving Him the worship and obedience He is due.

Scripture: Exodus 32:1-35

Notes and questions:
B1 Outline
  • Moses
    • On the mountain
    • Off the mountain
      • He breaks the tablets of God’s law
      • He breaks idol
      • He gives drink
      • He orders judgment
      • He prays for the people
B2 Setting: Mt Sinai
B3 Time
  • A mere 60 days after Passover, Moses goes up the mountain to receive the tablets written by God. This is also only ~4 days from God’s glory on Mt. Sinai.
  • A few days after Moses goes up the mountain, the people complain to Aaron about Moses and Aaron makes the golden calf.
  • After the calf is made, the people worship it and sacrifice to it.
  • What in the world is wrong with Aaron? See Exodus 24:9-11. He SAW God, yet allows and makes the golden calf? What is wrong with the people?
  • Do miracles, signs and wonders, and seeing God’s glory always convert the sinner?
B4 Exodus 32:1-6,
  • What is the people's attitude? They say, "Make gods for us."
  • Why did Aaron make the golden calf?
  • In Exodus 32:4, who is they?
  • In Exodus 32:5, why did Aaron proclaim a fast to Yahweh, while the people said, ...gods?"
  • After their sacrifices, what did the people do?
  • How does this attitude and action happen in churches today?
  • What is the responsibility of leaders?
  • What is the responsibility of the people?
B5 Exodus 32:7-10,
  • How did God know the people had sinned? What details did He give that proved He knew?
  • Why did God want to destroy His special people, Israel?
  • What does God know about you or me?
  • What are some things that will make God angry?
B6 Exodus 32:11-14,
  • Should we pray for others, interceding for them?
  • Did God really change His mind?
    • God always has conditions in mind.
    • Here, if one would plead with Him, He would change His mind.
    • The condition is usually understood, not always stated.
    • God wants repentance.
    • God would rather have mercy, than judgment. YET!
    • Romans 6:23 - For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    • Luke 13:3 - "I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.
    • Revelation 2:5 - `Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place--unless you repent.
    • Revelation 2:22 - `Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds.
B7 Exodus 32:15-18,
  • Is there any significance that God wrote these tablets? Does it differ from the words given to the prophets and Apostles?
  • How do you imagine Moses tone of voice when he said, “...it is the sound of singing that I hear?” Was it in sorrow, anger, disappointment, hurt, etc.?
B8 Exodus 32: 19-20
  • Was Moses’ anger justified?
  • Why did He throw the tablets down?
B9 Exodus 32:21-24,
  • What is wrong with Aaron?
  • Why do humans like lying?
  • Shouldn’t we deal with reality and truth?
  • How can we better do this?
B10 Exodus 32:25-29,
  • The word for out of control means loose, that is, without control, self-control. Some older translations use the word naked, because of the idea of uncover, and it is used this way in Leviticus.
  • Did Aaron let them get out of control, or did they choose to be so against Aaron’s wishes?
  • Why would their enemies make fun of them? See Proverbs 14:34.
  • Why the command to kill? See Exodus 32:27.
  • If many were guilty, when only a few died? Most reasonable would be those who died were the instigators.
    • 32:21-29 “Never did any wise man make a more frivolous and foolish excuse than that of Aaron. We must never be drawn into sin by any thing man can say or do to us; for men can but tempt us to sin, they cannot force us. The approach of Moses turned the dancing into trembling. They were exposed to shame by their sin. The course Moses took to roll away this reproach, was, not by concealing the sin, or putting any false colour upon it, but by punishing it. The Levites were to slay the ringleaders in this wickedness; yet none were executed but those who openly stood forth. Those are marked for ruin who persist in sin: those who in the morning were shouting and dancing, before night were dying. Such sudden changes do the judgments of the Lord sometimes make with sinners that are secure and jovial in their sin.”
B11 Exodus 32: 30-35
  • Why did Moses go back up the mountain to make atonement for their sin? Did he think that maybe more would die?
  • Was he showing compassion?
  • What attitude was Moses showing in Exodus 32:32? Was he serious in his request? Compare Romans 9:3.
  • What is God’s answer to Moses in Exodus 32:33? Who is to die for their sin? What hope is there for anyone? See 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 and 1 Peter 1:18-21.
  • Note the seriousness of sin.
  • How do we avoid sin?
B12 Next week:
  • A place to meet with God
  • Theme: The glory of God’s presence.
  • Text: Exodus 40:1-38

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