We cannot expect the benefit of God’s promises unless we make conscience of His precepts.
God’s name is “Jealous” and we cannot worship Him aright if we do not worship Him alone (v. 12-17).
1 And the LORD said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest.
2 And be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning unto mount Sinai, and present thyself there to me in the top of the mount.
3 And no man shall come up with thee, neither let any man be seen throughout all the mount; neither let the flocks nor herds feed before that mount.
4 ¶ And he hewed two tables of stone like unto the first; and Moses rose up early in the morning, and went up unto mount Sinai, as the LORD had commanded him, and took in his hand the two tables of stone.
5 And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.
6 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,
7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.
8 And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped.
9 And he said, If now I have found grace in thy sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray thee, go among us; for it is a stiffnecked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for thine inheritance.
10 And he said, Behold, I make a covenant: before all thy people I will do marvels, such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation: and all the people among which thou art shall see the work of the LORD: for it is a terrible thing that I will do with thee.
11 Observe thou that which I command thee this day: behold, I drive out before thee the Amorite, and the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite.
12 Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest it be for a snare in the midst of thee:
13 But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves:
14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:
15 Lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go a whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and one call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice;
16 And thou take of their daughters unto thy sons, and their daughters go a whoring after their gods, and make thy sons go a whoring after their gods.
17 Thou shalt make thee no molten gods.
18 ¶ The feast of unleavened bread shalt thou keep. Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, as I commanded thee, in the time of the month Abib: for in the month Abib thou camest out from Egypt.
19 All that openeth the matrix is mine; and every firstling among thy cattle, whether ox or sheep, that is male.
20 But the firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb: and if thou redeem him not, then shalt thou break his neck. All the firstborn of thy sons thou shalt redeem. And none shall appear before me empty.
21 ¶ Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest: in earing time and in harvest thou shalt rest.
22 ¶ And thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year’s end.
23 ¶ Thrice in the year shall all your men children appear before the Lord GOD, the God of Israel.
24 For I will cast out the nations before thee, and enlarge thy borders: neither shall any man desire thy land, when thou shalt go up to appear before the LORD thy God thrice in the year.
25 Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven; neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the passover be left unto the morning.
26 The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring unto the house of the LORD thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk.
27 And the LORD said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel.
28 And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.
29 ¶ And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses’ hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him.
30 And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him.
31 And Moses called unto them; and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned unto him: and Moses talked with them.
32 And afterward all the children of Israel came nigh: and he gave them in commandment all that the LORD had spoken with him in mount Sinai.
33 And till Moses had done speaking with them, he put a vail on his face.
34 But when Moses went in before the LORD to speak with him, he took the vail off, until he came out. And he came out, and spake unto the children of Israel that which he was commanded.
35 And the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face shone: and Moses put the vail upon his face again, until he went in to speak with him.
Exodus 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Exodus 34:1-17 – The Covenant of the Law Renewed
Before we can behold the vision of Eternal Love we must be willing to fulfill three conditions: (1) Earliness: “Be ready in the morning” (v. 2). (2) Solitude: “No man shall come up with thee” (v. 3). (3) The open heart: “That God may write there what He will.” God is always passing by and covering us with the shadow of His hand, and proclaiming His loving kindness and tender mercy. He keeps mercy for thousands, and limits the entail of sin to the third and fourth generation.
Whenever we get near to God we should begin to think of and pray for others. As the last notes of the divine procession were dying away Moses bowed his head and worshiped, saying, “Let the Lord go in the middle of us and forgive.” It was as though he said, “If thou art a God like that, thou art the God that stiff-necked people need. Go with us, therefore, for thou canst bear with us.” He went on to ask that they might be pardoned, and that God would account them His heritage. His request was more than granted! God entered into covenant with them and promised to drive out their enemies on conditions which He proceeded to enumerate. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Exodus 34:18-35 – Moses Brings the Renewed Tables of the Law
For forty days, with no sustenance from bread or water, Moses abode on the Mount—absorbed with a passion of love and awe—not counting the hours which passed like a dream. He talked with God as a man face to face with His friend; but he was completely unaware of the marvelous transformation which this holy intercourse was effecting. At God’s dictation he wrote out the covenant, as we have it in this Book, and finally God gave him the two tables of stone, on which He had imprinted His autograph.
With these in his hand Moses descended to the plain, unconscious that his face shone. See II Corinthians 3:18. The Apostle urges that we, as Christians, should first behold, and then reflect the glory of Jesus. We must be mirrors, for the purpose of shedding His light among our fellow-men; and in the effort to do this we shall become transfigured into His glorious beauty from one degree to another. The crowning glory of that transfiguration will be our unconsciousness: “Moses wist not.” —Through the Bible Day by Day
Exodus 34:29 – Moses wist not.
Unconsciousness of goodness is always a main element in the highest forms of goodness: in the same way that unconsciousness is characteristic of the worst forms of depravity. Samson “wist not that the LORD was departed from him” (Judges 16:20).
Directly people become conscious of their superiority to others, and boast of it, it is certain that they have never really seen the beauty of God’s holiness, and have no clear knowledge of the condition of their own hearts. They see that they have been cleansed from their old sins; but they do not perceive that the spirit of selfishness has retreated into the springs of motive and intention.
We are all tempted to this terrible self-consciousness. We are proud of being humble, complacent for being lowly, self-congratulatory because we take back-seats. In all this we betray the vanity of our pretensions. This sort of goodness is like a thin veneer of mahogany on very common deal.
The real goodness is more conscious of the remaining evil than of the acquired good; of the lingering darkness than of the hill-tops smitten with the dawn; of that which has not been attained. But we can only attain this blessed condition by intimate and prolonged fellowship with God, in solitudes where human voices and interests cease to distract. The brightness of which Moses was unconscious was caught from the Presence-chamber of the Divine Loveliness. Ah, what patterns are seen on the Mount! What cries are uttered there! What visions are seen there! What revelations are made there! What injunctions are received there! Oh for the closer access, the nearer view, the more intimate face to face intercourse, such as is open still to the friends of God! —Our Daily Homily