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Commands and a Covenant, 5b

October 15, 2013

When Moses returned to his people, they agreed to follow the rules God had given them. Soon God called Moses to return to the mountain where he again spoke to Moses. But while Moses was away, the people forgot their agreement. They reverted to the old ways and gave their gold and jewels to Aaron, Moses’ brother, who cast them into a golden calf, and the people began to worship it. When Moses returned, he was very angry and smashed the tablets. Then he went to God and begged for mercy, for God was angry too. Moses smoothed two more stones, and God wrote his commands on them, assuring Moses that he would punish those people who sinned.

God told Moses how to build a tent, called a Tabernacle, where he would live with his people. He gave specific instructions for building an ark for the stone tablets which the people could carry with them on their journey. Moses was with God for 40 days and nights without food or drink. He never saw the face of God, but the Lord let Moses see him from behind, and the glory of God shone in Moses’ face. God gave Moses additional instructions for his people waiting in the wilderness. To become God’s people there was a lot to learn, for God wanted them to be just, merciful, compassionate, and humble. This new nation was to be different from all others, its people worshiping the God of life and hope. Could the people remember and follow the directions?

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