Exodus 34* The tables of the law renewed. (1-4) The name of the Lordproclaimed, The entreaty of Moses. (5-9) God's covenant. (10-17)The festivals. (18-27) The vail of Moses. (28-35)1-4 When God made man in his own image, the moral law waswritten in his heart, by the finger of God, without outwardmeans. But since the covenant then made with man was broken, theLord has used the ministry of men, both in writing the law inthe Scriptures, and in writing it in the heart. When God wasreconciled to the Israelites, he ordered the tables to berenewed, and wrote his law in them. Even under the gospel ofpeace by Christ, the moral law continues to bind believers.Though Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, yet notfrom the commands of it. The first and the best evidence of thepardon of sin, and peace with God, is the writing the law in theheart. 5-9 The Lord descended by some open token of his presence andmanifestation of his glory in a cloud, and thence proclaimed hisNAME; that is, the perfections and character which are denotedby the name JEHOVAH. The Lord God is merciful; ready to forgivethe sinner, and to relieve the needy. Gracious; kind, and readyto bestow undeserved benefits. Long-suffering; slow to anger,giving time for repentance, only punishing when it is needful.He is abundant in goodness and truth; even sinners receive theriches of his bounty abundantly, though they abuse them. All hereveals is infallible truth, all he promises is in faithfulness.Keeping mercy for thousands; he continually shows mercy tosinners, and has treasures, which cannot be exhausted, to theend of time. Forgiving iniquity, and transgression, and sin; hismercy and goodness reach to the full and free forgiveness ofsin. And will by no means clear the guilty; the holiness andjustice of God are part of his goodness and love towards all hiscreatures. In Christ's sufferings, the Divine holiness andjustice are fully shown, and the evil of sin is made known.God's forgiving mercy is always attended by his converting,sanctifying grace. None are pardoned but those who repent andforsake the allowed practice of every sin; nor shall any escape,who abuse, neglect, or despise this great salvation. Moses boweddown, and worshipped reverently. Every perfection in the name ofGod, the believer may plead with Him for the forgiveness of hissins, the making holy of his heart, and the enlargement of theRedeemer's kingdom. 10-17 The Israelites are commanded to destroy every monument ofidolatry, however curious or costly; to refuse all alliance,friendship, or marriage with idolaters, and all idolatrousfeasts; and they were reminded not with idolaters, and allidolatrous feats; and they were reminded not to repeat the crimeof making molten images. Jealously is called the rage of a man,#Pr 6:34|; but in God it is holy and just displeasure. Thosecannot worship God aright, who do not worship him only. 18-27 Once a week they must rest, even in ploughing time, andin harvest. All worldly business must give way to that holyrest; even harvest work will prosper the better, for thereligious observance of the sabbath day in harvest time. We mustshow that we prefer our communion with God, and our duty to him,before the business or the joy of harvest. Thrice a year theymust appear before the Lord God, the God of Israel. Canaan was adesirable land, and the neighbouring nations were greedy; yetGod says, They shall not desire it. Let us check all sinfuldesires against God and his glory, in our hearts, and then trusthim to check all sinful desires in the hearts of others againstus. The way of duty is the way of safety. Those who venture forhim never lose by him. Three feasts are here mentioned: 1. ThePassover, in remembrance of the deliverance out of Egypt. 2. Thefeast of weeks, or the feast of Pentecost; added to it is thelaw of the first-fruits. 3. The feast of in-gathering, or thefeast of Tabernacles. Moses is to write these words, that thepeople might know them better. We can never be enough thankfulto God for the written word. God would make a covenant withIsrael, in Moses as a mediator. Thus the covenant of grace ismade with believers through Christ. 28-35 Near and spiritual communion with God improves the gracesof a renewed and holy character. Serious godliness puts a lustreupon a man's countenance, such as commands esteem and affection.The vail which Moses put on, marked the obscurity of thatdispensation, compared with the gospel dispensation of the NewTestament. It was also an emblem of the natural vail on thehearts of men respecting spiritual things. Also the vail thatwas and is upon the nation of Israel, which can only be takenaway by the Spirit of the Lord showing to them Christ, as theend of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.Fear and unbelief would put the vail before us, they wouldhinder our free approach to the mercy-seat above. We shouldspread our wants, temporal and spiritual, fully before ourheavenly Father; we should tell him our hinderances, struggles,trails, and temptations; we should acknowledge our offences.
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