Dave Burnette's Commentary

Exodus Chapter 34

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Moses
Date Penned: (1450-1410 BC)
Overview: The Record of God's Deliverance of Israel (c 1-40)
Theme: Israel at Sinai (c 19-40)
Message: The 10 Commandments Written Again (v 1-35)

Exodus 34 Commentary

(34:1) God Replaces the Broken Tablets - Coming down from the mountain and seeing the golden calf, Moses had been outraged. His emotions had gotten the best of him, yet God did not rebuke him for smashing the tablets. He simply said to chisel out two more, and he would write the same words again. No doubt God would have been much more upset with Moses if he had had a casual attitude toward the terrible sin being committed in front of him. God is not pleased when our response to sin is "It's okay. Everything will be fine. Maybe we shouldn't do that again." Moses was the only person there that day, at least in the recorded story, who had such a passionate love for God that blatant sin against him broke his heart and stirred his emotions to the breaking point. No wonder God didn't scold him for breaking the tablets. A good question to ask ourselves is When was the last time I was so upset over sin that my emotions got the best of me? If it's been a long time, that may be a litmus test revealing that your relationship with God is more shallow than it should be.

(34:6-7) Moses Sees God's Glory - Moses had asked to see God's "glory" (33:18), and this was God's response. What is God's glory? It is his character, his nature, and his way of relating to his creation. Notice that God gave Moses a vision not of his power and majesty but rather of his love. God's glory is revealed in his merey, grace, longsuffering, goodness, truth, forgiveness, and justice. God's love and mercy are truly wonderful, and we benefit from them. We can respond and give glory to God when our character begins to resemble his.

(34:6-7) A God of Love - Many people think the God of the Old Testament is a God of wrath, only to be feared. But these words from God revealed to Moses the very heart of God's nature. What do we learn from these assurances to Moses? God is merciful, gracious, loving, faithful, and forgiving. Don't accept anyone's argument that the God of the Old Testament is merely vengeful. Instead, remember that God is long suffering and his love cannot be diminished.

(34:7) Our Sin Affects Others - Why would sins affect children and grandchildren? This is no arbitrary punishment. Children still suffer for the sins of their parents. Consider child abuse or alcoholism, for example. While these sins are obvious, sins like selfishness and greed can also negatively affect the next generation. The dire consequences of sin are not limited to an individual family member. Be careful not to treat sin casually; repent and turn from it. Your sin may cause you little pain now, but it could sting in a most tender area of your life later--your children and grandchildren.

(34:12-14) We are to Choose the Lord - God told the Israelites not to join in religious rites with the sinful people around them but rather to give their absolute loyalty and exclusive devotion to him. Pagan worship simply cannot be mixed with worship of the holy God. As Jesus pointed out, "No servant can serve two masters… Ye cannot serve God and mammon" (Luke 16:13). Mammon--the love of money - is the god of this age, and many Christians attempt to make a treaty with this enslaving god. Are you trying to worship two gods at once? Where is your first allegiance?

(34:13) Baal's Wife - The "groves" were also also known as "Asherah poles." Asherah poles were wooden poles planted beside altars to Baal (see Judges 6:25). They were used to worship the goddess Asherah, who was the wife of Baal. As the fertility goddess, she was thought to bring good luck in agriculture and childbearing.

(34:28-35) Moses Appearance After Being with God -  Moses' face was radiant after he spent time with God. The people could clearly see God's presence in him. How often do you spend time alone with God? Although your face may not light up a room, time spent in prayer, reading the Bible, and meditating on what God is teaching should have such an effect on your life that people will know you have been with God.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

The Glory of God

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we Continue in the book of Exodus with Chapter 34 and in today's text we see Moses spending more time with the Lord receiving the 10 commandments for the second time. When Moses came to the people of Israel His face shown with God's Glory because of the time he spent with God. This Glory has a tremendous effect on everyone he came in contact with. In making application we see the results and importance of spending time with the Lord. Others see the Glory of God we have in spending time with the Lord which will effect the lives of others. Unfortunately, we tend to try to do things apart from God instead of spending time with God. The bottom line is we want to have God's Glory in our lives and there are no shortcuts. It takes time with God to experience His Glory. How about you? Do you desire to have the God's Glory shine from your face to influence others for Christ? Let us learn from today's text to see it takes time with God to experience His Glory. 


Exodus 34

Exodus 34

 1And 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.

 2And 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.

 3And 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.

 4And 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.

 5And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.

 6And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,

 7Keeping 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.

 8And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped.

 9And 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.

 10And 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.

 11Observe 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.

 12Take 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:

 13But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves:

 14For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:

 15Lest 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;

 16And 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.

 17Thou shalt make thee no molten gods.

 18The 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.

 19All that openeth the matrix is mine; and every firstling among thy cattle, whether ox or sheep, that is male.

 20But 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.

 21Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest: in earing time and in harvest thou shalt rest.

 22And thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year's end.

 23Thrice in the year shall all your menchildren appear before the LORD God, the God of Israel.

 24For 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.

 25Thou 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.

 26The 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.

 27And 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.

 28And 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.

 29And 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.

 30And 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.

 31And Moses called unto them; and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned unto him: and Moses talked with them.

 32And 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.

 33And till Moses had done speaking with them, he put a vail on his face.

 34But 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.

 35And 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.