Exodus 34:1-5, 28-35
In our present reading we shall see how the Lord reopened his communications with Israel, though their sin had abruptly broken up all the treaty engagements almost before they were ratified.
Here let us learn that although man has broken the law of God, yet the Lord in infinite mercy to his people visits them again, causes their hearts to be hewn and prepared by his prophets and ministers, and then writes the law upon those fleshy tablets. The law in the heart is better than the law on stone.
Moses must go up a second time and sojourn with the. Lord, and the people must thus be tried to see if they can wait upon God in their leader’s absence.
Distance was always the rule of the law. Moses went up to God alone, but Jesus takes all his people with him.
Note, that Moses, like other good men, was up betimes in the morning. Matthew Henry says, “the morning is as good a friend to the graces as it is to the muses.” God loves punctual servants.
He declared the nature and the attributes of Jehovah.
In being miraculously supported for forty days without food, Moses, as the law, is followed by Elijah, the chief of the prophets, and our Lord Jesus, in whom the gospel is revealed.
After such long communion Moses came down enriched with the best treasure, and adorned with the best beauty. What he had seen was unconsciously reflected from him, as it always is from those who have had fellowship with God.
Everybody could see the brightness of Moses face except himself; and the same may be said of the man who communes with God.
In this he was unlike most men, for they are usually far too ready to show their brightness to everybody, coveting admiration. Modesty dwells with true excellence.
Before God we must be all unveiled. All things are open before him.
God’s ministers may learn here their only theme.
Lord, from thy burning throne on high,
Thy law comes forth in majesty;
Its glory shines with beams so bright,
No mortal can sustain the sight.
But through thy Son, th’ incarnate God,
Thy milder radiance shines abroad;
His flesh becomes the Godhead’s veil,
And beams of grace and love prevail.