Unveiled Glory and Unguarded GivingMay 18, 2016 at 2:29 pm | Posted in Exodus | 3 Comments
Tags: 2 Corinthians 3, commentary on Exodus, Exodus 34, Exodus 35, Law and Gospel, Moses, Old Testament Law, Sunday School lessons on Exodus, the Tabernacle
God’s people in Canaan would not just be different for the sake of being different. Having different laws, different clothes, different habits and customs, different worship, and being monotheistic, they would stand out as being a people who worshiped an unseen God rather than visible idols. They would also be a people with a God Whose reputation was mighty.
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.
The Lord reinstituted the covenant they had broken. His people would have the comfort and joy and privilege of seeing Him do things that were unlike anything that had been seen before, but the pagans would see, too, and it would be evidence that the God worshiped by the Israelites was the real God. It would also be evidence to show that those who worshiped Him would be blessed.
I previously discussed Moses’s glowing face, and the veil which he wore to shield it from the people so they could come near him.
And till Moses had done speaking with them, he put a vail on his face.
The other reason for this veil was that it would serve for an illustration in the New Testament
But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:
II Corinthians 3:7
“The ministration of death” means that death comes upon all who sin, and the Law was given to show us our sin. It was written and engraved on stones, and it was glorious. It revealed the nature of God, but the Law’s glory had a built-in expiration date. It faded away, just as eventually the light of Moses’s countenance began to fade after his encounters with God.
How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?
II Corinthians 3:8
The stone-engraved law was glorious, but the ministry of the Holy Spirit Himself is greater.
For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.
II Corinthians 3:9
The Law showed the problem, but it didn’t offer a solution. It condemned for lack of righteousness, but it could not reproduce its own righteousness in fallen human beings.
For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.
II Corinthians 3:10
So great is the glory of Christ-imputed righteousness that it makes the brilliant glory of the Law seem dim.
For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.
II Corinthians 3:11
This glory was always there, but it is now more fully given.
Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:
II Corinthians 3:12
A veil over a person’s face obscures his words when he speaks.
And not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:
II Corinthians 3:13
The people could see their need for righteousness, but the Savior Who would abolish the Law through its fulfillment was shadowy – not yet fully visible.
But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.
II Corinthians 3:14
But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.
II Corinthians 3:15-16
Jesus will – and He must if we are to see truth – come rip away the veil for those who admit their sin and their need for the Savior and call upon Him.
Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
II Corinthians 3:17-18
The change from Law to Gospel was glorious. It was a change from lesser to greater glory, but there are higher gradations (“from glory to glory”) yet to come in your sanctification, if you are in Christ Jesus.
In Exodus 35 there is a repetition of the commandments and instructions concerning construction of the Tabernacle and its furnishings that had been stated before, and the account of their fulfillment.
And Moses spake unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, This is the thing which the LORD commanded, saying, Take ye from among you an offering unto the LORD: whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the LORD; gold, and silver, and brass,
And all the congregation of the children of Israel departed from the presence of Moses. And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the LORD’s offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service, and for the holy garments. And they came, both men and women, as many as were willing hearted, and brought bracelets, and earrings, and rings, and tablets, all jewels of gold: and every man that offered offered an offering of gold unto the LORD.
The people had given their possessions willingly to be used in their idolatry, but now they gave even more willingly in true worship. Their preparation for worship was in itself an act of worship. Think of what you spend willingly on, and think about what it would be like to spend just as joyfully on the work of the Lord. Let’s pray that we don’t have to drink our defiled possessions and suffer a plague or some severe chastening before we recognize the peace of joyful giving.
The children of Israel brought a willing offering unto the LORD, every man and woman, whose heart made them willing to bring for all manner of work, which the LORD had commanded to be made by the hand of Moses. And Moses said unto the children of Israel, See, the LORD hath called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; And he hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship;