Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
Exodus 34:1-3 (NIV)
The Lord said to Moses, “Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones, and I will write on them the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. Be ready in the morning, and then come up on Mount Sinai. Present yourself to me there on top of the mountain. No one is to come with you or be seen anywhere on the mountain; not even the flocks and herds may graze in front of the mountain.”
Exodus 34:1-3 (MSG)
God spoke to Moses: “Cut out two tablets of stone just like the originals and engrave on them the words that were on the original tablets you smashed. Be ready in the morning to climb Mount Sinai and get set to meet me on top of the mountain. Not a soul is to go with you; the whole mountain must be clear of people, even animals—not even sheep or oxen can be grazing in front of the mountain.”
“Then the Lord said to Moses, “Cut two tablets of stone like the first, and I will write on these tablets the words that were on the first tablets which you smashed [when you learned of Israel’s idolatry]. So be ready by morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai, and present yourself there to Me on the top of the mountain. No man is to come up with you, nor let any man be seen anywhere on the mountain; nor let flocks or herds feed in front of that mountain.” -AMPLIFIED
Our attention turns back to the Ten Commandments. The original tablets had been destroyed by Moses in a fit of anger when he found the Israelites worshiping an idol as he came done the mountain from a meeting with God.
God now instructs Moses to “Chisel out two new stone tablets; just like the first ones.” The first set of tablets were formed and shaped by God. This second set is to be formed and shaped by Moses. Once Moses has prepared the tablets God Himself would write the words on the new tablets.
Let us realize that the words that God will write on this set of tablets will be exactly the same words that were on the first set. The God that we serve does not change. He says, “I the Lord do not change.” Malachi 3:6 (NIV) The Apostle James reminds us of this fact also, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” -James 1:17 (NIV)
God tells Moses, “Be ready! In the morning you are to climb up Mount Sinai and meet me there at the top.” “In the morning” was a symbol of new beginnings and fresh starts in Scripture. “The morning” was also associated with activity by the Almighty. Oft times the morning hours functioned as a special meeting time with God for genuine heartfelt worship.
Once again we see God warning against animal or man being on or near the mountain. Unlike the last time, when Aaron, Hur, and the elders had ascended the mount part of the way and Joshua had climbed with Moses even higher, Moses was too was to go up this time alone. The reason for this is because of the new relationship between God and Moses. Moses had seen the glory of God.
It appears, by all appearances, that God and Moses have made a fresh start. God instructs Moses to prepare the tablets so they can have a fresh start. God advises Moses to “Be Ready”; for in the morning you will climb up. God implies to Moses that this encounter will be just between the two of them; no man or animal would be part of their fresh encounter.
This is a reminder to the children of God that His mercies are new every morning. The book of Lamentations reminds us of this fact, “God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They’re created new every morning. How great your faithfulness!” -Lamentations 3:22-23 (MSG)
Praise God for opportunities for fresh starts and new beginnings.
Father God, I thank you that I can start every day new with you. You also give your children opportunities to start over fresh when we fail you; which humbles me, but also causes me to love you even more. I know that when I sin that I can come to you and tell you I am sorry, ask you to forgive me and start over. God, you are so amazing! Help me also to take advantage of the need and opportunity to “Be Ready” to climb up into your presence and be with you. Lord, you are so good to me!