This week’s Torah portion contains too much to be able to cover it in one week. But to get started I want to recap the last ten chapters in story form.

The background is Moses up on the mountain with Adonai showing him around and discussing things as He goes. It is just as you would show someone around your own home.

“Moses, have a look at my home, so that you can see how I want you to build my summer cottage. Here is my bedroom, notice that there is an Ark, Bedside Table and Lamp in the corner (Ex. 25). Check out all the detail, I have spent a lot of time choosing my décor.”

“Oh, and look at my curtains. See how they are fashioned? (Ch. 26) This is the colour scheme that I want, and even though My cheruvim are real, could you put pictures of them up so that I feel at home?”

Later as Moses and Adonai were walking outside of His home, Adonai continued, “As we go through My yard, notice the altar and see how the fence is laid out? By the way, this is my favourite smell. (Ch. 27) And when you bring visitors to me, could you make sure they are dressed smartly. And between you and Me, could you also make sure they have had a bath recently and put on deodorant?”

Adonai and Moses head back inside. Adonai point to a small table and says, “This is where I set my potpourri (Ch. 30), and while I’m thinking about it . . . when you take a census, your lives are forfeit so make sure that you all pay the same amount. You see in reality, regardless of your position or status, each of you is of equal worth to me. And don’t forget to put the hand and foot washing tub out in the yard, like you saw, I just don’t want you to be traipsing in all that dirt.”

“Oh, and a couple of other things: When you have got it all together, could you put my special perfume on all of my stuff? And make sure that no one else wears the same scent; I just hate showing up to the party and having someone else wearing the same perfume. And don’t worry about having to make all of this yourself, I have already sent you the talented people who will be perfect for all this work.” (Ch. 31)

And as Adonai leads Moses to the front gate, He recalls, “Remember, Moses, we are in covenant.” Just then Adonai looks over to the camp of Beni Yisrael, and exclaims, “Are you kidding me?!” (To be continued …)

[Read Ex. 32 – 33:6]

And old famous quote stats that, “When Man ceases to worship God he does not worship nothing, but worships everything.” Look at (32:1), in one statement, Israel denies Adonai while at the same time seeks to replace Him. We all fall so far short of God’s glory! (Rom. 3:23) Notice the words “gods” (plural) and “the man” referring to their deliverer. The cry of the people to break the first commandment (Adonai is our God) then strikes fear in Aaron’s heart, causing him to break the second commandment (making an image of Adonai). (Vs. 2-4) Aaron, who has already compromised with both the making of the calf and the making of the new altar, tries to “baptize the day” by declaring the following day to be a “feast to Adonai.”[1] (Vs. 5-6)

Adonai, whose vision is better than Moses’, turns to Moses and basically says, “Your children are getting into trouble! Deal with them, or I will!” Moses, who has not yet “seen” the actions of Beni Yisrael, pleads with Adonai for patience, mercy and forgiveness. [Vs. 11-13] His prayer should be a reminder of what ours should be for our nation. “Adonai, have mercy! Don’t let the enemies of this nation, who are also enemies of You, glory in our destruction. Remember the promises that you have made to this nation, and forgive us!”

But the big problem is that Moses has not yet seen the wickedness for himself. [Read 32:19-20.] Have you ever picked up the anger of your spouse toward you children? This is Moses’ reaction and response: He first makes Beni Yisrael drink the bitter waters that were later prescribed for a jealous husband, who suspected his wife of unfaithfulness. (Num. 5:11-31) Next he carries out the punishment prescribed by Adonai in (Ex. 22:19), and about 3000 men were executed that day. And finally he scolded them, and went back to Adonai to confess what Adonai had already told Moses, but Moses had not really understood until he saw it for himself. The 3000 that died should bring to our mind the 3000 that were saved, on the day of Shavuot about 1500 years later [Acts2:41].

There is recorded here an incredible heart cry of Moses [32:31-32]. This same offer is actually made by Sha’ul in [Rom 9:1-5]. And although Adonai did not accept the offer, He then told them to leave without Him (33:1-3).

The response of the people and of Moses is to mourn, and as a sign of their teshuva they removed their ornaments. So Adonai stated, “Well, wait right here while I think about it for a while.”

In [Deut. 9:7-8] we are told to “Remember, never forget, how you provoked Adonai your God to wrath in the wilderness.” There is such a tendency for us as believers to forget and remember the wrong things. In (1 Cor. 13:5) we see that we are to “keeps no account of wrong” that is done to us.  We have a bad habit of remembering the wrongs done to us, and forgetting the wrong that we have done. We are commanded by Adonai, to remember the wrongs that we have done. Remembering our own wrong doings, helps us to remember that we are saved only by Adonai’s mercy and grace. Just as it says in (Eph. 2:8-10), “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not from yourselves—it is the gift of God. It is not based on deeds, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship—created in Messiah Yeshua for good deeds, which God prepared beforehand so we might walk in them.”

[1] Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are taken from the Tree Of Life Version (TLV), 2014.