Yes, sin angers God. Sin brings destruction. But don't stop at these statements and turn away either dismissive or hopeless, there is more, much more to understanding God.
Today it may seem enlightened to believe that sin 'ain't nobody's business but my own.' The problem is, that's not true. Ultimately our sin is God's business; it's his commands that we violate (Exodus 32:8) and his consequences we must pay (Exodus 32:33-34). Again it highlights our need, our desperate need, for a Savior."
Whitney T. Kuniholm wrote this in reflecting on the passage I am focused on from the book Exodus in the Old Testament. I am currently journaling through the book titled The Essential Jesus: 100 Readings Through the Bible's Greatest Story written by Whitney T. Kuniholm. This is the seventh passage of the one hundred he has outlined in his book. I have actually finished passage 38 [038 | Kingdom without Borders] and currently focused on passage 39 but find myself stepping back and looking again at this passage.
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt. They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. They have bowed down to it and sacrificed to it and have said, 'These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.'The people of Israel, God's people, spent nearly 400 years in Egypt. They apparently learned about Egypt's gods and even worshiped them to some extent. Here we see the people worshiping like the Egyptians even creating a golden calf. You have to put all of this in proper context. God through Moses had just done some pretty amazing stuff to get them freed from slavery in Egypt. Blow your socks off miracles like the 10 Plagues and parting the Red Sea. How they could now turn back to Egyptian worship and the Egyptian gods is rather amazing to me.
"I have seen these people," the LORD said to Moses, "and they are a stiff-necked people. Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation." (Exodus 32:7-10)
You would think after all of that they would desire to worship the God who had freed them in such an incredible way, but no. They seemed to believe that the Egyptian gods had brought them out of Egypt. God was very angry that his people desired other gods and had incorrectly attributed their freedom to these Egyptian gods. God was so angry he seems ready to start all over like he did in Noah's time with the Flood. God is a jealous God and will not share the devotion of his followers with fake meaningless gods. It is personal.
God takes all sin personally. Our sin may hurt others around us, but it also hurts God. All sin is an offense against God. It angers God. Every time I reject God's authority I am digging a wider and deeper gap between myself and God. Sin separates me from God. But God is not satisfied with leaving us standing on the opposite side of a canyon. In this passage we also see a glimpse of God's plan to bridge this canyon.
The next day Moses said to the people, "You have committed a great sin. But now I will go up to the LORD; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin."Moses pleads for the people and volunteers to take the punishment in place of the Israelites. He offers his life as an atonement for the sin of the people. He is willing to give up everything to save them.
So Moses went back to the LORD and said, "Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made themselves gods of gold. But now, please forgive their sin—but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written." (Exodus 32:30-32)
But God does not take Moses up on his offer. God has another plan. Another plan far more encompassing. A plan of atonement and salvation that could only be accomplished through a perfect sacrifice. The bridge spanning the canyon between humans and God because of sin, could only be built through a perfect sacrifice of a perfect and sinless man. The very Son of God. Christ Jesus.
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