Over the past couple days I have been thinking about something I have truly never considered before. Why did Moses break the tablets that contained the Ten Commandments in Exodus 32? Bear with me for a minute and let me walk you through the steps, and my thoughts.
God gives Moses the Ten Commandment, the punishment for breaking the commandments and the plans for the tabernacle in Exodus 20-31. In chapter 32 God tells Moses to get down off the mountain because the people were sinning and God was angry. Moses comes off the mountain, sees them dancing around the golden calf and breaks the two stone tablets God gave him.
I guess I have always assumed that Moses broke the tablets because he was angry. Some people say that he broke them to symbolize that the children of Israel had already broken the laws on the tablets, but what if it was more than that?
I wonder if Moses knew that if he carried those tablets into the camp the people would immediately be responsible for breaking them and God would have killed all of them on the spot. Therefore he breaks the tablets before he goes into the camp so that they are not responsible for what is written on them.
At the least this is a wonderful picture of Christ. According to Exodus 32 & 33 God becomes angry and says that He is going to kill the people for their sins. When God does this, Moses, their savior from Egypt, goes to God and says "If you are going to kill them kill me too." Moses begs God for forgiveness over the next few chapters, and finally God, for Moses' sake makes a covenant not to kill these people in chapter 34.
Now Moses goes off the mountain for the second time and the bible says his face was shining. (It wasn't shining the first time.) Therefore there must be a difference between the first and second giving of the Law. The difference was that this time Moses not only had the two tablets, but he also had a covenant of mercy.
Here is the picture. I am a sinner and guilty of breaking the Laws of God. In all reality I should pay the price for my wrongs, and pay with my life. While I am guilty and deserve the punishment, Jesus Christ, my savior, took my place. Moses said, “God if you are going to kill them then kill me too.” Jesus said, “God he deserves to die, but take me instead.”
With the plea of mercy made, God made a covenant with Moses not to kill the people. On the cross a covenant was made between God the Father and God the Son. Jesus died in my place, “the just for the unjust.”
When Moses learned of the mercy of God the bible says that his face shone with the glory of God. He had been in God’s presence, seen God’s glory and received God’s mercy and it showed on his face. I wonder how many Christians today have the glory of God shining in their lives. It will take being in His presence, seeing His glory and receiving His mercy, but we can do it.
No wonder the children sing, “If you’re happy and you know it then your face will surely show it.”
I'm on twitter @drjoshuasharp
I'm on twitter @drjoshuasharp