Just got back from camp. I have yet to get my pictures downloaded but I will try to put up a few later on…
I have just been reading some about the Israelites failure at Mt. Sinai. They grew impatient with Moses and chose to melt down their jewelry to form a god. Though they still called this god, Jehovah, it was a reversion back to a form of worship they they would have been accustomed to in Egypt. I think it is interesting that Jehovah did later give them something legitimate to melt their jewelry into and that the Israelites gave so whole heartedly that Moses had to ask the people to stop giving. But this story of failure comes first.
Moses, as a mediator, pleads to take the punishment for the sin of the people…
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.” The LORD replied to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me I will blot out of my book.
Moses asks to have his name blotted from ‘the book’. Rob and I were talking about it the other day as to what was meant by ‘the book’? This is the first reference in the Bible to a book in God’s possession.
Keil & Delitzsch have some helpful insight,
This expression founded upon the custom of writing the names of the burgesses of a town or country in a burgess-list, whereby they are recognized as natives of the country, or citizens of the city, and all the privileges of citizenship are secured to them. The book of life contains the list of the righteous and ensures to those whose names are written there, life before God, first in the earthly kingdom of God and then eternal life also, according to the knowledge of salvation, which keeps pace with the progress of divine revelation, e.g., in the New Testament, where the heirs of eternal life are found written in the book of life (Phil. 4:3; Rev. 3:5; 13:8, etc.)… an advance for which the way was already prepared by Isa. 4:3 and Dan. 12:1. To blot out of Jehovah’s book, therefore, is to cut off from fellowship with the living God, or from the kingdom of those who live before God, and to deliver over to death.
Moses request that God would blot his name from the book of the living is similar to the Apostle Paul’s pleading in Romans 9:3. Paul wishes that he might be accursed from Christ for the sake of his brothers.
I can’t think of making such a prayer and really meaning it. K&D put it well again,
It is not easy to estimate the measure of love in a Moses and a Paul; for the narrow boundary of our reasoning powers does not comprehend it, as the little child is unable to comprehend the courage of warlike heroes. Bengel as quoted by Keil and Delitzsh
These men truly and deeply cared for the people that God had placed under them. But it was Jesus who did became a ‘curse for us’. This love is truly incomprehensible but then, how much do I really consider it? Paul says that to know the love of Christ is to be filled to be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge– that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:17-21