Worship for the Believer
God’s presence brings worship
Exodus 33:10 (KJV 1900)
10 And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door: and all the people rose up and worshipped, every man in his tent door.
The sin of the people of Israel was great. They made and worshipped the golden calf in the presence of God. They decorated themselves with all the material images of the bondage in Egypt, effectively renouncing God’s deliverance, God’s promises, and God’s values, and God’s sole right to be worshiped.
Exodus 32:19–20 (KJV 1900)
19 And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount. 20 And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strawed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it.
Moses returned with the commandments of God in stone tablets of stone. Upon seeing the people worshiping the calf, his anger was so great that he broke the tablets before the people. This action was symbolic of man’s constant battle with God, always challenging and breaking of the commandments of God.
Although angry, Moses did not forsake the people, but confronted the people about their sin. Moses called them to repentance based upon his advocacy for them, atonement for sin, and God’s forgiveness. This is the perfect picture of man’s relationship with God. God gives his law. Man breaks that law of God. A messenger from God calls for repentance based upon the atonement of God.
Exodus 32:30–33 (KJV 1900)
30 And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses said unto the people, Ye have sinned a great sin: and now I will go up unto the Lord; peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin. 31 And Moses returned unto the Lord, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. 32 Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin—; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written. 33 And the Lord said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.
Moses wisely pitched a tent outside of the camp, and there God chose to come with his presence. This tent outside of the camp would from this point forward represent the separation of God’s presence from His people.
Exodus 33:4–6 (KJV 1900)
4 And when the people heard these evil tidings, they mourned: and no man did put on him his ornaments. 5 For the Lord had said unto Moses, Say unto the children of Israel, Ye are a stiffnecked people: I will come up into the midst of thee in a moment, and consume thee: therefore now put off thy ornaments from thee, that I may know what to do unto thee. 6 And the children of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments by the mount Horeb.