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  • Chad Werkhoven

Exodus 24 & 32 - Broken Law

Your ability to keep God's law is shattered, so find peace with God through Christ.

Exodus 24:12 (NIV)

 The Lord said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain and stay here, and I will give you the tablets of stone with the law and commandments I have written for their instruction.”

Exodus 32:15–20 (NIV) CONTEXT: God has now given His Law to Moses, and Moses is going down the mountain back to the Israelites, who have been worshipping a golden calf.

15 Moses turned and went down the mountain with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands. They were inscribed on both sides, front and back. 16 The tablets were the work of God; the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets.

17 When Joshua heard the noise of the people shouting, he said to Moses, “There is the sound of war in the camp.”

18 Moses replied:

“It is not the sound of victory,

it is not the sound of defeat;

it is the sound of singing that I hear.”

19 When Moses approached the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, his anger burned and he threw the tablets out of his hands, breaking them to pieces at the foot of the mountain. 20 And he took the calf the people had made and burned it in the fire; then he ground it to powder, scattered it on the water and made the Israelites drink it.

Listen to passage & devotional:


Belgic Confession of Faith, Article 3: The Written Word of God

We confess that this Word of God

was not sent nor delivered by the will of men,

but that holy men of God spoke,

being moved by the Holy Spirit,

as Peter says.

Afterwards our God—

because of the special care he has

for us and our salvation—

commanded his servants,

the prophets and apostles,

to commit this revealed Word to writing.

He himself wrote

with his own finger

the two tables of the law.

Therefore we call such writings

holy and divine Scriptures.



When you enter into a significant contract, it involves reams of paperwork which contain both the stipulations for fulfilling the contract, and the reward for doing so. That is exactly what's going on as God calls Moses up the mountain. God is in the process of renewing His covenant, which is similar to a contract, with Israel, and there's paperwork to complete.

God had pronounced His covenant stipulations in a way that all of the people could hear as He thundered the ten commandments from the dark cloud. This terrified the Israelites, so they sent Moses up the mountain to represent them before their Holy God.

God Himself wrote down the requirements He had already communicated on two tablets of stone. This covenant law filled the stones, front and back. There was no room to add anything, because there was nothing more to add. It was full and complete. Nobody from that point forward would need to wonder what God's expectations for His covenant people are.

But those sacred stones never made it to God's rebellious people. It might be easy to blame Moses' famous temper for their destruction, and while Moses' temper certainly was the mechanism that caused the tablets' physical destruction, the covenant which they represented had been shattered before the stones even touched the ground when the Israelites replaced their covenant God with a metal statue.

Dig Deeper

The two tablets God had inscribed lay broken to pieces at the foot of the mountain. It would never be possible for the sons of Adam to piece back together the perfect adherence to God's covenant law that those tablets stipulated.

But the covenant itself is unbreakable, because the very God who had personally inscribed its requirements also fulfilled those requirements. But not for everyone. Those sons of Adam who send Moses up the mountain in their place - meaning people who think they can please God by just trying a bit harder - they will never be able to return the perfect 'paperwork' that God expects those He's covenanted with to sign and complete.

Last week we learned that God reveals Himself through creation, which we often misunderstand, and "more clearly and fully" through His written Word. But it's the Word made visible, His Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ, who became your perfect covenant representative, perfectly keeping the requirements God had inscribed on your behalf.

The best way for you to show your gratitude for this gift is to continue keeping these covenant laws. Paul writes, "You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts (2 Cor. 3:3)."

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our covenant God and Father, who forgives us when we shatter His laws and inscribes His law upon our hearts;

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Thank God that you are represented before Him not by Adam or Moses, but by the unblemished Lamb of God, and pray that you will gratefully live according to the law engraved upon your heart;



Read the New Testament in a year! Today: Acts 3


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