Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 3 * BOOK 8
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS AND THE TABERNACLE
Let’s get right back into The Book for this lesson. Please turn with me to Exodus 32. Last week we saw that God began giving the instructions to Moses, while he was on the mountain the first time. And while he was gone, what happened? Israel got impatient, because he was gone 40 days; and coming out of Egypt, they were just saturated with idolatry. So with Moses gone they asked for a god. It is hard for us to comprehend, and we easily condemn the Jews. But you know what I always say? “Human nature is no different today than it was then.” I have maintained as long as I’ve been teaching, that if Christ were to come on the scene today as He did then, the human race would do the same thing. They would reject him. So, as soon as Moses is out of sight for a period of time, they get impatient as we see in verse 1.
“And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, `Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot (know) not what is become of him.'”
I saw a clip on television the other night, and I think you know that I’m very slow to point an accusing finger at anyone. But again it was a clip on some of these New Agers on the mountainside at someplace, worshiping the sun, and whatever. And I thought how in the world can people of this enlightened day, so called intellectuals, fall for such garbage. But they do. And here was Israel. God, as I have stressed the past few weeks, has done some very miraculous things while bringing them from Egypt to Mount Sinai. And don’t lose sight of the fact that cloud and pillar of fire is still over them. Everyday there He is. They could not escape His presence.
But now just as soon as Moses is gone, they come to Aaron and say “Make us gods” and Aaron doesn’t even argue. This is the thing that amazes me. You would have thought that a mature individual like Aaron would say “No, wait a minute, people, Moses is coming back down.” But what does Aaron say? “Well, take off your jewelry, and bring me all your gold, and we will make you a god.” And remember he tells Moses later, that they throw this gold into the fire, and out comes this calf, like he had nothing to do with it.
“And Aaron said unto them, `Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me.’ And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, `These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.’ And when Aaron saw it, he (Aaron) built and altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, `To morrow is a feast to the LORD.'”
Can you imagine a man like Aaron saying something like that. Was that a feast to Jehovah? Why no. It was a pagan feast. And it was copied right after one of the gods of Egypt which was apsis (I think is the name of that god, the golden calf). And all that they are doing now is not a worship to Jehovah, but to this adulterous, pagan god. Now verse 6:
“And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.”
I have always been very careful on this television program, because I know we have a lot of kids watching also, and that is another encouragement, when parents tell us that their-ten-year old kids are learning so much. So I don’t want to get to explicit. But I think everyone including these kids, have seen the movie the Ten Commandments. The first time I saw it, (and that time I didn’t know the Scriptures as well as I do now) but I thought, isn’t that typical of Hollywood, to have these women out there, skimpy dress appearance putting on those seductive dances. I thought that had to be strictly the thoughts of Hollywood. But it wasn’t. You see the words here in the Hebrew “rose up to play” was that they actually were naked. And they put on these seductive dances. Now those of you who have been in my classes over the years have heard me say over and over again that paganism and idolatry was always steeped in the most abject immorality that we can imagine. That was part of their worship. They had brought all of this right out of Egypt. The Israelites of all people. Now in verse 15 we find Moses and Joshua coming down out of the mountains.
“And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables (The Ten Commandments) of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written. And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables.”
Evidently, Joshua accompanied Moses up part way on the mountain, as I feel Moses was alone with God at the top and gave the instructions to build the Tabernacle, and gave him the law. But now Moses and Joshua pick up their companionship as they come down the mountain.
“And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses, `There is a noise of war in the camp.’ And he said, `It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery (that is not a victorious army we are hearing), neither is it the voice of them that cry for being over-come (or being overrun by an army): but the noise of them that sing do I hear.’ And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing (and again in the Hebrew it was seductive dancing): and Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount. 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.”
Now, here is another amazing thing, that the Bible never contradicts science. For years the scoffers would say, “Whoever heard of such a thing, as putting gold into solution.” But those of you who had arthritic friends years back, one of their prime cures was gold shots. They would actually put gold into solution and gold shots were given to relieve the pain of arthritis. So you see the Bible was chemically correct way back then.
“And Aaron said, `Let not the anger of my lord wax hot: thou knowest the people (you bet he knew them. He was disgusted more than once with them.), that they are set on mischief.’ For they (now watch this) said unto me, `Make us gods, which shall go before us: for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot (know) not what is become of him.’ And I said unto them, `Whosoever hath any gold, let them break it off. So they gave it me: then I cast it into the fire, and there came out this calf.'”
Now, isn’t that amazing? This is a grown man, but to me it sounds like my little four-year-old grandson. He might say something like that. He would say “Grandpa, I just did such and such and this is what happened.” But here we have this grown, mature, man Aaron trying to fool Moses, but more than that, who does he think he is fooling? God! As if God didn’t know that he was the one who fashioned it. He was the one who went up to the altar to worship it. Now, I want to make an analogy. And I’m a friend of preachers. Some of my dearest friends have been some of my pastors. In fact, in the last month, my wife Iris and I got back up to our old home area of Northern Iowa, and Southern Minnesota, and it was a centennial of my old home town. And so we saw everybody all the way back when I was just a kid. Among them was an old pastor who got me started teaching. He was the one who literally twisted my arm and got me to teach a class of high school boys. And it was just a thrill to see him. So when I say some of these things, don’t think that I don’t have a kinship with pastors. But, on the other hand, we’ve got to say things like they are.
A long time ago while I was in the service, I was driving across Texas with my radio on, and I heard a great old Southern Baptist preacher who has since passed on. I’m not sure of his name, but I will never forget a statement that he made in that sermon I heard on the radio that day. He said “When I was a little boy growing up in the tall pine trees of the Carolina’s, I always noticed that the trees that die, started dying at the top first.” What was he driving at? He was castigating his own denomination for the departure from the truth that was taking place, already in the higher echelon of the denomination. They are not alone, every denomination takes that track. Their leadership is what begins the slide. We see this over and over in Christendom, and again it is nothing new. Here is this man Aaron; he should have been the man that stood in the gap, while Moses was on the mountain. Instead he gives in to the demands of the people.
I just thank the Lord for the role he has given me. I love people and I like to get as many people at my class as I can, but I’m not beholding to anyone. My income doesn’t depend on trying to keep people happy out there in the pew. But there are many preachers up against that very thing. They have to keep everybody content or the money doesn’t come in. And the first thing you know, he is gone and out of an income. I thank the Lord I don’t have that worry. As long as those old cows have a calf or two, I’m going to survive. I can teach the Book and not have to compromise, and I can’t thank the Lord enough for the ability he has given me.
“And when Moses saw that the people were (what?) naked;….”
I’m reminded of a sermon I heard, and it might have been from that same old pastor we were telling about a while ago. He was also a Bible teacher as well as a good preacher. He was talking one time about the maniac in the New Testament, the Gadarenes, out of whom Jesus cast legions of demons. And he made the point, and analogy and I will never forget it.“When they saw that man filled with his demons, what was he? Naked. As soon as Jesus came into that man’s life, and cast out the demons, what was the first thing that man did? He put on his clothes.” And that hasn’t changed either. Go back to the last lesson. Everything that God said thou shalt not do. What does the old devil say? Just the opposite. God has instructed us how to clothe our body, but what does Satan do? Tells us to take them off. It is so obvious. Well anyway, they were dancing naked around this golden calf. A perfect example of the idolatry out of which they had come.
“Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, `Who is on the LORD’S side?….'”
Which of you are going to mean business with our God? He puts them up against it doesn’t he? Now, God moves in and He brings on a plague, because of their gross immorality. I’m not an old prude, but I’ll tell you what. I know what God expects of the human race. God has not changed one bit from Genesis 1 till today. He has not and will not change. What God hated back here, He hates today. We are all being programmed. My wife and I were talking about it on the road up here today. Some of the lyrics that she has heard in the last few days, that our little kids, and my grandchildren now are being subjected to. It’s frightening. And these people are just literally scoffing at everything that God has ever instructed for the human race. Immorality is something that is taken for granted. After all, everyone is doing it. Isn’t that the ideal. But God hated it then, and He has hated it ever since. So He brings a plague on them. Now verse 2:
“And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.”
In other words, they went out and put to death all of those they knew were guilty. Now those three thousand men did not count the women, these are just the men, for that is way the Scripture usually counts. Let’s go to I Corinthians 10, And here is where the scoffers come into the picture, and say “See the Bible just contradicts itself – all the time.” The real scoffer does not know his Bible. Here Paul is making reference to this very event around the golden calf, and God’s anger against the children of Israel, and His punishment of them:
I Corinthians 10:8
“Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.”
Now, this is where the scoffer jumps on that. They say “In Exodus it reads three thousand and here twenty three thousand.” Let’s go back to Exodus and I will explain that. Exodus again where we just left off in the 32d Chapter. Moses now intercedes on behalf of the people and in verse 30 we read:
“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 (or covering) for your sin.’ And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, `Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have make them gods of gold. Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin-;(do you see that dash at the end of sin? Moses could not imagine, how God would forgive such gross sin. So the sentence is not even finished – and Moses says continuing on) and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.’ And the LORD said unto Moses, `Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book. Therefore now go, lead the people unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee: behold, mine Angel shall go before thee: nevertheless in the day when I visit I will visit their sin upon them.’ And the LORD plagued (how many died here from the plague?) the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron made.”
In that one verse, what do you pick up? Three thousand are listed up here earlier being killed by Levi swords. And the twenty thousand that is seeming a contradiction are the people that the Lord plagued. And the apostle Paul fills in the blanks in Corinthians, by saying, “That it was twenty three thousand, rather than just three thousand.” Now, I would like to go on over to Chapter 35, We are moving as fast as we can; I know so many of you are wanting us to teach prophecy, and yet I don’t want to skip too much that we lose the flow here, as we come up through the Book of Exodus. Moses has now come down with the second set of the tables of law. And the Sabbath day is renewed again, and Israel is reminded of it.
“And Moses spake unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, `This is the thing which the LORD commanded,’ saying, `Take ye from among you an offering unto the LORD: Whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the LORD; gold, and silver, and brass, And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats’ hair And rams’ skins dyed red, and badgers’ skins, and shittim wood, and oil for the light, and spices for anointing oil, and for the sweet incense,”
“And onyx stones, and stones to be set for the ephod, and for the breastplate. And every wise hearted among you shall come, and make all that the LORD hath commanded; The tabernacle, his tent, and his covering, his taches, and his boards, his bars, his pillars, and his sockets, The ark, and the staves thereof, with the mercy seat, and the vail of the covering, The table, and his staves, and all his vessels, and the shewbread, the candlestick also for the light, and his furniture, and his lamps, with the oil for the light, And the incense altar, and his staves. and the anointing oil, and the sweet incense, and the hanging for the door at the entering in of the tabernacle,”
“The altar of burnt offering, with his brasen grate, his staves, and all his vessels, the laver and his foot, The hangings of the court, his pillars and their sockets, and the hanging for the door of the court, The pins of the tabernacle, and the pins of the court, and their cords, The cloths of service, to do service in the holy place, the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments of his sons, to minister in the priest’s office. And all the congregation of the children of Israel departed from the presence of Moses.”
Now don’t lose sight of what has just happened with the horrible events around that golden calf. But God has cleansed Israel, the remainder now have come to a place once again of fellowship, and they have been forgiven.
“And they came, both men and women, as many as were willing hearted, and brought bracelets, and earrings, and rings, and tablets, all jewels of gold:…. And every man, with whom was found blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats’ hair, and red skins of rams,…. Every one that did offer an offering…. And all the women (He is not going to leave them out) that were wise hearted did spin with their hands,….
A lot of people get the idea that God is a little bit partial toward men, especially in the Old Testament. Maybe in some areas he was. But God still used the women, and even in our New Testament, in the Age of Grace. I can remember back when the feminist movement first began, that they tried to get the Bible out of our universities, they did not want a single copy left, and when they were asked by a reporter why they felt that way, their reply was, because of the Letters of the Apostle Paul. If they could just get Paul out of the Bible they could probably stomach it.
But I come back and say look, anybody who has read that last Chapter of the Book of Romans could never accuse Paul as being anti-feminist. You go through that Chapter and he names woman after woman who were part and parcel of his ministry. Who helped him in the ministry. The Bible is not anti-feminist. In fact, if you stopped to think about it, do you know what was the greatest feminist movement that ever hit the human race? Christianity. Now among most of your pagan people, yes, a woman is still a second class citizen. Even in our Middle East today, a woman just does not have the same rights and privileges like we in the western world have. But the women here are putting their spinning wheels and needles to work. Now verse 30.
“And Moses said unto the children of Israel, `See, the LORD hath called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; And he hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge (In spiritual things? No – in what?), and in all manner of workmanship;'”
Do you think that God is not concerned with your daily life. Absolutely He is. Twenty-four hours a day He is concerned with every fact of your life. Some people think, we can’t bother God with material things. All He is interested in is the spiritual. Don’t you believe it. God is interested in everything in our lives, physical, material, as well as spiritual.
“And to devise curious works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass,” Now, verse 35 and this just puts the frosting on the cake. All of these He has set aside to be craftsmen:
“Them hath he filled with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of work, of the engraver, and of the cunning workman, and of the embroiderer, in blue, and in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen, and of the weaver, even of them that do any work, and of those that devise cunning work.”
These are all basic trades of craftsmanship works.