St. Mark’s Adult Education Meeting Summary
A General Overview of the Old Testament
A Discussion led by The Rev. Mike Kreutzer
Sunday, March 28, 2010
The Old Testament — Exodus: Chapters 32 – end
Moses is still on Mt. Sinai when we find the Israelites asking Aaron to make them a representation of Yahweh. Forget about Moses! So Aaron asked the people to give him their gold jewelry and he melted it down into a gold calf. The people responded and made sacrifices and reveled in the streets.
Upon finding this out, God was angry and told Moses “Your people” turned against me! I will destroy them and only from you will there be a multitude of descendents. However, Moses now argues with God and asks him why does he show wrath against “your people!” What will the Egyptians say if you kill them! Remember your promise to Abraham and his descendents.
So God changed his mind! Moses proceeded down the mountain with two tablets that were written by the hand of God. When Moses saw the golden calf idols and the people dancing he became furious and threw down the tablets and smashed them! The then went to the golden calf and also completely destroyed it.
Next he faced his brother Aaron who denied any wrongdoing. He claimed that the evil people gave him the gold and when he threw it in the fire, out came the golden calf! Moses then questions the Israelites and asks who is on the Lord’s side? Only those from the tribe of Levi responded. Then Moses commanded that the sons of Levi take up their swords and kill 3,000 of their fellow Israelites as punishment. The survivors will then return to the Lord. Then Moses pleads with the Lord to go with them, which he finally agrees to, but sent a plague to punish them. The Israelites then took off all of their ornaments after seeing and hearing God’s wrath.
After God informed Moses that he would go with them, he also told Moses that he shall never see his face, only his back. He then told Moses to make two new tablets and he will write the same commandments on them as on the tablets that he broke. Then God gives a self-description of how merciful and forgiving he is and how he lives up to his covenant. “I will make a covenant the people will see the work of the Lord.” The chapter then concludes with descriptions of the laws and procedures that he wants the Israelites to follow. Finally in the last paragraph, it describes how the cloud came over the tabernacle and how the Israelites could only move on to the next leg of their journey when the cloud is lifted.