34:1 ¶ And the LORD said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest.2 And be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning unto mount Sinai, and present thyself there to me in the top of the mount. 3 And no man shall come up with thee, neither let any man be seen throughout all the mount; neither let the flocks nor herds feed before that mount. 4 And he hewed two tables of stone like unto the first; and Moses rose up early in the morning, and went up unto mount Sinai, as the LORD had commanded him, and took in his hand the two tables of stone.
God will repeat the writing of the commandments on two tables of stone. Moses was to come up early and alone to the summit of Mount Sinai to receive those tables of stone. Everyone else was to stay away from the base of the mountain and no one was to come on the mountain except Moses. Moses is told to be ready in the morning. There is something to be considered about the morning. Will the church be called out, translated in Biblical terms or raptured in popular parlance, in the morning? Do a word search on the morning. Here are two prominent examples.
Psalm 30:5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
Psalm 130:6 My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.
34:5 ¶ And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. 6 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, 7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. 8 And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped. 9 And he said, If now I have found grace in thy sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray thee, go among us; for it is a stiffnecked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for thine inheritance.
Jehovah God descends in a cloud and stands with Moses on Mount Sinai. He declares His intentions, His attributes, including His mercy. What He declares for the Israelites in this circumstance is important for us to realize. Verse 7 is a statement of reality in a world under judgment, not a command for the Hebrews to perform. Note the following;
Micah 7:18 Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.
Deuteronomy 24:16 The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.
There have been heathen cultures in history that punished entire clans for the crimes of one person and executed entire families for the sins of one of their members. An analysis of those cultures in history is not necessary here but it is not what God had in mind.
But in our reality, in a world under judgment, the sins committed by one generation have a ripple effect on future generations. It became fashionable, for instance, in 1960s America for people to cohabit without any commitment for life, making something that God had given us, sexual union with a mate, something no more significant than relieving oneself by the side of the road. Then, in the next generation there was a great increase in illegitimacy, abandoned children, and a demand for legal abortions which became a constitutional right in 1973 with Roe versus Wade. This was compounded in the next generation. By the 1990s there were millions of children living in poverty in single parent homes, often but not always due to choices made casually without consideration for future generations, and up to now, since 1973, more than 50 million babies have been executed before they could see the light of day. Truly, iniquity is visited on the third and fourth generations. Society is less stable than it could be and people are far more dependent upon government programs for help than they would have been if they had not bathed in this iniquity. Men, women, and children suffer untold psychological problems and are consigned to economic struggle because of these choices, in desperate need of the mind to appeal to God’s mercy, acknowledging Him as their sovereign and Lord in obedience. Of course, the trouble today is that we do not repent of sin so much as we try to justify it or make it not such a big deal further making the consequences for the guilty and the innocent worse.
Every time a so-called conservative Christian commits fornication with a live-in partner or even just a “significant other” with whom they have not made a life-long commitment they run the risk of bringing damage on the next few generations. It is simply the way life is, the lasting consequence of sin. Many a Christian has started a family in iniquity and suffered horribly because although God would forgive their sin they do not even seek repentance in their heart for it. You cannot start a family on the wrong note, refuse to repent in your heart of your sin against God and innocent children, and expect everything to turn out well.
Who are you to declare your sin as no big deal and demand that God forgive you and bless you without repentance? I wonder how many Christian men have married Christian women to “make it right” and yet never repented of the sin they were making it right for and yet expected God to remove any issues from their path to a happy, fulfilled future with their family.
Here in verse 8 is a physical act of worship.
Genesis 42:6 And Joseph was the governor over the land, and he it was that sold to all the people of the land: and Joseph’s brethren came, and bowed down themselves before him with their faces to the earth.
Bowing oneself to the earth is one of the postures of reverence and worship.
Sometimes people bow their head to worship God.
Genesis 24:26 And the man bowed down his head, and worshipped the LORD.
Sometimes to the earth.
Genesis 24:52 And it came to pass, that, when Abraham’s servant heard their words, he worshipped the LORD, bowing himself to the earth.
Even falling down and grabbing the feet of the person worshipped.
Matthew 28:9 And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.
Sometimes they kneeled.
Psalm 95:6 O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.
So, it is that there are different postures of acknowledging someone as superior. We Americans are taught to bow to no one as superior so we have a hard time acknowledging God’s power over our lives in a real, tangible way. Americans lack the awe for anything other than something like a fireworks display or a huge bomb going off. Our shallowness of culture does get in the way of our understanding of who God is and of His power over our lives. The weakness of other cultures was that for centuries they acknowledged a king, tsar, or emperor as being God’s agent on earth and were in fear and awe of him but still not seeing, because of the propaganda their government controlled them with, that it was God who controlled every heartbeat and breath and God, not their king, who could save or destroy in an instant. Only God is worthy of our awe and reverence, our worship.
Psalm 33:8 Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.
Hebrews 12:28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
The brothers in Genesis 42:6 came to the Egyptian official, mightiest in the land under the Pharaoh himself, their brother Joseph whom they did not recognize, to plead for food to buy. They were showing their inferior position and his power over their lives. This is a beautiful image of how we should come to Christ. Let Him lift us up.
James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
1Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
Moses worships the Lord and pleads for his people, acting as a mediator between God and man as a type of Christ.