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Date:         Tue, 5 Mar 1996 10:00:49 +-100
Reply-To: Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel
Sender: Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel
From: Teus Benschop 
Subject:      ChrExp, The Scriptures opened, 73
To: Multiple recipients of list CHR-EXP 

1. Exodus 32     - The golden calf
2. 1 Peter 3:1-6 - Advice for women

1.  Exodus 32 - The golden calf

Weekly reading: Exodus 30:11 - 34:35

Exodus 32.

1  And  when the people saw  that
Moses delayed to come down out of  They  saw  that Moses  delayed  to
the  mount,  the people  gathered  come   back,  and  therefore  they
themselves  together unto  Aaron,  wished  to have gods going  before
and  said unto him, Up,  make  us  them. Didn't they know then,  that
gods,  which shall go before  us;  not  Moses  was their leader,  but
for  as  for this Moses, the  man  God  Himself, the LORD? Were  they
that  brought us up  out  of  the  so  blinded that they looked  upon
land of Egypt, we wot not what is  Moses  as if he were their leader?
become of him.                     And  because  Moses delayed,  they
                                   wished  to  have other gods  going
                                   before  them.  We  see  that  they
                                   looked  upon a man, and  not  upon
                                   God.   They  trusted  Moses,   but
                                   could  not lift up their  eyes  to
                                   the God of heaven and earth.
2 And Aaron said unto them, Break
off  the  golden earrings,  which  How  is  it  possible  that  Aaron
are in the ears of your wives, of  yields  to the people's idolatrous
your sons, and of your daughters,  wish!  But it might be that  Aaron
and bring them unto me.            meant  that they rather kept their
                                   proud  finery then that they broke
                                   it  off  to make a calf of it.  So
                                   he  dared  not resist  the  people
                                   openly,  and  therefore  tried  it
                                   with   some  policy.  Let's  learn
                                   from  this,  that  policy  has  no
                                   place  in  the  service  of   God,
                                   because  then  the  end  will   be
3  And  all the people brake  off
the golden earrings which were in  Aaron  was  mistaken.  They  chose
their ears, and brought them unto  rather  to have the calf  then  to
Aaron.                             be adorned.
4  And  he received them at their
hand,  and  fashioned it  with  a  Aaron  made  a  molten  calf  from
graving  tool, after he had  made  their  golden earrings. In  Egypt,
it  a molten calf: and they said,  the  idol  Apis was worshipped  in
These  be  thy  gods,  O  Israel,  the   form  of  a  calf.  So,  the
which brought thee up out of  the  Israelites  seem  to   have   aped
land of Egypt.                     this.  After this was done,  Aaron
                                   said  that  the calf was  Israel's
                                   god.   He  changes  the  spiritual
                                   God,  dwelling in heaven,  Creator
                                   of  both heaven and earth, and  of
                                   the  whole universe, with  a  calf
                                   of   gold.  Aaron,  you  introduce
                                   idolatry!  You are the first!  Are
                                   you  a  priest of the living  God,
                                   or   are  you  a  servant  of  the
                                   adversary? How dare you  lead  the
                                   people astray!
5 And when Aaron saw it, he built
an  altar  before it;  and  Aaron  "Tomorrow  is  a  feast   to   the
made  proclamation, and said,  To  LORD",  says  Aaron. He  tries  to
morrow is a feast to the LORD.     mix  the worship of the calf  with
                                   the   spiritual  worship  of   the
6  And they rose up early on  the
morrow,    and   offered    burnt  They  offered offerings, and then,
offerings,   and  brought   peace  after  the  Egyptian custom,  they
offerings;  and  the  people  sat  ate  and  drunk, and  rose  up  to
down  to  eat and to  drink,  and  play.   Does  then  God's  worship
rose up to play.                   consist  in  playing?  How  misled
                                   were they!
7  And  the LORD said unto Moses,  This  is the real truth! Any self-
Go,   get  thee  down;  for   thy  made  worship  is condemned  here:
people, which thou broughtest out  "they  have corrupted themselves".
of   the  land  of  Egypt,   have  Aaron meant to serve both God  and
corrupted themselves:              the  people, but he has  corrupted
                                   both himself and the people.
                                   Note   also  that  Israel  is   no
                                   longer called "God's people",  but
                                   Moses'  people. God does  not  say
                                   "My  people",  but  "thy  people".
                                   God  hereby rejects Israel as  His
                                   people.   "They  are   no   longer
                                   Mine",  He  says,  "because   they
                                   have made other gods".
8  They have turned aside quickly
out  of the way which I commanded  In  the  law, given at Sinai,  God
them:  they  have  made  them   a  clearly had said that they  should
molten  calf, and have worshipped  make  no  graven  image.  And   no
it,     and    have    sacrificed  sooner  they have heard  the  law,
thereunto, and said, These be thy  they   make  that  same  forbidden
gods,   O   Israel,  which   have  image. Have they been deaf then?
brought  thee up out of the  land
of Egypt.
9 And the LORD said unto Moses, I
have   seen  this  people,   and,  As  the  LORD always speaks truth,
behold,   it   is  a  stiffnecked  so   also  here:  Israel   is   "a
people:                            stiffnecked  people". They  refuse
                                   to observe the law.
10  Now  therefore let me  alone,
that my wrath may wax hot against  The  LORD is preparing Himself  to
them,  and  that  I  may  consume  consume  Israel. He says, "let  Me
them:  and I will make of thee  a  alone",  that I may consume  them.
great nation.                      So,  as  long  as Moses  is  still
                                   with   God,   He   will   restrain
                                   Himself,  but  as  soon  as  Moses
                                   will  have  gone  away,  God  will
                                   consume Israel.
11  And  Moses besought the  LORD
his God, and said, LORD, why doth  Moses  is  the  defender  for  the
thy  wrath  wax hot  against  thy  people.  He prays for their  well-
people,  which thou hast  brought  being,  that they may  be  spared,
forth  out of the land  of  Egypt  and  not  be consumed.  His  first
with  great  power,  and  with  a  argument is, that Israel is  God's
mighty hand?                       people,  and  that He has  brought
                                   them  of  Egypt,  with  might  and
12 Wherefore should the Egyptians
speak, and say, For mischief  did  The  second argument of Moses  is,
he  bring them out, to slay  them  that    God's   Name    will    be
in  the mountains, and to consume  dishonoured  among the  Egyptians.
them  from the face of the earth?  When  God  should consume  Israel,
Turn  from thy fierce wrath,  and  then   the  Egyptians  will  think
repent  of this evil against  thy  that  God was unable to bring them
people.                            in  Canaan,  and therefore  killed
13  Remember Abraham, Isaac,  and
Israel,  thy  servants,  to  whom  The  third  argument of  Moses  is
thou  swarest by thine own  self,  the  oath of God to Abraham, Isaac
and  saidst  unto  them,  I  will  and  Jacob. Moses does  not  plead
multiply  your seed as the  stars  on  anything  good in the  present
of heaven, and all this land that  people,  but he pleads on the  old
I have spoken of will I give unto  promise  given to the forefathers.
your seed, and they shall inherit  So,   it  is  not  thanks  to  the
it for ever.                       present people, that they will  be
                                   spared, but thanks to the oath  of
14  And the LORD repented of  the
evil  which he thought to do unto  The  LORD  thought to consume  the
his people.                        entire  people, but  after  Moses'
                                   plea He repented. That is, He  was
                                   contented with the death  of  3000
                                   instead  of the whole people  (see
                                   Exod.   32:28).  See  herein   the
                                   undeserved  grace  of  our   Lord.
                                   They  had  transgressed  and  done
                                   evil  in His sight, but He forgave
                                   the   sins   of  multitudes,   and
                                   repented  of  the  evil  which  He
                                   thought to do unto them.
15  And  Moses turned,  and  went
down from the mount, and the  two  Moses  has  in  his hand  the  two
tables  of the testimony were  in  tables   of   stone.   One   table
his hand: the tables were written  contains  the commandment  not  to
on  both their sides; on the  one  make graven images of God.
side  and on the other were  they
16  And the tables were the  work
of  God, and the writing was  the
writing  of God, graven upon  the
17  And  when  Joshua  heard  the
noise  of  the  people  as   they  It  was  written that  the  people
shouted,  he  said  unto   Moses,  "sat  down  to eat and  to  drink,
There  is a noise of war  in  the  and  rose  up to play".  And  now,
camp.                              hear  what  their  playing  means:
                                   Even  on  the mount, Joshua  heard
                                   the  noise of the people  as  they
                                   shouted.    Their   playing    was
                                   accompanied by so much  noise  and
                                   shout, that you could hear  it  on
                                   the  mount.  Is this  a  spiritual
                                   worship  of  the  LORD?   Is   God
                                   worshipped  by  eating,  drinking,
                                   playing, noise and shouting?  Look
                                   how  carnal  the people  were,  to
                                   pervert  the holy worship  of  God
                                   into a carnal feast.
18  And  he said, It is  not  the
voice  of  them  that  shout  for  It  is  not  the noise of  war  or
mastery, neither is it the  voice  evil,  but  it  is  the  noise  of
of   them  that  cry  for   being  their   carnal  feast  (which   is
overcome: but the noise  of  them  worse then war).
that sing do I hear.
19  And it came to pass, as  soon
as  he  came nigh unto the  camp,  No  wonder  that  Moses  cast  the
that  he  saw the calf,  and  the  tables  on  the ground, that  they
dancing:  and Moses' anger  waxed  brake.  Even  before  Moses  brake
hot,  and he cast the tables  out  them,   the  people  had   already
of  his  hands,  and  brake  them  broken   these   commandments   by
beneath the mount.                 their  calf and their carnal feast
                                   with dancing and shouting.
20  And  he  took the calf  which
they  had made, and burnt  it  in  He   takes   the  right  measures:
the   fire,  and  ground  it   to  burning  the calf. All idols  will
powder,  and strawed it upon  the  be  burnt, because they are  dead,
water,  and made the children  of  take   away   God's  honour,   and
Israel drink of it.                deserve  the  fire.  He  made  the
                                   children   of  Israel  drink   the
                                   powder of their god, so that  they
                                   understood  that  their  god   was
                                   dead and drinkable.
21  And  Moses said  unto  Aaron,
What  did this people unto  thee,  When  the  idol is removed,  Moses
that thou hast brought so great a  is  going  to  inquire  about  the
sin upon them?                     causes  of  this  great  sin.   We
                                   learn from this to remove the  sin
                                   first,  and afterwards to  inquire
                                   about  the  causes; not the  other
                                   way around.
22  And  Aaron said, Let not  the
anger  of  my lord wax hot:  thou  Though  it is true that Israel  is
knowest the people, that they are  set  on mischief, yet Aaron cannot
set on mischief.                   hide himself under this cloak.
23 For they said unto me, Make us
gods,  which shall go before  us:  This  is  true. The  people  asked
for  as  for this Moses, the  man  for gods instead of Moses.
that  brought us up  out  of  the
land of Egypt, we wot not what is
become of him.
24   And   I   said  unto   them,
Whosoever hath any gold, let them  Aaron,  did you cast it  into  the
break it off. So they gave it me:  fire,  and  that  calf  came  out?
then I cast it into the fire, and  Aaron,  you  again  hide  yourself
there came out this calf.          under  lies, because this  is  not
                                   true;  at least it is but  a  half
                                   truth. You didn't throw gold  into
                                   the  fire,  and  the  calf  itself
                                   came  out.  But  you  have  toiled
                                   much  to make a calf as well-built
                                   as possible.
25  And  when Moses saw that  the
people were naked; (for Aaron had  The  people were naked. They  were
made  them naked unto their shame  without  ornaments,  but  what  is
among their enemies:)              worse, they also were without  the
                                   protection   of  God.   They   had
                                   rejected  God,  and therefore  had
                                   lost  also His protection. By  his
                                   making  the calf, Aaron had  naked
                                   the  people, that they might  fall
                                   before their enemies.
26  Then Moses stood in the  gate
of  the camp, and said, Who is on  The  sons  of  Levi  were  on  the
the  LORD'S  side? let  him  come  LORD'S   side.   They   had    not
unto me. And all the sons of Levi  participated  in the idolatry  and
gathered themselves together unto  that  carnal feast. At least, most
him.                               of    the    Levites    had    not
                                   participated in it.  Of  Aaron,  a
                                   Levite,  we know that he also  had
27  And  he said unto them,  Thus
saith the LORD God of Israel, Put  The   Levites  are  commanded   to
every  man his sword by his side,  "slay  every man his brother,  and
and  go  in and out from gate  to  every   man  his  companion,   and
gate  throughout  the  camp,  and  every man his neighbour". You  see
slay  every man his brother,  and  that  the  honour of God  is  more
every  man  his  companion,   and  important  than the life  of  your
every man his neighbour.           sinful   neighbour,   brother   or
28  And the children of Levi  did
according  to the word of  Moses:  The   Levites   suppressed   their
and there fell of the people that  natural   affections   for   their
day about three thousand men.      brothers,  and killed about  three
                                   thousand  of  them.  Obedience  of
                                   God,  that is more important  then
                                   own   affections.  Let  us  subdue
                                   ourselves  to  God, and  willingly
                                   execute His orders.
29 For Moses had said, Consecrate
yourselves  to day to  the  LORD,  Why  were  the Levites so obedient
even every man upon his son,  and  to  God,  that they chose to  kill
upon  his  brother; that  he  may  their  sons  and brothers  in  the
bestow  upon you a blessing  this  case   they   also   had   sinned?
day.                               Because  Moses  had promised  them
                                   the  blessing of the LORD  in  the
                                   case  of  their obedience. Justice
                                   and  punishing  the  evildoers  is
                                   the  will  of God. He delights  in
                                   that.  We should learn to  do  His
                                   will  always and ever,  no  matter
                                   what  the  people might  think  of
30  And  it came to pass  on  the
morrow, that Moses said unto  the  Moses  said the people  that  they
people,  Ye have sinned  a  great  were  great sinners, and  that  is
sin:  and now I will go  up  unto  was    necessary   to   make    an
the  LORD; peradventure  I  shall  atonement for them.
make an atonement for your sin.
31  And  Moses returned unto  the
LORD,  and said, Oh, this  people  They  have put golden gods instead
have sinned a great sin, and have  of the living God.
made them gods of gold.
32  Yet now, if thou wilt forgive
their sin--; and if not, blot me,  Moses  so  much loves  his  people
I  pray  thee, out  of  thy  book  that   he  rather  wished  to   be
which thou hast written.           blotted  out of the book of  live,
                                   than  that their sin will  not  be
                                   forgiven.  "Forgive them,  o  God,
                                   and  if  not, blot me out  of  the
                                   book   of  live".  This   is   the
                                   attitude   of  a  right  minister.
                                   Moses   was   willing  to   perish
                                   eternally  instead of the  people.
                                   Where   is  the  present  minister
                                   that  is prepared to give his  own
                                   life for his flock?
33  And the LORD said unto Moses,
Whosoever hath sinned against me,  "Moses,  I will not blot  you  out
him will I blot out of my book.    of  My  book, because you  haven't
                                   sinned.  But  the ones  that  have
                                   sinned  against Me,  them  will  I
                                   blot out", says God.
34  Therefore  now go,  lead  the
people unto the place of which  I  God   says   that  no  longer   He
have  spoken  unto thee:  behold,  Himself  will  go  before  Israel,
mine  Angel shall go before thee:  but  that  He  will give  them  to
nevertheless in the  day  when  I  Moses  and the Angel. As for their
visit I will visit their sin upon  sins,  they are not forgiven,  but
them.                              God delays the punishment. "But  I
                                   will visit their sins in future".
35   And  the  LORD  plagued  the
people,  because  they  made  the  The  great  punishment  for  their
calf, which Aaron made.            idolatry  is  delayed.  This  does
                                   not  mean that they notice nothing
                                   of  their  sins for  the  present,
                                   because God plagued the people.

We  have seen in this chapter that the people caused Aaron to  make  a
golden  calf.  God  is  displeased with it, and Moses  intercedes.  He
breaks the tables of the lay and destroys the golden calf. Further  we
heard  Aaron's excuse, and we read that the idolaters were  slain.  At
the end, Moses prayed for the people.

Shortly  after  the people had received the law, forbidding  idolatry,
they  committed  this  very  crime. The law,  we  see,  doesn't  help.
Obedience  is not coming from the law, because we are stiffnecked  and
refuse  to  hear God's voice. We also have seen in this  chapter  that
atonement  is  necessary, to wash away the committed  sins.  The  law,
therefore,   does   not   give  us  life,  being   hindered   by   our
stiffneckedness.  We  have need of atonement, which  is  given  us  in
Christ  Jesus. The sins of all them that believe in Him, are forgiven.
But  if  there is any one that still expects life through the law,  he
will perish eternally.

2.  1 Peter 3:1-6 - Advice for women

1 Peter 3:1-6

    1  Likewise,  ye  wives, be in subjection to  your  own  husbands;
    that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word  be
    won by the conversation of the wives;

The  apostle  Peter says the wives that they should be in  subjection,
every  one  to  her  own  husband. Why? Why should  the  wives  be  in
subjection  to their own husbands? To please them? No,  but  that  the
unbelieving  husbands might be won for the Word of God. Some  husbands
are  disobedient, and refuse to walk in the ordinances of the  gospel.
They  don't  listen  to  the  preaching and  the  explanation  of  the
Scriptures,  but go their own way, alienated from God and His  people.
If  they  then  refuse  to  listen to the Word,  then  they  might  be
converted  by  the conversion of their wives, without the  Word.  When
they see the Christian behaviour of their wives, subjecting themselves
to  their  own husbands, then they might see and understand that  this
conversation of the wives is a result of that same gospel they reject.
Therefore  the  apostle  says "Wives, be in  subjection  to  your  own
husbands.  Why? That, if any obey not the Word, they also may  without
the Word be won by the conversation of the wives".

    2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.

They  may perhaps be won by the conversation of the wives, "while they
behold your chaste conversation, coupled with fear". Therefore, wives,
behave yourself chastely, and be always in the fear of the Lord.  Give
a good example to your husbands.

    3  Whose  adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting
    the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;

Many  wives  adorn  themselves,  and  paint  themselves  with  several
colours. They consider their natural appearance not beautiful  enough,
and therefore adorn themselves. Their natural appearance is given them
by the Creator of heaven and earth, but they despise this gift of God.
They  think that too mean, and paint themselves. They, in fact,  think
that  they better know than God how their appearance should  be.  But,
says Peter, wives, let your adorning not be like that outward adorning
of  plaiting  the hear, and of wearing of gold, or of  putting  on  of
apparel.  Don't think, wives, that your unbelieving husbands  will  be
won  by  that outward painting of you. How can anybody be won for  the
Word  by  you, if you yourself despise God's natural gift?  Some  wear
gold and silver, and if they be not so rich, they wear fake gold.  Eye
shadow  is sold, and lipstick, together with all kinds of paint,  that
they  may  hurt  their skin. They also are loaded with  all  kinds  of
apparel. No wives, in that way you will win nobody for the Word.

    4  But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not
    corruptible,  even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit,  which
    is in the sight of God of great price.

Let your ornament then not be in the outward things, but let it be the
hidden  man  of  the  heart. Let your apparel be in  your  heart.  All
outward  gold and clothing and the like is corruptible, but a  renewed
heart  is  not  corruptible. Let your ornament be  a  meek  and  quiet
spirit.  These are the things which are very valuable in God's  sight.
Maybe,  when  it  pleases  God, through your behaviour  and  spiritual
ornaments, you may win your present unbelieving husbands for the Word.

    5  For after this manner in the old time the holy women also,  who
    trusted  in  God,  adorned themselves, being  in  subjection  unto
    their own husbands:

After  Peter has admonished the women, he continues with the  examples
of  old.  In the old time the holy women have adorned themselves,  not
with  outward, perishing things, but by trusting in God,  and  by  the
spiritual ornaments, that please God. After this manner the  women  of
old  times  adorned  themselves.  While  doing  that,  they  were   in
subjection unto their own husbands. Think of the good examples,  given
by  Rebekah, and Hannah the mother of Samuel, and Abigail the wife  us
Nabal. Think also of Esther.

    6  Even  as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters
    ye  are,  as  long  as  ye do well, and are not  afraid  with  any

Sara  is  another example of the holy women of old times.  She  called
Abraham  her  "lord", and obeyed him. Listen to her,  when  she  calls
Abraham  her  lord: "Therefore Sarah laughed within  herself,  saying,
After  I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?",
Gen.  18:12. Wives, then you do well; and when you are not afraid with
any amazement, then you are Sara's daughters. You should then walk  in
her footsteps, and do her works, having also her faith.

"A Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel"
Institute Practical Bible-education
Web: http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/ipb-e/ipbe-home.html
Written by Teus Benschop -- t.benschop@pobox.ruu.nl

file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/so: s-open-073.txt