Watching Daily At My Gates

February 16 Read Exodus 19:1-6

The Israelites traveled from Rephidim to the wilderness of Sinai, a distance of about one hundred fifty miles and encamped at the foot of the mountain. Moses ascends the mount to receive instructions from God regarding the preparations for receiving the Law of God. The people must realize their relation to God as a peculiar treasure, a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation, which was proved by their deliverance from Egypt and having been borne on eagles’ wings. Therefore in the way of hearing his voice and keeping his covenant, the true, elect Israel would experience this blessing, and as priests, would be consecrated to him in loving service. Moses must convey these words to the people. We too, as organically united with Israel of old, are God’s peculiar treasure. This is not due to any merit on our part, but solely on the perfect merits of our High Priest, Jesus Christ, who fully paid for all our sins. Let us, by his grace, consecrate our lives unto him. Psalter 313:1, 2, 4.

February 17 Read Exodus 19:7-9

In response to God’s command, Moses laid before the elders of Israel all the words that God spoke to him on the mount. In essence, these words were “obey my voice and keep my covenant.” The elders in turn informed the people who together answered, “All that the Lord hath spoken we will do.” This was a response of faith even though they might not have understood all the implications of their confession. But we know from subsequent history, that this response was not true of the carnal element in Israel. Time and time again they were disobedient and were covenant breakers. Young people, this same word comes to us. Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 12:1, “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth,” and concludes with, “Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” Psalter 1:1-3.

February 18 Read Exodus 19:10-13

Here we have another aspect of the people’s preparation to receive the Law of God. They must wash their clothes and refrain from all contacts that might defile them in order to be sanctified for this great event. Also they had strict warnings that when they drew near to the mount, they were forbidden to touch it upon penalty of certain death. Israel was about to be placed under the law and had to be mindful of their sinfulness. These ceremonial actions pointed to the fact that they were unworthy of entering into covenant relationship with God. God is holy and just and cannot have communion with unholy sinners. But God in his mercy beheld his covenant seed in their posterity, namely the one who would perfectly satisfy the required justice. Praise God for that perfect mediator, Jesus Christ, who reconciled us to God. We can come freely to the heavenly Mount Zion for he accomplished what the law could never do. Psalter 265:1, 3.

February 19 Read Exodus 19:14-25

An awesome spectacle occurred before the eyes of the Israelites and filled them with fear and terror. The signs of lightning, thunder, earthquakes, smoke, fire, and trumpet’s sound testified to the people that God comes as a consuming fire to the wicked. God again warned the people through Moses to keep their distance from the mount, and in this setting he spoke the words of the law. Hebrews Chapter 12 comments on this event that “so terrible was the sight that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake.” This same passage contrasts mount Sinai with mount Sion. Sinai signifies the grace of God under the law; Sion is grace without the law. Israel and the church of the old dispensation worshipped as it were, afar off. But Christ put an end to the law by his sacrifice. Thanks be to God that by his grace we “are come unto mount Sion and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem” (Heb. 12:22). Psalter 207:1, 3, 4.

February 20 Read Exodus 20:1-17

Through the fearsome wonders that were displayed at Sinai, God introduces himself to his people Israel with these words: “I am Jehovah thy God which hath brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.” With these words God reveals his covenant relationship to his people, the church. They are his peculiar treasure and he is their Redeemer who delivers them from sin and death. In this relationship he comes with his law as a schoolmaster to bring them and us unto Christ and to exhort us to keep our part of the covenant, namely to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. We must also see that the prohibitive form of the law points to us as sinners and to our incapability to keep the law outside of Christ and his benefits. As we treat these commandments in following meditations, may we be reminded and encouraged to love the Lord our God with all our heart and our neighbor as ourselves. Psalter 40:1, 2, 3, 6.

February 21 Read Exodus 20:1-3; Deut. 6:4-15

“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” This first commandment is short and precise, but is basic in relation to those which follow. God declares that he is one. He is God alone and there is no God beside him. This commandment is antithetical and to the point, leaving room for only two alternatives: worship God or serve idols. Fallen man serves many idols such as nature, beasts and images of various sorts. In our modern society, money, sports, entertainment and the like are worshipped. But listen, dear reader, and take to heart these words from our Heidelberg Catechism: “That I, as sincerely as I desire the salvation of my own soul, avoid and flee from all idolatry, sorcery, soothsaying, superstition, invocation of saints, or any other creatures; and learn rightly to know the only true God; trust in him alone, with humility and patience submit to him; expect all good things from him only; love, fear, and glorify him with my whole heart: so that I renounce and forsake all creatures, rather than commit even the least thing contrary to his will” (L.D. 34). Psalter 259:1, 3, 4.

February 22 Read Exodus 20:4-6

This second commandment of the Decalogue is closely related to the first. The first commandment refers to idolatry whereas the second of image worship. Because our God is a transcendent God, he is infinitely exalted above the world. He is a Spirit and those who worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. He may never be represented by any figment of man’s imagination. We are told in this commandment that God is a jealous God which means he will not allow the creature to trample his infinite glory under foot by giving glory to something else. The creedal position of our churches regarding this commandment is briefly stated as follows: “That we in no wise represent God by images, nor worship him in any other way than he has commanded in his word” (Heid. Cat. L.D. 35). This is known as the regulative principle of worship, and our services are marked by solemnity and spirituality with active congregational participation. Hold to this biblical principle, young people, and resist any clamor to replace it with innovations and change. Psalter 255:1-3

February 23 Read Exodus 20:7; Leviticus 24:10-16

“Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.” God is a holy God, the standard and implication of all perfection. And because he is holy, his name is likewise holy, different and above all other names. God has revealed himself to us by his names and demands that his name be used only with fear and reverence. Our Heidelberg Catechism teaches us to do just that and also tells that there is no sin more provoking to God than the profaning of his name and therefore he has commanded that this sin be punished with death. Young people, guard your hearts and lips from this sin which is so prevalent in the world around us. Do not be partakers of this sin in others by your silence either. Pray daily to your heavenly Father whose name is hallowed. Approach him through Jesus Christ whose name means Jehovah Salvation and who has been given a name which is above every name. (Phil. 2:9). Psalter 195:2-4.

February 24 Read Exodus 20:8-11

In the deepest sense of the word, the Sabbath is the rest of God. The beginning of the Sabbath occurred after God finished his creation of the heavens and the earth. We read in this commandment that after this creative work was finished, God rested and sanctified the seventh day. We too, as God’s people, are commanded to rest after six days of labor. We must not make the mistake of confusing rest with mere idleness. God is never idle and he has prepared a rest for his people in Christ, a reflection of his own perfect covenant life. We are told in Hebrews Chapter 4 to give diligence to enter into that rest. So we desist from our daily toil and fill that day with spiritual activities. The world as always, perverts this day, and uses it for its own sinful pleasures and purposes. Let us, by God’s grace, count it a privilege to properly observe the Sabbath day in obedience to God’s command as a foretaste of that eternal Sabbath awaiting his people. Psalter 318:1, 3, 4.

February 25 Read Exodus 20:12

The fifth commandment introduces the second table of the law and deals with our relationship to our neighbor. We must love our neighbor in the love of God. The commandment begins with the words: “Honor thy father and thy mother.” To honor them means to acknowledge their parental authority, an authority bestowed upon them by God. It implies that we hearken and obey and love them for God’s sake. And this commandment applies not only to the home, but equally to every relationship of authority in human society as we are instructed in Romans 13. There we are enjoined to be subject to the higher powers since these powers are ordained by God. God, as supreme authority, has vested all right and power in Christ who was the symbol of perfect obedience. He is the sovereign ruler over all things. Let us willingly submit to his rule, and experience true peace and happiness. Psalter 321:1-3.

February 26 Read Exodus 20:13; I John 3:14-16

“Thou shalt not kill” are the words of this sixth commandment. Surely this cannot apply to me, we are quick to respond. We would never take away a person’s life, would we? The answer to that is, most likely not, but the keeping of this commandment involves more than refraining from that violent act. Scripture and our Heidelberg Catechism very plainly teach that sinful hatred against the neighbor, envy, anger, or any desire of revenge is tantamount to murder. Who of us can claim complete innocence in this regard? Only by grace can we even begin to keep this sixth commandment. Only by the power of grace and according to that principle of new obedience in our hearts can we love the neighbor, seek his good and prevent his hurt as much as possible. Then we will also properly care for our bodies, never using substances that would harm or damage them, nor willfully exposing ourselves to danger. May God be pleased to help us keep this commandment. Psalter 369:1-3.

February 27 Read Exodus 20:14; I Thessalonians 4:3-7

In this commandment, God reveals himself as the faithful One who never breaks his covenant with his people. It follows then that his people must be likewise faithful in regard to the marriage bond, the most beautiful reflection of the covenant relation. We realize that our creeds do not directly discuss this aspect of the commandment, but rather stress chastity and purity. We certainly must be warned that faithfulness be upheld in our marriages and that purity be maintained in single life. Who among us can boast that he or she is free from this sin? “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (I Cor. 1:10). Young people, especially, be not unequally yoked with unbelievers. Avoid all situations that would lead you and entice you to sin against your body which is the temple of God. Pray daily as the publican: “God be merciful to me a sinner.” and for faithfulness to keep this commandment. Psalter 140:1-4.

February 28 Read Exodus 20:15; Psalm 50:7-17

The basic premise of this commandment is that we love our neighbor for God’s sake with regard to his earthly possessions. Because God is the creator of the heavens and the earth, he is the absolute proprietor of all things. Man, because of sin takes God’s good gifts and uses them for his own sinful ends, claiming they are his, and can do with them as he pleases. In actuality, unregenerate man is a thief in respect to God and also a thief in relation to his neighbor. God’s people, by virtue of their new birth are called to be Christian stewards of all that God is pleased to give them. These possessions are to be used to his glory and the advantage of the neighbor. This commandment also implies contentment in the way God leads us in respect to our earthly goods, for the cause of contentment lies not in things, but in our hearts. Pray that we may be faithful stewards, loving our neighbor for God’s sake and promoting his advantage to the best of our ability. Psalter 7:1-3.

February 29 Read Exodus 20:16; Psalm 15

The sin that this commandment forbids is that of lying. The positive implication therefore requires us to love the neighbor in his name and speak the truth to him and about him in love for God’s sake. When we tell a lie, we willfully misrepresent the truth. The Heidelberg Catechism rightly calls lying the very work of the devil. That is a serious indictment and one that the child of God must avoid and abhor with all his heart. Backbiting and slander are also condemned. Backbiting is spreading an evil report about the neighbor that is true or partly true, whereas slander is always the lie. Both are to be condemned for whatever the motive may be. We are called by God to promote and defend the good name and character of the neighbor. Who is my neighbor? Anyone whom God places in my path. Loving the neighbor can take many forms, but basically it means seeking his good and salvation even though that may require a loving rebuke at times. May God give us grace to walk in obedience to this command. Psalter 24:1-3.

March 1 Read Exodus 20:17; Romans 7:14-25

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods. To covet means to earnestly desire something. The word “covet” can be used in a good or bad sense, and Scripture often uses the term in both ways. In this concluding commandment of the Decalogue we are told to refrain from desiring selfishly that which rightfully belongs to our neighbor. This commandment deals with our inner life, our thoughts and desires of our hearts. All the other commandments, as to form, point to our lives in the outward sense. No one knows when we covet something wrongfully. But that is a sinful desire and implies that we set our hearts on things of this world; on things that God does not want us to have. The Heidelberg Catechism in L.D. 44 really gets to the deepest meaning when it requires of us “that even the smallest inclination or thought contrary to any of God’s commandments never rise in our hearts.” May the Holy Spirit so work in our hearts that we sincerely desire to keep the law of God. Psalter 336: 1, 2.

March 2 Read Exodus 20:18-26

The giving of the law at Sinai accompanied by awesome signs, instilled in the Israelites such a fear that they trembled and fled away from the mountain. They were beginning to realize what God was demanding of them and how impossible it would be to satisfy these demands of the law. They had heard the voice of God and could not stand in his presence. They felt the need of a mediator and pleaded with Moses saying, “Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.” Moses answered with comforting words, “Fear not….” Moses then goes alone to the smoking mount and dark cloud and receives from the Lord all the instructions, commandments, and promises prescribed for their lives. We too need a mediator to stand between God and us. This has been provided in the person of Jesus Christ who made perfect satisfaction for our sins before the tribunal of God. Thanks be to him for his mercy and grace. Psalter 211:1-3.

March 3 Read Exodus 24:1-8

We have a series of events recorded in this passage beginning with the Lord’s command to Moses to ascend the mount with Aaron and his sons plus seventy elders of Israel. All these should worship at a distance from the mount while Moses alone must go up further to draw near to the Lord. Before they actually left, Moses repeats to the people all the words of the Lord in great detail, and the people still awed by earlier revelations respond that they will obey. Moses wrote all the words of the law in the book of the covenant and next built an altar for burnt and peace offerings. He then reads the book of the covenant to the people who again promise obedience and Moses sprinkles the blood of the covenant upon them. We must note the beautiful symbolism of this event. Even though the people promised obedience, that did not make them worthy of God’s favor. Atonement must be made by burnt offering and sprinkling of blood, and Moses as a typical mediator was demonstrating to the people the Gospel of the true and perfect mediator to come. Psalter 144:4-6.

March 4 Read Exodus 24:9-18

After the covenant was ratified by the sprinkling of the blood, Moses and Aaron together with Nadab and Abihu and seventy elders of Israel go part way up the mount. There they ate and drank together in the presence of God. Exactly what kind of vision they beheld we do not know, but this revelation was unlike the fearsome one with dark cloud and fire. Rather it symbolized the blessedness of life in the friendship of God’s covenant of grace. The next episode shows Aaron and the seventy elders back in the camp and Moses and Joshua called to ascend the mount. After six days of waiting and preparation, Moses was called by God out of the midst of the cloud which appeared to Israel like devouring fire on the top of the mount. Moses remained on the mount forty days and forty nights and received two tables of stone upon which were engraved the ten “words” of the law “written with the finger of God.” He also receives instructions for the tabernacle and the designation of two men divinely appointed and equipped for that work. How wondrous are the ways of God, unfathomed and unknown. Psalter 318:1-3.

March 5 Read Exodus 32:1-6

A significant but sorry event occurred in the camp of Israel toward the end of Moses’ forty day stay in the mount. The effects of the awe and fear they experienced earlier had subsided and the carnal element of the nation, who opposed Moses and the holy cause he stood for, roused the people to action. These were the ones who grew up in Egypt, and most likely took part in, or were willing spectators of idol worship with its accompanying sensual pleasures. These men approached Aaron and demanded that he make gods for them. Without Moses to strengthen him, he tells them to furnish the gold needed for this idol, most likely expecting that the price would be more than they would be willing to pay. But the gold appeared, the calf was made, and their so called religious feast turned into an orgy of drunken revelry. We see in the church world today, glimpses of the golden calf in their worship services. How quickly they can be corrupted and turned into entertainment with drums, dance, rock bands, and the like. Let us be vigilant lest Satan and his hosts tempt us to deviate from the proper worship of God. Psalter 6:2, 4, 5.

March 6 Read Exodus 32:7-10

For forty days God communed with Moses on Mt. Sinai and gave him detailed instructions for the erection of the tabernacle. All its furnishings were described in detail as was the duties of the priests, the offerings to be required, and how the Sabbath was to be observed. This tabernacle would be God’s holy dwelling place and it betokened spiritual blessings for Israel and glorious communion with Jehovah their covenant God. Now, with surprising abruptness, the manner of God’s revelation to Moses changed. He said to Moses: “Go get thee down…. for thy people have corrupted themselves.” He further calls them a stiffnecked or stubborn people and threatens to consume them in his hot anger. God is a just God and is stirred to righteous wrath against sin. If it were not for his great mercy, we too would be consumed, but he has punished our sins and the sins of all his elect children in Christ. What a wonderful redemption and what an incentive for us to pray, “Lead me Lord, lead me in thy righteousness.” Psalter 61:1-4.

March 7 Read Exodus 32:11-14

In response to the Lord’s statement that he will destroy the people and make a great multitude of Moses instead, Moses entreats the Lord not to carry this out for the sake of God’s name and the covenant promises he swore to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Then we read, “And the Lord repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.” God’s repentance is a difficult concept to understand since two apparently contradictory attitudes of God are depicted in this chapter. Briefly we would state that God’s eternal counsel is unchangeable. With man, repentance means to change one’s mind and reverse one’s purpose. Does God change his mind? To ask this question is to answer it. It was never God’s intention to destroy the nation as a whole at this time, but he speaks to us in human terms. All God’s works are eternal. He loves eternally, hates eternally and repents eternally. Therefore when we read in Scripture of God repenting we must always bear in mind that, which on our part is called repentance, is on the part of God but a means to an end, namely the realization of his eternal purpose. Psalter 137:1-3.

March 8 Read Exodus 32:14-24

After Moses made his intercession to God, he descended from the mount with the two stone tables of the law in his hands accompanied by Joshua. The noise of the people’s revelry reached their ears and Joshua, not being a party to God’s conversation to Moses earlier, imagines that it is a noise of war. Moses, who knew better, exclaims that it was the sounds of singing and feasting. As they come upon the scene of the golden calf and the dancing, Moses was greatly angered. He broke the stone tables, signifying that they broke the covenant, burnt the golden calf, ground it to powder and spread it in their drinking water. He takes Aaron to task for his leading part in this debacle, who in turn offers as a poor excuse that the people are to blame, and that the formation of the golden calf came by accident. Is this typical of you and me and our children, dear reader, to try and excuse our sins by placing the blame elsewhere? It is all too common a reaction when we are accused of a fault. If we are to blame, let us admit it, confess it, and seek forgiveness at the foot of the cross. Psalter 110:1-3.

March 9 Read Exodus 32:25-29

Judgment is about to fall upon Israel. The people persisted in their debauchery and naked dancing even after Moses appeared in their midst. We read in verse 29 that he called upon the people to consecrate themselves to the Lord. Then he stands at a distance from them at the gate of the camp and issues the call, “Who is on the Lord’s side? Let him come unto me.” This call implied that by separating himself from the people, that person was sincere in his resolve to stand for the honor of God’s name and was opposed to the wicked idolaters. The sons of Levi respond to Moses’ call and they are given a severe mission to carry out. God himself demands the death penalty as the only way to get rid of the offense. They go throughout the camp slaying the wicked element who persisted in their evil conduct and about three thousand men fell. People of God, do you also hear the call, “Who is on the Lord’s side?” This comes to us each day. Already in Paradise the Lord put enmity between the church and world and we are called to live antithetical lives in this sinful world. Do so without fear for God is faithful and not one of his children is ever lost. Psalter 128:1-3.

March 10 Read Exodus 32:30-35

A new day dawned after yesterday’s judgment and a somber and subdued people stood before Moses. He tells them that their sin was great and that he will attempt to make atonement for them. Soon Moses stood on the mount once more before the Lord and said, “Oh, this people have sinned a great sin….yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin___;” his words faltered and broke. He couldn’t finish this by saying that from now on the people would abide by God’s law as a basis for forgiveness, for he knew that would not happen. His only other option was, “and if not blot me out of thy book.” This was a touching and beautiful prayer, but this could not be the basis for forgiveness. Moses was a mere man and could not make atonement for the sins of others. God answered him, “Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.” Forgiveness could only be possible by a perfect and sinless Mediator who could satisfy all the demands of God’s justice. That came in the person of Jesus Christ and thanks be to God, we too may be assured of our forgiveness in him. Psalter 140:1, 2, 4.

March 11 Read Exodus 33:1-6

The consequences of the golden calf worship soon became evident to the Israelites. The Lord declared that when they depart on their journey to the promised land he would send an angel before them, but he himself would not be in their midst. Further, they are castigated as a stiffnecked people and told to strip themselves of all ornaments as a symbol of mourning and repentance. Sin always has consequences. The nation of Israel as a nation eventually falls away. Their sin of unbelief follows them throughout their history. They die in the desert, serve gods of heathen nations, enter into captivity, and finally crucify the Messiah. Even though the nation is rejected, there is a remnant according to election that is saved. God will not and can not reject his elect covenant seed. This remnant heeded Moses’ words and humbled themselves under God’s chastening. When we ourselves are chastened, we humbly submit in repentance for we know from Hebrews 12:6 that, “whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth,” but, “afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness” (Heb. 12:11). Psalter 12:1, 2, 4.

March 12 Read Exodus 33:7-11

At the same time that the people were humbled and stripped of their ornaments, Moses removed the tabernacle, or tent of meeting (for the final tabernacle was not made as yet) afar off from the camp. This action was in accord with the word of the Lord that he would not go up in the midst of the people. The people were most attentive to this event and watched closely from their tent doors when Moses entered the tabernacle and the cloudy pillar descended upon it. This further motivated the people to repentance, for we read that they worshipped at their tent doors. But Moses and the people are far from being at ease for as yet no assurance had been given that their great sin was pardoned. Had not he said that he would consume them? Yet, they had a ray of hope when the cloudy pillar descends and the Lord talks face to face with Moses. We also read, “that everyone that sought the Lord went out unto the tabernacle. To seek the Lord means that we fall prostrate at his feet, confess our sins, and make supplication for forgiveness. The same Spirit that worked repentance in the hearts of the penitent Israelites works in our hearts as well. Thanks be to God for his abundant mercy. Psalter 72:1, 2, 4.

March 13 Read Exodus 33:12-17

Moses still has no rest. He is called to lead this multitude on their way, but must first have the assurance that God will go up with them. He pleads on the basis that because he has found grace in the eyes of the Lord that the Lord will also be gracious to Israel and lead them on their way with his favor. If God would not go with them, how could they ever be brought to the blessings of the promised land? God answered and said, “My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.” What a blessed promise this was to Moses and what a precious promise this is to us as churches and individuals today. We too are pilgrims and strangers on the earth making our journey through the wilderness of this world seeking a better country. So readily we cling to the things of this world with temptations facing us on every side. We cannot make this journey alone. Let us earnestly pray that God’s presence and favor accompany us until we reach that promised land. Psalter 323:1, 2, 4.

March 14 Read Exodus 33:18-23

Encouraged by the assurance of God’s presence to guide the nation, Moses found the boldness to pray, “shew me thy glory.” The Lord answers that he will indeed reveal his goodness manifested in his grace and mercy. But his face will not be seen. No man on this earth with his sinful and corrupt nature can possibly behold the face of God which is infinitely glorious. That must wait until we enter heaven with new and changed natures. Then we will behold the face of God in the glorified Christ. Now we only have an indirect revelation of God’s glory as his face looks away from us, but its radiation is seen as it were, from behind. And when God states that he will show mercy on whom he will and be gracious to whom he will, he proclaims his absolute sovereignty. His goodness is always particular and this is a great comfort for you and me and the church of all ages. “It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy” (Rom. 9:16). Psalter 378:1-3.

March 15 Read Exodus 34:1-3

The first two tables of stone on which were written the law of the covenant were broken to pieces by Moses as he descended Mount Sinai and beheld the terrible sins of the multitude. Now, after the intercession by Moses, God instructs him to hew two tables of stone to replace the original ones and to come up alone into the presence of the Lord at the top of the mount. And as before, no one might be seen near the mount including their flocks and herds. This was a very comforting and reassuring sign to Moses that the Lord would heal the breach and again maintain his covenant with his people. We see in this how God is longsuffering with his people and for the sake of his elect remnant will never leave them nor forsake them. But for those who harden themselves in the way of sin, God will visit those sins even unto the third and fourth generation of their reprobate seed. May we with humility and reverence worship the Lord and cling by faith to his covenant promises. Psalter 398:1-3.

March 16 Read Exodus 34:4-10

Moses stood on the top of the mountain and the Lord descended in a cloud. Hiding Moses in the cleft of the rock, the Lord passed by, covering Moses’ eyes and proclaimed the name of the Lord. It was a significant and awe-inspiring event. The name given was The LORD, The LORD God, which emphasized his might and glory. It also revealed that his grace and mercy was eternally sure. He will keep that mercy for thousands by forgiving iniquity, but by no means clearing the guilty. Is not this a paradox? All men are guilty. However, there is perfect harmony between God’s justice and his righteousness. God’s elect are justified by the removal of their guilt through the atonement of Christ. God is a consuming fire to the wicked and their sins are visited in their generations. In response to this revelation Moses worshipped and acknowledged that the Israelites were a stiffnecked people. He asked God to pardon them and go with them and take them for his inheritance. People of God, let this same prayer arise from our hearts as we travel on our pilgrimage here below. Psalter 415:1, 2, 6.

March 17 Read Exodus 34:29-35

A phenomenon occurred while Moses spent forty days on the top of the mount. A reflection of the Lord’s beauty on Moses’ face caused it to shine. He descended the mount with the two tables of the law in his hands and immediately Aaron and the people observed that his face shown so brightly that they were afraid to come near him. Moses was unaware of this until he perceived their reaction and as a result had to cover his face with a veil when he spoke with them. This brightness could be nothing else than the glory of God as revealed in Christ. The reaction of the people was fear. They saw nothing but the law which condemned them. They could not fully behold Christ who is the end of the law. But now Christ has come, the law is fulfilled and the glory remains. That glory we behold in the scriptures. We read in II Cor. 3:18, “But we all with open (unveiled) face beholding as in a glass (mirror) the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” Let us then not cover our faces or close the scriptures, but read them diligently for they are “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (II Tim. 3:16). Psalter 41:1, 2, 4.