What would you do if you saw a mountain covered with billowing smoke and fire？Would you run toward it or away？In Exodus 19：18 the Bible says, And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire：and the smoke... ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.
The people of Israel were camped at the foot of this mountain, and when they saw this terrible sight, they trembled and were afraid. God’s Word said there were also thunderings and lightnings coming from Mount Sinai, so you can believe the people of Israel were not getting anywhere near that mountain!
But what is this？! There go Moses and Joshua walking up into that mountain!! Did they die？No, nor did they get burned. They were covered by a cloud on that mountain that looked like fire to the people of Israel. Joshua stayed part-way on the mountain, but Moses went on alone up the mountain.
Exodus 24：18 tells us And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, ...up into the mount：and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights. There God gave Moses instructions on many things.
Exodus 31：18 says, And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of stone, written with the finger of God. God had already spoken His laws, but now with His own finger, He was writing them on two tablets of stone.
While this wonderful meeting between God and Moses was going on, down in the camp the people of Israel were also having a meeting. Moses had been gone for 40 days, and they were growing impatient. The Bible tells us they came to Aaron, whom Moses had left in charge of the people. “Come on now, make us gods to go before us, because we don’t know what has happened to Moses.” MAKE a god？" Doesn’t that sound very foolish, boys and girls？The true and living God MAKES us, we don’t MAKE God!!
Yes, their idea was very foolish, and very sinful. Do you remember the Ten Commandments God had just spoken to the people in Exodus 20？The first one says, I am the Lord your God. You shall have no other gods before Me. The second one is,
You shall not make unto you any graven image.What a foolish and sinful thing the people of Israel did when they demanded that Aaron make them a god. I am so ashamed to tell you that Aaron immediately set about to do exactly that!
Aaron told the people to break off their golden earrings and bring them to him. Then he took all that gold and melted it down, forming it into a statue of a calf. He even built an altar in front of it. Oh, I shudder to hear what Aaron then told the people：These are your gods, O Israel, that brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Tomorrow we will have a special feast to honor the Lord.”
And yes, early the next morning, the people were up and ready to start the evil, awful celebration. They brought offerings and laid them on the altar before the golden calf. Then they began to sing and dance, to eat and drink and do all sorts of sinful things. Do you think that golden calf nodded and smiled and joined in？Of course not! We know statues have eyes, but can they see？Ears, but can they hear？A mouth, but can it speak？That golden calf didn’t know or see anything. But the true and living God sure knew and saw!
High up on Mount Sinai God spoke to Moses, “ Moses, get down there; for your people which you brought out of Egypt have corrupted themselves：They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them：they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed to it. Why they are even saying, “These are the gods that brought you out of Egypt.” I have seen this people, and they are a stiffnecked people. Now let me alone, Moses, that my anger may have its way. I will destroy them and take you and make of you a great nation.”
But Moses interceded for the people of Israel. He begged God not to destroy Israel. The Lord listened to Moses and did not destroy them. Moses then started down the mountain to the camp of Israel. In his hands he carried the two tablets of stone on which God Himself had written the commandments. Perhaps it was just as Moses was meeting Joshua part way down that Joshua said, “There is a noise of war in the camp.” But as Moses listened, he said, “No, it isn’t the noise of war, it’s the noise of people singing that I hear.
Sure enough, as Moses and Joshua came within sight of the camp, there they saw the golden calf and the people of Israel singing, dancing, and doing many evil, ungodly things. Overcome with great anger at the awfulness of Israel’s sin, Moses cast the tablets of stone at the foot of the mountain where they broke in pieces. Can you imagine how quickly that evil party ended, as the people saw their leader’s angry face'swiftly Moses acted
He grabbed up that golden calf and burned it in the fire. The Bible tells us Moses then ground it into powder, sprinkled the powder on the water and made the people of Israel drink it. Then Moses lashed out at Aaron, “What did these people do to you that you have brought this great sin upon them？” Aaron acted very cowardly. He tried to excuse and cover up his sin with a big lie. “ I threw gold into the fire, and out came this calf.”
Moses went and stood in the gate of the camp. “Who is on the Lord’s side？” he called, “Let him come to me.” The people must decide. Would they do as the nations around them who made and worshipped idols？Or would they follow the true and living God？Moses was giving the people of Israel a very serious choice. The people began to gather here and there. Those who came to Moses he then sent to punish those who stood against the Lord. 3, 000 men lost their lives that day.
Moses then urged the people to consecrate their lives to the Lord. Consecrate means to give yourself completely to the Lord. After all, He is the only true and living God, and He deserves all our worship and praise.
The next day Moses interceded for the people. “Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, ” Moses told the Lord. But then he asked the Lord to “forgive their sin---; and if not, blot me...out of your book which you have written.” But the Lord answered Moses, “Whosoever has sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.” Moses was a great leader and he had a great love for the people, but he was not the one who could take away the sins of the people.
Many years later God did send Someone into the world who would not only love the people of Israel, but would greatly love the whole world! It was Jesus, God’s perfect Son, the only One Who could intercede for us and cause God to forgive our sins! Why would God listen to Him？Because He willingly came and took our punishment for sin. Because of Jesus’ great love for us, He suffered being despised and rejected, having his beard plucked out, being spit upon and then being cruelly nailed to a big wooden cross.
From that cross Jesus looked down on a crowd of people who mocked Him. Yet He cried out, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” The foolish, sinful people did not realize they were murdering the One Who gave them life and Who could blot their sin out. Jesus died, was buried and rose again 3 days later. Now He’s in Heaven. Acts 3：19 says, “Repent and be converted that your sins may be blotted out.”
When you turn from your sin and believe on the Lord Jesus, your sins are blotted out. That means they’re gone! And your name will be in God’s special book, called The Lamb’s Book of Life. Your sins will be blotted out, but not your name!
Moses really loved the people, but he was not perfect like the Lord Jesus. Moses could have no say in who would be in God’s book or who would be blotted out. The sin and rebellion of the people caused plagues to come upon the people. But God was still very merciful and gracious, for He had Moses set up the tabernacle, or tent church, outside the camp. There the people could meet with God and offer sacrifices for sin.
Later Moses was instructed by God to cut out two more stone tablets and bring them up into the mountain. God again wrote His commandments on the tablets.后来，神叫摩西又准备了两块石板带到山上。神再一次把他的诫命写在石板上。Yes, the people had sinned, but God had not changed nor had His commandments changed! He is still today the same true and living God Who deserves our worship and praise! His commandments have not changed and we should obey them!