"Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil." Isaiah 1:16
Text: Exodus 32 : 26b-27
A GOOD, STRONG RESPONSE
A welcome response from the sons of Levi must have given encouragement to the heart of Moses.
“And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him.”
A DIFFICULT COMMAND TO CARRY OUT
It was a very hard order from the Lord to carry out. This was the first time that Moses had to carry out such a command!
“And he said to them, ‘Thus says the LORD God of Israel:
‘Let every man put his sword on his side, and go in and out
from entrance to entrance throughout the camp, and let
every man kill his brother, every man his companion,
and every man his neighbour.””
1. “Thus says the LORD God of Israel”
This order did not come from Moses! The source of this command is to be traced to none other than the LORD God of Israel Himself!
2. “Let every man kill his brother… companion… neighbour”
This order has to be understood carefully!
a) This is not genocide
This was not a campaign of terror! This was not the mass killing of all the children of Israel!
b) Only unrepentant sinners will be judged and executed
Were there those who repented when they saw Moses destroy the golden calf? These would be spared!
Were there others who refused to repent from their idolatrous ways? Were they still defiant rebels? Then these would be executed by the sword!
3. Justification of this command
How do we understand and appreciate such a command from the Lord? Two thoughts may be highlighted to help us understand this command to execute lawbreakers!