"The LORD delighted only in your fathers, to love them; and He chose their descendants after them, you above all peoples, as it is this day." Deuteronomy 10:15
Text: Exodus 34 : 29-30
A REMARKABLY SUCCESSFUL CONCLUSION
Moses had gone further than anyone else, in relating to God. Not even Abraham, the father of the nation, had been given such manifestations from the Lord. But what Moses desired and requested were not selfishly motivated. All that Moses wanted was for God to consider Israel His inheritance. His sojourn on top of Mt. Sinai had not been in vain. His privation, having fasted and prayed for 40 long days and nights was well rewarded. God had given Israel another chance! He gave to Moses the Ten Commandments to mark this memorable and historic occasion.
“Now it was so, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai
(and the two tablets of the Testimony were in Moses’ hand
when he came down from the mountain), that Moses did not know
that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him.”
As Moses descended the mountain this time round, he must have kept his ears peeled and alert to any sound that resembled what he had heard not too long ago. But there were no sounds or revelry and merry-making this time. The nation had learned its lesson the hard way. There would be no golden calf this time round. Aaron and all the leading men of Israel gazed at the figure of Moses as he drew nearer and nearer to them. Two things stood out to the crowd of anxious observers.
1. “The two tablets of the Testimony were in Moses’ hand”
Moses carried in his hand two stone tablets. For some reason, the significance of the “two tablets of Testimony” did not strike the leaders. They must have been glad that Moses came down the mountain safely. None of them could ever imagine himself being alone with God on top of Mount Sinai for such an extended period of time. They knew that Moses must have fasted all this while, for he had taken no provisions with him when he ascended the mountain.
2. “The skin of his face shone while he talked with Him”
Moses was oblivious of the fact that his face literally glowed with a glory that may only be described as of “divine origin”. He would have liked the people to pay more attention to the fact that he carried down from Mount Sinai the very words of God, written by God’s own hand, than to pay attention to how his face glowed! But the sense of fear in the hearts of the leaders was very real and could not be easily dismissed!
“So when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses,
behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid
to come near him.”
This was so startlingly new that fear temporarily overcame them. They were not even sure if they should draw near to Moses at all!