Exodus 34.9-11-The Lord Agrees To Moses' Request For His Presence
Wenstrom Bible Ministries
Pastor-Teacher Bill Wenstrom
Sunday October 14, 2012
Journey Through The Bible Series: Exodus 34:9-11: The Lord Agrees To Moses’ Request For His Presence
Lesson # 56
Please turn in your Bibles to Exodus 34:9.
This morning we will study Exodus 34:9-11, which records the Lord agreeing to Moses’ request for His presence.
Exodus 34:9 He said, “If now I have found favor in Your sight, O Lord, I pray, let the Lord go along in our midst, even though the people are so obstinate, and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us as Your own possession.” 10 Then God said, “Behold, I am going to make a covenant. Before all your people I will perform miracles which have not been produced in all the earth nor among any of the nations; and all the people among whom you live will see the working of the Lord, for it is a fearful thing that I am going to perform with you. 11 Be sure to observe what I am commanding you this day: behold, I am going to drive out the Amorite before you, and the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Hivite and the Jebusite.” (NASB95)
Moses’ request that the Lord travel in the midst of the Israelites and lead them to the land of Canaan even though the Israelites were an obstinate people was based upon two factors.
The first is that Moses was pleasing to the Lord as a result of Moses’ obedience to the Lord.
The second was the revelation that Moses received from the Lord as recorded in verses 6-7.
So Moses was requesting that the Lord forgive the Israelites based upon Moses’ obedience to Him.
He was also asking for forgiveness for the Israelites because the Lord is merciful and gracious, slow in exercising His righteous indignation, His unconditional love was transcendent and He was faithful to His covenant promises.
Therefore, Moses was in effect saying to the Lord, “Please forgive them because I am pleasing to You and because of who and what You say you are.”
Now, if you recall, in Exodus 32:11-14, Moses interceded on behalf of the Israelites and the Lord did not destroy the nation of Israel.
Then, in Exodus 32:31-35, Moses intercedes for the Israelites once again and offers his life in place of the lives of the Israelites, which the Lord rejects and promises to punish those who are guilty.
Next, in Exodus 33:12-17, once again Moses intercedes on behalf of the Israelites and makes two requests.
The first was to know God more intimately, which the Lord responds favorably to according to verse 14.
The second was to have the Lord be present in the midst of the Israelite camp as they made their way to Canaan.
The Lord responds favorably to this request as well as recorded in verse 17.
The Lord reassured Moses in each of his appeals.
These repeated attempts on the part of Moses on behalf Israel corresponds to the Near Eastern bargaining style where the ultimate objective is reached by small steps rather than through an outright request right from the beginning for what is sought.
Here in Exodus 34:9, Moses is reaching the final stage of his intercession for the Israelites.
He makes two requests.
The first was for the Lord’s continued presence without any restrictions on the degree of the manifestation of His presence.
The second was that the Lord would forgive the sin of the Israelites so that they would no longer be under discipline and rejected by the Lord because of their breaking the covenant.
The Lord grants Moses these two requests because He is forgiving and gracious and merciful because as to His nature, He is love.
Exodus 34:10 records the Lord reestablishing or renewing the covenant with the Israelites.
This was not a new covenant but a restoration or a renewing of the covenant originally established at Mount Sinai.
This is indicated by the Lord’s statements in Exodus 34:1 and 28, which record the Lord writing the Ten Commandments on stone tablets which Moses had prepared in contrast to the original ones which were prepared by the Lord and then smashed by Moses.
As was the case when the Lord originally established the covenant with Israel at Sinai, there was the identification of the parties in the restoration of this covenant.
In verse 6, the Lord identifies Himself and in verses 10, 23 and 27, the Israelites are identified.
The prologue to the covenant gave a brief accounting of the relationship of the parties to each other.
The Lord describes Himself in verses 6-7 and Moses describes the Israelites in verses 8-9.
The stipulations of the covenant are represented by ten sample laws in verses 14-26, which are introduced by summary commands to obey the covenant in verses 11-12.
The Lord lists what He will do on behalf of the Israelites, namely, He will perform miraculous deeds for them as recorded in verse 10.
The Israelites would thus be witnesses to the blessings the Lord promised them.
Of course, the Lord is the ultimate witness in a covenant which He enters into with any human being.
The Lord also promised that He would also drive out the inhabitants of Canaan as recorded in verse 11.
Then, in verse 24, the Lord promises to enlarge their borders and protect them from their enemies.
There were curses involved as well, which are implied in verses 14 and 15.
If the Israelites make treaties with the inhabitants of Canaan so as to forsake their covenant responsibilities with the Lord, then the Lord would punish them because He was a jealous God, tolerating no rivals.
In Exodus 34:10, the Lord reveals to Moses that the purpose of these miraculous deeds He was promising to perform on behalf of the Israelites was to honor Himself among the inhabitants of the earth.
By performing these wonders, the Lord would be seeking to get the Canaanites and the peoples of the earth to forsake their gods and worship Him.
The miracles were designed to impress the people of the world so that they would forsake their gods and worship the Lord.
In Exodus 34:11, the Lord warns the Israelites to obey Him and specifically the prohibitions and commands of the covenant.
This verse indicates that obedience to these commands and prohibitions is the requirement that must be met by the Israelites if they were to experience the blessings of the covenant.
So the driving out of the Canaanite, Hittite, Perizzite, Hivite and Jebusite peoples was conditioned on Israelite obedience to the covenant requirements.
In this verse, the Lord mentions the inhabitants of the land of Canaan, who He will drive out on behalf of the Israelites.
This is the second time in the Exodus narrative that the Lord promises to drive out the six pagan nations residing in the land.
Exodus 33:2, the Lord first promises to drive out these nations.
In Exodus 23:23, the Lord promises to destroy these pagan nations.
In Exodus 3:8, 17, and 13:5, He promises to bring the Israelites to this land.