Exodus 34 is a very key passage. Moses has just “smashed” the tablets with the 10 commandments written on them, and God tells him to get a couple new ones and climb back up the mountain. It is time to get those 10 laws written down again as they are to be the rules for living. As Moses goes back up the mountain, God meets him again. And God describes Himself this way: “God of mercy and grace, endlessly patient–so much love, so deeply true–loyal in love for a thousand generations, forgiving iniquity, rebellion, and sin”. God describes Himself in great detail here – full of mercy and grace, patient and loving, loyal and forgiving. We do serve an amazing God and He is still the same God that Moses served. But thre is one key statement that is made that needs to haunt us: “Still, He doesn’t ignore sin”. Did you catch that? God doesn’t turn and look the other way when there is sin. He cannot. It is against the very nature of our God who is holy and just. Yes He is a God that is all of the things we just saw Him declare, but it never includes ignoring sin. It never will. That is why Jesus is the critical piece to our relationship. Jesus’ blood is what covers our sin and allows us to have a personal relationship with God where sin is not in the way. Jesus death on the cross covers our sin, when we have a personal relationship with Him and take Him as our very own Savior and Lord.
This is where it gets really sticky for us folks. God says it very clearly right here in Exodus 34. I have talked about it many times before, but here is one of the references that tell us clearly the impact of sin in our lives: “He holds sons and grandsons responsible for a father’s sins to the third and even fourth generation”. I lose sleep thinking about this one. To realize that my sin can not only impact my life, but that of my son, grandsons and a few more generations is very sobering to me. Sin is a big deal to God. Sometimes in the world today, and even the church, we tend to downplay the impact of sin. Not a big deal, it doesn’t really hurt anyone buy me. Wrong. Even the little sins we try and do in the dark or behind the door or somewhere we think we are totally alone matter in God’s economy. There is a penalty for sin. Always has been, always will be. Sin costs….and someone will pay. And it is extremely important to understand that part of your legacy, whether you like it or not or believe it is fair or not, involves how you live in relationship to obedience or sin. God is very clear here. Sin will impact someone. Moses gives us the answer in his plea to God” “own us, possess us”. We need God to be in complete control of our lives. That is our only hope. God then creates a covenant with Moses that He will never leave His people and will do wonderful acts on their behalf. God gives us that same promise, He never leaves nor forsakes us. But that doesn’t mean we don’t choose to leave Him. That doesn’t mean we don’t ignore His covenant and try to run our life on our own. God tells Moses “don’t let your guard down”. In Psalms it tells us to “guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life”. Staying godly and free from sin is a very daily chore. It doesn’t just happen. It requires us to pay attention to all areas of life every moment. Life matters. The results are eternal and the impact far beyond what we feel ourselves. This is some serious stuff the God tells us here. We must live aware of the future and the impact we are creating every day on those who come behind us. Oh that we would really understand how the little choices we make today to walk in disobedience can impact generations. Life matters – live it wisely and with God!