The Obedient Heart 

Hope for Today (English)
Hope for Today (English)
The Obedient Heart 

Exodus 34:1-9 

It is so good to be with you again today, thanks for listening and continuing with us in our journey through Exodus. We have been in Exodus just over a year and now we are coming to the end of Exodus. Personally, the interactions between God and Moses are some of my favorite passages in Exodus and today’s lesson is another incredible dialogue between God and Moses.  

In Exodus 34 the Lord speaks and He describes Himself. This is in response to Moses’ request to teach me and show me your glory. Because God is pleased with Moses, he answers His request.   

What follows is one of the greatest descriptions of God you will ever find. This event took place several thousand years ago and many things have changed since then, but this God, our God, is still the same. This list of powerful words is just as accurate and true as it ever was.   

This revelation of God shows us who He is and as time goes on, He continues to show more of Himself to us. As the story unfolds, we see how God interacted with the children of Israel all through the Old Testament. Studying this teaches us more about God. God is merciful, gracious, and longsuffering, yet we see His tolerance for sin reached an end with His people, the Israelites. We learn more about God by seeing how He treated the Israelites.   

God continues revealing Himself to us and in the New Testament, he exposes even more of Himself to us.  Hebrews 1 says “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son” Now God reveals Himself to us through Jesus Christ. How amazing God continues to make Himself known. Verse 3 says “Jesus is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.”  

Today’s passage in Exodus is near the beginning of the God’s story. We can look back and see the whole story of God at work. All the time God is showing more of who He is to His creation. Jesus Christ is the best revelation of God to us! We know that story and we have the record of history for 2000 years since Christ. As we look at those years, we can see God’s hand and know Him better.   

What Paul said in Romans 1 surely applies to us, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” Or we might say, “we” are without excuse. History is one long story of God reaching and longing for our hearts. We tend to be obstinate and stubborn, rejecting him in many silly ways.  

The goal of this introduction was to step back and see how Exodus fits in the big picture. Exodus 34 is a clear revelation of God by God, one of the first. But it is not the last.  He continues to make Himself known and gives us plenty of good reasons to trust Him.  

Now let’s go with J Mark and hear what he has to say about “The Obedient Heart” taken from Exodus from 34:1-9.  

When God made Adam, the first man, He expected Adam to obey Him. Oh, yes! Because God gave Adam certain laws. He said, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat of it.” So, you see, Adam was given positive directives and negative restrictions right there in the beginning. From that earliest day to this, God has expected man to obey Him. 

For that very reason, God gave us the Bible, His Word. God expects us to follow the teachings of the Bible. Otherwise, He would not have given it to us. I think that is wonderful. It is almost beyond our comprehension that God would reveal Himself to us in the Bible.  

God used a man in a very large way to give us His Word and His will. Moses is the man’s name. Moses, who is called the man of God, filled a big place in God’s plan and purpose. He received the law of God on Mt. Sinai. 

God found in Moses THE OBEDIENT HEART. You read about him in Exodus 34:1-9. 

1.  And the LORD said unto Moses, [Chisel out] Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest. 

2.  And be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning unto mount Sinai, and present thyself there to me in the top of the mount. 

3.  And no man shall come up with thee, neither let any man be seen throughout all the mountain; neither let the flocks nor herds feed before that mountain. 

4.  And he hewed [chiseled out] two tables of stone like unto the first; and Moses rose up early in the morning, and went up unto mount Sinai, as the LORD had commanded him, and took in his hand the two tables of stone. 

5.  And the LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. 

6.  And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, 

7.  Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. 

8.  And Moses made haste and bowed his head toward the earth and worshipped. 

9.  And he said, If now I have found grace in thy sight, O LORD, let my LORD, I pray thee, go among us; for it is a stiff-necked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin and take us for thine inheritance. 

In these verses, we find the RESPONSES that every obedient heart will make to God when following the pattern of Moses. 

The First RESPONSE is, 

Do What God Tells You 

God gave certain instructions. The LORD first told Moses to cut out or chisel out two tablets of stone. They were to be like the first ones that he had broken when he came down off the mountain and saw the children of Israel worshipping the golden calf. So, the first command to Moses was to cut out new tablets of stone. 

Then God said Moses should be ready in the morning. God gave him a certain time when he was to present himself to the LORD there at the top of the mountain. God instructed Moses to go up to the same place he had been before. He was to come alone. No one else was to come with him. Not even the flocks and herds should be feeding near the mount. 

I want you to see how carefully these instructions were given: tablets of stone, ready in the morning, present yourself before the LORD, come by yourself, keep everyone else away. 

Verse 4 tells us that Moses did exactly what God told him to do. He chiseled out the tables of stone. He rose early in the morning and went up to Mount Sinai as the LORD had commanded him. He took the tablets of stone with him. 

For the obedient heart, the first response is to do what God tells you. Never expect God’s blessing until you are willing to do exactly what He says.  

The Second RESPONSE is, 

Listen To What God Proclaims 

God honored Moses in his obedience. The LORD descended and stood by Moses there on the mountain. The LORD passed by before him and made Himself known to Moses. The LORD proclaimed the LORD God. Six great attributes of God were proclaimed: merciful and gracious, longsuffering, abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgressions, and not clearing the guilty. 

Now let’s ponder these great attributes of God. They are His characteristics. His mercy: how merciful He is. He doesn’t give us what we deserve. His grace: how gracious is God? He gives us many things we don’t deserve. 

His long-suffering: how patient the LORD is; patient with us in our failures. His goodness: how He provides for all people everywhere. His truth: He has brought His truth to us in His Word and the person of Jesus. His justice: He keeps his mercy for thousands and forgives their iniquity and transgression, but He does not clear the guilty because He visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation. 

These great attributes make God, the LORD Jehovah, the only true God. Never expect to know God until you listen to what He proclaims. He has proclaimed who He is and what He is like. 

The Third RESPONSE is, 

Plead For God’s Pardon 

Moses worshipped with reverence. When he heard God proclaim Himself, He promptly bowed his head and worshipped. He did it with reverence. Then he pled with God based on His grace. He prayed, “Come among us and pardon our sin and iniquity because we are a stiff-necked people and take us for your inheritance.” 

Here is real intercession, a real outcry for pardon, that God would move among His people. A cry to pardon them for their sin and receive them, take them for His inheritance, as indeed He had promised to do. Moses understood after this great declaration from God that he could come into the presence of God and find pardon. Pardon is a release from the legal penalty for his sin and the sin of his people. This is beautiful for this is the way God is. The obedient heart will find in God the forgiveness he asks for. 

Never expect God’s pardon until you plead His grace. Moses confessed their sin. He admitted that they were a stiff-necked people. He asked God to forgive their sin and iniquity. When you do that, you have confessed. You have stood before the LORD as a guilty person. God says He will not clear the guilty, but He will have mercy on thousands who come to Him in honest and true confession. You can do that. The obedient heart will do it. 

The obedient heart will always make the responses Moses made. The obedient heart will do what God says. The obedient heart will listen to what God proclaims. The obedient heart will plead for His pardon and will receive it. You can receive it now if you will call on God. 

Thanks, J Mark for this teaching on obedience, may each of purpose to be more obedient to God and His Word.    

If you have any questions or if you’d like a copy of today’s teaching, here is how you can contact us. The best way is by email. Our email is [email protected]. If you don’t have email, you could write to us, our address is Hope for Today, Box 3, Breezewood, Pennsylvania 15533. Or you can connect with us on our website and if you go to the connect tab you can message us directly. Our website is  

Thank you so much for being with us. We look forward to next week and hope you will join us for more lessons from Exodus. Go now in grace and peace.   

*This episode is an exposition by J. Otis Yoder, re-recorded by J. Mark Horst, with an opening and closing by Arlin Horst.

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