In an early interaction, God told Moses that He will send his angel to guide Israel along the way. The people of Israel were warned not to disobey God’s messenger, because he would not forgive their transgressions. (Ex. 23:21)

Moses approached God with a very bold request indeed; He asked for God to personally accompany Israel instead, refusing to move anywhere without His own personal presence. Why did Moses take the risk of challenging God? Why did he think that the original arrangement would not work?

In the end of incredible experience of seeing the back of God, hearing the words that described his fundamentally gracious and forgiving nature (Ex.34:6), Moses disclosed his real reason: “If I have gained Your favor… let the Adonai go in our midst, because this is a stiff-necked people. Pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for Your own!” (Ex.34:9)

In other words, God should go with Israel and forgive them, precisely because they are stiff-necked people! Since God already said that angel would not forgive Israel if they rebel against him (Ex.23:21), Moses knew that his only hope was to persuade God Himself to come instead. While being hidden in the cleft of the Rock, Moses understood that YHWH (unlike His angel) was able to forgive “iniquity, transgression, and sin” (Ex.34:7). It was a match made in heaven: Israel had sins, YHWH had forgiveness.

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  1. I have never had those two scripture portions connected before. As usual more of the puzzle picture comes into view when the pieces fit together in a logical manner. Thank you. J.
  2. I believe the word forgiveness is beautiful, but too many times I have heard it translated poorly (making it sound like we are stuck in limbo). I am not sure how to weed out these poor translations, but I hope to do just that thru your amazing articles and staff!
  3. Moshe could not settle for less than being guided by our "Father", to ensure the much needed protection and security that children require. When we fall or go astray we are lifted and guided once again in the right direction. God of Love and Mercy, Justice and Righteousness
    • Roberto Flores. I suggest you read John1:14 Jesus made everything. John5:37 New King James Version And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. tells us it was Jesus who Moses Talked to
    • Amen. Agree with your post. The Lord is able to guide us and forgive us. Moses' wisdom in wanting God to lead His people was a great idea since as Moses stated "they were a stiff neck people" Moses really needed God's guidance for so many people.
  4. After the death of Moses; YHWH made the same promise to Joshua that Moses had beseeched from Him. “No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave nor forsake you.”(Joshua 1:5) Now what I take from this; when in life at times what seems appears to be insurmountable/incomprehensible challenges that may stack up against us, we can take heart that He is always with us. This is repeated in Hebrews 13:5. “Then could’ve Moses been interceding for us all?”
    • “Then could’ve Moses been interceding for us all?” Yes he could. He was leading a nation from Egypt to Canaan. And he testified that the commandments he gave them were for them and their children, and multiple generations. Indeed, in Deuteronomy 30, he spoke of matters due at the end of the age. So, his prayer for the nation transcended that particular generation.
  5. Dear Dr. Eli: I am so thankful to our God our Lord for leading me to your site. These courses will heighten my awareness of how much the Lord really loves. These courses will also help my teaching of the Wonderful Word of Our Father. I now will comprehend just how and what Jesus Christ Himself studied and took part in. Thank you and your staff again. God bless and Shalom!, Lydia Roskey
  6. Thank you so much for the teaching you are giving. I am sorry that I do not have the time for a course. Can you tell me if there are any English Bibles that include the original names for God rather than upper or lower case Lord? Sue
    • Sue, what do you mean????????????????????????????? How can you not have any time for a course? (the course takes just an hour a week) - everyone has that. I am outrageously busy but even I would have that :-) There are a few Bibles out there that claim to restore God's names in translation (I am not sure they do what they claim). You should search for these words on Amazon and on the web.
    • Sue, if you're not aware of it, try this site; https://www.blueletterbible.org. They offer several translations, one of which is the HNV ( Hebrew Names Version) J.
  7. Shalom. Thank you for this beautful lesson. And thank God for Moses and for God's mercy and forgiveness to the Jews and to the Gentiles also.
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