Ki Tisa (When You Take) Sh’mot/Exodus 30:11-34:35

1.In this week’s Torah portion we read where Moshe’s face glowed with radiance after being with G-d. So he covered his face with a veil when he was with the Israelites.  He removed it when talking to G-d.  Why did he cover his face when with the children of Israel?  See what you can find in the Messianic scripture concerning the veil. When was it on the face of a person and when was it not. When might we “veil” G-d’s glory? 

One reason Moses covered his face with a veil is found in Exodus 34:30. It says the children of Israel were afraid to come near Moshe because his face glowed. Also Moshe possibly covered his face so that the people would never get used to the radiance as an ordinary thing. He did uncover his face to speak G-d’s words to them.

Matthew records the radiance Peter 3:14-15  of Yeshua when He took Peter, James and John his brother up into the mountains. There, “He was transfigured before them; His face shone like the sun and His clothes became as white as light” (Matthew 17:2-6). Moshe and Elijah appear with Him, talking to Him and a voice from a bright cloud speaks to endorse Him and urge obedience: “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him!”

In II Corinthians 3:15-17  It says, “Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts.  But whenever anyone turns to the L-rd, the veil is taken away. Now the L-rd is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the L-rd is, there is freedom.”

II Corinthians 4:3-4 says, “So even if our good news teaching is veiled, the veil is on the heart of those who are dying. In this case, the god of this world system has blinded their unbelieving minds, so as to shut out the light of the good news teaching, concerning the glory of the Anointed One, who is the Image of G-d.”

So today, the veil is on unbelievers and is removed when they turn to the L-rd.

On a personal point, we have to be careful not to veil G-d’s glory. When are we inclined to do this? When we are embarrassed or ashamed; when we choose not to speak of Him or acknowledge Him; when we actively hide our faith in Him. On the other hand, it is when we speak of Him that the veil is removed and His light can shine.

2.What do you think was the process the children of Israel went through in the sin of the golden calf?  What can we learn from their mistakes?

Beginning in chapter 32 we can follow the process that resulted in the terrible sin of the calf. Think about what is going on here like a split screen TV. On one side we see Moshe on the top of the mountain with G-d. Moshe had come into that place where heaven and earth intersected. He was with the Father. 

Now think about the other half of the screen where we see the children of Israel at the same time. They had grown impatient when Moshe did not return when they were expecting him to. When he didn’t appear they went to Aaron and asked him to make gods for them to lead them because they did not know what had become of Moshe.

One thing stands out here, G-d is not mentioned by the people. Their faith, which had been so strong before, melted now without a word about G-d. Why? Maybe their faith had been somewhat misplaced. Maybe their faith had been more in Moshe, someone they could physically see and touch. 

We see the same thing around us every day. Occasionally a charismatic leader with a strong personality falls from his place as leader and the congregation falls apart. They were looking to a man or woman to be there for them, to tell them what to do and how to do it. When something happens to that person, they fall apart. 

The children of Israel forgot about the Heavenly Father. This should be a warning for us.  We should always look to the Father as our unchanging Rock. 

Back to our TV, Moshe was basically in heaven with G-d interceding for them while below the children of Israel were worshipping an idol and indulging themselves in whatever made them feel good.

Surprisingly, or maybe not so much, in the book of Romans 8:34 we see the same picture before us. Yeshua is sitting at the right hand of G-d interceding for us below. 

What took place for this sin to happen? 

The calf didn’t jump from the fire on its own no matter what Aaron says. Exodus 32:22-24. Neither do we just happen to sin. In order for us to sin we must consciously turn away, averting our attention away from heaven. Only then can we do what we do. Like here, once we no longer are looking at what is going on in heaven are we able to live and act according to our flesh.

Another view of this tragedy is laid out below. Torah tells the story of the golden calf and at the same time the instructions for the building of the Tabernacle. G-d and Israel were both striving for the same end: They were each attempting to create a place to worship. Their methods of accomplishing that end were very different, though. Let’s look at the difference.

G-d’s Way                                                      

The Tabernacle represents G-d’s way of doing spirituality.

G-d had chosen to make Aaron the high priest over Israel.

The people did not yet know they would be asked to contribute their gold to make the Tabernacle.

The people were to fashion furnishings for the tabernacle.

The Tabernacle was to be a resting place for the Divine Presence of G-d.

Man’s way

The golden calf represents man’s way of doing spirituality.

Aaron took upon himself the role of priesthood when he made the golden calf.

Instead the people brought the gold of their jewelry to Aaron to make an idol.

Instead Aaron fashioned an idol.

Instead, the people made a visible, idolatrous representation of G-d.

All the things that Israel desired, G-d had already planned to give them. Getting ahead of G-d and doing things in the flesh never has a good outcome. Patience really is a virtue. It is always better to wait on G-d.

3.Look at Exodus 34:6-7 and see how many attributes of G-d are listed. Is it possible to relate  each one to the Messiah?

1.L-rd: (Adonai) what does this name tell us about G-d? It is the name shared with Moses on the mountain. It shows His unchanging character. He does what He says He will do. (Rev. 1:8) It encompasses His merciful and gracious nature. In Hebrews 13:8 we read this quality applied to the Messiah.

2.L-rd, L-rd: In Hebrew when a word is repeated it usually is for emphasis. So here it could mean that G-d is merciful toward us in every situation giving us every opportunity to repent. Yeshua lived this out through His life. He became the sacrifice for sin in our life. Romans 3:25-26

3.G-d(El) this word in Hebrew implies power and justice. It is the word used in creation. He is the Divine Judge before whom we all are accountable. What will be Yeshua’s role on His return? He returns to judge. John 5:22, John 9:39, Rev. 19:11

4.Compassionate (rahum) Shemot 34:6. The Hebrew word for compassion is Rachum. The root word for this also means womb. So G-d has a mother like affection for us. His desire is to nurture, protect, and forgive His people. Yeshua: Eph. 4:32.

5.Gracious:(hanun) In Hebrew is Hanun or favor. Graciousness is related to compassion. Shemot 33:19. This attribute is related to Yeshua. Read Romans 5:15, Eph. 2:7-9

6.Slow to Anger: (ereh apayim) Shemot 34:6 in Hebrew means slow nosed, a Hebrew idiom for slow to anger. G-d is patient with us. He does not want any to perish. I Tim. 1:16 and II Peter 3:14-15 are scriptures showing Yeshua as slow to anger.

7.Abounding in loving kindness: (rav hesed) Chesed is the Hebrew word normally used for this. It can mean covenant devotion. G-d acts with this toward Israel over and over because of the covenants. We see this with Yeshua in Titus 3:5, Luke 1:72-74, I Peter 1:3.

8.Abound in Truth: (emet) Shemot 34:6-7 G-d never lies. He is truth in every way. John 14:6 relates this to Yeshua.

9.Keeping Loving kindness for thousands: (notzeir hesed la-alafim) How long does G-d’s devotion last? Forever. Look at Psalms 126. Yeshua is the embodiment of this attribute. Read Eph. 3:21.

10.Forgiving iniquity: (nosei avon) Shemot 34:6-7. In Hebrew this mean forgiving intentional sin, breaking a commandment on purpose. Even this G-d forgives when we repent. This can be said of Yeshua. Read Acts 13:38-39.

11.Forgiving Transgressions: (pesha)This would be rebellion. We would be saying to G-d, “You are not the boss of me.” Sins Yeshua related to transgressions were tax collectors and the prodigal son. Eph1:7.

12.Forgiving Sin: (hata’ah) Shemot 34:6-7 This can mean those unintentional sins that we might think don’t matter. Yeshua’s sacrifice covers even these. I John 2:12.

13.Who Cleanses: (Nakeh)This attribute concerns one found guilty. They are guilty and justice is demanded. How is this satisfied? By the Messiah. He is G-d’s agent of cleansing.

So by this, when we read these attributes of G-d we see Messiah. When we sin with our own personal golden calf Messiah shows us the way back. When we pick up the dirt of the world He is our laver that gives us the right to approach G-d clean and pure. Amen

4. In Exodus 31:12-17 G-d gives instructions for the Shabbat.  In these verses He says to “keep” the Shabbat and to “observe” the Shabbat. The word in Hebrew for observe is shomer or guard.  How do we keep and guard the Shabbat?

G-d and His children need time away from the things of this world. According to Exodus 31 we are to keep the Shabbat. A better translation would be “to do” the Shabbat. How does one do the Shabbat? How do we do a day to G-d? One way is to prepare ahead of time. Do everything possible to make sure you are unencumbered on the day reserved for G-d. Readjust your schedule, do all your running around before that days arrives. Then you are ready to be with G-d and not bothered by things of this world.

The other word is observe.  The Hebrew translation in this verse is shomer or guard instead of observe the Shabbat. To me, guard is a stronger word than observe. What do we do when we guard something such as our house? We take every precaution to see that nothing gets in which would disturb or harm the tranquility of our home. 

In the Torah, in matters of life or death there are no gray areas things are either holy or unholy, clean or unclean, there is no middle ground. Like Elijah and the people of Israel, do this or do that but do not stay on the fence. In Hebrews Chapter four those that have believed in Messiah has entered the rest of G-d. We have ceased from our labors and rest in Him. So this earthly day of rest is a picture of what G-d has done for us in Messiah. Guard it closely and do it. 

What we can learn spiritually from the Sabbath. Only if we understand the spiritual background of the Sabbath can we understand verses like Hebrews 4:9-10 or II Cor. 5:17 where it says we are new creations. 

Like creation was finished on Friday, our salvation was finished by Yeshua. Can we add to it, is anything else needed? No, all that is left is for us to stop our own labor and enjoy what G-d has done. He made us completely new.. Our lives up until the day of our salvation were our “six days of labor.” By faith in Yeshua we have ceased from our own labors and entered His Sabbath and are now spending the rest of our lives in that seventh day, resting in what He has done for us. So, the actual day of Sabbath is/or can be a living picture of what Messiah accomplished for us in His death and resurrection.