Tablets Like the First Ones
1 At that time the Lord said to me, “Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones and come up to me on the mountain. Also make a wooden ark. 2 I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. Then you are to put them in the ark.”
3 So I made the ark out of acacia wood and chiseled out two stone tablets like the first ones, and I went up on the mountain with the two tablets in my hands. 4 The Lord wrote on these tablets what he had written before, the Ten Commandments he had proclaimed to you on the mountain, out of the fire, on the day of the assembly. And the Lord gave them to me. 5 Then I came back down the mountain and put the tablets in the ark I had made, as the Lord commanded me, and they are there now.
Continuing from the last chapter, where Moses was telling the Israelites of how, because of their sin, he smashed the two tablets of the Ten Commandments into pieces. God had Moses chisel out two new stone tablets and bring them back up the mountain along with a wooden ark. At this point the ark was a simple plain wooden ark. God was going to write the same words on these new tablets, and then have Moses put them in the ark. (building of the ark is in Ex 25:10-22, and also in Ex 37) The ark is a representation of our hearts, the Word of God is written on our hearts, and we are to carry it with us!
Jeremiah 31:33 (NIV)
33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
6 (The Israelites traveled from the wells of Bene Jaakan to Moserah. There Aaron died and was buried, and Eleazar his son succeeded him as priest. 7 From there they traveled to Gudgodah and on to Jotbathah, a land with streams of water. 8 At that time the Lord set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the Lord, to stand before the Lord to minister and to pronounce blessings in his name, as they still do today. 9 That is why the Levites have no share or inheritance among their fellow Israelites; the Lord is their inheritance, as the Lord your God told them.)
10 Now I had stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights, as I did the first time, and the Lord listened to me at this time also. It was not his will to destroy you. 11 “Go,” the Lord said to me, “and lead the people on their way, so that they may enter and possess the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.”
God led the Israelites forward towards Canaan, though many times through the 40 years of traveling, their hearts often turned back towards Egypt. Keep in mind that Egypt is a type of the world, we as believers are always tempted to fall back to worldly things, especially when we think that God isn’t helping us.
God brought them to a land of streams of water, out of a dry and barren wilderness. Soon after God had given orders to separate the tribe of Levi to the services of God. The established ministry of the Levites was a great blessing for the people of God.
Moses told them how God has excepted him as an advocate, intercessor and leader for the Israelites, to lead them to the promised land.
Fear the Lord
12 And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?
Moses exhorts the Israelites to have fear and reverence towards the Lord their God and walk in obedience to him, to love him, and to serve him with all their heart and soul, and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees.
14 To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it. 15 Yet the Lord set his affection on your ancestors and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations—as it is today. 16 Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer. 17 For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. 18 He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. 19 And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. 20 Fear the Lord your God and serve him. Hold fast to him and take your oaths in his name. 21 He is the one you praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes. 22 Your ancestors who went down into Egypt were seventy in all, and now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky.
Closing words of wisdom from Moses, having chosen Him as our God, as our Lord and Savior, we must faithfully and constantly abide with Him and never forsake Him. Worship and Praise Him only, for He is the creator of everything.