"So Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord and all the judgments. And all the people answered with one voice and said, ‘All the words which the Lord has said we will do’ ” (Exodus 24:3).
For those of us who make New Year’s resolutions, how many of them are we still keeping? It is far easier to make a resolution about changing something in our lives, than to actually keep it.
Following God’s speaking the Ten Commandments to the children of Israel, they respond with great fear and ask Moses if he alone would speak to God (Exodus 20:18-19). Moses then draws near the thick darkness where God was (Exodus 20:21) to hear a message the Lord wants Moses to give to His people. God begins giving him many commandments which He expects Israel to keep (Exodus 20:22-23:19). He also promises to drive out the nations from before them so they can inherit the Promised Land if His people will follow God’s commandments (Exodus 23:20-33). He then instructs Moses to go and get Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and the 70 elders to worship God from afar and then for Moses to come near to God again by himself to receive additional commandments (Exodus 24:1-2).
However, before doing this, as the opening verse above show, Moses shares with God’s people the commandments which he had received from the Lord so far and the blessings Israel will receive if they follow them (Exodus 24:3). Upon hearing both of the commandments God expects of them and the blessing He promises to give them if they keep them, the people say, “All the words which the Lord has said we will do” (Exodus 24:3). The express a resolution to follow God with all their heart!
What a great resolution for the people to make! Moses writes these words of the Lord, leads the people in worshipping and sacrificing to the Lord and once again reads these commands to the people (Exodus 24:4-7). Once again the people resolutely respond, “All that the Lord has said we will do and be obedient” (Exodus 24:7). Moses then takes some of the blood from the animal sacrifices which they had just made, sprinkles it upon the people and says, “This is the blood of the covenant which the Lord has made with you according to all these words” (Exodus 24:8).
Although they had made a great resolution and entered into a covenant with God to follow Him, did God’s people follow through in keeping their resolution? Following this, Moses and the leaders of the people, go up to where God had instructed them, and behold God on His throne (Exodus 24:9-11). This amazing sight should have given further motivation for these leaders to want to keep their resolution. God then calls Moses alone to the top of the mountain to receive additional instructions for the people to follow. Moses will spend 40 days and nights on the mountain with God as the people from below behold in awe the mountain covered like a consuming fire (Exodus 24:12-18).
However, before these 40 days and nights had ended, the people renege on their resolution. They specifically violate one of the commandments they had agreed to keep (cf. Exodus 22:20), by calling for Moses’ brother Aaron to, “Come, make us gods that shall go before us” (Exodus 32:1). Aaron heeds their voice and fails to live up to the trust which had been placed in him (Exodus 32:2-6).
It is far easier to make a resolution than to keep it. When I became a Christian, I called Jesus my Lord (cf. Matthew 10:32-33; Romans 10:9-10). This meant I wanted Him to be the ruler of my life. I let Him rule by submitting to His Will (cf. Luke 6:46). I rejoice that Christ leads me and guides me through my journey on this earth. Today, I will strive to keep my resolution to follow Him!
“With my whole heart I have sought You; oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!” (Psalm 119:10)