【Bible Study】Exodus 24: God Gives Us No Excuses to Go Astray

Pastor Samuel Sharing

Bible Study: Exodus


Good morning everyone, today we are going to look at Exodus chapter 24. In this chapter, we will see that our Lord is doing more than enough to give us no excuses to go astray. You will see our God is so merciful and He is doing a wonderful thing amongst us. In this chapter, God was preparing the Israelites for Moses to go up to the mountain to meet up with God for 40 days.

Sometimes we just wonder why God needed 40 days with Moses on the mountain. Couldn’t it just be just 4 hours? What about just spending 4 hours talking to Moses, giving him the revelation, so you did not need to take him to the mountain for 40 days and leave the Israelites in the unknown. Because the Israelites did not know what happened, that was why they started to build a gold cow, an idol, after 40 days.

Because they had waited for 10 days, then another 10 days, and another 10 days, then they started to wonder what happened to Moses, as he just disappeared. They wanted to search the whole mountain to find Moses but the Lord told them not to go up the mountain. God knew exactly what the Israelites would do, but why did God bring Moses up to the mountain for 40 days? Do you understand? I have problems understanding that.

Sometimes I like to say "God, why are you doing this?" Do you know what happened? God is testing the people to see if we will pass the test. Actually, God is testing us a lot more than we think. So we need to be very careful!

God Is Testing His People

God tested us for 40 days, but can that be shortened to 20 days? Yes, God can shorten it. Can that be shortened to 10 days? Yes!

God brought Moses up to the mountain to meet him and showed him how to build the Tabernacle in great detail. This was not because God could do it in one day, or 4 hours. God could do it in one minute. Because God could do all kinds of miracles.

But why did God take him up to the mountain for 40 days? This was a test. But before testing the Israelites, God was preparing the Israelites so they had no excuses.

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Come up to the LORD, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel. You are to worship at a distance, (Exodus 24:1)

So they went out here, ate, and drank what the Lord had prepared for them. The Lord prepared the meal for them. The Israelites responded with the same answer twice.

“Everything the LORD has said we will do.” (Exodus 24:3)

The Israelites used to claim that: "We would do everything the Lord asked, we would obey whatever the Lord had asked." However, in less than 40 days, they changed their mind. Why was it so easy for them to change their mind? After changing their mind, the Israelites swallowed the result. They were almost destroyed by the Lord.

This is also the case for Christians as well. A lot of Christians say that everything the Lord has said they will surely do; everything the Lord has commanded they will obey. Is that so? If you do not obey, you are going to swallow the result. But, don't ask God why it happens.

My brothers and sisters, let me tell you what this chapter is trying to tell us: God is preparing us for no excuses. This is the topic of this chapter. I will line up all the cases I've been through where I have ministered to people who suffered from cancer and many other illnesses. A lot of people have seen enough grace from God, they have experienced a lot more than me. They went through a life-and-death journey and were almost going to die. After God healed them, they said they would obey everything God had said. But they fail every small test and go astray.

Changing Our Minds Is The Key

We can do everything. But if we cannot change our minds, it's not going to be helpful. Therefore, I have to bring this up to you to let you know that changing your mind is better than 1000 words coming out of your mouth. It's no use if you just say you will obey. God will not let you have excuses as you have been through enough.

This group of Israelites saw the miracles, the signs, and wonders that had never been seen before or after. They saw how the mighty hand of Almighty God brought them out of Egypt and then went into the desert. And God was preparing them to move into the promised land. But they all died in the desert. They were not pleasing God because their mind had their own set of things.

Remember when they said, "we will do everything the Lord has said", and in less than 40 days, they built an idol. Although they ate and drank the meal that was prepared by God. They saw the place when they went up to it with Moses. It was a nice place. They set up twelve stone pillars representing the twelve tribes of Israel to remember it was the Lord that brought them out of Egypt.

Let me ask you how many of you have not experienced the grace of God? Whether it was healing, or financial blessing, or the physical health was improved, or the sickness was healed. You will have seen it with your own eyes. But the moment we need to commit our life to the hand of the Lord, a lot of people will turn away. They will say: "Yeah, we will obey, but..." But what? "But disobey". Their "obey" is always followed by a "but".

Yes, God has already called us out of Egypt. He calls every one of us, but who is the chosen one? Are you qualified to enter the promised land? Is your mind going to be changed by the word of God? Lip service is easy, but just the same as when God brought the punishment to the Israelites, it will be too late for people to change their minds.

So I am going to warn both you and me that God gives us no excuses. Remember, we have seen enough, we have been through enough, just the same as what God gave to the Israelites. God was doing all those things to prepare them for a small test. It was forty days and forty nights when Moses stayed up in the mountain. The rest were seventy leaders amongst Israelites, as well as Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu.

If anyone can stand firm on the ground of the Word of God, bad things will not happen. This is a real sorrow for human beings. If you have been through enough, you will not have the same attitude saying "I still have my own idol".

What Are You Living For?

So today I want to highlight this to you. What are you living for? If you do not live for God, what are you living for? Then you will have a bigger problem. You will not pass all the tests, not even the smallest test.

God only took Moses away for 40 days, things happened. They started to build an idol, they started to play around, they started to behave in their own way and they would go astray. This is something we need to figure out. Why do people go astray so easily? Do you understand why people go astray so easily? Even though the Israelites shouted at the foot of the mountain in front of Moses and God the Lord, " Everything the Lord has said we will obey and we will do." And within 40 days they went astray.

It is something very similar to a Christian's life which I have seen plenty of. There is a lady, who suffered from a terminal disease. Do you know why she got a terminal illness? God gave her enough grace and no excuse. She was washing dishes in an airport with a monthly income of around 1000 dollars. Taking away the rental cost, the bills, and all other expenses, she could not save much.

She turned up to the church, I prayed for her, she got a better-paid job and her wages increased to $2000 plus per month. Do you understand the difference between earning $2000 plus a month and $1000 plus a month? There is a huge difference. What is the difference?

Let me give you an idea about earning $1000 and $2000 a month. If you are making $1000 a month after deducting $950 of the cost of living, you are able to save $50. Now, if you are earning $2000 a month, your cost of living remained the same at $950 and you are saving $1050 compared to a mere savings of $50. How many times more are you saving now? Brothers and sisters, you have to pay attention to this. That is a huge difference. When you count by your saving every month you are left with nothing basically you are working for nothing. You are only working for food and filling up your stomach. If you work only to fill up the stomach and what are you going to do when you get older? When you get older, you have nowhere to turn to.

Coming back to the story of this lady when she found a job with $2000 plus a month and she was supposed to live a blessed life but her mind had gone astray. Her salary increased from $1000 plus to $2000 plus had made a huge difference. I told her to bring the full amount of tithing to the Lord because it will bring her blessings in life. Had she seen enough of God’s grace? Yes, the huge increment in her wages. Do you know what she said to me? “You said only $200, ok, I give it to you.” I said to her “ No, no, no, no, no, I don’t need your $200 with this kind of attitude.”

Do not humiliate God. Do you know what happened to her after that? She did not turn up at the church, did not attend any meetings, and struggled with her job. This was very common. After 6 months, she was fired by the company, took all her savings, packed her things, and went back to her hometown. When she went back to her hometown, she spent all her money, suffered from a disease, and borrowed money from others as well.

Why are people living in this way? They have no destiny and they do not understand how life works. They live day by day, till the day they die. They do not think about any other thing and they are thinking about the life they are living now. I am looking down on these kinds of people though I ministered to them wholeheartedly. But in my heart, I know what kind of people they are. This lady came back to the church to pray for her terminal disease and was at the end of her life, about to die soon. She went to the hospital and doctors could not heal her anymore, she attended my prayer meeting and I prayed for her. I did not know that she suffered from a terminal disease till 2 to 3 months later, she said she would like to give a testimony. In her testimony, she talked about her healing by our God.

If our life is given by our God, what do you think? If our life is given by God which was the same as Israel people came up from Egypt, if our life is given by God, then what are we living for? We could answer the question like this if we had seen the signs and wonders from the mighty hands of our God to bring us out of Egypt.

Be Prepared to Live God and Pass God's Tests

God had given a small test to the Israelites by taking Moses away for 40 days. Nobody would watch over them and tell them what to do or not to do. They could do whatever they want. For the first 10 days and the next second 10 days, they started to feel bored. They built a golden calf and how horrible could that be? Before that day, God had enlightened them not to build any idols for themselves and they built a golden calf. How silly could that be?

That lady was healed and the first thing that came into her mind was to make a living. Living is very important for many people. They lived to play and enjoy their life as that is the most important part of their life. They lived for 10 years after another 10 years and after several 10 years had gone, finally they passed away. I really do not understand why they were not thinking that much.

My brothers and sisters, I had seen too many of these types of people. They wanted to live for themselves. Are you prepared to live for God, the Lord who brought us out of Egypt? Are you prepared to live for this God who had shown us mercy and had given us enough grace, signs, and wonders? Let us live for Him and He is the way, the truth, and the door. Are you with me?

Sometimes I am boasting about myself. But I am actually not boasting about myself, I am boasting about the mercy of the Lord. Before I was saved by the Lord (I am not talking about salvation spiritually), I wanted to give away my life by jumping down from a building as I found that my life was so boring. Before I made the decision to jump down, I said I needed to search for a God, and I found Jesus Christ and I turned myself to him. On the first day when I found Jesus Christ, I said to him that I decided to follow him and there was no turning back. I had passed uncountable tests by God.

Never Give Excuses

My brothers and sisters, we are the Israel people. God is preparing us and we have no excuses. You and I have no excuses. All these years, I realized if people only live for themselves, they would soon go astray. Don’t forget that. We came up from Egypt. We came up from the world. Do not go back to the world anymore. The world was our past and we are not turning back. We were under the slavery of the world in the past and now we are set free. Do you want to live for God? You have to decide; do you want to live for God or do you want to live for yourself? The decision you make has a huge difference and impact on your life. Living for yourself, you cannot follow God even though your lips could say I will do everything God asks me to. Do not bluff and stop bluffing. The key issue is our minds and changing our minds is the only way to follow God.

That was the reason I found the Doctrine of Destiny and the Chinese called Ming ding “命定”. You might not know the word but you could sound it just like the brand “Huawei”. If everybody knows and you do not know, that is fine as eventually, everybody will know Ming ding. Whether you are a Russian, British or American, you can learn how to pronounce it. If you still do not know, never mind and I will tell you what it means: I live for God and I die for God. That is called destiny.

Live for God, Not for Yourself

My brothers and sisters, what are you living for? Please put a big question mark. What is in our minds? Are you struggling to live? You will surely die if you struggle to live. If you struggle to die for Jesus Christ, you will surely live. God has enough power. God has enough mercy, and enough love for us and we have no excuses. Let me tell you if you are suffering from this and that, there are no excuses.

That lady who was healed from the terminal disease was supposed to die but came back to life. The big problem that surfaced again was that people want to live. How do you get out of the debt? How do you live better with enough money? When you live, you are going to spend money, right? Where does the money come from? Her first solution was not from the Lord but from her mind. Her mind was so engaged with the world.

Let me tell you at times, I have a lot of sorrow in my heart for people like this. I have a lot of sorrow. Every time they want to leave and they had their own reasons to leave. They had her own core interest which you could not touch on it. For example, someone would come to me saying “Pastor, I want to join in ministering to people and I want to do this and that.” Ok and of course, since he was so keen, I would start to make some arrangements. But later on, he came to say that he could not do it anymore. I asked for a reason and he stated his holiday was over so he had to commence her work.

What is the logic behind it? The work itself was more important than ministering to God. You will see people live with this kind of mind and they will be going through a disaster. The disaster will strike them like how God struck the Israel people. The Israelites died in the desert and wandered in the desert for 40 years. Yes, they did not die immediately but wandered in the desert for 40 years. Do you want that?

Do you know what are you living for? If you live for the world and that will be your result, to die in the desert. God had prepared everything for you. You have no excuses, no, no, no, no, and stop giving all kinds of reasons. No, no, no, no and you have no position to share your excuses. God chose some people and through these people bless them, make their name great and make them into a big nation. Are you with me?

Today, I have to ask you a question, are you this group of people who had seen God and the mighty hand of our Almighty God? Who had gone through enough of all the sufferings and are you still living for yourself? If you are still living for yourself and that will be your idol which will lead you to destruction. When you see God, you cannot talk back to God as He had prepared everyone whether you are a worldly people, Godly people, or anyone in the world. God had given you enough reasons not because you are good but because He is trying to cover your mouth from giving excuses. You have no more excuses when you are suffering from the punishment from God. Are you with me?

Changing Our Mind Is Most Rewarding

How important it is to have a total mind-shifting! In the past, we live for the world. In the past, we are slaves of the world. We are slaves of money. We are slaves of everything. Now we are going to be set free and now we are going to live for God! We choose willingly to be slaves of the Holy Spirit, under the slavery of the Holy Spirit, because Holy Spirit gives us life.

So Moses went up there and he brought along Joshua as his aid. He went up. He disappeared and was covered by the cloud for 40 days. The minds of the Israelites were not changing. No matter how much they had seen, no matter how much they had gone through, that's totally no use. Changing your mind is going to be most rewarding. What are you living for? That's a big question. They're the big question. If you're not prepared to live for the Lord. So be it. And eventually, God has already shown enough mercy, enough grace to you and me.

Even before God penalized the Canaanites and cast them out from the land of Canaan, God gave them more than 400 years to repent. Before God poured down the fire on the city of Sodom and the city of Gomora, God gave them enough grace. God gave them enough mercy and God was not going to give them any more excuses. They have no excuses.

So God is doing all this to prepare us to have no excuses. But Why do we need excuses if we have a destiny? If you and I are living for God, no matter what happens, whether Moses went up to the mountain for 40 days or 400 days or even 400 years, we are still living for God. Are you with me? Prepare your mind! Change your mind! Don't follow this group of people. This group of people is not pleasing God. They brought the wrath of God onto themselves.

Don't Follow With Events Every Day

Soften our hearts. Don't be self-righteous. Don't be stubborn. And repent. Get our my renewed. Our mind is so easily polluted. Do you know how easily our minds get polluted? We don't need to do anything. We just need to flow with the event every day. Some people hear the story about myself. Yeah, I hardly attend weddings because to me it makes no sense. The wedding. So what? Today I attend your wedding, tomorrow or a couple of days, a couple of years later, I may attend your divorce! Are you going to invite me for a ceremony of the devoicing? I'm just joking. But I'm so curious. Are we coming to this world to attend these people's weddings? Are we living for that? If we are not, we got to set apart our time for God.

I tell you, a lot of people, every now and then, put down God. And they take up rubbish, ... all these sorts of things. People say: "Oh! Then what am I going to do?" Oh, you can do all kinds of things, right? Do you want me to teach you how to get excuses to the people and get no excuses to God? Don't give so many excuses to God. Serve God. That's what I'm living for. Many years ago, before the world was created, my time was already committed to God. And who are you? How can you take the time away from me, right?

Of course, I'm not going to be so blunt, so direct. I can be a little bit more polite. Now I can share with people, saying: "Oh, don't invite me. You know what? Someone invited me and then after the wedding, they got divorced. and then after they invited me, they got all these kinds of problems. At every wedding that I attended, I brought curses onto the people. You better keep away from me right now!" So people want to keep me away from that and I'm making a brand of that. I make it known to the people. Why do you invite me? I don't want to go. If you want me to go, I will reply very directly: "No, no, no. I hate attending weddings, OK? I just hate that. Don't ask me why! I just hate that." What's the problem? No problem at all.

Do you want to have excuses? No, don't give excuses to God. Give excuses for all these sorts of events. I mean, life is full of thus nitty-gritty stuff. I keep away from all this. I take it as nonsense. if you ask me how to give excuses, I got one thousand and one excuses. I just shared a few with you.

OK come on, my brother and sisters. Don't pile up excuses to God. Pile up excuses to the world, to the devil. There is no reason to compromise and no reason for not changing our minds, no reason to live for God. That's called the doctrine of Ming Ding, or the Ming Ding doctrine.

We Are The Army of God

The Israelites who came up from Egypt were going to form a great army. If you serve in the army, if you serve in the national service, you got to put down everything, even if you are just a reservist. Do you know "reservist"? It means you get out of the army but once in a while, the army will call you back for extra training. You're going to put down no matter what you are, what position you hold in the company. Do you know Singapore got a reservist service? The army will call you back before you come to the age of 40 plus. After you finish the National service, after 2-3 years, and then the army will call you back once in a while, probably every year or every two years. You got to cancel your business trip. You got to cancel your business meeting. You got to cancel all these, to put it down because you attended the army and God is forming a great army!

Let me tell you, anytime God calls me there, I would reply: "Oh, I'm here! I'm here!" I'm waiting for that. Put it down. If there is one thing that cannot be put down, nothing can be put down. Because that is the army. The army of God is the state machine of the Kingdom of God. That's why without an army, a country cannot be formed. Without an army, your country will easily get invaded. You just don't have the power. Then you cannot protect yourself. That's why Singapore wants to build a strong army to protect this state nation.

What I'm telling you over here is: This is the Army of God. Put down whatever you can and follow God. God is not leading you into disasters. God is leading you into the promised land. But without fighting the battle, without putting down all these things, without giving excuses to the world, you cannot follow God. Are you prepared to pay the price to love God? Or are you prepared to pay the price for loving the world, following the world?

Our Reward is Great

Either way, we got to pay a price. But if you are on this side and you're paying the price, the reward is great. The reward is going to be great! The reward is not about just this life, but is about going to the promised land, about eternal life. It is about why we are living in the world.

40 days, 4 years, 40 years, or 400 years is no big deal! If you are determined in your mind, not going to swing from left to right, follow God. Do not make an idol in your mind. Make God's throne in our minds.

Thank you very much. May the Lord bless you. See you next week. Next week, I'm going to share Exodus Chapter 25.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *