31. ONE'S SINS SHALL BE UPON HIS OWN HEAD.
Exodus 32:33 - "And the LORD said to Moses, 'Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book."
We are not responsible for the sins of others but neither are they responsible for our transgressions. Ezekiel 18:20 declares - "The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself."
32. SIN ALWAYS LEADS TO SUFFERING.
Exodus 32:35 - "So the LORD plagued the people because of what they did with the calf which Aaron made."
It may take a while, in some cases, for the suffering to begin, but it will come eventually! In their case, it began when Moses descended from the mountain. Today many sin with no immediate suffering, but God is not mocked! Everyone will reap what they sow in due time (cf. Gal. 6:7,8; Eccl. 12:13,14).
33. OUR ACTIONS TODAY IMPACT GENERATIONS THAT FOLLOW.
Exodus 34:6,7 - "And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, 'The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation.'"
This passage has been misunderstood at times. God does not hold future generations accountable for the sins of their ancestors (as we have previously noted in Eze. 18:20), but the consequences of foolish choices made by past generations often affect those in the present! For example, when a mother does drugs while pregnant, her foolishness will certainly affect her offspring in a negative way. May we live wisely in the present considering the impact of our decisions upon our own souls and those who would come after us.
34. MAKE GOD YOUR FIRST PRIORITY ALWAYS, EVEN WHEN YOU ARE TEMPTED TO DO OTHERWISE DUE TO CIRCUMSTANCES.
Exodus 34:21 - "Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; in plowing time and in harvest you shall rest."
Many today are tempted to juggle their priorities by pushing God's will down the list temporarily during times of great labor (e.g., planting, harvest, etc.). Such is unwise and was forbidden here under the Mosaic law. Put God first even when you have a lot of other things to get done. This lesson applies to recreation choices and trips away from home also. If we stay up too late on Saturday night so that we can't get up and ready for Bible class on Sunday morning, what message does that send? If a person is able to get to work or school on time on the weekdays but is habitually unable to attend Bible class or be on time, such does give an indication of misplaced priorities. Furthermore, when traveling away from home, are you still a follower of Christ on Sundays? Then make your best effort to gather with other Christians regardless of where you are geographically.
35. PEOPLE WILL NOTICE IF YOU SPEND A LOT OF TIME WITH GOD.
Exodus 34:29 - "Now it was so, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai (and the two tablets of the Testimony were in Moses' hand when he came down from the mountain), that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him. So when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him."
Although your face won't illuminate like Moses' by studying your Bible diligently or by spending much time in prayer, people will notice. Increased spiritual maturity takes time and effort to develop (cf. Heb. 5:12-14), and it only happens when we meditate on His word and that which is good (cf. I Tim. 4:13-16; Phil. 4:8; Acts 4:13).