Q. My granddaughter and I are studying “The life of Moses” this year in Bible Study Fellowship. I thought some of it would be something of a slog, but God’s set up of the whole sacrificial system is such a beautiful graphic picture of all that Jesus has done for us, that it is wonderful.
But one thing that I don’t understand is this. When the “stiff necked” people (I love that-aren’t we all?) disobeyed, God became so angry. After the golden calf, He threatened to start all over with just Moses and not lead with His presence. There are many failures that brought on God’s anger. My problem is that I know God knew this would all happen ahead of time and He knew He would not wipe everyone out and start over with Moses. So why such anger? It almost comes across to me that God loses control. And I know that is not true. Can you help me here?
A. You’re right. God knew everything in advance and does not lose control. In a sense He and Moses were acting out a parable of the Everlasting Covenant. God’s anger symbolized His wrath at the end of the age when He will punish the wicked. By offering to have his name blotted out of The Book of Life if God would forgive the people and not destroy them (Ex.32:32), Moses was being a type of the Messiah. Later Jesus fulfilled this model when He actually did give His life as payment for our sins so that God could forgive us and spare ours.