Day 30 – Exodus 33, 34; Psalms 30:15–25; Proverbs 6:13–16; Matthew 20:1–16

Exodus 33, 34 


God Orders Israel to Depart Sinai

1 Now the Lord said to Moses, “Depart, go up from here, you and the people you brought out of the land of Egypt, to the land I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘To your seed I will give it.’ 2 I will send My Angel before your face, and I will drive out the Amorite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Gergesite, the Hivite, the Jebusite, and the Canaanite. 3 I will bring you into a land flowing with milk and honey; for I will not go up in your midst, lest I consume you on the way, for you are a stiff-necked people.” 4 When the people heard this bad news, they mourned in lamentations. 5 For the Lord said to the children of Israel, “You are a stiff-necked people. Beware, lest I inflict another plague on you and consume you. Now therefore, take off your bright clothes and ornaments, and I will show you what I will do.” 6 So the children of Israel stripped themselves of their bright clothes and ornaments by Mount Horeb.

Moses before the Lord

7 Moses then took his tent and pitched it outside the camp, far from the camp, and called it the tabernacle of testimony. Thus it came to pass that everyone who sought the Lord went out to the tabernacle of testimony, which was outside the camp. 8 So it was, whenever Moses went out to the tabernacle, which was outside the camp, all the people rose, and each man stood at his tent door and watched Moses until he went into the tabernacle. 9 Now it came to pass, when Moses entered the tabernacle, that the pillar of cloud descended and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and God talked to Moses. 10 All the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the tabernacle door, and all the people rose and worshiped, each man at his tent door. 11 Thus the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. Then he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle.

  God Promises His Presence

12 Then Moses said to the Lord, “Behold, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people.’ But You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you above all, and you have also found grace in My sight.’ 13 Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, reveal Yourself to me, that I may see You clearly and find grace in Your sight, and know this great nation is Your people.”

14 So He said, “I Myself will go before you and give you rest.” 15 Then he said to Him, “If You Yourself do not go up with us, do not bring us up from here. 16 For how then will it be known that Your people and I found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So both I and Your people shall be glorified beyond all the nations on the earth.” 17 The Lord then said to Moses, “I will also do this thing you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you above all.” 18 Moses replied, “Reveal Yourself to me.”

19 Then God said, “I will pass before you in My glory, and I will proclaim My name, the Lord, before you. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” 20 But He said, “You cannot see My face; for no man can see My face and live.” 21 Moreover, the Lord said, “Here is a place by Me: you shall stand on the rock. 22 So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. 23 Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.”


A Second Set of Tablets

1 Now the Lord said to Moses, “Cut two tablets of stone like the first ones, and I will write on these tablets the words that were on the first tablets you broke. 2 So be ready in the morning to come up on Mount Sinai and to present yourself to Me there on top of the mountain. 3 But no man shall come up with you, and let no man be seen throughout all the mountain; let neither sheep nor oxen feed before that mountain.” 4 So he cut two tablets of stone like the first ones. Then Moses rose early in the morning and went up to Mount Sinai as the Lord commanded him; and he took in his hand the two tablets of stone. 5 Now the Lord descended in the cloud; and He stood with him there, and he called upon the name of the Lord. 6 Then the Lord passed before his face and proclaimed, “The Lord God, compassionate, merciful, longsuffering, abounding in mercy and true, 7 preserving righteousness and showing mercy unto thousands, taking away lawlessness, wrongdoing, and sins; and He will not clear the guilty, visiting the lawlessness of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.” 8 So Moses made haste and bowed his head toward the ground and worshiped. 9 Then he said, “If now I have found grace in Your sight, let my Lord go with us, for the people are stiff-necked; and You will take away our sins and lawlessness, and we will be Yours.”

The Covenant Is Renewed

10 The Lord then said to Moses, “Behold, I am establishing a covenant with you. Before all your people I will do marvels such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation; and all the people among whom you are shall see the works of the Lord, for I will do awesome things for you. 11 Observe what I command you this day. Behold, I am driving out from before you the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hittite, the Hivite, the Gergesite, and the Jebusite. 12 Take heed to yourself, lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land where you are going, lest it be a stumbling-block in your midst. 13 But you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and cut down their groves; and you shall burn the graven images of their gods with fire 14 (for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord God, a jealous name, is a jealous God), 15 lest you make a covenant with the foreigners of the land; and they indulge themselves in gross immorality with their gods by making sacrifice to them; and they invite you, and you eat of their sacrifices; 16 and you take of their daughters for your sons and give your daughters to their sons; and your daughters commit fornication with their gods, and your sons commit fornication with their gods. 17 You shall make no molten gods for yourselves.

  18 “The Feast of Unleavened Bread you shall keep. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, at the season in the month of new grain; for in the month of new grain you came out from Egypt. 19 All that open the womb are Mine: every male firstborn among your livestock, of oxen or sheep. 20 But the firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a sheep, and if you will not redeem it, you shall pay a price. All the firstborn of your sons you shall redeem, and none shall appear before Me empty-handed. 21 Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest. There shall be rest in seedtime and harvest. 22 You shall observe the Feast of Weeks, the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the year’s end.

23 “Three times in the year all your males shall appear before the Lord God of Israel. 24 For I will cast out the nations before you and enlarge your borders; neither will any man covet your land when you go up to appear before the Lord your God three times in the year. 25 You shall not offer the blood of My sacrifices with leaven, nor shall the sacrifices from the Feast of Pascha be left until morning. 26 The first fruits of your land you shall bring to the house of the Lord your God. You shall not boil a lamb in its mother’s milk.”

27 Again the Lord said to Moses, “Write these words for yourself, for according to these words I established a covenant with you and with Israel.” 28 So he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he neither ate bread nor drank water. He wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.

Moses’ Face Shines

29 Now when Moses came down from Mount Sinai (and the two tablets were in Moses’ hand when he came down from the mountain), he did not know the skin of his face was glorified while God talked with Him. 30 So when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses and the glorified appearance of the skin of his face, they were afraid to come near him. 31 Then Moses called to them, and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned to him; and Moses talked with them. 32 Afterward all the children of Israel came near, and he gave them as commandments all that the Lord commanded him on Mount Sinai. 33 When Moses finished speaking with them, he put a veil on his face. 34 But when Moses went in before the Lord to speak with Him, he would take the veil off until he came out; and he would come out and speak to the children of Israel whatever the Lord commanded him. 35 So the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that it was glorified; and Moses put the veil on his face again until he went in to speak with Him.

Psalms 30:15–25 

15 But as for me, I hope in You, O Lord;

I said, “You are my God.”

16 My times are in Your hands;

Deliver me from the hand of my enemies,

And from those who persecute me.

17 Make Your face shine upon Your servant;

Save me in Your mercy.

18 O Lord, do not let me be ashamed, because I call upon You;

Let the ungodly be ashamed,

And lead them down into Hades.

19 Let deceitful lips become speechless

When they speak lawlessness against the righteous

With arrogance and contempt.

20 How great, O Lord, is the abundance of Your goodness

You hide for those who fear You,

Which You will work for those who hope in You

In the sight of the sons of men.

21 You shall hide them in the secret of Your presence from the disturbance of men;

You will shelter them in Your tabernacle from the contradiction of tongues.

22 Blessed is the Lord,

For He magnified His mercy in a fortified city.

23 But I said in my ecstasy,

“Indeed, I am cast away from the countenance of Your eyes.”

Therefore You heard the voice of my supplication

When I cried to You.

24 Love the Lord, all you His saints,

For the Lord seeks out truth,

And He repays those who act with great arrogance.

25 Be courageous, and let your heart be strengthened,

All who hope in the Lord.

Proverbs 6:13–16 

13 How long, O sluggard, will you be idle,

And when will you arise from sleep?

14 You sleep a little; you sit down a little; you doze a short while;

And you fold your hands on your chest a little;

15 Then poverty comes to you as an evil traveler

And neediness as a swift runner.

16 But if you are diligent, your harvest shall come to you as a fountain,

And neediness as an evil runner shall desert you.

Matthew 20:1–16

1 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.

2 “Now when he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard.

3 “And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the marketplace,

4 “and said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went.

5 “Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise.

6 “And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing idle, and said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day?’

7 “They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right you will receive.’

8 “So when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, ‘Call the laborers and give them their wages, beginning with the last to the first.’

9 “And when those came who were hired about the eleventh hour, they each received a denarius.

10 “But when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise received each a denarius.

11 “And when they had received it, they complained against the landowner,

12 “saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.’

13 “But he answered one of them and said, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius?

14 ‘Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you.

15 ‘Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?’16 “So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen.”

7 Replies to “Day 30 – Exodus 33, 34; Psalms 30:15–25; Proverbs 6:13–16; Matthew 20:1–16”

  1. Fr. Alex – thank you for this inspiring and helpful ministry! Do you provide the quotes you read and your commentary at the end of each podcast? I often find myself trying to track them down, for future reference.

  2. I have been a subscriber for almost 3 years. Just recently I have not been receiving my email notifications of daily readings. Can you help please.

    1. I checked and you are still listed as a subscriber. I received my emails this morning. Is it possible that they went to the spam folder? Perhaps your email reset and started sending some items there. Please let me know as I try to resolve this. – FA

  3. Father Alexis, I am trying to track down your comments about Greek philosophers laying the foundation in some ways so as to be in support of Orthodox Christianity. These are not at all your exact words. Your words were much different. But the comments were about how to even understand the Greek philosophers. You made the comments in a podcast on Daily Orthodox Scriptures in either 2021 or 2022 (and it was I believe in or around May). That and some of the other podcasts you gave around that time moved me to start attending the Orthodox Church in my community. I want to track it down because it’s the BEST thing for someone who is questioning to become motivated to listen to more. It touches people who are at a stage where they don’t see how certain things make sense. I strongly believe it would help teenagers in this generation to hear
    that particular message and really have you expand on that message.

    1. I do not think I found what you were referring to. But I found this in my searching. As the Greek Philosophers gave a foundational understanding that helped the Gentiles accept Christianity, the Mosaic Law worked in a similar way. Jesus is the conclusion of the Law and the Prophets, just as he is the conclusion of the Greek philosophers.

      This is what was said in the Podcast:

      So we see the 10 commandments have been given to Moses to give to the people. This is really important, even beyond what the 10 commandments mean. This along with the other instructions that are given are the beginning of what we call the Mosaic Law. Now later on the Apostle Paul will have a lot to say about this law when compared to the Grace offered by Christ, but for now we need to see this Mosaic Law as foundational for the people. They were slaves, not a nation. It’s been a long time since Joseph was around and they can’t remember any of the high points of themselves as a people. They really are starting over. They have been brought out of slavery in Egypt and led into the desert. They are becoming a new people. They are developing a culture. A rhythm and cycle of life and the calendar will be worked out for the people to have in common. And some of the basics of this Mosaic Law, the 10 commandments for example, have been laws that have lasted and stood the test of time. And they were pretty advanced for their time. And although this Mosaic Law is a great advancement and foundational for their development as a people, it is not the conclusion of the story. We see in Jesus the conclusion. Ultimately, Jesus replaces the Law. We do not follow the Law, we follow Christ. That does not mean we break the Law, but it means our eyes are directed on Jesus. The Law is something that we follow whereas Christ is the one who is present in our midst and changes the very workings of our heart. This was the transition the apostles had to understand and experience themselves before they could teach others.

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