Today I read Exodus 33 where the Lord sends Moses and the children of Israel on their way. The Lord is very displeased with the children of Israel and the way they have behaved and He tells them this through Moses. He tells them to put off their ornaments and the children of Israel do this and feel ashamed according to the scripture. I cannot even imagine what they must have felt like, what must have been going through their heads. They knew they had some heavy duty repenting to do.
This chapter also holds some very cool doctrine. Although it must be very strange to read this chapter without the JST to help make sense of it. In verse 11 we read that Moses speaks to God face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. So here we see that Moses saw God, face to face and spoke to Him. However, verse 20 seems to contradict what we just read. It states that no man can see the face of God and live. Without the JST this can be quite confusing. Although I don't understand why people would give precedence to one of the verses over the other. I mean, why believe that no one has seen God and lived over the one that saw Moses talked with God face to face? Perhaps it is because there are multiple scriptures stating that no one has seen the face of God because they have all been changed either intentionally or otherwise. Whatever the case, people are more willing to believe that no one has seen the face of God than the fact that a prophet of the Lord has seen Him.
Unless I read this chapter wrong, it also seems that God stopped personally guiding the children of Israel but instead would send an angel to guide them. I could be reading it wrong or misunderstanding what the Lord is saying here, but I don't think I am. The Lord was angered with them and showed His displeasure by removing His presence from their midst. I cannot imagine what the children of Israel must have thought when they heard that. Talk about remorse and heartbreak. And yet it was not the remorse that leads to true repentance as we will see in further chapters. It seems that the children of Israel never really learn their lesson. It is sad really but they have a never ending cycle of disobedience followed by repentance and then returning to their old sins. Much like we do today actually. Some things never change. Until tomorrow.