Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | November 23, 2022

“Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy …”

Today’s devotion comes from Exodus 32:11-24.  Here is a link to this Scripture –

I quote only the following verses.

“It came about, as soon as Moses came near the camp, that he saw the calf and the dancing;  and Moses’ anger burned, and he threw the tablets from his hands and shattered them at the foot of the mountain.  He took the calf which they had made and burned it with fire, and ground it to powder, and scattered it over the surface of the water and made the sons of Israel drink it.

Then Moses said to Aaron, “What did this people do to you, that you have brought such great sin upon them?”  Aaron said, “Do not let the anger of my lord burn;  you know the people yourself, that they are prone to evil.  For they said to me, ‘Make a god for us who will go before us;  for this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’  I said to them, ‘Whoever has any gold, let them tear it off.’  So they gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf.”   Exodus 32:19-24. 


Let us compare what Aaron, Moses, and the LORD said about the sons of Israel and meditate on how it also applies to the natural condition of all peoples.

Aaron said:  “…  you know the people yourself, that they are prone to evil.”  Verse 22.

Moses said:  “Remember, do not forget how you provoked the LORD your God to wrath in the wilderness;  from the day that you left the land of Egypt until you arrived at this place, you have been rebellious against the LORD.  Even at Horeb you provoked the LORD to wrath, and the LORD was so angry with you that He would have destroyed you.”  Deuteronomy 9:7-8. 

“The LORD said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, they are an obstinate people.  Now then let Me alone, that My anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them;  and I will make of you a great nation.”  Exodus 32:9-10.

The sons of Israel had every advantage.  They were recipients of God’s many spectacular miracles in God bringing them out from the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand.  God thoroughly and patiently taught them His Law even writing the Ten Commandments on tablets of stone.  God was visibly present among them and led them with signs and wonders.  “The LORD was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night.  He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.”  Exodus 13:21-22.

And yet, Israel was obstinate, rebellious, and prone to evil.  Without those blessings, do we think that other peoples are better?

What does Scripture state?

“10 as it is written,

THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.” Romans 3:10-12.

In our natural condition, we all are “dead” in sin.  Ephesians 2:1-5.  We are hostile to God.  Romans 8:7 and Colossians 1:21.  We are in bondage to sin.  Romans 7:14-15.

Reformed Doctrine labels this natural condition of all people as “Total Depravity”, the “T” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism.

But, there is hope!

God handles all the points of salvation from beginning to end:  from the beginning of “Unconditional Election” through “Limited Atonement” through “Irresistible Grace” to the end of “Preservation of the Saints”, the “U”, “L”, “I”, and “P” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.  This true doctrine of salvation is more fully taught in the Reformed Confession called Canons of Dordt.

“Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.  But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith;  and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;  not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”  Ephesians 2:3-9.


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