In Deuteronomy, Moses takes up the task of explaining the Law to a new generation of Israelites who survived the 40 years of wilderness wandering (Deut. 1:5). In so doing, he recounts the nation’s dealings with God, including their failure at Mount Sinai. His intention is to warn this younger generation not to sin as their parents did and thus to avoid the hot anger of God. It serves as a warning to us also (cf. 1 Cor. 10:1-13). If we are to be wise, we must learn from the experience of others. Who better to learn from than those who met and encountered Yahweh?
In Deuteronomy 9:3, Moses reminds the people that God is a consuming fire. He corrects the notion that God chose them for their righteousness (Deut 9:6-7) and says instead that they have been a “stubborn people” from the start. As proof of this allegation, Moses reminds them of how they broke the covenant on the eve of Moses’ return with Ten Commandments in hand (Deut 9:8). Even before the nation could see the terms they had already agreed to, they had completely abandoned faith in their God and constructed and idol (Deut 9:12). Moses shattering the tablets engraved with the Ten Commandments is a graphic demonstration of that broken covenant (Deut 9:17). Continue reading The Hot Anger of Yahweh