Account Settled

They had “acted corruptly” (v.7), had “turned away” from the way the LORD God had commanded them (v.8). They had bowed down to a golden idol of their own making and declared it to be the god who had delivered them from Egypt (v.8). The LORD indicts them as “stiff-necked” people (v.9), Aaron confesses they are a people “intent on evil” (v.22), and Moses three times calls out their behavior for what it is, “a grave sin” (v. 21, 30, 31). Bottom line? When Moses came down off the mount they were “out of control” (v.25).

Chew on Exodus 32 for a bit and it sends shivers down your back. Only 40 days earlier, at the base of Sinai, they had declared, “We will do and obey all that the LORD has commanded” (Ex. 24:7). Forty days later they danced around a “god besides Me” that God had commanded them not to have. They partied before an idol they were commanded not to make for themselves, for the LORD their God was “a jealous God” (Ex. 20:3-4).

But the shivers running down your back turn icy cold as you come to the end of the chapter and read about “the day”.

The Lord replied to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against Me I will erase from My book. Now go, lead the people to the place I told you about; see, My angel will go before you. But on the day I settle accounts, I will hold them accountable for their sin.

(Exodus 32:33-34 CSB)

The latter part of verse 34 pops, partly because the CSB wording is different than the ESV I’m accustomed to. The ESV says it’s the day “when I visit.” A little more subtle than the day “I settle accounts.” In the ESV, on that day God will “visit their sin upon them” as, according to the CSB, He holds them accountable for their sin.

Settling accounts. That’s what I’m chewing on. Every person accountable for every action. A day when God visits and says let’s talk about your life and how you lived it in light of what you knew about your Creator. (Did I mention shivers down the spine?)

Moses knew their only hope was if he could perhaps atone for their sin (v.30). If he could find a way that a just and holy God could in holiness and justice declare their transgression paid for in full by someone other than themselves. If it was left to themselves to settle accounts, it wasn’t going to turn out well. Their debt was more than they could pay.

So, I meditate on the stiff necks and hard hearts at the core of a people making and worshiping a golden calf; and I linger in the shivers of imagining out of control, grave sin; and I dread the thought of anyone standing before God on a day when the accounts are settled. Not to wallow in the woe they deserve, but to wonder afresh in the reality that, while I have been more like them than perhaps I’d care to admit, my account has been settled.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, because the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death.  For what the law could not do since it was weakened by the flesh, God did. He condemned sin in the flesh by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh as a sin offering, in order that the law’s requirement would be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 

(Romans 8:1-4 CSB)

No condemnation. God intervening to do what the law, because of the weakness of my flesh, could not. The Father sending the Son as my once forever sin offering, and not just for me but for all who believe. My accountability eternally dealt with. The law’s requirement forever met. Account settled.

Hallelujah! What a Savior.

Only by His amazing grace. Only for His all-deserving glory.


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3 Responses to Account Settled

  1. brent94380af445 says:

    Yes, and I am forever grateful. I still blow it at times,of course, but am so thankful his Holy Spirit and the Word of God are faithful to turn me around by his grace. What a gift that I do not deserve. Who can rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God-through Jesus Christ my Lord. Romans 7:24

  2. Michael says:


  3. Audrey Lavigne says:


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