Old Testament 2022
April 25–May 1. Exodus 24; 31–34: “My Presence Shall Go with Thee”

“April 25–May 1. Exodus 24; 31–34: ‘My Presence Shall Go with Thee,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Old Testament 2022 (2021)

“April 25–May 1. Exodus 24; 31–34,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2022

Jehovah appearing to Moses and elders of Israel

Illustration of Jehovah appearing to Moses and 70 elders of Israel, by Jerry Harston

April 25–May 1

Exodus 24; 31–34

“My Presence Shall Go with Thee”

Not every meaningful principle in the scriptures can be highlighted in these outlines. Listen to the Spirit to help you focus on the truths you need.

Record Your Impressions

There was reason to be hopeful that the children of Israel would remain true to God after He revealed His law to them (see Exodus 20–23). Even though they had murmured and wavered in the past, when Moses read the law at the foot of Mount Sinai, they made this covenant: “All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient” (Exodus 24:7). God then called Moses onto the mountain, telling him to build a tabernacle so “that I may dwell among them” (Exodus 25:8; see chapters 25–30).

But while Moses was at the top of the mountain learning how the Israelites could have God’s presence among them, the Israelites were at the bottom of the mountain making a golden idol to worship instead. They had just promised to “have no other gods,” yet they “turned aside quickly” from God’s commandments (Exodus 20:3; 32:8; see also Exodus 24:3). It was a surprising turn, but we know from experience that faith and commitment can sometimes be overcome by impatience, fear, or doubt. As we seek the Lord’s presence in our lives, it is encouraging to know that the Lord did not give up on ancient Israel and He will not give up on us—for He is “merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth” (Exodus 34:6).

personal study icon

Ideas for Personal Scripture Study

Exodus 24:1–11

My covenants show my willingness to obey God’s law.

As you read in Exodus 24:3–8 about the Israelites covenanting to obey God’s law, your thoughts may turn to the covenants you have made with God. Israel’s covenant included rituals that are different from what God requires today, but you may notice some similarities, especially if you consider the eternal truths symbolized by these rituals.

For example, verses 4, 5, and 8 mention an altar, animal sacrifices, and blood. What could these things represent, and how do they relate to your covenants? How can your covenants help you do “all that the Lord hath said”? (verse 7).

See also Moses 5:4–9; Becky Craven, “Careful versus Casual,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2019, 9–11.

Exodus 32–34

Sin is turning away from God, but He offers a way back.

By pondering how the Israelites so quickly “corrupted themselves” (Exodus 32:7) by breaking their covenants, we can avoid similar mistakes. As you read Exodus 32:1–8, try to put yourself in the Israelites’ place—you’re in the wilderness, Moses has been gone for 40 days, you don’t know if or when he will come back, and a confrontation with the Canaanites over the promised land is in your future (see also Exodus 23:22–31). Why do you think the Israelites wanted a golden idol? Why was the Israelites’ sin so serious? These verses might prompt you to ponder ways you might be tempted to put your trust in someone or something other than the Savior. Is there anything you feel inspired to do so that you can more completely put God first in your life? What inspires you about Moses’s plea to the Lord in Exodus 33:11–17?

While the Israelites’ sin was serious, this story also includes a message of God’s mercy and forgiveness. What does Exodus 34:1–10 teach you about the Savior? How do Moses’s actions on behalf of the Israelites remind you of what Jesus Christ did for all people? (see Exodus 32:30–32; Mosiah 14:4–8; 15:9; Doctrine and Covenants 45:3–5).

Joseph Smith Translation, Exodus 34:1–2 (in the Bible appendix)

What was the difference between the two sets of stone tables Moses made?

When Moses came down from the mountain, he brought the law written on stone tables. After finding that the Israelites had broken their covenant, Moses broke the tables (see Exodus 31:18; 32:19). Later, God commanded Moses to make another set of stone tables and take them back to the mountain (see Exodus 34:1–4). Joseph Smith Translation, Exodus 34:1–2 (in the Bible appendix) clarifies that the first set of stone tables included the ordinances of God’s “holy order,” or the Melchizedek Priesthood. The second set included “the law of a carnal commandment.” This was a lesser law administered by the “lesser priesthood” (see Doctrine and Covenants 84:17–27), which was meant to prepare the Israelites for the higher law and higher priesthood so they could more fully enter into God’s presence.

family study icon

Ideas for Family Scripture Study and Home Evening

Exodus 31:12–13, 16–17.After reading these verses, perhaps your family could discuss President Russell M. Nelson’s question about our behavior on the Sabbath: “What sign will you give to the Lord to show your love for Him?” (“The Sabbath Is a Delight,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2015, 130). Your family could make some signs to place around your home to remind you how you will show love for the Lord on the Sabbath. (See also the video collection “Sabbath Day—At Home” [ChurchofJesusChrist.org].)

people walking in front of church

By honoring the Sabbath, we show our love for the Lord.

Exodus 32:1–8.To help your family discuss how the Israelites turned away from God, consider creating a path on the floor (or find one near your home). While walking on the path, family members could talk about temptations we face to turn aside “out of the way which [the Lord] commanded.” How can we remain on the path? If we have strayed, how can we return to it? How does the Savior help us?

Exodus 32:26.After the Israelites were found worshipping an idol, Moses asked, “Who is on the Lord’s side?” How do we show we are on the Lord’s side?

Exodus 33:14–15.Family members could share experiences when they have felt what God promised Moses: “My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.” You could sing a hymn about our dependence on God, such as “Abide with Me!” (Hymns, no. 166).

For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.

Suggested song: “Who’s on the Lord’s Side?Hymns, no. 260.

Improving Our Teaching

Invite the Spirit. Consider how sacred music, artwork, and expressions of love influence the spiritual atmosphere in your home as you teach your family (see Teaching in the Savior’s Way, 15).

Moses breaking tablets

Worship of the Calf, by W. C. Simmonds