Exodus 34:10. And he said, “Behold, I am making a covenant. Before all your people I will do marvels, such as have not been created in all the earth or in any nation. And all the people among whom you are shall see the work of the Lord, for it is an awesome thing that I will do with you.
Following the golden calf debauchery in Exodus 32, God threatened to destroy all of Israel and start over with Moses. But Moses, the mediator of the people, entered into a prayerful negotiation with God which climaxed in Moses’ plea to see the glory of God. This mediating work of Moses will bring the nation from complete destruction to full covenant restoration – Behold, I am making a covenant.
This is truly a great act of God’s revealed glory. It is something only “a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (34:6-7) would ever do.
God’s salvation is far more than just forgiveness. It is restoration. It is full reconciliation. From enemies to friends. From slaves to sons. From destruction to miracles– Before all your people I will do marvels.
God’s marvels make all other “greatest shows” pale in comparison.
God’s marvels are those things that only he can do, and thus they declare his glory. Graciously the awesome deeds of God will continue to be done in and through his people. The same marvels he performed in order to declare his glory to the Egyptians (Ex. 3:20), he will now perform to declare his glory to Israel. God spared the Hebrews. God stayed with the Hebrews. God restored his covenant with the Hebrews. And now God will perform his marvels among the Hebrews.
The exodus was just the beginning. There are many awesome things yet to come for Israel. God’s marvels will be done through Joshua as they move among the presence of the Lord, defeat their enemies, and claim the Promised Land.
Joshua 3:5. Then Joshua said to the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.”
Is God still doing marvels and wonders? Is he still doing awesome deeds with us?
Christian, your salvation, your union with Christ, is the most marvelous and awesome work of God ever accomplished. Every marvel, every awesome deed in the Old Testament is just a shadow of the the marvel of life in Christ.
It is not just your “Exodus” from sin that is marvelous, so is your sanctification unto holiness that is marvelous. Driving out Hittites and Perizzites and Hivites and Jebusites from the land (34:11) is easy compared to driving out sin from your heart. It is not just your forgiveness that is marvelous, it is your new life in Christ that is marvelous. The power of sin and death has been broken in your life. You have been raised into the divine life of God himself. You have the resurrection power of Christ in you. Now you are able to do the awesome things of the Lord.
John 14:12-14. 12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
The marvels of God have been done IN you, now God wants to do them THROUGH you. The works of Jesus. Greater works even.
But what does Jesus mean here? How could we possibly do greater works than him? Greater works than Moses and Joshua?
Jesus is referring to his marvelous works, his miracles. Healings. Resurrections. Supernatural works like those of Moses and Joshua.
But Jesus is about to do his greatest work – die on the cross for the redemption of mankind. This is THE work that no other person can do. No other can replicate or repeat this work, it is his alone. Please understand, you will NEVER do a greater work than Christ’s cross.
It is by his finished work on the cross that we can do greater works than even Jesus’ miracles. Jesus will leave. He will go to the Father and send his Spirit to live in us. By his indwelling life, now we can do his works and greater. We can do the works of his NAME – If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
But what is Jesus’ name? His name is the same name of God revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai.
“The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”
This is the name (character) of God and it is the name of Christ. It is the name of salvation, mercy, grace, love, forgiveness.
Moses and Joshua will perform works of judgment. God’s marvels through them will destroy enemies and level cities.
Jesus will perform works of compassion. But healing the blind and raising the dead did not bring them salvation. Only his work on the cross could do that.
Why are our works greater than Jesus’? Because our works manifest his finished work bringing salvation, and grace, and mercy, and forgiveness, and love to the ends of the earth. By the Spirit of Christ we take the gospel of God to the world. We do what Jesus did not do. He tabernacled in one place. We “go and preach the gospel to every nation, making disciples.” We bring his spiritual life to the nations.
Christian, allowing Christ to live through you, spreading the love of his gospel through word and deed, living sacrificially, demonstrating his forgiveness and grace, serving, singing, gathering, caring, listening, speaking truth in love, all of this is greater than anything that happened in the wilderness with Moses, Joshua, or the Hebrews. It is greater than any physical miracle of Jesus.
If you are in Christ then your life is the marvel of God. Your life is his awesome deed. Your life is the greater work. Why? Because it is “to live is Christ.” And his crucified life is the greatest marvel of God, awesome deed of God, and work of God this world has ever known.