The “Book” in Exodus 32?
Moses said to the Lord concerning the Israelites, “Yet now, if You will forgive their sin—but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written. And the Lord said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book” (Exodus 32:32-33). So great was Moses’ love for his people that, if he could not prevent their death, he did not wish to see it (Numbers 11:15).
Thus, Moses was willing to die in this life and the next in order to atone for his people’s sins. However, God reminds Moses that He only holds each sinner responsible for their own sin (Ezekiel 18:20). Furthermore, Jesus’ death alone can atone for men’s sins (Hebrews 9:28, Acts 4:10-12).
The book that is mentioned in Exodus 32 refers to the “Book of Life.” The names of all those who are saved are recorded in this book. “And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it… but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Revelation 21:24, 27).
The phrase “Book of Life” appears eight times in the New King James Version of the Bible. Interestingly, seven of those times in the book of Revelation (Philippians 4:3; Revelation 3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12, 15; 21:27). Furthermore, this book is referred to in other parts of the Bible (Psalm 69:28; Daniel 12:1).
Who Will Be Recorded There?
Those who will be recorded in the book of life are the righteous. In the Old Testament, the Psalmist, King David, refers to the Book of Life in which only the names of the righteous are written and from which the unrighteous are blotted out. “Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous” (Psalm 69:28).
And in the New Testament, the apostle John writes, “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels” (Revelation 3:5). Paul refers to those who serve and follow God as being written in this book. “And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life” (Philippians 4:3).
The Lord says to His church, “Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels” (Revelation 3:4-5).
Those who fall away from God and are unwilling to forsake sin become hardened against the Holy Spirit. “Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness” (Hebrews 3:7-8 also Genesis 6:3; Ephesians 4:30; Heb. 10:29; 1 Thessalonians 5:19. Sadly, those who refuse God will have their names blotted out of the book of life and will be lost.
To have our names in the book of life, we need “believe in the Lord Jesus” (Acts 16:31) and receive His salvation by faith (Ephesians 2:8-9; John 3:16). Also, we must repent of our sins (Luke 13:3). Then, we are to walk as Jesus walked (Colossians 2:6) and obey His moral Law (Exodus 20:2-17) by His power (Ephesians 4:7). The Lord promised to give all the strength necessary to overcome sin (Jude 1:24-25). For “all things are possible with God” (Mark 10:27).
As we go through this life, we may fall. However, if we come back to God sincerely and repentantly confess our sins, He is faithful to restore us (1 John 1:9, 2:1). And to maintain our victory over sin, we are to abide in Christ daily by the study of His Word, prayer and witnessing. Jesus says, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me” (John 15:4 also 1 John 2: 28).
In His service,