Today's first reading tells the story of the first real rebellion of the Hebrews against God. While Moses is on Mt. Sinai, the people persuade Aaron to make a golden calf that they can worship in the wilderness. A furious Moses still pleads with God not to destroy the people, but only punish them, forcing them to move away from God's holy mountain.
The second selection tells how God granted Moses an extraordinary privilege, to physically glimpse God without facing death. Evidently, this was granted to Moses as a sign of appreciation for Moses' faithfulness and wisdom.
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Reading the Bible in Its Entirety
If you are planning to read the Bible in its entirety, you should read Exodus 25-32 today.