"What profit is the image, that its maker should carve it, the molded image, a teacher of lies, that the maker of its mold should trust in it, to make mute idols?" Habakkuk 2:18
Text: Exodus 32 : 11
THE ANGER OF THE LORD
Moses had personally encountered the anger of the Lord before! When he persistently resisted in complying with the divine commission to lead Israel out of Egypt, the Lord became angry with him for being so stubborn (Cf. Exodus 4:14).
However, the wrath that God now felt against Israel was something else! The threat was real enough! Moses knew God well enough to know that! The question was how he would be able to turn away God’s wrath from being unleashed against the foolish Israelites who had made a golden calf to worship!
THE MINISTRY OF INTERCESSION
Again and again, God had heard the prayers of Moses! Would intercession be the answer? He would not know unless he stood in the breach and prayed as never before! Everything depended on how he would plead with the Lord in prayer. Simple prayers would not do! He must supplicate.
“Then Moses pleaded with the LORD his God, and said:
‘LORD, why does Your wrath burn hot against Your people
whom You have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power
and with a mighty hand?'”
1. “Then Moses pleaded with the LORD His God…”
The strength of Moses’ prayer lay in this one word- “pleaded”. This was the only suitable word that Moses could employ as he stood in the breach, praying for Israel!
a) “Claiming of promises”
This modern-day concept has no place in Moses’ prayer-vocabulary. He had heard all the words that God had uttered against the children of Israel (Exodus 32:7-10). There were no promises that he could lay claim on!
b) “The LORD his God”
Another slender hope lay in this phrase “The LORD his God”. Moses must call upon his knowledge and his understanding of God even as he pleaded. He must lean hard on his personal relationship with God even as he prayed. If he had indeed found favour with God, perhaps, his pleas would not be in vain!
2. “LORD, why…”
Moses’ intercession took on the form of seeking to comprehend God’s wrath! He had a series of questions that he had to lay before the Lord. He is NOT questioning or mocking God in any way! He seeks to enter into the depth of God’s word in his raising of this series of questions.
Moses knew he must explore as many avenues of prayer as possible! Perhaps he could yet turn away God’s terrible wrath from the children of Israel!