"Woe to him who says to wood, 'Awake!' To silent stone, 'Arise! It shall teach!' Behold,it is overlaid with gold and silver, yet in it there is no breath at all." Habakkuk 2:19
Text: Exodus 32 : 11
ACCEPTING THE JUSTIFICATION OF GOD’S WRATH
Moses expressed the fact that God had every right to feel wrathful towards the children of Israel! He accepted the fact that Israel had indeed sinned grievously when it made an idol to worship, proclaiming the golden calf to be its saviour! There was no way in which he could justify the sin of Israel! But he could still plead with God in prayer, could he not? As long as God had not shut out his prayers, he would continue to plead!
PLEADING THE SIGNIFICANCE OF BEING “GOD’S PEOPLE”
Prayer was never a ritual with Moses. He never uttered prepared prayers. Prayer was most engaging! He had to use both his heart and mind to offer prayers that the Lord would hear! With great humility and carefulness of speech, Moses offered his first plea to the Lord.
“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. “Your people”
God had used a different phrase when He spoke to Moses. He had not used the word “My people”. Instead he referred to Israel as the people whom Moses led out of Egypt. This was a refusal to identify and associate with Israel (Exodus 32:7).
The thrust of this plea was to ask the Lord not to distance nor dissociate Himself with Israel. If ever there was that dissociation, then there was no more basis for further prayer efforts!
2. “Whom You have brought out of the land of Egypt”
Moses did not dare to place any significance to his role in leading the people out of Egypt. He was merely the messenger, the spokesman, the envoy of God! The Person who led the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt was none other than the LORD Himself!
The thrust of this plea was to appeal to the Lord to feel something for the people He had redeemed! It was all His hard work! It was all His plan in the first place! Would He discard all the work that He had put in? Would He no longer have any regard for the people He had rescued from bondage?
3. “With great power and with a mighty hand?
The impact of God’s mighty hand upon Egypt was still fresh in the mind of Moses! He could almost relive those moments when he stood with outstretched hands to bring down the plagues upon Egypt! It was all God’s power! It was God’s mighty hand that was at work!
Moses stood as one who had been God’s servant! Would this great Lord of His hear the plea of one who had served Him faithfully and with great reverence?