"...Pray without ceasing..." 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Text: Exodus 33 : 12-13
REFLECTIONS ON THE FIRST ATTEMPT AT PRAYER
Some time had passed since the first attempt at seeking the Lord’s special grace to forgive the sin of idolatry (Cf. Exodus 32:32-35). The first attempt was not a failure, but it also could not be described as a total success. What did the first attempt achieve?
1. The forestalling of the outpouring of God’s wrath
That in itself was a major feat! Had it not been for the intercession of Moses, many could have perished!
2. A temporary reprieve
Moses managed to get a temporary reprieve! The children of Israel must show that they were truly sincere in their repentance! Meanwhile, a temporary tabernacle of meeting was established, albeit outside the camp of Israel (Exodus 33:7)!
3. A time for deeper personal meditation
Moses had offered his own life to be forfeit, if that could obtain atonement from the Lord. He may have been sincere, but that was a wrong approach! Moses had some time to think and reflect this approach! The time of meditation enabled him to come up with a different approach! He must seek the Lord once again in prayer!
ANOTHER ATTEMPT AT INTERCESSORY PRAYER
Moses overcame his personal discouragement and once again sought the Lord in prayer. He realized of course that he must tread very carefully and yet he must not be afraid of trying a different approach, even if he had to be corrected again!
“Then Moses said to the LORD, ‘See, You say to me,
‘Bring up this people,’ But You have not let me know
whom You will send with me. Yet, You have said,
‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace
in My sight.’
Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight,
show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may
find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is
1. Seeking to fathom the existing relationship with God
This was the first thing that Moses felt he needed to establish first! He sought clarification from the Lord, lest he overstepped himself!
2. Pleading “grace” in prayer
“Grace” and “favor” are closely related words. Had Moses indeed found grace and favor from the Lord? If so, how far could he lean on the grace and favor that he had found from the Lord! The humility of Moses is to be especially noted and appreciated.