Moses Intercedes Again

April 7th, 2015

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Exodus 32:17-35

Saved from the plagues and armies of Pharaoh, tested by a few days of leisure, the people of Israel revert back to the gods of their captors. They freely gave away their goods and energies to walk back into the sins of the past. God had good reason to be angry.

Against that anger stands the man, Moses. In spite of Israel’s foolishness he loved them. He was responsible for their future. His words were strong and direct, “But now, please forgive their sin-–but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written” (Exodus 32:32). Moses’ love and sense of responsibility was so great that he was willing to suffer the same consequence as his people. That sense of love and identity for a sinful people would not be matched until the time of Jesus.

This narrative asks this question of every Christian, “Who do you love so much, what relationship has God placed before you that calls you to this magnitude of love?” Are you willing to say with Moses, “God, use me to bring about the salvation of this person or blot me out of the book of life”?

Author: Larry R. Morris

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2 Responses to “Moses Intercedes Again”

  1. Ray Says:

    April 7th, 2015 at 9:42 am

    I admit I do not understand this passage. How can slaughtering your family members demonstrate your dedication to God?

  2. Duane Brush Says:

    April 8th, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    That is a good point, and it is one that is important to ponder. Just why was the Israelite’s sin so severe that it required such drastic action? Obviously this generation had the opportunity to see the judgments God had inflicted on the Egyptians on their behalf. They knew God’s power and had seen it displayed in ways we can only imagine. They also were the founding generation of a new type of nation, their actions would have a profound influence on generations to come. Also, remember that Moses stood at the entrance to the camp and called out, “Whoever is for the Lord, come to me” (Exodus 32:26). This call was to all and yet only Moses’ family the Levites rallied to him. Presumably others could have accepted the offer but they chose not to, suffering the penalty and failing to receive the blessing that fell on the Levites. Their hardness of heart caused them to be the continuing subjects of God’s wrath (Ex. 32:35) and ultimately His rejection of that generation all together.

    It all reminds me of that verse in Hebrews 3:7-15:

    7 So, as the Holy Spirit says:

    “Today, if you hear his voice,
    do not harden your hearts
    as you did in the rebellion,
    during the time of testing in the wilderness,
    where your ancestors tested and tried me,
    though for forty years they saw what I did.
    That is why I was angry with that generation;
    I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray,
    and they have not known my ways.’
    So I declared on oath in my anger,
    ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ”[b]

    12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. 15 As has just been said:

    “Today, if you hear his voice,
    do not harden your hearts
    as you did in the rebellion.”

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