Prayers of the Old Testament
The Prayer of Moses continued...
Exodus 32:7-10, “And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Go, get down! For your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves. They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them. They have made themselves a molded calf, and worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!’ And the Lord said to Moses, ‘I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people! Now therefore, let Me alone, that My wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them. And I will make of you a great nation.’”
Moses was doing what only a handful of individuals have had the privilege and honor to do in this life, and that is talk to God audibly and directly. The awe Moses must have felt is indescribable, and as he is standing there, basking in the glory of God, God speaks to him and says, ‘go, get down!’
It wasn’t that God no longer wanted to speak to Moses or fellowship with him, but there were pressing matters at the base of the mountain. God knew what the people had done, He knew they had broken faith, and molded a calf which they worshipped and to which they sacrificed.
These were the people of God. People who should have known better, people who should have known they were spurring the wrath of God, but no matter the consequences of their actions, they still proceeded to do what their flesh dictated, which was worship an idol.
Although the aforementioned scripture establishes the context, and tells us why it was that Moses had to intercede on behalf of the people, there are also some practical lessons we would do well to learn from the exchange that took place on Mount Sinai.
The first thing I want to point out, because it goes against the god modern culture has so meticulously fashioned, is that the one true God gets angry. His wrath burns hot against the sons of disobedience, and against those who trample on the blood of His son.
Love is not God’s singular attribute. Yes, God is love, but He isn’t just love. It is because we’ve homogenized the idea of God, and who He is, and what He does, that many refuse to believe His own words and warnings, which are clearly spelled out in the scriptures.
You can read from the Bible, verbatim, without exegesis, without applying systematic theology to the verses you read, and men will still shake their heads and say, ‘nope, that can’t be God. That’s not the god I serve. My god is love, my god wouldn’t do that.’
This is why false or skewed doctrine is so dangerous. This is why false teachings must be plucked from the root from within the household of faith. Once false teachings and false doctrines take root, once they begin to bloom, then men will no longer believe the very word of the God they purport to follow and obey.
God gets angry! Unrepentant sin angers Him. Rebellion angers Him. Disobedience angers Him. Idolatry angers Him. There are many things that anger God, not just one, or two, or a handful.
In essence God told Moses He needed a minute to destroy the whole of what He called His people, for the rebellion and idolatry the had just exhibited.
Because we no longer believe God gets angry, because we no longer believe He judges, and punishes, and allows His wrath to burn hot, we do not attribute anything of what is going on in America as well as the world, to Him.
‘Well, that couldn’t be God…God doesn’t do that…God is love, and He wants you to have your best life, and be the best you, you can be.’
No wonder what passes for the church today is so messed up, disjointed, fractured, divided, and worldly. We no longer teach on who God is anymore, even in what ought to be His house, among His people.
We have manufactured a palatable God who polls well, and is approved by a great majority, because the God we’ve manufactured is cuddly, and fuzzy, winks at sin, and gives us stuff.
We are treating God today as the people of Israel did when Moses went up on Mount Sinai. We are indifferent toward Him, think Him impotent, and don’t for one second consider that by being idolaters in word and in deed we are daring God to rain judgment upon us.
In our stiff-necked, indifferent, and lawless demeanor, we give God no choice but to allow His wrath to burn hot and consume the rebellious and the disobedient.
We take God so lightly, and demean the things of God so blatantly that one wonders why it is judgment hasn’t already descended, and why in His wrath God has not as yet consumed.
God’s wrath was not burning hot against the world, or against those who never knew Him, but against His own, those that ought to have known Him best. The people of God had corrupted themselves, just as many of those calling themselves the people of God today have corrupted themselves. They turned aside from that which God had commanded, just as many calling themselves believers today have turned aside from what God has commanded.
Why would we, even for one second entertain the thought that God will somehow react differently toward our corruption and rebellion than He did toward the people of Israel at the base of Mount Sinai? What makes us think that today God would wink at the sin He was ready to destroy an entire nation for in Moses’ day?
God is not mocked…a true and worthwhile lesson for any believer.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.