Moses was upon the mount, standing in the glorious presence of the Almighty God. Memories of God’s terrible majesty were still quite fresh in the minds of the other Israelites. It had only been weeks since they saw for themselves the lightnings and the mountain wrapped in smoke…
It had only been weeks since they felt the earth shake beneath them as it struggled with the presence of God’s glory…
And it had only been weeks since they heard for themselves the voice of the Almighty, and spoke those covenant words in reply: “All that the Lord hath spoken we will do.”
Yet you would never know it by their actions now. They were rising up in riotous worship, honoring a dumb calf that their own hands had just made of jewelry that just days before had been decorating their ears. Worse yet, they were claiming that this idol of theirs had somehow been responsible for all the marvelous miracles which they experienced as they were led out of Egypt.
God commanded Moses to get down out of the mount. The people must be dealt with.
Rightly, the Lord was angry. In fact, He was ready to destroy the whole lot of Israelites and make of Moses a great nation instead…
But somebody pled for them.
Moses presented the Lord with His own promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He questioned why the heathen should be given something to base their claims of God’s injustice on. In the end, the Lord turned back from destroying the stubborn nation. Instead those who were willing to accept mercy were given mercy–and only those who clung to sin were destroyed with the sin they cherished.
The New Testament presents another intercession. It is going on, day after day, even as you read this.
Romans 8:26 says,
“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us….”
We may be so caught up in sin that we do not even realize that we have a problem. It may not have crossed our minds yet to even pray for help, but the Spirit is interceding on our behalf.
Likewise, consider this powerful passage:
“What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.
Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.”
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Really, the whole interaction between Moses and the Lord gives us a peek into the judgement that we deserve–and the mercy that we receive. God is for us, if only we accept the gift He offers us. You see, God Himself delights in mercy. (Micah 7:18) Let us praise Him!
The history of Mount Sinai and the Israelites idolatry are just two of the many topics included in VBS–The Land of Milk & Honey. VBS–The Land of Milk & Honey is available exclusively from Hasten Home.