Summary: God already gave His full mercy on all people through the Cross of Christ; how should we pray for people sinning?
Let us continue our worship by now listening to what God has to say through His Word; please open your Bibles to Exodus 32….
As we had been noting, the Israelites had experienced the power and love of God as they were freed from slavery and headed to the Promise Land. Although the Israelites were sinners and were obstinate, God still chose them as His People. And as they were waiting for more instructions from God, 40 days was too long of a wait and they abandoned God. We really can’t be too hard on these Israelites because “How quickly do we forget about God?” Did you remember God yesterday? Did you think about God when you woke up this morning? We all have to work on this! We are called to walk with god everyday!
Read along with me now Exodus 32:7-14……..
Let us summarize what happened and note biblical principles to apply for our lives today.
v7-10: God was ready to judge the Israelites because of their sins! But as we can note, God maintains His promises even when He judges! The promise of a nation would continue with Moses even as God was ready to judge Israel.!
v11-13: Moses sought a favor from God! (i.e. Moses prayed!) What were the details of his prayer?
a. acknowledged who God is – Lord! = Master of everything & in his own life!
b. was specific about the problem
c. pleaded for mercy not judgment
d. was honest about what he knew at that time (even though Moses missed what God is capable of doing). Moses forgot that God is all-knowing; always loving; God always does what is right!
v14…………. but take a quick look down at v35…..
And so, what do you think v14 mean??
God did not wipe out the Israelites as a response to Moses’ prayer but there was still a consequence to sins!
Now, how do you think Moses felt after hearing God answered his prayer??
Moses was so thrilled to hear God’s forgiveness that he was so happy he was blinded but what actually was happening! Moses was joyful about what God did but he forgot what God said (v7-8) and neglected the reality of sins!
There are at least 3 truths from this passage we must note and apply to our lives:
1. There is power in prayer and follow how Moses prayed.
When we pray, acknowledge God first! Be specific in our prayer requests! Be honest with your prayers the best you can for God knows everything! We are to plea for God’s mercy. Now, in light of the cross of Jesus Christ, how are we to pray for mercy for people??
People pray all the time, “Lod have mercy! Lord have mercy!”
God tells us in His Scriptures “I gave you mercy when I died on the cross for all your sins (past, present, and future)! Mercy was given by God through the Cross once and for all!
Because God already gave mercy to all people through the Cross, we are to pray that God would help people believe and trust Jesus Christ as their only Savior and God. Now this prayer is most of the time answered as we tell people about the mercy from the Cross! Yes pray for God’s mercy but then tell people about God’s mercy from the Cross!
And so, like God did with the Israelites of old through Moses,
2. God’s mercy was given at the Cross of Christ for all people but there will always be consequences to sin!
Because we are forgiven (1 John 1:9), many Christians, including myself, seem to forget this truth. Let us all acknowledge that any sin will always have consequences!
And finally, let us not be like Moses who put on rose colored glasses when God told him there was a problem. Jesus told His disciples in John 16:33…. that in this world you will have troubles. Turn with me now briefly to 1 Thessalonians 5…. v1-3…. Christians should know that the world is living in lies and one of these day Jesus Christ will return to judge the living and the dead!
3. Let us not just rejoice and give thanks, but never stop praying for how we can minister to our sinful world!