Summary: Moses was a man of two loves - a love for God and a love for His people. It seemed to be two incompatible loves, but they are actually one. His prayers expressed the very heart of God - one of compassion and mercy.
Moses was away for too long – 40 days on Mount Sinai
• The people couldn’t wait any longer, and so they decided to make themselves a new god – a golden calf
• Even before Moses step down from the mountain, the Lord told him what was happening at the foot of the mount.
Having been delivered from Egypt by a God who did many wonders
• Who opened up the Red Sea, who led them personally, by a pillar of cloud and fire
• A God who revealed Himself as the one and only true God
• The people had – in just a couple of days – dismissed Him from their minds and fallen back into idolatry
Don’t leave God out of your mind and heart
• Saturate your thoughts often with His Word and His works
• Come to church regularly, attend Christian events
• If we dismiss Him from our lives, it would not take you more than 40 days to replace Him
I’ve seen quite a number of my Christians friends, no longer attending church today
• For various reasons - because of their career, family, children, relationship issues
• Don’t let the things of this world crowd God out of our mind
And don’t think you are strong enough. Don’t think “It won’t happen to me.”
• The Israelites saw and experience miracles practically every day since they left Egypt, yet that couldn’t stop them from worshipping a golden calf.
• We need the grace of God. We are saved by grace, and KEPT by His grace.
Moses was shock and was really angry at their fickleness (32:19)
• He threw tablets God has given him out of his hands
• His horror was even greater because he had just been with God – the one and only true God who had just spoken to him!
• It’s like moving from the immediate Presence of God and into the devil’s territory!
And the most amazing thing we see is Moses’ subsequent response – 32:30-32
• He wanted to pray for their atonement
• Verse 32: “Please forgive their sin – but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written.”
Moses may have been outraged, but he still deeply loved the people.
• He was a man torn between two loves – a love for God and a love for His people
• It seemed to be two incompatible loves.
In fact, he had already asked God for mercy earlier on, when he was still on top of the mountain.
• See Exo 32:9-13 9"I have seen these people," the LORD said to Moses, "and they are a stiff-necked people. 10Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation."
• 11 But Moses sought the favour of the LORD his God. "O LORD," he said, "why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand? 12 Why should the Egyptians say, `It was with evil intent that he brought them out, to kill them in the mountains and to wipe them off the face of the earth’? Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on your people. 13 Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self: `I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.’"
This was truly amazing, considering the fact that this people did not give him an easy time.
• They had been a source of endless tension and worry to Moses.
• He had to put with their nonsense, to feel their ingratitude, to be burdened with their endless complaints.
• They cheered him when things were fine, and turn on him when the least obstacle arose.
• What a relief it could have been to be rid of this whole undisciplined mob and to begin again with a new lot – himself and his own children.
Yet the thought never seems to have penetrated his mind.
• His response to God was immediate and sincere.
• He was determined in his mind even to give his life if need be in gaining God’s mercy.
Two things dominate his prayer:
1. His deep concern for the people he led, and
2. His passionate jealousy for the reputation of his God
He is our example today. These ought to be our concerns today.
We wonder – is this the same Moses who saw the burning bush?
• Who had so strongly resisted God’s call?