In reading Exodus 32 today, that familiar story of the impatience in God’s people and the Golden Calf arouse from the pages of my Bible.
In the past, I would gloss over stories I knew so well, believing that there was no new lesson for me to learn.
I summarized the story like this:
*People got impatient
*Created Gold calf to worship like God
*God was angry with people
*Moses got angry too and broke the Ten Commandments with his bare hands….(okay maybe I saw that on TV somewhere).
Today I paid attention. And while the above circumstances are still true (minus Moses breaking tablets a la WWF) a few things stuck out to me.
They stuck out to me especially as a leader. As a wife of a man who is deep in the trenches of ministry and sees this type of behavior over and over again.
In Exodus 32:10-13, God tells Moses that he plans to “destroy” the people. They have disobeyed Him and worshiped a false God. Moses pleaded with God for mercy, reminding Him of “Abraham, Isaac, and Israel-You swore to them by Your very self and declared, ‘I will make your offspring as numerous as the stars of the sky and will give your offspring all this land that I have promised, and they will inherit [it] forever.'”
Moses revealed true leadership by wishing mercy for Israel, so that no one could say God was inhumane, or one who is brash and forgets His promises. Moses showed leadership because while Israel deserved God’s wrath, he still prayed on their behalf. Was Moses angry? You bet. Remember, he threw the Tablets down and they broke in his anger.
But anger did not keep him from seeking God to see if he could “atone for their sin”.
How often, do we intercede in prayer for those who do wrong?
I am ashamed to say that I can count on my hand the number of times I have prayed on someone’s behalf after they have sinned. I don’t like that at all. It is easier to pray and plead for justice, mercy and grace for those experiencing painful circumstances. But when someone is the cause of all that pain, they rarely show up in my prayer life.
I am going to work on changing that part of myself.
What about you?