My Musings

Friday, December 8, 2006

In The Heart of a Man Is the Hope of a Nation

God, filled with disgust and disappointment at the sins of Israel, came to Moses to warn him that he was going to destroy their nation. He had had enough of their short-term gratitude, their murmurings and disrespect, and, of course, their oft wanderings into sin. He was going to destroy them and fulfill his promise to Abraham through the lineage of Moses.

“And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people: Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation…And Moses besought the LORD his God…And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.” ~ Exodus 32:9-11,14

This would make Moses the father of a great nation. Men and woman across the world would be singing “Father Moses had many sons. Many sons had father Moses. I am one of them, and so are you. So let’s just praise the Lord!” Moses would be given the opportunity to enjoy what Abraham spent his life hoping and praying for…being the father of a great nation.

Moses must have been tempted by this offer. After all, they never treated Moses with nearly the amount of respect he deserved. He spent day and night looking after them and seeking to lead them according to God’s Will. He answered their questions, cared for their problems, and provided leadership by God’s leading out of the land of Egypt. Despite these things, the people conspired against Moses. They complained that they would starve. They complained that they would have no water. They complained about everything they could think to complain about. One group of people even rose up against Moses’ authority. Needless to say, they hadn’t treated him very well.

Moses should have taken this offer from the Lord, stepped aside, and watched God’s vengeance at work. He should have enjoyed the outstanding blessings of having God bless his seed. He should have enjoyed watching the people get what they deserved for how they had treated him and how they had constantly rebelled against God. He should have taken the offer.

But he didn’t. Despite how he was treated. Despite the blessings offered. Despite all these things, Moses heart of love and compassion was stronger. He turned to God and begged Him to show mercy on the ungrateful, sin-loving, backsliding nation of Israel. He pleaded with God to preserve them and spare them.

I do not believe that the scriptures lie or that the Lord lied when God said, “Now therefore let me alone…that I may consume them.” The scripture is clear that it was God’s intention to punish these people for their gross ungodliness. And yet he didn’t.

The condition of Moses’ heart could have easily been against those people. He had every reason not to care for them. Yet because of his heart of love and forgiveness, he was driven to his knees in prayer…and God spared the nation.

In a sense, you could say that the fate of that nation rested in the heart of Moses. If he had not turned his heart to God in prayer, the scripture is clear that God intended to destroy the nation. Because he did, however, an entire nation was saved.

I wonder who around us could be spared from God’s judgment by our heart-felt prayers to God. Who is it that has done us wrong and we refuse to pray for them? Who is it that God is going to judge if we don’t go to God on their behalf? Who is it?

In The Heart of a Man Is the Hope of a Nation



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