40 Days of Discipline

40 Days of Discipline: Day 12 – Prayer

10 Comments

“I have seen these people,” the Lord said to Moses, “and they are a stiff-necked people.  Now 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.”

But Moses sought the favor of the Lord his God.  “Lord,” he said, “why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand?  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.  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.’”  Then the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened. (Exodus 32:9-14)

 

Yesterday, we examined a prayer of Jesus and saw how much the prayer is the product of love.  Today we will examine the prayer of Moses captured above.  The background is that while Moses was meeting with God to get the Ten Commandments, the Children of Israel decided to make other gods, and Aaron made an idol in the shape of a calf.  Of course, this act of idolatry angered God.

Please prayerfully consider this prayer of Moses and again pay special note to how love is demonstrated in the prayer.

Today’s Questions for comments:

  • Put yourself in Moses’ shoes.  Having first-hand knowledge of how God just dealt with the Egyptians, would you have talked to an angry God the way Moses did?
  • Do you ever feel as if you are “wrestling” with God in prayer?

Be sure to dedicate quality time to prayer today.

10 thoughts on “40 Days of Discipline: Day 12 – Prayer

  1. I would have to say no. I probably wouldn’t have. But as I thought about what Moses did I could see how Moses action was born out of love and why he was able to do what he did. The verse that came to mind was 1 John 4:18. Moses love for God moved him beyond any fear he may have had, to pursue doing whatever he could to encourage God not to do anything that would cause Him (God) to lose credibility in the eyes of the heathen nations.
    Another thing to consider is that even if he was afraid, Moses again setting an example for us, was willing to do whatever he could to love God and God’s people, even if it was at great risk to his welfare.
    The walk away question for me this morning is, am I willing to go before God on behalf of others even when my approaching him would put me at great risk. And secondly, what action would i be willing to take to “protect” God’s honor.

  2. My thoughts are similar to Cuaco’s. Moses’ motive for approaching God was pure. His love for God. He was not considering any gain for himself.
    Whenever I felt that I was wrestling with prayer, it’s due to my impatience, (in retrospect), wanting a fairly quick reply, and my (inadequate) way. I have a few examples of God’s reply and solutions being clearly amazing, beyond what I thought was even possible. I am learning more and more to ‘ let go and let God’, that all, is for His glory.

  3. Yes, if I put myself in Moses’ shoes I would talk to God the way Moses did, because it only shows how well Moses knows God and how comfortable he is with his relationship with God. Here in Japan I am in BSF Yokoma (Bible Study Fellowship) and this is an international bible study and wherever you are you can join this study by internet or by being in the group located in your area. In one of our studies, we focused on the book of Exodus. In Exodus 33:7-23 It shows how God revealed His character to Moses and how He made covenant with Israel through Moses.. That’s why Moses was direct and honest with his way of talking to God. He was comfortable with God but of course He fears him as his God. Moses had high respect and love for his God. In Exodus 34:5-9 God said “no one may see me and live.” he would not grant Moses’ request to see His glory literally and fully, yet God did give Moses an unmatched glimpse of His glory. The Lord revealed Himself and His nature to Moses in a way found nowhere else in the Bible. In Exodus 34: 29-35 in this particular chapter God’s glory reflected by Moses.

    Yes, sometimes I feel like I am kind of not exactly wrestling with God in my prayer but more of questioning Him at times or maybe emphasizing more on the why and when concerns I have in my prayer request. But during my study of Moses in BSF, there was this part in Exodus that was explained and it’s about God’s glory reflected by Moses. When Moses came down from the mountain his face glowed. This was glory, transferred from God “because he had spoken with the Lord” As a result of the long time Moses spent with God, his face glowed so much that the people were afraid to approach him. Moses had to cover his face with a veil until the glory faded away. When we pray we talked to God and He intends His glory to be seen in our life…so praying honestly and outpouring our heart to God is very important when we talk to Him in prayer.
    The Apostle Paul used this story of Moses (God’s glory reflected) as a three- part illustration. First, Paul contrasted the ministry of the Old Covenant to the ministry of the New Covenant. The glory of the Old Covenant was veiled and fading, but the glory of the New Covenant is unveiled and lasts forever. Second, the veil that covered Moses’ face pictured the veil over the hearts of many Jews so they could not see or understand the gospel. Third, the Holy Spirit lifts the veil so believers today may see Jesus. It is also the Spirit’s work to transform all who trust Jesus into the savior’s likeness. What good news for us today! If we trust in Christ, then God intends His glory to be seen in our life. Never get tired of praying! Talking to God in prayer everyday will make you shine and glow. 🙂

  4. I think my approach would have been similar. By this time in their relationship Moses had a good understanding of God’s love for him, the Children of Israel and their forefathers.

    I do feel I have wrestled with God. There have been times that I wished I hadn’t and saved myself the “limp”. I still wrestle in prayer for things that seem to go unanswered that appear to be in His will. I struggle with praying unceasingly and knowing when to determine the answer is no or wait. But either way during the dialogue I share my heart and listen for His and our relationship grows. That way I can be like Moses and approach Him even when He is anger and right.

  5. I honestly can’t say I would have been as assertive as Moses. In fact, I was taken aback by how bold he was. But as others have mentioned, I think Moses was able to say those things to God because he is comfortable with Him and his love for God was never in doubt.

    In terms of the second question, I oftentimes find myself saying to God in prayer, “Let Your will be done, but can you please let it turn out like [xyz].” It is a habit that I am trying to break out of, because I know I need to trust God much more fully than that. So it is a wrestle in the sense that I acknowledge that God has my path already planned and I will follow where He wants me to go, but the hope is still there that His path is the one I would have chosen for myself. I’m learning how to say “let Your will be done” and being at peace with just that.

  6. I’m thinking – the all-knowing God knew exactly the events that were to take place and if so expected that response from Moses who also loved his people. GOD certainly could not have forgotten His promises to their forefathers. That, i believe is impossible, but He is sovereign and does as He pleases. If wrestling in prayer means coming boldly and reverently to the throne, yes. Pleading, yes. I demand you God that You …….. no.

    • I am thinking along the lines of “pe” in that God knew the train of events that were to come because He is God. Maybe it was His way of showing us how we must pray for others, despite their wicked ways. “Wrestling” in prayer, from a limited human stand point, seems to involve bargaining, which I sometimes find myself doing. And it is only when I have relented and allowed God to do His will that I realise my error.

  7. Despite the insightful commentary I still find this text difficult to digest.

    Just a thought – Maybe GOD was testing Moses? HE already knew this thing would happen and never planned on destroying the Israelites – an act of mercy.

    HE did put on a terrifying display ” Now leave me alone …” sounds like something you would say to someone you have an initimate relationsip with … and as others have said this is why he could approach an angered GOD. I could too if I am confident in the rightness of my request and we were ‘tight like that.’

    HE proposed destroying all of Israel and starting a new nation with Moses. And Moses declined this stunning offer – that is an act of Love.

    The take away from this is that we can powerfully intercede on behalf of others when we enjoy an intimate relationship with GOD.

  8. The case for a strong link between intercession and love has been powerfully made by our commentators today. Whether it is Moses’ rejection of God’s “tempting” offer to him, or his clear understanding of God’s plans and promises, we get a clear sense of someone who has a close relationship with God, and someone who deeply cares about the Children of Israel. How much are we drawn to intercede because of our love for God and for others, even if they appear undeserving? If we ever feel like we are wrestling with God, what is our overriding motivation, is it love? Recall the story of Abraham and his “debate” with God about Lot – another case where God “relented” when someone approached Him with love.

  9. I am reminded by the statement made by Aurora, that our God is a covenant keeping God. The revelation from this passage is that prayer has a powerful impact. Moses prayer resulted in God withholding his hand. Moses interceded on behalf on the children of Israel.

    If God reveals something to me, just like he did with Moses, from this example I will also intercede on behalf of others.

    I don’t feel like i am wrestling with God because i have seen the hand of God in my life from a young person. Where i am today is because of answered prayers, not only mine, But certainly from persons who cared about me so much that they took the time to intercede on my behalf.

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