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(Monday, 10-08-07) Prayer 6 - Moses’ Second Prayer for Israel

Exodus 32:30-34

Israel had sinned while Moses was on the mountain receiving the Commandments from God, by making and worshiping a golden calf. When God wanted to destroy them, Moses pleaded for God to remember His covenant, and not destroy the people.

Then Moses came down from the mountain and saw firsthand, the immorality and idolatry of his people. At Moses’ direction, the Levites killed some 3,000 with the sword.

Then Moses prayed again. This time it was a prayer for forgiveness, a petition for God to relieve the burden of the guilt of their sin.

What Can We Learn?
1. Moses had realized the terrible nature of the people’s sin. Perhaps it didn’t register until he saw it firsthand.

2. Moses understood the need for atonement, but appears to be motivated by the mistaken idea that he could atone for their sins. Regardless, it is a noble attitude that reveals his loving care for Israel.

3. God’s response does not indicate he forgave the sin. Instead, he emphasizes the fact that all who sin will be blotted out of his book.

4. God does relent in his punishment and instructs Moses to continue leading Israel to the Promised Land.

More About Prayer for Forgiveness
1. One cannot pray for forgiveness unless there is an awareness of sin.

2. Forgiveness is ultimately the sole responsibility of God

3. The consequences of not finding God’s forgiveness are awesome.

Questions to Ponder
1. Why do you think Moses became so angry over Israel’s sin once he saw it firsthand?

2. What are some possible reasons for Israel’s rapid turning to idolatry?

3. What “day” do you think God was referring to in Ex 32:34?

4. On what basis do you think Moses requested forgiveness for his people? In other words, to what would Moses make an appeal for God to forgive sin?

5. What is the implication of God’s statement that all who sin will be blotted out of his book?

2 comments:

Twisting his arm said...

I feel like Israel sometimes. I keep messing up and God keeps giving me chances!

DA Wagners said...

It seems that those of us who keeping sinning in our pride might not get a second chance unless we realize our sin and repent. Or we might just be going through the same trial over and over again, until we learn what God wants us to know. Been there; done that. It is easier just to trust God in the first place and change, instead of constantly slamming against the same closed door. Sometimes I want to yell at myself, "Open another door!"