Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Rebellious People

Exodus 32:1-33:6

Moses interceded three times for Israel. When God declared His intent to destroy them in their rebellion, Moses interceded. God declared His intent just as He did to Jonah regarding the Ninevites, but He had not decreed their destruction. His decrees are unchangeable, His intent is often conditional upon our response. Those who repented that day were saved. Again Moses interceded for the people and God spared them, but there were consequences for their sin. The people would live, but they would live without God's presence. Even within this punishment there was mercy. God told Moses that He knew the heart of the Israelites, that they were stubborn, and that if He went with them He would destroy them for their stubborn rebellion. Then all Israel repented, and Moses interceded for them again. He knew that without God's presence, they were nothing. "Then He (God) replied, 'My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.' 'If Your presence does not go,' Moses responded to Him, 'don't make us go up from here.'" (Ex.33:14-15)  Sin impairs our relationship with God. It imperils His presence, but we have an intercessor greater than Moses. Our intercessor is Jesus. His salvation does not give us permission to sin, but rather the provision of forgiveness and cleansing. We still have to respond. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)