Way of Life Literature
Publisher of Bible Study Materials
“And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves: They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. 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 said, LORD, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand? Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever. And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people” (Exodus 32:7-14).
This is one of the most amazing prayers in the Bible. It literally changed the course of history. Note some lessons:
1. Moses reasoned with God. Though God is the Almighty, the Infinite, the omniscient, the One Who knows the beginning from the end, He made man in His image and He invites men to reason together with Him.
2. Moses based his prayer upon his concern for God’s testimony in the world (Ex. 32:11-12) and upon God’s covenant with Abraham (Ex. 32:13). Thus he was petitioning God on the basis of God’s own Word and promises. This is the solid foundation for answered prayer.
3. Prayer changes things both in heaven and on earth (Ex. 32:14)! Moses’ petition changed God’s mind and literally changed the course of history. God intended to destroy Israel and raise up a new nation from Moses, and He could have done that, because He can do anything, but because of Moses’ petition this did not happen. We don’t have to understand how God can change His mind. All we have to do is believe God’s own Word! We deal more with this in the book Things Hard to Be Understood: A Handbook of Biblical Difficulties.
4. Moses fasted and prayed 40 days (Ex. 32:30-34; De. 9:18-19). Compare Matthew 17:21, which teaches that prayer with fasting is a necessary part of spiritual warfare.
5. It appears that Moses was willing to go to hell for Israel’s sake (Ex. 32:31-32). Compare the apostle Paul’s testimony in Romans 9:3. Moses and Paul reflect the compassion of Christ, who was willing to suffer in the place of sinners.
6. Note that there is a book of life. It is the book that contains the names of those who trust in the blood of Christ. Compare Philippians 4:3; Revelation 13:8; 17:8; 20:12, 15.
7. Moses’ prayer also stayed God’s judgment upon Aaron (De. 9:20).
What a powerful prayer warrior Moses was, and what a tremendous example he is to us in this most essential work!
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Goal:Distributed by Way of Life Literature Inc., the Fundamental Baptist Information Service is an e-mail posting for Bible-believing Christians. Established in 1974, Way of Life Literature is a fundamental Baptist preaching and publishing ministry based in Bethel Baptist Church, London, Ontario, of which Wilbert Unger is the founding Pastor. Brother Cloud lives in South Asia where he has been a church planting missionary since 1979. Our primary goal with the FBIS is to provide material to assist preachers in the edification and protection of the churches.
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