Thoughts of Moses follow, which, due to the flu, I am just stating and leaving you to ponder for yourselves are these:
I absolutely love how Moses intercedes for the people in their sin by telling God to spare the people instead of making his(Moses') name great. God is going to destroy the people in their sin and Moses reminds God of his promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (Exodus 32:9-14) Now that's boldness! Then God spares them because of Moses' pleas and they go worship that calf while Moses is on mountain taking up their cause! Then Moses goes on to intercede for them asking God to erase his own name from God's Book rather than to erase their names. (Exodus 32:30-33) That Moses would give up his own salvation, his life, for their lack thereof is awesome to me. Amazing, really. That's the making of one fine leader. I wonder if the Israelites ever really understood the protection that Moses' intercession brought about in their lives. This gives a whole new meaning to my prayer life! The first intercessor, Moses. The last intercessor, Jesus.
I meditate on the golden calf episode and how the people can so quickly take off their earrings and jewelry that God had just given them as plunder from their freedom from Egypt...they squander it. (Exodus 32:3-4) Amazing. I am sad. I can totally identify with Aaron...giving the people over to themselves. Discipline is so tough! Then taking the easy way out by saying, "This calf just came out of the fire!" (Exodus 32:24)
But there are other things I love about Aaron. How he must have tired of the smell of blood and killing animals to sacrifice. He was probably stained with the blood and sick.to.death of their sin!
In spite of Aaron's shortcomings, in spite of the Israelites great sin, God spares them all because of Moses' plea and says they can continue to the Promised Land without His Presence. Moses balks. What?!? Without Your Presence?!? (Exodus 33:3) He goes on to state he'd rather die than live without God's presence. God's presence is what makes them a great people instead of just an ordinary people. (Exodus 33:12 & 16) Profound words. I love Moses. I love his character. I love his leadership. I love his relationship. I desperately love his God.
"...let me know your ways so I may understand you more fully and continue to enjoy your favor." (Exodus 33:13) I love his words. I borrow them today. I cry them out to my God.
These words. Perfect for yesterday. Perfect for today. A perfect prayer for a perfect God. The God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses. and me.