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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Prayers in the Bible: Moses and the idolatry of the Israelites

Exodus 32:11 Moses begged Yahweh his God, and said, “Yahweh, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, that you have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? 32:12 Why should the Egyptians speak, saying, ‘He brought them forth for evil, to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the surface of the earth?’ Turn from your fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against your people. 32:13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, to whom you swore by your own self, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your seed as the stars of the sky, and all this land that I have spoken of I will give to your seed, and they shall inherit it forever.’” 32:14 Yahweh repented of the evil which he said he would do to his people. (WEB)
I suspect that God knew full well that Moses was going to intercede for the people, and that He wouldn't destroy them utterly. But Moses didn't know it, until he had interceded, and God had honored his prayer. This prayer shows that it is all right to pray for sinners, or, rather, to pray that they won't be punished. Furthermore, it was all right for Moses to pray in opposition to what God had said. Remarkable. I would be most reluctant to try that myself.

Thanks for reading. This is one in a series of posts on prayers in the Bible. The previous post was last Sunday's, Feb 20th.

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