We pray a lot of prayers and I am sure that as Moses led the children of Israel he prayed many and many kinds of prayers as well. But this prayer of Moses that we read here stands entirely alone – a category to itself. No other request can be compared to it. God’s glory is the sum total of who he is. It is God’s power plus his wisdom plus his justice plus his plus his holiness plus his love plus every other attribute of his character. God’s glory is the shining forth of who God is.
Moses had just spent 40 days on Mount Sinai communing with the Lord. During those days on the mountain, God revealed to Moses his law and wrote the Ten Commandments on the tablets of stone with his finger. While Moses was with the Lord, the children of Israel grew restless so Aaron gathered gold earrings from the people and constructed a golden calf and the people offered sacrifices to the golden calf. The Lord knew all about it and told Moses that he was going to destroy Israel and start over with a new nation that would worship Him and not turn to idols. But Moses interceded with the Lord for his people and reminded God of the promise he made to Abraham. So the Lord relented.
Then Moses came down from the mountain. When he saw the people and what they were doing, he threw down the stone tablets in anger. He burned the golden calf, ground it to power, mixed it with water, and made the Israelites drink it. Then he called for those who were still loyal to God. The Levites stood with him, and at his instruction, they went through the camp killing the idolaters. Three thousand died that day. The next day Moses pled with God for forgiveness for his people. He even asked God to blot his own name out of his book in order to save the people of Israel. God told him to lead the people away from Mt. Sinai and toward the Promised Land, but with one significant condition: “I will not go with you, because you are a stiff-necked people and I might destroy you on the way”
Isn’t that our greatest fear too? —that when we go, the Lord will not go with us. So Moses intercedes again and says, “If you don’t go with us, we’re aren’t going to go.” Leaving God behind wasn’t an option for Moses. If the Lord has led you out of Egypt…you’d better not leave him behind at any point along the way and especially at your Mt. Sinai. You need Him & definitely are going to need his help to make it thru the wilderness.
Be encouraged today. In a time of crisis and probably feeling very weak as a leader, Moses dared to pray a magnificent prayer to the Lord. He asked for more than any man had asked for before, and he received more than any man had ever received. Isn’t it powerful that the prayer and also the answer came in a time of crisis through a revelation of Moses’ own weakness?
Your trials are not meant to destroy you. God intends that you should use the hard times to draw near to him. Today whatever trial you face or struggle you are feeling…if you are willing to be made weak, you will learn things about the Lord that you never could know in strength and success. This is always God’s way. The strong think they have no need of God. But the weak are hidden in the cleft of the rock—and they are the ones who truly see God. Amen.