Exodus 32:7- 14
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go down at once, for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. How quickly they have turned aside from the way that I commanded them! They have made for themselves a molten calf and have bowed down to it. They have sacrificed to it and said, ‘These, O Israel, are your gods, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.’”
The LORD also said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and they are indeed a stiff-necked people. Now leave Me alone, so that My anger may burn against them and consume them. Then I will make you into a great nation.”
But Moses sought the favor of the LORD his God, saying, “O LORD, why does Your anger burn against Your people, whom You brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians declare, ‘He brought them out with evil intent, to kill them in the mountains and wipe them from the face of the earth’? Turn from Your fierce anger and relent from doing harm to Your people. Remember Your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, to whom You swore by Your very self when You declared, ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky, and I will give your descendants all this land that I have promised, and it shall be their inheritance forever.’” So the LORD relented from the calamity He had threatened to bring on His people. (NIV – Emplasis mine)
I’ve always found this section a bit strange. God is angry with the Israelites for making and worshipping the golden calf. And Aaron! He had seen God, yet he said the people wanted a god, so they gave him jewelry, he threw it into the fire and out popped the golden calf. Almost laughable … almost.
So God says He’s going to destroy the people – Moses’ people. Like this was all Moses’ idea in the first place. Really!
But Moses reminds God that they are HIS PEOPLE, that HE’D BROUGHT OUT OF Egypt with amazing miracles. And what would the peoples of the earth think if He did that? They’d think He deliberately led them all into the desert to destroy them … that He’d lied about taking them to the Promised Land.
But as I read this today I had this thought. Yes, God was angry. But this whole exchange was not that Moses really changed God’s mind. What if God wanted Moses to realize the people were God’s. He’d made promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and He planned to keep them. What if God wanted Moses to remember what He had promised… for generations. They were His people… His problem. He’d started something and He would finish it.
So, when we pray, we are not really asking God to change His mind about the situation, whatever it is. I think God wants us to remember what He has promised. We are His kids and God will finish what He has started – with us and with His church.
Meanwhile, Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came up to him. “You also were with Jesus the Galilean,” she said.
But he denied it before them all: “I do not know what you are talking about.”
When Peter had gone out to the gateway, another servant girl saw him and said to the people there, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.”
And again he denied it with an oath: “I do not know the man!”
After a little while, those standing nearby came up to Peter. “Surely you are one of them,” they said, “for your accent gives you away.”
At that he began to curse and swear to them, “I do not know the man!”
And immediately a rooster crowed.
Then Peter remembered the word that Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.
Peter denied he even knew Jesus three times. Jesus had told him he would, but Peter vehemently declared his loyalty. Jesus knew he would.
Jesus knows every time I’ve failed Him,\ … every time you’ve failed Him… even after choosing to follow Him.
And He still died for us.