Exodus 32:7-14 (New King James Version)
7 And the LORD said to Moses, “Go, get down! For your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves. 8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them. They have made themselves a molded calf, and worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!’” 9 And the LORD said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people! 10 Now therefore, let Me alone, that My wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them. And I will make of you a great nation.”
11 Then Moses pleaded with the LORD his God, and said: “LORD, why does Your wrath burn hot against Your people whom You have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? 12 Why should the Egyptians speak, and say, ‘He brought them out to harm them, to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from Your fierce wrath, and relent from this harm to Your people. 13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants, to whom You swore by Your own self, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven; and all this land that I have spoken of I give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.’”[a] 14 So the LORD relented from the harm which He said He would do to His people.
The more I read about the Israelites, the more I see me and everyone else I know. We have been blessed by God and we still turn our backs on him and worship other things; idols. This is something that I drilled into the youth group kids last year: anything that distracts you from the presence of God is an idol. It does not have to be a golden calf or a wooden man statue from a tribe in Africa, it can be another person, a class at school, a dream to do something, a movie, cd, an ipod (technology)…you get the point. Even after God, the God of the universe, brought them out of Egypt, the Israelites couldn’t worship Him alone at all times! They doubted Him so many times that they just got to the point where they needed something else to worship.
God sees this and calls them what they are: “still-necked people” (v. 9). God’s wrath is burning and seems to get to the boiling point until Moses intervenes on behalf of the Israelites. He pleads with the Lord not to harm His people! In this light, Moses is to the Israelites what Jesus (and His blood on the cross) is to us. Moses continually had to plead for mercy on the Israelites as they continued to sin, just as Jesus’ blood does for us! His death and resurrection on our behalf protect us from what we deserve: the wrath of God.
Be thankful for what Jesus did. His crucifixion has been so watered down that I do not believe that it has the affect that it should. Same goes for his resurrection! He died, and three days later came back to life…and then he rose up into the sky and joined His father in Heaven. Think about that and realize that it actually happened!
Just as we deserve the wrath of God, He deserves our devotion and worship. GIVE IT TO HIM! Spend time with Him on a daily basis and trust in Him always!