But Moses implored the Lord his God, and said, ‘O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, “It was with evil intent that he brought them out to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth”? Turn from your fierce wrath; change your mind and do not bring disaster on your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, how you swore to them by your own self, saying to them, “I will multiply your descendants like the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it for ever.” ’ And the Lord changed his mind about the disaster that he planned to bring on his people.
Devotion by Julia Shiver
This passage all on its own, taken out of the context of the whole story, paints a very dark picture of God. But we know what happened before this. God brought the chosen people out of slavery in Egypt, but things weren’t happening fast enough for these people in exile. It was not easy wandering in the desert, no home, no temple, with no clear vision of where they were headed. So, they turn to a different god, one based on a more tangible substance, their own gold and other possessions, melted down into an object they could praise and give sacrifice to.
God’s chosen people had failed in being obedient. They let fear cloud their minds and better judgement. But Moses pleaded with God to remember the covenant between God and God’s people. Moses might have reminded God that God’s chosen people were only human, not perfect, not God. And God spared the people.
Might we be wandering in the wilderness? It has been an awful year, folks. And there is no end in sight. It is no wonder that we live in fear, worried for ourselves, our families, our country, our planet. But we are still children of God. God can not shield us from everything “out there.” But God walks with us in our fear, offering comfort, strength, and grace. We are in dark times. Be careful where you place your faith.
Your children are struggling right now. We are full of fear and anxiety over so many things. We ask only that you walk with us, giving us the comfort, strength, and grace to live these times. Amen.