Meditation: Exodus 33 (3 of 3)

Reading: Exodus 33:12-17

Since Israel’s sin with the golden calf, God promises to give to Israel the Promised Land, adding that His angel should lead them. But God says He will not go with them. Moses understands that he and the people are now deprived of the special privilege of God’s presence which they had previously enjoyed. But Moses cannot lead Israel by himself. They are “a stiff-necked people” (Ex 33:5). Indeed without God Israel will fall into heathendom and become like every other godless nation. So he appeals for God’s help. He has nothing to offer except God’s own covenant promises. Furthermore Moses, as a true mediator, thinks not only of himself, but also of God’s people, the church. Therefore he prays “that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people” (Ex 33:13). By calling them “Your people” Moses prays on the basis of God’s covenant. God had adopted them, out of all the nations, to be his special people. Lord, please do not desert your people now.

Learn from this. Read the Bible, learn the promises and use them to enrich your prayers.

Moses shows true faith and trust in God. He does not, therefore, ask that any close and trusted companion should help him in his difficult task of leading the people. Instead he desires God’s help only. When God sees Moses on his knees begging for mercy, He is pleased with His servant. Moses is a true mediator who loves his people. So the LORD says “I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name” (Ex 33:17). God restores His covenant of grace with Israel. How great is God’s mercy!

Key text: Ex 33:13 Moses prays “that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people.”

Question: This chapter shows how Moses, through fervent prayer, persuades God to change His mind. How does this affect your prayers?