Today’s devotion on Exodus 32-34 Intercession of Moses.
And the Lord said to Moses, “Go down; for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves.” Exodus 32:7
Needing to have the best, the latest, and the most seems to be one of the legacies we have passed on to the current generation. Indeed, the advertising industry knows this. There is no end to what one “needs” to make it in this world.
There are always faster cars, sexier fragrances, more fashionable clothes, and better brews that will somehow make us more appealing, happier, and better-adjusted people. All we need is enough money to purchase the right products.
It is hard for not to depend on external commodities to feel better. They may relieve the pain of being human for a while, but sooner or later have to face the fact that products do not provide peace all for long.
What they do is deplete the resources one could use to aid those who are lacking even the bare necessities of life.
And Moses said to Aaron,” What did this people do to you that you have brought a great sin upon them?” Exodus 32:21
Harry was surprised to be sitting in the counselor’s office at school. After all, Sam was the one who had cheated, not he. Harry had not even offered Sam his paper. Sam had come right out and asked for it, copied it, and given it back.
Harry did not know Sam was going to copy it word for word. Now the teacher refused to accept Harry’s paper, and he was in as much trouble, if not more, as Sam.
“You know, Harry,” the counselor said,” I had a similar experience when I first began teaching. It had been a challenging year. Sometimes, more often than I’d like to admit, it was easier to ignore a student who spoke badly about another teacher or student or copied another’s work.
Because kids trusted me, looked up to me, much like Sam looks up to you, I had an incredible influence on their lives by what I said and did as well as by what I didn’t say or do. It’s something I learned I couldn’t take lightly.”
I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by; then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen. Exodus 33:22-23
I first met Robert one early summer afternoon while he was mowing the hill in front of his cabin. The perfectly groomed handlebar moustache and a twinkle in his eye belied his eighty-four years.
His body was frail, and he mopped his brow as he greeted us. Robert acknowledged that the leukaemia was taking its toll.
He had just sold this property in the backwoods with the provision that it would stay in his name. Until he died, he could continue to live in the cabin he and his wife built some 50 years ago.
“I know I don’t have long,” Robert mused as we sat in the shade, “but it’s been a good life. I have no regrets.” Robert shared with us numerous stories of days gone by, of tears and laughter, work, and adventure.
Later he invited us back for a hot-dog feed before the summer ended. We said good-bye and drove away down the dusty road in silence, wrapped in the livingness of a man facing death.
The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” Exodus 34:6
She sighed deeply.” I’ve raised these six kids alone, you know,” she said, “and it hasn’t been easy.”
I knew there were times she wanted to give up. She had worked, scrimped, and saved, trying to do a little extra for them when she could. Often her care and generosity were ignored.
“The hardest times,” she recalled, “were when the two older ones got into drugs and alcohol. What a nightmare. Of course, they wouldn’t listen at all to me.
Finally, I had to draw a line for the sake of younger ones as well as for their purpose. I still loved them, and I told them I did, but I had to get strict about what I would and would not put up with them.
Clare’s gone through treatment now and is doing much better. One day she told me that knowing I loved her in Spite of everything kept her going when she wanted to give up on herself. That makes me feel pretty good.”
And the Lord said to Moses, “Write these words; in accordance with these words, I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.” Exodus 34:27
The youngberry bush looked around, uncertain about its new surroundings. It was a large yard, vastly different from the tightly packed nursery where it had grown up. Here it was all alone. Soon it began to weep.
“Here now,” the old sun said, “this is no way to carry on. Salt tears won’t water your roots in.”
“But I don’t want my roots to grow in this yard,” protested the berry bush, lifting its head.
“Well,” said the sun, “let me tell you a secret. You were carefully selected to be where you are. You will receive water and fertilizer and pruning.
I will shine on you during the day, and you will have cool shade at night. And if you continue to grow following how you have been made and don’t try to become like your neighbour the tomato vine, then you will flower and bear beautiful, sweet berries.”
Almighty LORD Thank you for Speaking to us through Exodus 32-34 Intercession of Moses.
Wonderful God, I often look far away from you for my satisfaction. It is only in walking close to you that the meaning in life is manifested and I find hope for tomorrow.
Be for me what I cannot be for myself. Help us to know, God that we do not live in this world in a vacuum. Remind us that our responsibility to you includes our responsibility to others.
Living one, you are beyond our power to see and to name you. You continually give us glimpses of you in your creation. Thank you.
Merciful God, like a mother’s love your love surrounds us steadfastly, abundantly, faithfully even when we feel we cannot love ourselves. We are grateful to be your children.
Precious God, by your words from Exodus 32-34 intercession of Moses, you called to the Israelites and made them your people. You continue to call us, promising to be our God, teaching us to trust in you and to bear fruit in this world. Thank you. Amen.
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