The Prayer That Changed History
Imagine the Maker of heaven and earth offering to make of you a great nation! God made that offer to Moses.
Within days after promising to always obey God's command not to make an idol, the Israelites worshiped the golden calf. This angered God enough to destroy the entire nation. But before He did that, God confided in Moses what He, as a just God, must do. Sin must be punished. His righteous anger demanded justice.
"I have seen these people," the Lord said to Moses, "and they are a stiff-necked people. Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation" (Exodus 32:9-10).
God's offer to Moses was real. He knew God would be faithful to keep that promise.
But Moses also knew it would not have been God's first choice. In fact, when Moses later retold this episode to the Israelites, he said, "The Lord listened to me...It was not his will to destroy you" (Deuteronomy 10:10).
God cared that the Egyptians knew of His love and power available to His people. The only way God could turn away His anger from His people would be to find an intercessor.
I think God revealed His plan to Moses to determine if Moses would pray the prayer that could prevail--the prayer that would change history.
So He needed to know what was in Moses' heart. Would he care for others as God himself did? Or would Moses care more for the sake of his own reputation? Were there any selfish desires in his heart?
It appears that God would rather show mercy than punish for sins. When God can find an intercessor who prays for God's name to be honored, He changes directions.
Thank You, Lord, for Your mercies You offer those who are more concerned about Your honor than their own.
"Mercy triumphs over judgment!" (James 2:13).