June 1, Saturday

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“God is Faithful to Himself”

Exodus 32:11-14

But Moses implored the Lord his God and said, “O 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 say, ‘With evil intent did he bring them out, to kill them in the mountains and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from your burning anger and relent from this disaster against 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 offspring as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your offspring, and they shall inherit it forever.’” 14 And the Lord relented from the disaster that he had spoken of bringing on his people.

A joke we used to toss around in youth group was this: “Can God microwave a burrito so hot that He Himself could not eat it?” This question was answered by an incredibly wise teacher: “No, God doesn’t do anything stupid like that.” But even within this child’s play, there is a deep theological truth we must grasp: God always acts according to His perfect character. God is always faithful to Himself.

We see an interesting exchange between Moses and God. We first must recognize that God has every right to be angry at the situation – the people He had saved were now worshipping a manmade idol whom they claimed rescued them from Egypt. Now, this isn’t a surface level, teenager worried about His “rep” kind of response from God. There is a deeper importance to God’s zeal for His own Name.

It is about His character. God is always true to Himself. He is above all true to His glory. God’s faithfulness to Himself is the only thing that is holding the world together. This is the glory and grace of God. And the reality is that only when God is true to His glory can there be incredible grace and mercy that trickles down to us.

We know that the only reason why Israel is God’s people is because God chose them. It wasn’t because of their impressive stature. And in Moses intercession, he brings to remembrance (not that God forgets) the covenant that God had made with these people. The promise of blessing to not only Israel, but to all the nations. And this was to be fulfilled not because the people were capable of good, but because God is faithful.

Two things that we see here at play: (1) What is best for mankind is that God is always true to Himself. There are a lot of people out there who think that they understand what is best for the world, even if that means God going against His nature. But the truth is, no matter how unfair or unjust things may seem in our eyes, what is best for all of creation is that God remains faithful to Himself. And here we see the incredible mercy of God that results from God’s faithfulness to Himself as a covenant-keeping God.

(2) The power of prayer. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, said this: “God does nothing except in response to believing prayer.” It describes the reality in which we live where God responds to the intercessions of His people. More specifically, God responds to the prayers of His people who pray according to His will. And there is an incredible power and excitement when we come to pray the things of God’s heart. And just as one man Moses was able to assuage God’s wrath, we too have the ability to intercede on behalf of people who are in incredible duress, suffering, or even disobedience.

Brothers and sisters, let us continue to give Him no rest (Isa 62.6-7) to intercede on behalf of those who do not have a loving relationship with the Father. Although they may be living in disobedience, it is the Father’s heart that they return to Him.

Prayer: Father, thank You that You are, above all else, faithful to Yourself. For in Your faithfulness to Yourself, do I find grace, mercy, and eternal peace. As I learn and walk deeper in Your ways, help me to pray the things of Your heart, bringing to Your remembrance those who are in need of Your mercy. In Jesus’ Name.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: 1 Samuel 22-23

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