Exodus 32:7-14 ESV
7 And the Lord said to Moses, “Go down, for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. 8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way that I commanded them. They have made for themselves a golden calf and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it and said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’” 9 And the Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people. 10 Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them, in order that I may make a great nation of you.” 11 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.
I. Intercession as Part of the Procession of God’s Plan
A. Moses doesn’t change the will of God by praying but carries it out.
B. God’s desire is to show mercy towards those He loves, which is why He listens to an intercessor.
C. God does not repent but does relent when we do. (Jonah 3:10)
II. The Importance of Intercession in Pleading for Pardon
A. God is not manipulating Moses but moving Moses to see the urgency of the moment.
B. Intercession implores God to hold back His anger and have mercy on others.
C. It is Jesus who both holds and turns the anger of God against us back as our propitiation. (Romans 2:5, 3:23-25)
III. The Examination of Intercession
A. Intercession is an invitation that requires an examination.
IV. The Content of Moses’ Intercession
A. Moses teaches us to pray not just as the people of God but the progeny (children) of God who are sure God hears the pleas of His kids. (Exodus 4:23-24, Luke 13:23-24)
B. Moses teaches us to pray sure of God’s faithfulness, which demands He finish what He has begun with us. (Philippians 1:6)
C. Moses teaches us to pray for God’s glory first because what is best for Him is always also what is best for those who are His.
D. Moses teaches us the value of praying God’s Word back to Him as a sure-fire way to ensure we are heard.
NEXT STEP: The Interpersonal Nature of Intercession
A. Prayer is not formulaic, but relational.
B. Prayer works, even if we don’t know how it works.