Ex 32:11a "Then Moses pleaded with the Lord his God...". (NKJV)
While Moses was on the mountain with Joshua, the people we down below sinning. He had no clue. He was up there in communion with God, probably in wonder and amazement and awe. The people, however, were wondering what had happened to this guy and decided to revert to what they had seen in Egypt…the worship of an inanimate object.
The thing that gets me is Aaron. I mean, here is this guy who was with Moses, who was Moses' spokesperson, who saw the miracles and wonders that God had brought about, who courageously stared down Pharaoh with his brother, and all he needs is a little push from a group of people, and he is creating a golden calf for them to worship? What's with that? I think it is a reminder to me of how easily we can get swayed and taken off of our own path in pursing God and His desire for us. No one is above this. No one, even people who are supposedly stable in their faith and walk and who are leading people, is immune from making one bad decision and seeing horrible consequences.
So here is Moses, in the middle of spending time with God and God has to inform him about what is going on. Not only that, but God basically says: "I am tired of these obstinate people…I am going to destroy them and make you a great nation." You know, kind of like Noah and the people back then. Now this is very heavy stuff. What does Moses do? He could have thought: "Hey cool, I get to start it all over again. I will be the father of a great nation…me, big cheese, lasting legacy. I can't stand these people either. All they do is complain and give me grief. Go for it God." But he didn't. Instead, his heart was for these people. He cared about these people (and so did God…God knew what Moses was about to do.). So Moses' reaction: "Then Moses pleaded with the Lord his God." Pleaded means "make sick". It also means to beg. Moses was sick over the situation and it caused him to go to God in prayer and beg God for mercy. This was no "Now I lay me down to sleep" prayer. This was no repetition of a certain magical prayer. This was no "bless my family" prayer. This was heartfelt, genuine, passionate, fervent, in your face prayer.
When is the last time I prayed like that? When is the last time I had such a burden that all I could do was go to God and beg?
Prayer is such a privilege. I just think about it as I write. It is an audience with God. It is getting God's attention about stuff that is on my heart. It is going to this God that I have been writing about, who is awesome and holy and powerful and grabbing His authority and saying: Please God…do something…work in Your might." And then watching what He does.
God answered Moses' prayer. He did not destroy them. He spared the great majority of the people and left any destruction up to Moses through the priests. And He continued to endure these people who continued to complain.
Moses' prayer and God's patience and power…My prayer and God's patience and power. He still wants to work.