Exodus 32 contains the details of Israel erecting a golden calf in the wilderness, a graphic example of the people’s impatience with Moses and God. If ever there was a group of people deserving complete annihilation, it was the nation of Israel at that moment. What occurs next in the text is one of the most uncommon prayers in the Bible: Moses intervened before God on behalf of God’s chosen people. This is the first of two occasions where Moses stood before an angry God, ready to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. Both times Moses appealed to God's promises, God's character, and God's mercy.
What sets Christ and Christianity apart is a steadfast love for the unlovable- intervening on behalf of those who, by the world’s standards, do not deserve it (Mark 12:31). On the cross Jesus did not call on the Father to destroy his accusers, but rather to forgive them.
Jesus intervened in defense of the indefensible.
We can do the same. The uncommon prayer of undeserving intervention is what leads a church into successfully bringing the life changing reality of Jesus to our neighborhoods, our cities, and our world!
- Why are we often motivated to only show kindness to those we think “deserve it?”
- Talk about those in your life who cannot intervene for themselves. How might you pray God’s grace for them?
- Talk about those who are most undeserving of prayerful intervention in your life (they’ve hurt you, abandoned you, betrayed you, etc…). How might you get to a place in your heart where you can and will intervene for them?