The Commitment of an Intercessor
Then Moses returned to the Lord, and said, “Alas, this people has committed a great sin, and they have made a god of gold for themselves. But now, if Thou wilt, forgive their sin—and if not, please blot me out from Thy book which Thou hast written!” (Exod. 32:31-32)
The prayer of Moses is remarkable. Moses was not only the leader of Israel, he was an intercessor as well. Ultimately, an intercessor gives up all personal advantage for the sake of those for whom he prays. Moses knew he personally had favor with God. Yet he presented himself as a remarkable portrait of one irreversibly committed to Israel’s transformation. He said, “If Thou wilt, forgive their sin—and if not, please blot me out from Thy book.”
Moses said, in effect, that he was not serving for individual gain or glory – this was not about him, but about the people he loved and served, rebellious as they were. The soul of Moses was bound together with the future of Israel. Similarly, we must see ourselves irreversibly bound together with the lives of those we pray for, both family and friends, as well as our community and nation. Moses would not be blessed, honored or pleased apart from the fulfillment of God’s promise to the Hebrews. If God would not forgive them, He could not have Moses either. Israel and Moses had become a package deal.
Have you struggled with situations in your personal life in which you cannot seem to break through? Perhaps you are spending too much time on your needs and not enough time praying for others. Make a prayer list of people with desperate needs, and as you intercede for them, see if the Holy Spirit doesn’t break through for you, too. Indeed, include your enemies and those who have hurt you. Remember the story of Job. When he prayed for his friends, God healed him (see Job 42:10). Intercession not only transforms the world, but also transforms us.
Lord Jesus, I am awed at Your willingness to show mercy. You actually changed Your mind about judgment on sinners because of one man, Moses. Lord, in my world and times, let me be that one who so delights You, who is so intimate with You, that my prayer for mercy outweighs Your judgment to destroy the disobedient. May the favor You have given to me be multiplied to those who yet do not know You, and may it spread until all the earth is filled with Your glory!
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Filed under: Francis Frangipane Writings