“Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of thy mercy, and as thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now” (Numbers 14:19).TEXT — Numbers 14:11-25
The disposition of a leader at a time of national crisis can become a game-changer. If the leader is not selfless but bent on the pursuit of personal glory, he would scarcely worry if the system under him should cave in as long as his safety is guaranteed. On the other hand, if the land has a personality like Moses who would not rejoice when his people were threatened with extinction, the citizens would witness a flourishing era.
God was not happy with the continual backsliding of Israel. They broke His commandments and had no faith in Him despite numerous miracles, signs and wonders He did through His servant, Moses. Their faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was waning and pushing them into unequal yoke with their idolatrous neighbours. Finally, God said the punishment for all these treacherous acts would be to wipe out Israel and make Moses the patriarch of a brand-new nation.
Pleading for Israel, Moses reminded the Lord of His great characteristics of mercy, love and longsuffering. He asked Him to consider what the unbelieving nations would say if He disinherited Israel. He wanted the Lord to continue with His original plan to make Israel the nation through whom the Messiah would come. His intercession was a perfect example of what Jesus Himself would do centuries later: praying the Father to forgive disobedient man.
As ambassadors for Christ, the chief mission of Christians is two-fold: to draw the attention of sinners to the gracious Lord and to ask God to forgive them as they repent. God granted Moses what he asked. This indicates that there is power and efficacy in our prayer to the Lord on behalf of individuals, nations and ourselves.
Thought for the day
God can use our intercessions to transform sinners into saints.
- in one year
- JEREMIAH 39-42