Deuteronomy 9:24 (HCSB)
24 You have been rebelling against the Lord ever since I have known you.
Right on the heels of the warning to avoid self-righteousness comes Moses recounting a few major events following the exodus from Egypt that demonstrate just how unrighteous the Israelites have been. Moses goes so far to say that the Israelites “have been rebelling against the Lord ever since I have known you.” The Israelites have been, it would seem, completely unable to follow God.
We should note a couple things concerning the state of the Israelites:
- Rebellion against God invites our demise. Multiple times the Israelites were on the brink of destruction, about to feel the wrath of God, His punishment for their rebellion against Him. God was ready to “blot out their name” and “destroy” them.
- Intercession is real. Moses, each time, interceded on behalf of the Israelites. If we ever think that intercessory prayer does not “work”, all we need to do is look at this passage. We should not place more “power” in the prayer, or the one praying, than they have intrinsically… which would be none. The power lies with God alone, but through prayer we bring ourselves in line with His will and experience His power and work in our, and others, lives.
- God’s mercy is greater. There is nothing else to conclude from this passage other than God’s mercy is darn powerful. Moses had no power in himself to sway God, to somehow influence Him to change His mind. The reason the Israelites were not destroyed was because of God’s mercy… period.
Lord, thank You for Your mercy towards me! I am an Israelite, I am stiff-necked, I am unrighteous and rebellious. Yet You love me, and You show Your great mercy towards me. You’ve redeemed me, and all Your children. Help us to be more like Moses, more like You, and enter into intercessory prayer, and join You in Your mission to redeem. Amen.