Rev. Geoff DeFranca
In the Old Testament Israel has this habit of looking so much like us. Or is it the other way around? They are being given the gift of the land, a place where they could call their own. Yet, you have to love Moses’ description of them: “Yes, you have been rebelling against the LORD as long as I have known you.”(Deuteronomy 9:24 NLT)
Poor Moses. But in the response of Moses we see mercy’s mandate for all of us.
We don’t use terms like “throwing yourself on the mercy of God” much anymore. Perhaps we think it is a little undignified. Maybe we see it as below us. Or perhaps we are afraid of what others would think if we adopted such a practice. But here we see Moses. “That is why I threw myself down before the LORD for forty days and nights. (Deuteronomy 9:25 NLT)Moses’ response to this perpetually obstinate people was a face full of dirt and calloused knees! Desperate times call for desperate measures! He knew where this was all going to lead – “…for the Lord God will destroy you!”But wait! Shouldn’t those who had stiff armed God and His will be the ones with a face full of dirt? Of course. But that is where we learn the lesson. Moses does for them what they should have done for themselves! He throws them before the mercy of God!
As we move through Lent, let us remember that we too deserve what we get when we stiff arm the gracious hand of God. But there is One who chose to throw us down at the mercy of the Father when He was lifted up on the blood stained, sin-soaked cross. These people deserve to face the fearful wrath of God. Moses knew that. But he was not content to settle for that. May we not be content either.
Lord, I confess I need to be more like Moses as I walk in a rebellious world. Give me the strong love to throw myself down before the Lord and seek mercy for the rebellious, the hard-hearted, the God “stiff-armers”. Oh Lord, desperate times call for desperate measures. May my heart be desperate for Your mercy for all. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy…on us all. Amen.