When God’s People Pray

Turn from your burning anger and relent from this disaster against your people. (Exodus 32:12b)

God’s mind was made up. He had tolerated these stiff-necked, wicked people long enough. His legendary patience had worn thin. To Moses, God unveiled His plan to annihilate His chosen people and start from scratch with him, Moses.

It all started with 400 years’ worth of cries for mercy. From plagues of blood and frogs, lice to locusts, darkness to death, the people were finally freed to go. When their backs were up against the sea, God moved the sea.

But when the unleavened bread was eaten up and the sacrificed lambs were fully digested, they feared God couldn’t provide. As if the God who just walked them through the middle of the sea would forget something as crucial as food! They longed to have full stomachs. So God rained down miraculous food from heaven! And that was nice too . . . for awhile. Before long, however, they were complaining about the lack of variety to their diet!

It gets worse. When the cat’s away, the mice shall play as the saying goes. While Moses was on the mountain conversing with God on their behalf, they were making different plans. They thought Moses was okay and the God who led them out of slavery was nice, but they wanted more. They needed something else. Something . . . tangible. Dutifully they went to their priest, Aaron, demanding a solution to their longing. Aaron made them a young cow of gold and proclaimed it was God.

These are the people God chose out of all the people on the face of the earth. It turns out God doesn’t take too kindly to such slanderous mockery and He became, well, utterly upset. Judgment and punishment were to come swiftly and decisively. These scoundrels have shown once and for all they deserve nothing more than death, so death they shall receive. God’s plan “B” was to wipe them out and start over.

The only thing standing between God and devastation: Moses and a bold prayer. Stepping forward to face the righteous wrath of the Lord, Moses dared speak a word against this new plan. “Please,” Moses begged, “please spare them. Please remember your promises. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Remember your mercy. Remember not their great sins. They are stiff-necked, no doubt. They have earned your wrath, I don’t deny it. But please have mercy. Please do not leave us. Remember how you told me you knew me by name. Remember when you said I found favor in your sight. Do not forsake us.”

It was a bold move. Moses threw caution to the wind and appealed to the God he knew and trusted. And God heard Moses’s prayer. God listened to the prayer of Moses and relented of His wrath.

God always listens to the prayers of His people! For whom can you cry out this day? Who needs intercessory prayers for their days ahead? Boldly come before your Lord and know He listens. That He hears and acts. Come before the Lord in the name of Jesus!

Good and Gracious Lord, in the name of Jesus Christ, I boldly come before you today on behalf of ___________ asking for your grace, favor, and mercy. Lead and guide him/her through these days and grant your blessings. Amen.

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BAAAAAAAANG!

God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. (Genesis 1:3)

Sometimes the “debate” between Creation and Evolution just gets old. Atheists and Christians ask the same basic questions: How did we get here? Why are we here? Where are we going? Grounded in his worldview, an atheist can no more dispassionately study origins with an open mind than a Christian who is anchored in her worldview that God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) created everything in six days.

Preconceived notions may seem self evident to you, but I believe it is paramount that we understand our own biases before delving into a discussion about the merits of each belief system. As mentioned, everyone asks the same questions. When responding to the questions, where you start will determine where you end up. To put it a different way, everyone starts with a viewpoint. You come at the question with bias. Either God created everything or He did not. Bias and preconceptions aren’t bad, I’m simply saying it would be refreshing if we admit we have them.

I’ll admit mine. I was born and raised a Christian, Baptized into the faith when I was a mere handful of months old. I have been taught from the Scriptures. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He told everyone in advance that He was going to die and be raised from the dead. I believe, based on the testimony of witnesses, that everything happened exactly as Jesus said it would. My faith in God comes from the fact that His Son died and rose from the dead. Thus, I put my trust and hope in Him. I find no compelling reason to doubt the truth revealed to me from the Bible. Therefore, I believe what I learn from the Bible about the Creation of all things.

I admit my bias is that God created everything and I believe the evidence points in this direction. Will atheists admit their starting place for believing in Evolution is a rejection of God? Will they allow themselves the vulnerability that their belief system is based first and foremost on a firmly held assumption that there is no God? Without a Creator, the atheist must seek another solution to the questions that press upon every human. For the atheist, such answers are found in nature. Scientists who reject God have explored nature as best they can and have come to Evolution as an adequate explanation of all things. The atheist who believes in Evolution has found no compelling reason to abandon that belief.

The real question behind our origins is not “which explanation is right?” The real question remains, “is there a God?” Neither Creation nor Evolution seek to answer this question. Throughout the pages of the Bible, the claim is made that God created everything and this same God interacts with His creation, even to the point of entering the creation as a creature. Whether you believe this or not will go a long way in determining your thoughts on the topic of “origins”.

Dear Jesus, Your word is clear about creation, yet many doubt these words because they doubt you. Stir within all a desire for Truth and share it with us through Your word. Amen.