Deuteronomy 9:26 I prayed to the Lord and said, “O Sovereign Lord, do not destroy your people, your own inheritance that you redeemed by your great power and brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand.”
God certainly gave Moses lots of “on the job training” in intercession! I don’t believe God was actually going to destroy the Israelites, but He wanted Moses to understand the seriousness of the situation. I think he got the message! In a sense, God was helping Moses put things into perspective. Moses was personally angry, so he needed to understand that the people had rebelled against God far more than they had rebelled against him, and had to let go of his anger. It is significant that at no point does Moses try to excuse what the people had done. He never says, “Don’t destroy them, because they aren’t really so bad.” No, his intercession was entirely on the basis of what God had done to that point and what the nations would think of God if He destroyed His people. Moses too was operating from a polytheistic background, so from his standpoint, he was relating to Yahweh, the greatest God but one among several at least, rather than the totally unique Creator of the universe and everything in it. Even so, he indeed learned how to intercede for the people, and we would do well to learn from his example. He prayed with great earnestness and personal sacrifice, and God responded. Right now America is in a somewhat similar place. People have turned from God to worship government, or physical pleasure, or personal power, or whatever. God has every reason to destroy the nation! However, the faithful remnant needs to be earnest in intercession, not on the basis of “it’s not so bad,” but on the basis of America having been founded on Biblical principles and used as the greatest missionary-sending nation in history. We need to pray for revival so that God will be shown as great in the world, and many will turn from the devil’s lies to follow Him alone.
I have enjoyed prayer all my life, but I don’t think I’ve been a very dedicated intercessor. I minister in Japan, but I have a real concern for America. I certainly desire that God work in both nations, but how much have I dedicated myself in prayer to that end? Moses has much to teach me! In my personal ministry I haven’t seen any golden calves made, but I have seen people turn their backs on things God was showing them to do. I need to keep my focus on the reality that it’s all about God and not about me, and be willing to be used however God indicates, in intercession, in teaching, or however, so that the plans of the enemy may be defeated and God alone be acknowledged as holy and His kingdom come as His will is done, for His glory.
Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for all You are doing in and around me, and even through me. Keep me from holding anything back, but rather enable me to pour myself out for You, Your kingdom, and Your people, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!
Humble and sincere thanks for this reminder. So many times in my life, the Lord has reminded me that an important part of my vocation as disciple and pastor is to pray for the people I serve and to pray for the larger community of whichever nation I may be serving in at the time.
You are right! These are extremely perilous times for America and for other nations as well. Currently, I keep a list on my phone that I use at the end of my prayer time every day. You and Cathy are on that list. I know that I need to not just go through that list in a cursory way, but that I need to spend more time and lift up each one of those individuals or couples or congregations when I do my intercessory prayer.
Thanks, Jack, for this reminder.