32:7 The LORD said to Moses, “Go down at once! Your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have acted perversely;
32:8 they have been quick to turn aside from the way that I commanded them; they have cast for themselves an image of a calf, and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!'”
32:9 The LORD said to Moses, “I have seen this people, how stiff-necked they are.
32:10 Now let me alone, so that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them; and of you I will make a great nation.”
32:11 But Moses implored the LORD his God, and said, “O LORD, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand?
32:12 Why should the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intent that he brought them out to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from your fierce wrath; change your mind and do not bring disaster on your people.
32:13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, how you swore to them by your own self, saying to them, ‘I will multiply your descendants like the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.'”
32:14 And the LORD changed his mind about the disaster that he planned to bring on his people.
A lot of the time when we read this passage, we are quick to assume that Moses somehow changed the Lord’s mind about punishing His people. However, we have to keep in mind that God is sovereign and does not need man to dictate His actions. This passage tell us that He is a God that is full of Grace and Love. When we come to Him with our petitions and requests, He sees a heart that is full of surrender to His plan for our lives.
Moses here is being used as a tool to intercede on behalf of the nation of Israel. However, the deeper lesson that is to be learned is that God listens when we come to Him with our requests. He wants for us to truly trust in Him with all of our lives.
What we can also learn from this passage is that our God’s character is to firstly be slow to anger and offer forgiveness. He is patient with His anger and although the nation was disobedient and deserving of God’s wrath, because He saw the open and honest heart in Moses, He relented His anger.
Sin cannot go without consequence. As God’s children we are to pursue holiness and righteous living. We are to follow after His commands to remain pure out of a love that we have for Him and a response of thankfulness for all that He has done for us. God loves us and wants the best for us. He is constantly bringing about ways for us to be drawn into a closer and deeper relationship with Him.
God chose not to punish His people because He is full of grace and love. He did the same for us by sending His son to die on the cross. Let us respond with a heart of gratitude and let us pursue living a life that reflects Christ.
Exodus 32 is one of the rare times that God’s blood begins to boil. The people that He has just rescued and saved from bondage have already turned their backs on Him. They already started making idols and even Moses’ brother helped them do it.
He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”
5 When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, “Tomorrow there will be a festival to the Lord.” 6 So the next day the people rose early and sacrificed burnt offerings and presented fellowship offerings. Afterward they sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.
Talk about spitting the Lord’s face.
However, let us not get to proud and comfortable in our own walk. Let us always remember who it was that gave His only son for us. May we never turn and look to the idols of this world to rescue us. Thank the Lord for all things and remember who is the creator of all.