Have you ever wondered if God listens to your prayers? Have you sometimes felt like it’s a waste of time that the heavens are closed to your petitions? I have no idea of the truth of this story but there is a story told about President Roosevelt. When he was President of the United States, he often endured long receiving lines at the White House. He complained that no one really paid any attention to what was said. One day, during a reception, he decided to try an experiment. To each person who came down the line and shook his hand, he murmured, “I murdered my grandmother this morning.” The guests responded with phrases like, “Marvelous!” “Keep up the good work.” “We are proud of you.” “God bless you, sir.” It was not until the end of the line, while greeting the ambassador from Bolivia, that his words were actually heard. Bewildered, the ambassador leaned over and whispered, “I’m sure she had it coming.” I do not believe the Ambassador believed the statement, but wanted President Roosevelt to know that he had heard what he had said. I wonder how many times we have looked toward the heavens and wondered, “Lord, do you care? Are you too busy for me right now? Despite how you feel or what you might think, please be assured that God is listening. This is a truth that Moses knew and deeply counted on as a leader. We must remember, that this parenthetical series of chapters (32-34), are some of the saddest moments in Israel’s history. In this tragic situation, Moses became more than a mere leader; he became an intercessor for his people, knowing God would listen. Here in chapter 32, Moses stayed on the mountain longer than expected. As a result, the Israelites grew impatient. I have found as pastor, that there is a certain security for the people to having the pastor present. However, here the Israelites were far away from familiar environments and now leaderless, although they did have Aaron to lead them in Moses’ absence. But Aaron had neither the moral fortitude nor the backbone to resist the popular uprising. The people probably sensed a void in Aaron, so they conspired to make themselves gods who would lead them. Aaron seemed only too willing to oblige the corrupt desires of the people. Moses was obviously angry at the people as he came off the mountain and saw their idolatry. He first addressed Aaron as leader and he lied. Then he addressed those who would stand with the Lord, and the sons of Levi came and stood with Moses. Then Moses commanded them to put on their sword and kill 3,000 men. I believe these were most likely the ringleaders to the idolatry. After showing strength of a strong leader, Moses shows the meekness of a true leader. He reminds the people of their great sin, and presents himself as a willing intercessor on their behalf. God in His great mercy forgives their sin and reestablishes His presence to guide them. May we never forget that God listens to our prayers!
Personal Prayer Requests:
- Lord, please help me to always remember that you delight in hearing and answering my prayers.
- Lord, please help me to always remember that you are there for you have promises to never leave me nor forsake me.
- Lord, please help me to never turn to anything or anyone else for my security. May I always acknowledge you so you can direct my path.