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God Delights in Mercy

by | Mar 8, 2024 | Equipping, God's Love, Love, Mercy

“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt. They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. They have bowed down to it and sacrificed to it and have said, “These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.” I have seen these people,’ the Lord said to Moses, ‘and they are a stiff-necked people. Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation.’ But Moses sought the favor of the Lord his God. ‘Lord,’ he said, ‘why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand?  Why should the Egyptians say, “It was with evil intent that he brought them out, to kill them in the mountains and to wipe them off the face of the earth”? Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on your people. Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self: “I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.”‘ Then the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.”

(Exodus 32:7-14 NIV)

Referencing verse 11 of Exodus 32, Chuck Smith says:

“Again we see Moses standing there interceding, holding God off. But who put it in the heart of Moses to intercede? Who put it in the heart of Moses to pray? Who put a love for these people in the heart of Moses? It was God’s work in the life of Moses to begin with. The inspiration of Moses’ prayer came from God Himself. All true prayer begins with God. Thus, God was the inspiration behind the prayer.

“Now God knows all things from the beginning. He knew that the children of Israel were gonna mess things up. He knew they were gonna be worshiping this calf. In fact, He knew it before they ever did it. God is speaking to Moses about their sin in need of judgment. Moses is now inspired of God to plead for their salvation.”

Chuck Smith Commentaries

God knew when Moses was on the mountain, the people would do this, and that, when He threatened to destroy them and start over with Moses, that Moses would intervene on their behalf. God was testing Moses, and his level of commitment and love for the people. God already knew how deep it went, but Moses did not, until God threatened to wipe them out. Something rose up in Moses that day. That day he came to understand and know the depth of his sentiment towards them, that no matter how frustrating they could and would be, how “stiff-necked”, he was all in. He would need this knowledge, because as frustrating as they had already been, there was much more to come.

God puts in our hearts supernatural love for some people, people He has paired us with for a divine purpose that we may never know, and He knows the things they will do, the ways in which they will sin against us and turn on us, throwing all we have done for them, the lengths to which we have gone, in our faces, unapologetically, with excuses that place the blame on us. However, we will keep forgiving, excusing, and ignoring how they treat us in return, and sincerely continue to feel real love for these people in a way that can only be explained by divine intervention, God giving us His love in our hearts for them and perhaps giving us a deeper understanding of His nature and why and how He continues to yearn for them to come and be saved in the face of how they reject Him and spit in His face, and profess unbelief in His very existence. The Israelites didn’t wander alone in the desert for forty years; Moses went with them until God released him after all of the unbelieving generation, save the two good spies died.

At some point, God may do the same for us. When our time and influence has run out, when we have done all that can be done for those He has given us to minister to, there will come a time when we can move on; God will release us and we will know it. Because that supernatural love that excuses all the bad behavior will be gone. You won’t hate that person, but you will no longer be unable or unwilling to walk away and say enough is enough.

“Let it be said if God had determined to destroy them, He would have destroyed them, and nothing Moses could’ve said could have changed Him. The fact that they weren’t destroyed only indicates that God had no intention to destroy them in the beginning.

“But in reality what God has purposed, He will fulfill. Had God purposed their extermination and wiping them out, He would’ve done it. God did use Moses’ intercession as the excuse not to do it, because God delights in mercy.”

Chuck Smith Commentaries

God said His Word will not return void, but will accomplish the purpose for which He sent it, not only scripture, but any words and actions He has sent through you as a vessel. We might not think or see that we had any influence, but we have God’s promise that our labor is not in vain when we work for His Kingdom. Just like God used Moses’ intercession, He will use yours, because God does delights in mercy.

Sonya Richards
3/8/24

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