Kevin DeYoung / Apr 2, 2017 / Exodus 32:7-14
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Father in heaven, we want to hear from you. We want to know both what you think and what we should think. We don’t simply want information—we’re hungry for the kind of knowing that changes us. We pray that you wouldn’t allow anyone here to leave unchanged. Convict and comfort us, and meet us here. We know you will. We pray this in Jesus’ name, amen.
As we pick up the story of the golden calf again, we’ve been shown what has happened, and the Lord has (obviously) seen it. Now he’s going to call down Moses, that he might see what has happened as well:
And the LORD said to Moses, “Go down, for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. They have turned aside quickly out of the way that I commanded them. They have made for themselves a golden 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!’” And the LORD said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people. Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them, in order that I may make a great nation of you.”
But Moses implored the LORD his God and said, “O LORD, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, ‘With evil intent did he bring them out, to kill them in the mountains and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from your burning anger and relent from this disaster against your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, to whom you swore by your own self, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your offspring, and they shall inherit it forever.’” And the LORD relented from the disaster that he had spoken of bringing on his people. Exodus 32:7-14
Of all the amazing things about prayer, perhaps the most amazing is how much God loves to hear us do it. In both the Old and the New Testaments, he frequently and consistently urges his people to pray. In fact, there’s no command more closely associated with prayer than simply to pray in the first place. The Psalmist writes,
Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. Psalm 2:8
Or, as we see in Chronicles,
…if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
As you know, Jesus told the Parable of the Persistent Widow so that we would always be praying and never give up. We constantly read of Jesus using word like “come,” “seek,” “ask,” and “knock.”
God even loves to hear you make weak, feeble little prayers—the sorts of prayers that feel like they barely go higher than your nose before they fall flat on the earth—where you’re distracted and feel as if they’ve accomplished nothing.
It would be amazing enough if God begrudgingly listened to our prayers, but he does more than that: he encourages us to pray! He’s not just sitting in heaven, crossing his arms, and saying, “Okay, what do you have?” As a heavenly Father, he positively invites us to pray.
Parents, don’t you love it when your kids ask for things that they really need? Grandparents love it when their grandkids ask for anything, because they can give it to them and send them home later. Actually, I hear that grandparenting is a pretty good gig. We asked our daughter a while back about what she wanted to be when she grew up, and she said, “A grandma.” That’s the way to do it. Just skip right over to being a grandma!
But parents, if your kids come without complaining, whining, or begging for treats and toys, just asking for help with something they need, you love it! “Could you help me with my homework? Could you help me learn how to shoot a basketball? Could you please pass the butter? Could we have a chance to talk?”
Think of what it would be like if your child came and asked for a favor for one of their siblings—not to tattle, or even to say, “There’s good news and bad news. Good news: he’s alive. Bad news: there is blood everywhere.” No, it would be mindblowing if your child came and said, “Mom and Dad, I wonder if we could help my little brother. He’s having a hard time.” Consider how you would handle all of those things as a parent. “Yes, I want to help you with your homework!” “It’s so kind of you to come and ask for help for your big brother, little sister, or friend. I love to hear it!”
Now think about how much more God must love it when we pray for each other. He loves to hear us pray for things that we really need, so just imagine how much he loves it when we make intercession for others. This passage is about many things, but at its core, it’s about the power and privilege of intercessory prayer—something that all of us appreciate, do, and wish we were much better at.
The Israelites were in big trouble. The Lord leveled a 6-fold indictment against them in verses 7-8.
- They have corrupted themselves.
- They have turned aside from God’s commandments—and quickly!
- They made a golden calf for themselves.
- They worshiped the golden calf.
- They sacrificed to the golden calf.
- They said (about the golden calf), “These are your gods, O Israel.”
You’ve probably noticed this before, but the Lord says to Moses (verse 7), “Go down, for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt…” Don’t think that the Lord is being snarky or having a pity party. He’s not saying, “Moses, they’re your people, not mine. I’m not taking responsibility for them.” No, there’s a reason that he speaks this way: the Israelites have rejected him. They’ve said, “The calf is our God.” They looked to this statue for their deliverance, and worshiped and sacrificed to it as their savior.
So God says, “Moses, these people don’t want me. They don’t think I’m their God. They think this bull is their god. Look at what’s happened to your people, whom you brought out of Egypt.” God is not being fickle; the people are. He heard their cries. He raised up a deliverer, hardened Pharaoh’s heart, sent plague after plague, parted the Red Sea, drowned the Egyptians, gave them manna and quail, met them on Mount Sinai, gave them the law, and appointed a tabernacle where his presence would dwell—and after all of that, they made an idol at the first sign of delay. “Where is Moses? He’s been up on the mountain a while. What are we going to do? Let’s make a golden calf.” They haven’t just slipped up a little—they’ve rejected God. The issue is one of their complete lack of trust.
Do you see what’s happening here? This is described to us as a new sort of Fall. What do we see in the Exodus? A re-creation—a new people who are coming into a new land, receiving a new law. Then, with the golden calf, we see a repeat of Genesis 3.
You’ve got to understand that the golden calf was what made sense to them. This was how typical Egyptians depicted deity. There were all sorts of statues that looked like this. There was a whole cult dedicated to a particular god who had manifested himself as a bull, so they made these golden calves. The Israelites belonged to YHWH, but they were behaving like Egyptians. This is what they had seen. This is what made sense to them.
Sadly, isn’t that often the case with us? We belong to YHWH, but we behave like Egyptians. Yeah, their actions seem silly to us. “That’s so strange and pagan.” But what would we have done? “Okay, Moses is gone. We’ve got this God, but we can’t see him, even though he did some nice stuff for us.” Would it be a house? An insurance policy? A 401(k)? What are our idols?
I may have repeated this before, but I found it very insightful. Someone once said to me, “Look around a city and find its tallest buildings. That will probably tell you where its idols are.” Not that that applies to every city, but at least it will show you where its temptations to idolatry may be. If you’re in a vacation area, the tallest buildings are the hotels. That will tell you what the temptation to idolatry is there. If you’re in some other place, it may be the financial buildings.
What are the tallest buildings in East Lansing? The Capitol has got to be pretty close, but I think the Boji Tower might be a little taller. My guess is that it’s probably the top of Spartan Stadium or Hubbard Hall. That gives us an indication.
Where we might think we can find purpose, security, or safety? What are the things we think we can’t live without? Government? Sports? For Israel, it was a strong, young bull, which symbolized fertility, prosperity, strength, and honor.
It made sense to them, but it didn’t make sense to God. The chosen people of God were a holy nation and a royal priesthood—his treasured possession. But now God gives them a new name. For the first time (but not the last) he calls them (verse 9) “a stiff-necked people.” When you wanted an animal to help with a harvest or to help plow a field, you’d put a yoke on its neck. But if your animal was stiff-necked, it wouldn’t bend its neck to have the yoke placed around it, so that you couldn’t use it. This is the image that God uses for his people. They refused to wear their master’s yoke. They stiffened up, and started making noise, kicking, and squirming—like when you try to change your 8-month-old’s diaper. They were a stiff-necked people—a people who never learned, wouldn’t listen, and wouldn’t admit mistakes.
I hope that none of us are stiff-necked. The Lord wants to put a yoke on us—a burden, which Jesus says is light. It turns out to be much easier than the yoke that the world gives you. But we take this yoke of God’s commandments and obedience to him, and we stiffen up and start veering in the other direction. “No, you aren’t going to put this on me.” We are people who don’t change or listen to counsel.
When was the last time you really changed your mind? I don’t mean changing it about the shoes you wear or the color you’re going to paint the house, but about something you’ve done. When was the last time somebody gently, humbly, and kindly offered to you a bit of correction or counsel, and you walked away and said, “You know what? That’s right.” Stiff-necked people never say or do that. They have a perpetual stubbornness problem.
Part of the problem is that they think that everyone else has the problem. Consider: if every relationship you have is difficult, what’s the common denominator in all of those relationships? You. The more stiff-necked you are, the less likely you are to realize it. You’re always learning, but never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.
Israel went off in a bad direction very quickly. They’ve had some grumbling and complaining moments before this, but things have generally been going well through Exodus 31: deliverance; provision; law; covenant confirmation; and instructions for an ark, a tabernacle, and the consecration of priests. Then the golden calf happens, and everything is about to fall apart. God is ready to unleash his anger, destroy the whole lot of them, and start over with Moses. That’s where we are now.
If you know the story, you know that we pick up with the construction of the tabernacle again in Exodus 35. So God, at this moment, is ready to destroy them, but by the time we get to Exodus 35, we are back watching the building of the tabernacle, which will be the dwelling place of God’s very presence. Something has transpired: intercession. There are other things that will come—Moses’ face will get shiny, and the Lord will mete out some discipline—but what happened in the intervening moments so that this threatened destruction by the Lord did not come to pass?
What happened is that Moses prayed. There’s good reason to believe that God wanted, expected, and (in fact) was inviting Moses to intercede on behalf of his people. If you read through it quickly, it can seem like, “Oh boy, Israel really dodged a bullet there. God was fuming—steam was coming out of his ears, and he was ready to smash down the lightning bolt. But, at the very last second, Moses said, ‘Wait!’, and God said, ‘Okay. I’ll change my mind.’” But that’s not what’s happening here. God was drawing, pulling, and inviting Moses to pray.
How do we know? First of all, in verse 7, he calls Moses to go down. The Lord doesn’t need to do that. If he can make the Red Sea part and swallow up Pharaoh and his army, he can send whatever plague he wants. Just as he didn’t ask for Pharaoh’s permission to come and set the Israelites free, he doesn’t need Moses to be aware of anything. God is God. He can do whatever he wants, perfectly within his rights. There has already been a warning given—“Don’t get too close to the mountain”—so God could have just wiped them out. He could have said, “Moses, time out for a second. When you get down there, it’ll just be you and Joshua—nobody else.” Why even have Moses come down from the mountain…except if he wants Moses, as the leader, prophet, and intercessor, to come and see what is happening.
Then he tells Moses what he will do. “My wrath will burn hot against them. I’ve seen these people, and I’m going to consume them.” Don’t think this is like the classic movie scene where, right before the hero is about to get a laser beam into his eyes, the bad guy starts monologuing about all the things he’s going to do to take over the world. This isn’t God letting out his plan so that Moses can thwart it. He’s telling Moses what he’s threatening to do in order that Moses might intercede on behalf of his people.
Look at the phrase in verse 10: “Now therefore let me alone…” At first, this sounds as if God might be a weak sort of character, but it’s actually an indication of his very strength and providential superintendence over this whole episode. We’ve already seen throughout the book of Exodus that God doesn’t need anyone’s permission to do anything. It’s not as if he’s saying, “Moses just leave me alone. I’m having such a bad day.” You could translate it as, “Leave me be. Let me rest.” It’s a rhetorical invitation to intercede.
Picture it like this: as a dad, you’re out with one of your sons—we’ll say your second son, because Aaron is the oldest here, and because I’m the second son. When you get home, you say, “Son, thanks for dinner. We’ve had a nice time talking.” But as you come up to the house, you hear the noise. The whole house is rocking, thumping, and pounding. Lights are flashing. There’s a wild party going on, as you stand outside the door with your son.
Then you say, “The police gave me a call. I know what’s going on in there. It’s not entirely legal, and it’s certainly not what I would want or welcome. There are all sorts of laws and rules being broken, and I’m absolutely fed up with it. Son, you stand here. I’m going in there and taking away their inheritance. I’m not paying for their college; I’m taking away all of their computers, iPads, and cars; and I’m kicking them out. I never want to see these siblings of yours again. They’re not going to live here for the rest of your life. Don’t worry. I’m going to take care of it, and all of that stuff will be yours. I’ll be right back.”
Wouldn’t you understand (as the son) that, while there’s a real threat, there’s also an invitation there from your dad? He’s practically begging you to intercede! There’s an invitation for you to say, “Dad, wait a minute. I don’t need all of that. I don’t want all of that. Couldn’t you have mercy on them?” That’s what your dad is asking and inviting you to do.
Similarly, the Lord inserts an implied condition when he says, “Let me alone.” He’s saying to Moses, “I will destroy them—but only if you let me.” He’s condescending to work out his plan and purposes through the prayers of his people. Isn’t it amazing that the God who did the plagues, parted the Red Sea, and all of that would say to Moses, “I’m going to destroy them—if that’s what you want.” Implicitly, “Perhaps you would like to intercede for them?”
Why did Moses intercede? First, because he was burdened for them. He cared for his fellow Israelites, and didn’t want to see them destroyed. Think about how much Moses has matured from earlier in the book, where he says, “I can’t do it. What shall I say? What’s your name? What signs do I have? They aren’t going to believe me. I don’t even speak well.” Now he has accepted his role as their leader, deliverer, and even their mediator.
Look what was offered to him in verse 10. “…I [will] consume them, in order that I may make a great nation of you.” It’s the exact same language that God used to Abraham in Genesis 12. “We’ll start this all over again with you, Moses. You’re the only one who got it right. They’re all going to be wiped out, and then I’ll do all of this with just you.” That must have been attractive—but he turned it down in order to plead for the lives of his people.
A big part of intercession is simply caring for the people for whom you intercede—loving your neighbor as yourself. I know that the times when I’ve been really faithful to intercede for others where when I’ve felt something of the burden that they feel, or even for something that they may not feel themselves. There are some people who you’ll pray for instinctively: people related to you, and people who are making your life difficult. Others we put down on a prayer list for a time. But don’t be afraid to just pray for people right on the spot. If you’re like me, when you say, “I’ll pray for you,” the chances of that happening are less than 50%. I’ll usually say, “I’ll pray for you right now,” because I so quickly forget (although some of you are better at it than me).
You pray for people when you care for them. If you aren’t praying for anybody else in your life, you have to wonder if you care for those people. Moses was burdened for Israel, so he interceded.
Second, Moses interceded because he believed that prayer could change things. How does prayer change anything when God is sovereign? He is free to do as he pleases, and we’ll see that in just a few chapters:
And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. Exodus 33:19
This is an absolute statement of God’s absolute sovereignty, so why pray? We don’t have time to look at this, but you could go to 1 Samuel 15. This is the episode where Saul was king, and then the Lord didn’t want him to be king. In that chapter, it says that the Lord regretted (or “relented,” “changed his mind,” or even “repented”) making Saul king. But then, at the end of that chapter, it says, “…the Glory of Israel will not lie or have regret, for he is not a man, that he should have regret.” Clearly, there is a sense in which we say that our God never changes his mind, and another sense in which it is true to say, “Yes, God can change his mind.” In other words, God’s course of action as we perceive it can move from one direction to another, and as part of that providential ordering of things, he invites us to pray.
God reserves the right to respond to prayer as he sees fit. It’s telling that in the 33 times that the Old Testament speaks of God changing his mind, it never says that he repents of sin. It simply says that he relents of disaster, calamity, and the destruction that he threatened. In all but one of those cases, it occurred either because the people repented or because some prophet or holy man interceded on their behalf. The Lord’s implicit promise is that he will relent when we repent.
We have many passages like this. Remember Jonah? He didn’t give any sort of good news to the Ninevites. He said, “40 days, and you’re overthrown.” Then they repented, and God didn’t do it. You think, “What’s the deal with that, God? Did you lie?” No. There’s always an implicit promise that “I will relent if you repent.”
Turn in your Bible to Jeremiah 18 for a second. These few verses will help you, not just with this sermon, but in understanding something important about God and the Bible:
If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it. And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, and if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will relent of the good that I had intended to do to it. Jeremiah 18:7-10
The principle is established there. It’s not that God is fickle, or that he has good and bad days. These national promises and blessings imply, “If you continue in what is bad, you’ll receive the punishments; but if you turn away, you will not get the judgment that I have threatened.”
God often responds with mercy when we intercede for others. The Psalmist in Psalm 106 shows us that, far from Moses thwarting God’s plan, he was actually fulfilling God’s purposes:
Therefore he said he would destroy them—had not Moses, his chosen one, stood in the breach before him, to turn away his wrath from destroying them. Psalm 106:23
Moses was the chosen one, and part of what he was chosen for was to be a mediator. Trusting in God’s sovereignty, we believe that he can do whatever we ask of him. Thus, we don’t pray in spite of providence, but because of it. In his book “A Praying Life,” which many of you have read, Paul Miller talks about two common errors in presenting our petitions to God. The first is “not asking,” and the second is “asking selfishly.” If we don’t ask, we’re confessing our belief that God can’t do everything. If we ask selfishly, we’re bearing witness that we think God ought to do our will, not his. The antidote to these errors, he says, is to “ask boldly” and “surrender completely.”
As Jesus says,
Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will. Mark 14:36b
He asked boldly, yet surrendered completely.
Where is the bigger danger for us? I imagine that for most of us, it’s actually the first: not asking. We believe in sovereignty and providence, so we think, “I don’t want to pester God. He does whatever he wants. I just need to accept it.” We don’t come before him and ask, and we don’t intercede on behalf of others. We think, “How is this really going to change anything? My circumstances won’t change. The culture won’t change. My life won’t change. My kids and my parents won’t change.” So we don’t pray.
We need to be reminded that our sovereign God is one who can willingly be moved by our prayers. Jesus’ most frequent teaching on prayer boils down to one thing: ask. Paul says,
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6
Let your requests be made known to God. Disney ought to write a song: “Let him know!” Just pray!
Moses prayed because he cared for the people, and he believed that prayer might change things. Look at how he interceded, because this will help us pray. In verse 11, he interceded based on God’s adoption. When he petitioned God, he didn’t talk about how much better he will feel if the Israelites aren’t punished. His prayer isn’t ultimately based on what he thinks will be nice for Israel. It’s based on weightier matters, so he appeals to the identity of Israel as God’s people. Remember what the Lord said in verse 7: “They’re your people, Moses.” Now Moses says in verse 11: “They’re your people, oh YHWH. They may be rebellious idolaters, grumbling malcontents, and generally stiff-necked, but they are your people. You brought them out of Egypt. You saved, chose them, and delivered them. They’re yours.”
When you intercede, don’t simply appeal to your love (though that’s important), or even to God’s love (though that matters). When you pray for other Christians, you can say, “Father in heaven, this is your adopted son or daughter. As much as I love them, you love them even more. Would you come to their aid?”
Second, Moses interceded based on God’s honor. In verse 12, he says, “This is going to make you look bad, God. The Egyptians will say, ‘Some God! He did all of this fancy stuff to set them free and get them through the Red Sea, and now look. He tortured them once they were in the mountains. Some kind of God that is.’” There’s no telling God something he doesn’t know, but Moses was praying based on what he knew about God. He said, “Consider your honor, oh Lord. Consider how this will reflect on the fame of your name.”
I’d bet that 85% of our prayers are about health concerns. Listen, there’s nothing wrong and everything good about praying for health concerns. God wants us to cast all of our cares on him, and James specifically tells us to pray for the sick. But so often, we really give little thought for how God figures into the equation, and we don’t necessarily pray like Christians. You don’t have to be a Christian to want to be healthy, or to want people that you love to not feel bad. Everyone wants that. So, how is your prayer for health and healing a Christian prayer? Where is God in the prayer? Are you just requesting it of him, or is he in the very motivation and grounding of the request?
We might pray something like, “Oh Lord, for your honor, and as a trophy of your grace, would you save my wayward child? Oh Lord, to display your great power, would you heal her diseased body? Oh Lord, as a testimony to your loving-kindness, would you forgive their rebellious ways? Would you heal and preserve their destroyed marriage? Oh, Lord that your name would be hallowed in all the earth, would you do this great thing we are asking of you?” Plead with God based on his honor.
Not only does Moses pray based on God’s adoption and honor, but in verse 13, he ends by interceding based on God’s covenant. He says, “Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel. Remember your promises to the patriarchs. Remember the Promised Land. You swore by yourself!” Hebrews will later talk about this. It’s the only place where God swears by himself. It comes after Abraham was going to sacrifice Isaac, but then the ram came through. God swore by himself that he would bless Abraham, make him a great nation, and give him this land. Why did God swear by himself? Because he cannot swear by anything higher. He can’t swear by earth, his footstool. There’s nothing else to swear by. We swear on a Bible, because it’s holier than we are. People sometimes say, “I swear on my mother’s grave.” because that’s holier than them. God swears by himself, because there’s nothing and no one higher and holier.
Moses asks God to remember. It’s not as if God has mentally checked out. To remember (in this context) means “to call to account and act according to your promises.” It ask that God would be true to his covenant word. Do you see how prayer is not so much about learning how to get God to give us the things that we want, as it is about learning to ask God for the things he’s already promised to give us? “You promised, God, that you would make them a great nation. You promised to give them the land. You promised that you would be with them—that you would be their God and they would be your people.” He intercedes based on God’s covenant.
Notice what happens in this prayer from Moses. For the first time—praise God that it wasn’t the last—we see someone praying, not for the righteous, but for the wicked. This prayer, at first glance, brings to mind Abram pleading with God before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. He said, “Oh Lord, it’s not like you to destroy the righteous with the wicked. What if there are 50 righteous people?” And he proceeds to knock him all the way down to 10 righteous people. He interceded on behalf of the righteous.
But Moses was doing something different: interceding on behalf of the wicked. Notice that he made no appeal to the righteousness of the Israelites. He doesn’t make excuses for them, say that it’s no big deal, or say, “Well, some of them are pretty good guys.” He definitely doesn’t say, “I know about the golden calf, but in their hearts, they meant well.” One of my cousins said that the motto over Israel’s family crest should have been, “We mean well,” but that doesn’t get you into heaven. Moses didn’t plead with God based on anything good in Israel, but interceded for the wicked.
Praise God that this was not the last time a mediator interceded on behalf of the wicked. Of course, Moses was preparing the way for the mediator to come—the one who will lay a hand on us all, and be a prophet greater than Moses: God’s own Son. When he pleads with God, he does not say about us, “Look at how sincere they are. Look at how much they’re trying. They’re pretty good people. Did you see that he came from a bad family, and he’s making the best of it that he can?” He doesn’t plead for the righteous, but intercedes on behalf of the wicked.
If we want to be like Jesus (and I want to be like Jesus), our prayers must not only be for good people that we like, but also for wicked people whom God ought to destroy. Moses, and (more importantly) Jesus himself, interceded on behalf of those who deserved no mercy. The intercession that Moses made was entirely based on God’s character—not on the merits of his people, but on God’s mercy. Moses wasn’t asking God to do something he couldn’t do or didn’t want to do; rather, he was pleading based on what God had already done and promised to do. So he turned away God’s wrath and saved the day.
Jesus prays for you. He turns away God’s wrath and saves us—and not for just a day, but to the uttermost. Moses made faithful intercession for the people, and we can do the same in prayer, but, Christ alone is the mediator between God and man. He ever lives to make intercession for us.
There’s just one thing that you need to know to do. The exhortation God gives us is to pray, both for your brothers and sisters and for your enemies, believing that a sovereign God invites us to pray and loves it when we do.
Sometimes you think, “I’ve prayed this before. I’ve prayed it a million times.” You know what? Sometimes, you can’t pray for yourself anymore. There’s a fine line between prayer and spiraling introspection. You have to say, “I can’t do this anymore, but others can pray for me.” Pray for each other. There are deep, heavy burdens that all of us carry. We need to be praying for one another.
Here’s something else God wants you to know: Jesus, if you belong to him, is praying for you. What could be better? Sometimes I have friends or family who have a big prayer request, and they say, “Kevin, I know you’re a pastor. Could you pray?” I want to respond, “I could show you some better people in my church whose prayers are probably going to get closer than mine, but I’ll pray for you.” But we have the Son of God, the King of Kings, at the Father’s right hand, saying, “This is my child. This is my brother. This is my sister. This is my friend. I want to bring their concerns before you.” You may not see it. You may not get the answer you were hoping for or the change that you were pleading for, but do not forget that Christ himself prays for you.
Let’s pray for one another. Oh Father in heaven, what a privilege we have in praying. What a great privilege it is that your Son, the High Priest, pleads his merits and his righteousness for sinners like us. What a confidence, joy, love, and blessing that is! We thank you. In his name we pray, amen.
Transcription and editing provided by 10:17 Transcription
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.