November 5, 2014
One of the most striking scenes in all of Scripture is Moses’ encounter with God after the golden calf crisis at the foot of Mt. Horeb. Trouble was coming to Israel. They were told by God that he “would not go with them” into the land of promise with the people. They knew that without God with them, they were doomed.
In the midst of the nation’s uncertainty and turmoil brought upon them by their sin against God, Moses goes to God in hopes of making atonement for the people. Perhaps God would withhold his anger and remain with his people and go with them.
In the encounter we find that Moses makes several requests of God, some specifically for him and some for the nation. This brings me to the reason I am pondering this passage today, the day after a tumultuous and possibly divisive national election. Regardless of the political posture you maintain, there are certain truths we may learn from this particular passage about how we are to approach our particular politic and the hopes of a nation.
Certain truths are paramount in Moses’ life. He knows that he has been chosen to lead. Every leader should determine their God-given directive to lead and how it is to impact his life and decisions. Moses had a deep identity with God; God knows his name and has shown him favor. Every leader needs a deep identity with God and seek his favor as he leads the people under his care. Moses asked God to “…teach me your ways…”, not so much to be a better leader, but so that Moses could know God more and to continue to live under God’s favor or blessing. Moses knew that he could not do a thing for God’s people unless he was deepening his relationship with God and living under the favor God bestowed to him.
If you are praying for the leaders of our country, pray that these requests be true of them as it was of Moses.
Moses also understood how important it was that the nation be pleasing to God. The absence of God’s presence was evidence that the people no longer were pleasing to him. Today we may understand God’s absence as the absence of Godly wisdom. Wisdom only comes by intimacy with God. The prayer of Moses is for God to remain with the people, even though he knew they were stiffed-neck and unpleasing to God. God promises to remain with the people, not because of them but because of Moses. God was pleased with him and enjoyed the intimacy of their relationship.
It is most rewarding of a nation to be pleasing to God, but when it is not a Godly leader can overcome a host of national disappointments.
Pray that the presence of God in our nation is known through the wisdom of our leaders. Pray that even though the nation may be a collective disappointment, Godly leaders or A Godly leader may cause God’s favor to permeate our life together.
Moses asks to see the glory of God. What an assurance of God’s presence that would have been for Moses – to see the glory of God. But God knows that Moses and the people need only experience his goodness. He declares his goodness to be known in his mercy and compassion.
As we pray for our leaders, let’s pray that they too get a glimpse of God’s glory and then lead as a result. Pray that they lead with mercy and compassion – that they know that the glory of God is found as these three become a reality in the lives of people everywhere. If we want to experience God’s glory, let pray for goodness, mercy and compassion to reign supreme. MC