Prayer IS Effective! – Exodus 33

Today, I was blown away by what I read in verse 3: “But I will not travel along with you, for you are a stubborn, unruly people. If I did, I would be tempted to destroy you along the way.”

Talk about rocking my world! Did God just say that? Well, after reading the past few chapters, I can kind of understand, but to think God would think this…

Okay, some of my dBraggers have written me and suggested that God was testing Moses, or allowing him to take his leadership skills to another level. I’m more inclined to take it for what it is. God was ticked at these people.

This caused me to examine myself. Could God consider me stubborn and unruly? Let’s see, these people lacked faith, were impatient, complained a lot. Whoa…

Then, I read what Moses said to God in verses 15 and 16:

15 Then Moses said, “If you don’t go with us personally, don’t let us move a step from this place. 16 If you don’t go with us, how will anyone ever know that your people and I have found favor with you? How else will they know we are special and distinct from all other people on the earth?”

Mo pleaded the people’s case before God, and he seems to have changed God’s mind:

17 And the LORD replied to Moses, “I will indeed do what you have asked, for you have found favor with me, and you are my friend.”

Can this really be? Can someone change God’s mind? There are those who would argue this. I don’t know, but when I read this story, I get the feeling that my prayers are not in vain because God already has everything “fixed” in some certain path. And there are other stories, too. Remember the one where God changes His mind about the 50 righteous people in Sodom…no 25 righteous people…no 10…no 5 ?

I mean no disrespect and I know God is all-knowing and he knows what decisions I’m going to make and when. And, I didn’t mean to get this far down that road. My point is this: Moses was praying for the children of Israel. He was begging for God to go with them. And, God seems to have changed His mind. Do you see the importance of prayer here?

Do you have someone praying for you? Do you pray for others? The encouragement today is to remember this:

The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. – James 5:16

peace,
e

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