4th Thursday of Lent
Exodus 32: 7 – 14; Ps 106; Luke John 5: 31 – 47
The reading from Exodus this morning offers us an uniquely marvelous exchange between God, the Omnipotent Lord, and Moses, His beloved confidante and trusted spokesman.
God is very upset with Israel; He has been upset before with their “stiff-necked” conduct but now it appears that He has had it – their worshiping the molten calf brings everything to a head. It seems that God asks permission of Moses to put an end to them. God says, “Let Me alone, then. That my wrath may blaze up against them to consume them.”
And Moses, who at times appeared very meek and mild, stood his ground against God and reminded God very pointedly – they are Your people whom You brought out of the land of Egypt. Why should You get charged by the Egyptians of the crime of murder? In all this, Moses is telling God, “Calm down, take it easy, remember Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and Your promises.”
Incredibly, here is a human, Moses, lecturing God about His conduct, His reputation, His promises and more incredibly God listens, does not interrupt. And God, humbly omnipotent and perfectly humble, obeys His trusted friend, Moses.
In all this there is a lesson on prayer; I believe the Holy Spirit is telling us that prayer is always a reminder, a call to remembrance addressed to God. When we pray, aren’t we saying, “I’m here Lord, don’t forget to have mercy, don’t forget to lead me, don’t forget to grace me to live and so forth. And our God, in His mercy and incomprehensible love welcomes these reminders. He always hears the cry of the poor.
The response to the Psalm this morning was “Remember us, O Lord, as you favor Your people.” And surely the Lord replied, “You have My word, trust Me.”