Exodus 32: 7-14 – Paying Attention

In our last look at Exodus 32: 7-14 I want to tell you a story about this passage. I’ve already alluded to it. But this was a powerful moment for me.

I’ve never been super comfortable with this passage. The more I’ve studied it through the years, the more comfortable I’ve become, but my struggle comes from the language of God changing His mind. I hold to the truth that scripture teaches, and we are told over and over again in scripture that our prayers matter and that they have an effect upon God. So, we should pray, knowing that it changes this. How does that work? It is a mystery.

Two things have been helpful in coming to a better understanding of this passage. First, the language of “changing” in the text is in Hebrew, one of God having pity or compassion. God’s character showed through, He had compassion for the people.

But second is a conversation I had with Sam Morris years ago on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. We were talking about this passage, and Sam told me something that has stuck with and that you’ve heard me say. The prayer that God values the most is when we repeat back to God what God said. It shows we are paying attention. Today, Moses reminded God of God’s word. This wasn’t for God’s benefit, He had not forgotten what He had said. This was for Moses. Any type of testing we face is always for our benefit, not for God’s.

Moses showed God, as well as himself, that he was paying attention. He was going to be the one to record the law. He was going to have to pay attention. He has proven that he was.

Today, do we pay attention? Do we really pay attention to God’s word? Does God have our undivided attention? In a world that is chaotic and spinning really fast, do we truly give God our attention? That is what He desires. And what we need

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