The Lord said to Moses, ‘Go down at once! Your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have acted perversely; they have been quick to turn aside from the way that I commanded them; they have cast for themselves an image of a calf, and have worshipped it and sacrificed to it, and said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” ’ The Lord said to Moses, ‘I have seen this people, how stiff-necked they are. Now let me alone, so that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them; and of you I will make a great nation.’ But Moses implored the Lord his God, and said, ‘O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, “It was with evil intent that he brought them out to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth”? Turn from your fierce wrath; change your mind and do not bring disaster on your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, how you swore to them by your own self, saying to them, “I will multiply your descendants like the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it for ever.” ’ And the Lord changed his mind about the disaster that he planned to bring on his people.
Today is Thursday, the 26 March, in the Fourth Week of Lent.
“O God, will you restore us and grant us Your salvation?” As Bifrost Arts sing this prayerful song from ‘Lamentations’, begin to settle yourself into a place of peace, remembering the God who restores you… who grants you salvation.
Today’s reading is from the Book of Exodus.
At first sight this passage seems to raise more questions than it answers. The last sentence ‘And the Lord changed his mind’ is hardly designed to inspire comfort or confidence!’ What are the first feelings you have about it?
All of us can improve on our relationship with God. Think about your own relationship with Him. Have you always been open to God? Have you always listened to Him? Take a little time to reflect on that, can you ask God to help you re-orientate yourself towards Him.
The world also desperately needs to orientate itself towards God. Take some time to pray for those countries torn apart by violence, by poverty, disease and injustice. That those in positions of power and authority might turn their hearts towards God’s Justice and Peace. Keep all this In mind as you hear the passage read once more.
God’s ability to relent challenges us to look at our own relationships with each other. When we fail to forgive or to relent from a course of action which is hurting or harming ourselves or others we are less than Christ like. In these final few moments of the prayer time, ask God to help you if you need it, to let something go; to turn away from hurt and resentment.