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"Now leave me alone so my anger can blaze against them and destroy them all. Then I will make you, Moses, into a great nation instead of them."

This verse is fascinating. God clearly states His intention to destroy the nation of Israel, the twelve tribes, the whole lot except for Moses and presumably his wife. Yet it didn't happen. Why not? Because Moses argued with God. Moses reminded God of His promises and God relented. Can the prayers of one man really change God's mind on a subject of such tremendous consequence? This passage certainly does not sound like God had this whole thing planned out. It sounds like He is extremely upset and emotional. He IS extremely upset and emotional. Our view of God always being calm and uninvolved and having everything pre-determined is simply wrong.


Just some early morning comments:

>>So - I wonder - what's our cure for boredom in our faith? What keeps our faith fresh? >>
The key to your question about “Spiritual Boredom” is in a word you used and a word that God used in Genesis, “Seasons.” The word season implies that there are designated time periods and within those time periods things or environments are different. We in the Northern Hemisphere are near or approaching the mid-point of winter and after winter comes spring, which will bring a different environment and weather conditions: the key to combating “Spiritual Boredom” is knowing which season you are in. Thinking of what happens in each season and the work you can or cannot do, the things you can or cannot see, chart the things that are going on in your life and figure out if it is winter, spring, summer or fall.

Genesis 8
22 "As long as the earth endures,

seedtime and harvest,

cold and heat,

summer and winter,

day and night

will never cease."

Luke 4: 13 And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him (Jesus) for a season. (KJV)

Luke 12: 42 And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?

Now onto Mark’s comment

>>This passage certainly does not sound like God had this whole thing planned out. It sounds like He is extremely upset and emotional. He IS extremely upset and emotional. Our view of God always being calm and uninvolved and having everything pre-determined is simply wrong.>>

Mark just because some sounds like or appears to be doesn’t mean that it is. If you are stating that because you “read” something a certain way and that makes it “truth” then you are placing yourself in the position of a god. I’m not going to agrue with you because one must have a personal revelation of Who God is and you haven’t. I may not be able to counter your statement with a good “argument” but I know experientially that God is and He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. This statement is from someone who was an Atheist for over twenty year and who has a friendship with a former 28-year atheist who taught somebody’s kids in a college and post-grad setting, going after all those who professed their faith in Christ or the omnipotent and omniscience of God.

Isaiah 55: 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (KJV)

Talking about those who were in the Desert for forty years:

1 Corinthians 10: 5 Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert.

6 Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. 7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in pagan revelry.

God loved you so very much that He left an example for you to NOT FOLLOW because He knew you would make the statement that you did.

And also regarding those in the Desert, same chapter:

10 And do not grumble, as some of them did–and were killed by the destroying angel.

11These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. 12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!

My prayer for you Mark is this that God reveals Himself to you in such a way that you understand, even if you cannot explain it to anyone, His magnificent Power. I pray that He becomes you God, not someone else’s God, but your God, In Jesus Mighty Name

Mark you are certainly welcomed to e-mail me directly; however, know this, I'll not argue with you God can prove who He is better than any man or woman can.

Grace and peace and see you latter this evening,

I love the second half of Exodus 32:24 when we see how Aaron justifies the sin of himself and the people. He explains to Moses... "Then they gave me the gold, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!" Out came this calf!!! Aaron wasn't my fault, it just happened. As silly as it sounds, it reminds me how silly we can sound when justifying our sin.

I wonder, since we can not really know God, if this was just Moses' way of describing the righteous anger of God. It seems to show the consequences of disobeying the Righteous God. Those consequences are ours without an intercessor (Jesus) standing between us and God. I do believe that God is an emotional God, the Bible tells us constantly of his overwhelming Love, his requirement for Justice and his anger. The thing we have to remember is God's emotion is NEVER irrational. Gods is always described as angry, when he has to pronounce Judgment on our disobedience, but, he always seems to make a provision for redemption (not always a way to escape but a way for redemption).

Exodus 32-33:23
Moses had been on the mountain for a while, in total he was on the mountain for forty days and the people were getting antsy. I believe one of our problems as humans is that we want to worship a god we can see. Even if we experience the power and magnitude of the unseen God, we still drift over to something we can touch, taste and feel. So that’s where that “faith thang” comes into play, believing in the God who created all things, but who we can’t see or manipulate as opposed to the god we can make with our little hands and get him to do anything we want, like getting some god jewelry to jump out of a fire and become a golden calf.

Then there is that other human thing working, wanting to be “Large and in Charge.” Moses was gone and Aaron the older brother was left. And after all he was appointed and anointed by God wasn’t he? So little brother, who does he think he is anyway, is gone and now it’s time for me to step up. There are so many things in these two chapters to chew on so it is very difficult to pick one or two that speaks to me above all the rest. Yet there is something in chapter 32 that gives me a great deal of food for thought.

32: 9 Then the LORD said, "I have seen how stubborn and rebellious these people are. 10 Now leave me alone so my anger can blaze against them and destroy them all. Then I will make you, Moses, into a great nation instead of them."

I believe this was a “test” for Moses to see what he would choose to be number with God and have the promise go through him and him only or intercede for the people God took out of Egypt. The thing is that God already knew what Moses would do; the test was for Moses to know what he would do. I believe that all testing is for us to know what we will do.

Moses responds to God by stating, 11 … “O LORD!" he exclaimed. "Why are you so angry with your own people whom you brought from the land of Egypt with such great power and mighty acts?” Moses also showed that he loved his people he was willing to have his own name blotted out of Gods book of life so that the people’s sin would be forgiven. Love desires to benefit others at the expense of self.

I don’t think that the God kind of love or even the God kind of anger comes with emotion. There is a danger of taking our human experiences and emotions and placing them on God. We don’t dictate to God he dictates to us. The reason I believe that we should not project our emotions onto God is because Jesus stepped into time, taking on flesh, to be able to experience what we experience as stated in the Book of Hebrews. 2nd chapter, speaking of Jesus:
14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil– 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. 16 For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham's descendants. 17 For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Matthew 26:69-27:14
Matthew 26: 74 Peter said, "I swear by God, I don't know the man." And immediately the rooster crowed. 75 Suddenly, Jesus' words flashed through Peter's mind: "Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times." And he went away, crying bitterly.

Why don’t we listen to God when he tells us who we are and what we will do in times of crises? Why do we try to prove God wrong when He knows us better than we know ourselves? A very wise minister said when God tells you something about yourself just accept it and move on. If He says you are stingy, accept it; if He says you have a bad temper, agree. Once you accept it God becomes responsible for working with you to change it. And if we try to prove God wrong we then set it up for God to prove that He is right, in public.

Philippians 1
5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Psalm 33:1-11
6 The LORD merely spoke,
and the heavens were created. He breathed the word,
and all the stars were born.

7 He gave the sea its boundaries
and locked the oceans in vast reservoirs.

8 Let everyone in the world fear the LORD,
and let everyone stand in awe of him.

9 For when he spoke, the world began!
It appeared at his command.

These verses are awesome. By words, God’s Words this planet we live on the galaxy that our planet belongs to within this vast ever-growing universe exists. Speaking and a thing is makes my mind swim and the thought of it is too much to take all in.

Proverbs 8:33-36
Wisdom will not come to our home; we must go where she is. Taking the time to find her house will surely bring life and godly favor.

Grace and power

I understand that my thoughts go against the normal Christian understanding of God. I went to Bible college and was taught all the usual ways of explaining God. But when I read the Bible, I get a very different view. God is full of passion and emotion THROUGHOUT Scripture. He also shows Himself to be very involved in our lives and interested in our prayers. Time and time again God actually listens to people and then changes what He had planned to do. The story in this passage is a great example - He said he was going to destroy the Israelites. Then Moses prayed and asked Him not to. So He decided not to. There is also the time when God told Hezekiah that he was about to die. Hezekiah then prayed and asked God to allow him to live longer. So God then told him he could live fifteen more years (Isaiah 38:5). Or when he told the people of Nineveh in no undertain terms that he would destroy them in 40 days. Then they repented and he decided not to destroy them. If He knew that He really wasn't going to destroy them beforehand, then wasn't He lying when He said "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall
be overthrown"? How about when He said in Genesis 6 that He was sorry He ever created humans. If He had known that humans would turn out that bad, then how could he make that statement?

My belief is that God wants to have real interaction with us. I don't believe He is the kind of God who wants to just plan it all out beforehand and turn us into robots. Is that what we are to believe? Perhaps He has the ability to know the future but is He compelled to know it? Is He not allowed to go through our lives with us and respond to our prayers as we pray? Are our failures predestined and there is no way we can avoid them and therefore God does not even try to turn us away from them?

Another example of God doing something that was not in the plan was when Jesus healed the daughter of the Canaanite woman. When she first asked for His help, Jesus said that helping her was not in the plan. "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel...It is not fair to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs." Yet He DID heal her, because of her faith. God actually listens to us, just as all of Scripture promises. I don't believe He plans our every move in advance. Or even His own every move. An honest reading of Scripture bears this out, in my opinion.

What is the clear, compelling reason, from Scripture, for believing that God plans our every move in advance and does not truly interact with us or get emotional or get surprised? I believe that the whole of Scripture shows an actively involved God going through our lives with us and constantly trying to change us.

What if you were faced with a tough decision and asked God for help...but God simply looked into the pre-determined future and saw that you made the wrong decision...would He just say to Himself "sorry, can't help you there, my plan is my plan and you're going to screw up"? Or does He always plead with us to do the right thing up to the very last minute?

Hope these thoughts are at least interesting to someone.

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