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Stand in the Gap

Our reading from the narrative lectionary this week is Exodus 32:1-14.  God wanted to speak to the people on the mountain, but the people were too scared, so they sent Moses.  Moses was up on the mountain for a long time, so the people got bored.  They asked Moses' brother to make them a new god, and he made them a golden calf to worship.  When Moses came down the mountain he could see what they were doing.  God told him to stand aside and God would destroy the people, but Moses intervened.  Moses advocated for the people that betrayed him. 

But Moses sought the favor of the Lord his God. “Lord,” he said, “why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and 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 wipe them off the face of the earth’? Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on your people.  - Ex. 32:11-12

These people were so afraid that they sent Moses up the mountain alone.  When they thought he must be dead, they sent no search party.  They wasted no time in replacing him.  Even Moses' brother failed to go look for him.  Instead, they moved on, found a new god, and had a party.  These people had no love for Moses, yet, when Moses was confronted with this truth, he still stood in the gap and protected them.  

This is what a leader does.  This is what a Godly person does.  This is the sort of leader that I want my children to see.  We need leaders who will set their own desires aside.  We need leaders who think more of the people than of themselves.  We don't need an Aaron that will sacrifice his ethics and values for the sake of entertaining the people.  Are you seeing this from our leaders?  If not, are you demanding it?  Are you praying for it? Don't settle, cry out to God for the leaders we need, not the leaders we deserve.  The people of Israel did not deserve Moses, but God puts our leaders in place (Romans 13:1).  Ask for a good gift from God, because God knows how to give good gifts to God's people.  

Lord, help us to pray for what we need more than what we want.  Provide us with leaders that will draw us closer to you and the values of your kingdom.  Be with us in the upcoming election.  May your peace be upon us.  


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