Thursday, September 3, 2015

Are You an Intercessor?

We constantly hear about the patience of Job.  Yes, his courage and steadfastness in the face of adversity is known around the world by believers and non-believers alike.  And while I don't begrudge Job the acknowledgment, I often wonder if Moses doesn't deserve the same.  After all, he didn't only have to put up with difficult trials but also with difficult people. . . a lot of difficult people.  I imagine that for Moses, the 40-year trek through the wilderness was like the world's longest family car ride.

We're tired.  We're hungry.  We're thirsty.  We don't want to eat that.  Why did we have to come this way?  Are we there yet?  Complaint after complaint after complaint.  It makes you wonder how many times Moses longed for the good old days of herding sheep.  Sure, they were stupid, but at least they didn't complain every step of the way.

But amidst all the chaos and complaints, Moses remained patient (well, mostly patient).  But what amazes me even more than his patience is his intercession on behalf of the whiny lot he was leading.  In Exodus 32, when the children of Israel decided that they had waited on God long enough and took it into their own hands to build an idol of gold, God was ready to be rid of them.  He was tired of their complaints and their disobedience and was preparing to wipe them out.  But Moses talked him out of it.  You would think Moses would be ready for the people to be destroyed.  After all, if they were gone, he could go back home.  But Moses cared enough about the people and about God's reputation to intercede and convince God to spare the people.  And God did.

But once again, in Numbers 14, we read how the people refused to take on the inhabitants of the land of Canaan even though God promised them a victory.  Instead, they, once again, whined and complained about God's lack of care and concern for them.  And, once again, God had had enough! And the Lord said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them? I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a greater nation and mightier than they. (Numbers 14:11-12)

Moses again interceded and begged God to change His mind.  Despite the Israelites temper-tantrums and the fact that they had tried to overthrow and kill Moses during this long journey, the man of God still saw fit to intercede for them.  He went to God on their behalf and pleaded for their lives.  Talk about patience!

In our daily walk, we each have to deal with people that simply rub us the wrong way.  Maybe they're pessimistic and always complaining.  Or perhaps they're arrogant and cocky.  Or maybe there's just something about them that drives us crazy.  So, what do we do?  Well, according to this example of Moses, we should pray for them.  No matter how much they annoy or anger us, they are still people, and possibly people who won't go to God for themselves.  Whether they realize it or not, they need someone to intercede.  They need someone to pray for them.  They need someone to beg God to give them another chance.

Chances are, they'll never thank us for our intercession, but that doesn't really matter, does it?  What matters is that we are reaching out to God for the sake of those who won't reach out for themselves. . . at least, not yet.  But who knows?  Our intercession could make the difference, but we'll never know until we try.  Let's put on some patience and get on our knees.  We all have some praying to do!

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