Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
When Moses knelt and prayed to God, "Blot me out of Your book which You have written" (Ex. 32:32), he prayed a prayer that Heaven had never before heard from the lips of a mortal man.
It was a prayer in reverse gear. How could anyone who loved God, who appreciated His plan of salvation, who was obedient to all His commandments, actually beg to be sent to the hell of "everlasting punishment?" It takes your breath away!
Israel were God's true people; but they had insulted Him, rebelled against all that He stood for, and chose to return to the idolatry of the Canaanites and Egyptians. So far as they were concerned, their choice to worship a golden calf implied a rejection of any divine purpose to redeem the world from sin (vss. 1-6). Self and pleasure were their "gods" from now on. As a nation they would play the roles of Peter in denying their Savior and of Judas in betraying Him.
God opened Himself up and told Moses how He felt about it all. "Let Me alone," He said to Moses, "that My wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them" (vs. 10). His "wrath" must be allowed to run its course, "wrath" not against the people themselves but against the cruelty and murder and all the horrors of idolatry, of the World Wars, the Holocausts, and all the injustices that sin will bring on innocent people for millennia to come. I will start from scratch, says God; "I will make of you a great nation." I must save this world, says God; Israel--they hinder Me.
But when God said, "Let Me alone," Moses took it at face value. Here was the loving heavenly Father that Abraham had pleaded with to save Sodom and Gomorrah. No pleading now for "the sake of ten" (Gen 18:32); Moses must throw himself into that "wrath."
Moses loved rebellious Israel, and he sensed that the honor of God Himself was at stake. If He couldn't save Israel, forgive them, or convert them, then the entire plan of salvation must do down the drain. And Moses delivered an ultimatum to God: forgive Israel, save them, or blot my name out of Your Book of Life! Serious business.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: May 31, 2001.
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