Now that’s an interesting questions, huh? Our awesome God created this world and everything in it. He sets things in order according to His Sovereign will. Nothing that happens comes as an unexpected. Although He is rebelled against, and mocked, and pushed aside, and misrepresented in our world, God is patient because He knows He will have His day in the eternal courtroom (where He is both judge and prosecutor)! The truth of who He is and the character and motives for all His actions in history will be on display and every signle person who has ever lived will see in an undeniable, crystal clear kind of way that He is holy and a loving God.
However, while we live today, because of the love He produces in us who believe there can be a very powerful desire that can spring up within us (like the Old Faithful geyser) that wants to shout out and display to others that He is a good God, a faithful God, a holy God, a powerful God, a loving God.
Back in the 1980’s when there were some televangelist scandals that had huge media coverage, Christianity took a beating. I can recall hearing so many comments about Christians being such hypocrites. There also seemed to be a surge in skepticism about the power and realness of our faith (and ultimately, our God).
One day, my spiritual geyser erupted and I couldn’t take any more of the negative comments being spewed out against our faith, and our God. I remember driving to a nearby forest preserve at lunch and finding a guy by himself. I parked my car and bolted for him as though I had some urgent news to tell him. In fact, I did.
I went up to him and introduced myself as a Christian and saying I was so bothered by how the media was misrepresenting Christians that I wanted to defend the truth of who my God really is. I was so energized and spoke with such firmness (and love). It was a powerful time and God had ordained that moment because this man was hurting and the words I spoke affected him deeply and he chose to give his life to the Lord right then. (Yeah, my God is a good God).
Sometimes, I can hear something so often that I fail to really pay attention to it when someone mentions it again. For example, in the Lord’s prayer, Jesus does not encourage us to pray, “MY Kingdom come”, but THY kingdom come. In other words, Jesus is telling us that our concern should ultimately not be about exalting ourselves, but Almighty God.
If I were to be brutally honest, I have to admit my focus, too often is clearly not where God wants it to be. Unfortunately, there have been too many times, when I have wanted to see my name promoted and for others to point their fingers at me with their praise, instead of toward God.
Another lesson on all this comes from our continuing study in Deuteronomy ( 9:25-29-NLT where it says, in verse “That is why I threw myself down before the Lord for forty days and nights—for the Lord said he would destroy you. I prayed to the Lord and said, ‘O Sovereign Lord, do not destroy them. They are your own people. They are your special possession, whom you redeemed from Egypt by your mighty power and your strong hand. Please overlook the stubbornness and the awful sin of these people, and remember instead your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. If you destroy these people, the Egyptians will say, “The Israelites died because the Lord wasn’t able to bring them to the land he had promised to give them.” Or they might say, “He destroyed them because he hated them; he deliberately took them into the wilderness to slaughter them.” But they are your people and your special possession, whom you brought out of Egypt by your great strength and powerful arm.’
There are two main things that stand out to me from these verses:
First of all, I see that Moses throws himself down and he is before The Lord 40 days and nights interceding for the lives of the Israelites.
Moses is not concerned about himself, but he is filled with a desperation, an urgency to cry out for mercy on behalf of his fellow Israelites who had been so disobedient to God. To Moses, this is “priority” stuff.
But, Moses is also concerned about one other thing. He is concerned about God’s reputation.
Although God would be fully within His rights as a Holy God to judge the Israelites for their rebellious ways, Moses pleads with God not to punish them (not because they didn’t deserve it), but because of the potential unexpected consequence of God’s reputation being called in to question by the Egyptians. If the Israelites did not make it all the way to the Promised Land, the Egyptians (and other pagan nations) could say that either God was impotent and not capable of bringing them in to the land, or that He was an angry God and His real motive was hatred for the Israelites. In other words, that He delivered them from the land of Egypt to put them to death in the wilderness.
So, Moses prays on behalf of the Israelites, but even more so for God and preserving His reputation.
Moses livesd out the promise of Proverbs 27:18 b, “he who cares for his master will be honored”.
Moses truly cared deeply for his master and his devotion to God set him apart .
Deut. 34:10 Since that time no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, (nasb)
How about you, my Christian brother or sister? When is the last time you spoke to someone about the goodness of our God? When is the last time you defended Him to others?
To anyone who has not yet put their faith in Jesus Christ to be your savior yet, let me invite you to take two intelligent steps of faith:
1) just say something like “I don’t know if you are real or not, but I am asking you to help me understand the truth. Help me to know who you are.
2) Find a Bible and find the Gospel of John and read it.
My God loves you and He will show Himeslf to those who are lost and looking for Him.