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Monday, September 09, 2013

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When a lawyer friend of mine switched from prosecution to defense I asked him why. He said, "Mike, our legal system needs good defense attorneys to protect clients from the system. Many of my clients are guilty. It is my job to make sure the punishment is fair and just."

Moses defended the Israelites. He "implored" the Lord God of Israel to preserve the people. Moses did not make excuses for the Israelites or deny their sin. The Israelites were guilty and God's anger was justified. Before the Israelites could apologize for their sin, Moses interceded for them. Later, Jesus would do the same for us. Paul writes, "While we still were sinners Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). God's merciful forgiveness precedes our apology. God's merciful forgiveness draws us into repentance and new life.

For whom can you be Moses today and intercede on their behalf?

Holy God, we all fall short of your glory. We stand condemned, caught in our sin. Thank you that there is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, our intercessor. Amen.

Mike Weaver
Pastor, All Saints Lutheran Church, Worthington, Ohio
Master of Divinity , 1998

Exodus 32:7-14 (NRSV)

7 The Lord said to Moses, "Go down at once! Your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have acted perversely;
8 they have been quick to turn aside from the way that I commanded them; they have cast for themselves an image of a calf, and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, "These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!'"
9 The Lord said to Moses, "I have seen this people, how stiff-necked they are.
10 Now let me alone, so that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them; and of you I will make a great nation."
11 But Moses implored the Lord his God, and said, "O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand?
12 Why should the Egyptians say, "It was with evil intent that he brought them out to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth'? Turn from your fierce wrath; change your mind and do not bring disaster on your people.
13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, how you swore to them by your own self, saying to them, "I will multiply your descendants like the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.'"
14 And the Lord changed his mind about the disaster that he planned to bring on his people.

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.