Then once again I fell prostrate before the LORD for forty days and forty nights; I ate no bread and drank no water, because of all the sin you had committed, doing what was evil in the LORD’s sight and so provoking him to anger.Deut. 9:18
We will all eventually stand before God, sullied by our continued sins, asking but not expecting that He will forgive us again. It was concerning my sins too that He said to Moses:
“Let me alone, so that I may destroy them and blot out their name from under heaven. And I will make you into a nation stronger and more numerous than they” (Deut. 9:14). It must have been a tempting proposition for Moses.
I have not seen God thundering on a mountaintop, and yet He has revealed Himself in such a way that I should be beyond erecting gods of gold and bowing down to them. God was right in wanting to destroy the people and He would be justified in destroying me and perhaps you. The people had grumbled all the way from Egypt.
They wanted water and the bitter stream was made fresh. They wanted meat and they were given Ravens. They wanted bread and they were given Manna. They were lead by the powerful manifestations of God in a pillar of fire by night and a cloud by day. Still they complained, “We have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna” (Num. 11:6)!
We lose appetite for the things of God—righteousness, justice, and peace because we are stuff with the world. Thank God Moses did not take the offer.
We take this hope into our time of retreat—that our souls will remember and worship all the more. Because while we have no Moses to pray for us, while we are weak in Spirit, Christ has been to the desert for us. Before He left, He said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). He has come that we might see the Father and have fellowship with God in full—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We pray with Moses through our Lord, “Overlook the stubbornness of this people, their wickedness and their sin” (Deut. 9:27). “Show us your glory Lord” (Ex. 33:8).