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Can't understand Exodus 32, 11-14

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  • Can't understand Exodus 32, 11-14

    The first time I read this it struck me as odd, and I just read it again. How is it that Moses, a mortal man can change God's mind? I have problems with this.

  • #2
    Re: Can't understand Exodus 32, 11-14

    Originally posted by or25624 View Post
    The first time I read this it struck me as odd, and I just read it again. How is it that Moses, a mortal man can change God's mind? I have problems with this.
    One of God's greatest qualities is that of forgiveness.

    The passage is straightforward. The Israelites had sinned by reverting to idolatry (the golden calf) so soon after they had witnessed the awesome power of God by delivering them from Egypt. In anger God wanted to wipe them out and (just like Daniel did several years later in Babylon) Moses intercedes with God to spare them, pointing out that the heathens would quickly conclude that God didn't really have the power to save.

    Remember that the hardening of Pharaoh's heart until his ultimate destruction with his army in the Red Sea was God demonstrating his power to the Gentile nations who at the time, had no concept of the all powerful Monotheistic God of Israel?

    Moses quickly capitalized on this and reminded God that destroying Israel would defeat what he had set out to achieve. Now, if your concern is how a mortal can change God's mind, isn't this what we hope to achieve everytime we pray? And we often succeed if we pray according to His will?

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    • #3
      Re: Can't understand Exodus 32, 11-14

      Originally posted by or25624 View Post
      The first time I read this it struck me as odd, and I just read it again. How is it that Moses, a mortal man can change God's mind? I have problems with this.
      It was a test, like God tested Abraham with Isaac, God doesn't want human sacrifice — He condemns it sharply (2Ki 16:3). God wanted Moses to plead for his people and he did. Because God does not repent as Num. 23:19 tells us.

      Aristarkos

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      • #4
        Re: Can't understand Exodus 32, 11-14

        Originally posted by Aristarkos View Post
        It was a test, like God tested Abraham with Isaac, God doesn't want human sacrifice He condemns it sharply (2Ki 16:3). God wanted Moses to plead for his people and he did. Because God does not repent as Num. 23:19 tells us.

        Aristarkos
        Hey, thanks for that answer, I asked one of the church leaders and he simply said it has been a topic of debate for centuries and kind of left me hanging. Your answer makes sense to me.

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        • #5
          Re: Can't understand Exodus 32, 11-14

          Originally posted by or25624 View Post
          Hey, thanks for that answer, I asked one of the church leaders and he simply said it has been a topic of debate for centuries and kind of left me hanging. Your answer makes sense to me.
          Glad I could help.

          Aristarkos

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          • #6
            Re: Can't understand Exodus 32, 11-14

            Originally posted by or25624 View Post
            The first time I read this it struck me as odd, and I just read it again. How is it that Moses, a mortal man can change God's mind? I have problems with this.
            Ezek 22:28-31
            28 "And her prophets have smeared whitewash for them, seeing false visions and divining lies for them, saying, 'Thus says the Lord God,' when the Lord has not spoken. 29 "The people of the land have practiced oppression and committed robbery, and they have wronged the poor and needy and have oppressed the sojourner without justice. 30 "And I searched for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. 31 "Thus I have poured out My indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; their way I have brought upon their heads," declares the Lord God.
            NASB

            God desires compassion/mercy and not sacrifice. He wants to be merciful but He also will be just. He searches for someone that will stand in the gap and request mercy so that He can give mercy. Moses stood in the gap and thus, God showed mercy to Israel. Now, Jesus stands in the gap for us and we get mercy.

            Jer 18 also answers the question you are asking about how God will deal with nations.

            Jer 18:5-10

            5 Then the word of the Lord came to me saying, 6 "Can I not, O house of Israel, deal with you as this potter does?" declares the Lord. "Behold, like the clay in the potter's hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel. 7 "At one moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to uproot, to pull down, or to destroy it; 8 if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it. 9 "Or at another moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to build up or to plant it; 10 if it does evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will think better of the good with which I had promised to bless it.
            NASB
            Matt 9:13
            13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
            NASU

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            • #7
              Re: Can't understand Exodus 32, 11-14

              Originally posted by or25624 View Post
              The first time I read this it struck me as odd, and I just read it again. How is it that Moses, a mortal man can change God's mind? I have problems with this.
              God designs scenarios in which He hopes to lead us to draw certain conclusions. He is hoping we will say, "Lord, don't do this!" This is what He has wanted us to say all along.

              God knows His prophets and His people. He knows where they are at, how mature they are, etc. He can rely on mature men and women of God, and trusts that when confronted with a particular situation they will draw the right conclusions.

              Moses can never change God's mind in terms of persuading God what He should or must do. Rather, we are able to make decisions that alter God's judgment about us or about others. For example, if people are acting badly God, of course, must judge them. But if He talks to you, a man of God, and if He knows you will respond well, and help these people change, He can legitimately change His judgment.

              This doesn't mean God is flaky. It just means that God responds differently to different sets of input. If people repent, God will change His determination to judge those people. Simple.

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              • #8
                Re: Can't understand Exodus 32, 11-14

                I'm new to this site; this is my first day. First impressions by the responses to my confusion is that this is a wonderful place to be. Still new in the faith, got saved this year and am trying to grow and learn. Thanks everyone!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Can't understand Exodus 32, 11-14

                  (Deu 9:13 NIV) And the LORD said to me, "I have seen this people, and they are a stiff-necked people indeed!

                  (Deu 9:14 NIV) 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."

                  (Deu 9:15 NIV) So I turned and went down from the mountain while it was ablaze with fire. And the two tablets of the covenant were in my hands.

                  (Deu 9:16 NIV) When I looked, I saw that you had sinned against the LORD your God; you had made for yourselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. You had turned aside quickly from the way that the LORD had commanded you.

                  (Deu 9:17 NIV) So I took the two tablets and threw them out of my hands, breaking them to pieces before your eyes.

                  (Deu 9:18 NIV) 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.

                  (Deu 9:19 NIV) I feared the anger and wrath of the LORD, for he was angry enough with you to destroy you. But again the LORD listened to me.

                  (Deu 9:20 NIV) And the LORD was angry enough with Aaron to destroy him, but at that time I prayed for Aaron too.

                  (Deu 9:21 NIV) Also I took that sinful thing of yours, the calf you had made, and burned it in the fire. Then I crushed it and ground it to powder as fine as dust and threw the dust into a stream that flowed down the mountain.

                  (Deu 9:22 NIV) You also made the LORD angry at Taberah, at Massah and at Kibroth Hattaavah.

                  (Deu 9:23 NIV) And when the LORD sent you out from Kadesh Barnea, he said, "Go up and take possession of the land I have given you." But you rebelled against the command of the LORD your God. You did not trust him or obey him.

                  (Deu 9:24 NIV) You have been rebellious against the LORD ever since I have known you.

                  (Deu 9:25 NIV) I lay prostrate before the LORD those forty days and forty nights because the LORD had said he would destroy you.

                  (Deu 9:26 NIV) I prayed to the LORD and said, "O Sovereign LORD, do not destroy your people, your own inheritance that you redeemed by your great power and brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand.

                  (Deu 9:27 NIV) Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Overlook the stubbornness of this people, their wickedness and their sin.

                  (Deu 9:28 NIV) Otherwise, the country from which you brought us will say, 'Because the LORD was not able to take them into the land he had promised them, and because he hated them, he brought them out to put them to death in the desert.'

                  (Deu 9:29 NIV) But they are your people, your inheritance that you brought out by your great power and your outstretched arm."

                  (Deu 10:1 NIV) At that time the LORD said to me, "Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones and come up to me on the mountain. Also make a wooden chest.



                  Originally posted by or25624 View Post
                  The first time I read this it struck me as odd, and I just read it again. How is it that Moses, a mortal man can change God's mind? I have problems with this.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Can't understand Exodus 32, 11-14

                    Originally posted by or25624 View Post
                    The first time I read this it struck me as odd, and I just read it again. How is it that Moses, a mortal man can change God's mind? I have problems with this.
                    The secret of Moses getting God to change His mind is that he did not appeal to the needs of men in his prayer. He appealed to God's Name and Reputation among the heathen. He acknowledged the sin and sins of his people, and did not try to change God's mind about a later retribution (verse 34). His prayer was, in essence; "your name before the Jews will be made great as a God of Law, righteousness and retribution, but the heathen will perceive it differently. Your Name and Reputation as a God Who made Promises will suffer in their estimation". This was very cunning of Moses, but it was nevertheless true, and a tribute to Moses' perception of God. If Christians would pray this way, putting God's needs before those of men, they would see more of their prayers answered.

                    It is this very thing that is the basis for Israel's restoration when Christ returns. In Romans Paul concludes ALL men under sin, especially Israel. By Chapter 8 Paul shows clearly the disaster facing men who do not believe. The natural question then is; "Well, Israel are guilty of all this, and have refused to believe. What will happen to them?" So from Chapter 9 to 11 Paul outlines that they will be restored, NOT based on anything they do, but because God PROMISED them the Good Land. So he introduces the "Remnant" promised in Deuteronomy 30:1-5 (Rom.11:5). Israel's recovery and restoration is so that God's Name cannot be called into disrepute, for the Covenant for the Land was a Promise and only attached to circumcision.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Can't understand Exodus 32, 11-14

                      Originally posted by or25624 View Post
                      I'm new to this site; this is my first day. First impressions by the responses to my confusion is that this is a wonderful place to be. Still new in the faith, got saved this year and am trying to grow and learn. Thanks everyone!
                      You have *no idea* how great that sounds! One thing you can be sure of--those of us who have accepted Christ, and know him, love to see others come along! We're a family. Enjoy!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Can't understand Exodus 32, 11-14

                        Originally posted by or25624 View Post
                        The first time I read this it struck me as odd, and I just read it again. How is it that Moses, a mortal man can change God's mind? I have problems with this.
                        Welcome, brother!

                        I'm curious as to why it would bother you if God changed His mind at the request of Moses? I agree with those above that it was a test. God knows all things including the future. He knew what He was going to do and not do all along. God knew He wasn't about to destroy all the Israelites, but through Moses, He created authority in Moses. That is, the people saw that Moses had a status that he could change God's mind. Therefore Moses was viewed as great. God created a situation in which Moses would be held in high esteem for all time. Thus, the writings of Moses would also be held in high regard. These writings are the words that will be used to testify against them in the last days. God has very much been orchestrating things from the beginning.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Can't understand Exodus 32, 11-14

                          That's actually a great quality he has. In multiple occasions he listened to his servants and changed the course of action he was going to take.

                          Think when Lot asked God to send him somewhere else different from what God had planned when he destroyed Sodom and Gomorra.

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