“Then the LORD said, “I will pardon them as you have requested.”
– Numbers 14:20
I hit a roadblock last week. I had every intention of writing a blog and my mind was blank. No matter how hard I tried, no words came to me. Then, a friend visited my wife and I and had a heart wrenching story to tell.
A church my wife and I have visited a number of times was not doing well; several key leaders had been removed from their positions and many members had left the church. As someone who desires to pastor a church, those stories sting. I hurt deep inside when the family of God begins to fall apart and the world around us takes center stage.
I’ve heard those kinds of stories all to often. I know that the church is full of messed up people; that is just a part of our nature. Jesus called the disciples knowing they had their own agendas and those agendas were discussed, debated and even fought for.
Do we pursue God for his glory or for our own sake?
In the Book of Numbers, God encounters Moses by informing him that the deal is off; there is no more promised land to enter and no rest for the weary. God is done with Israel. Why? Because the people won’t stop complaining against what God has done for them. To the people of Israel, God has led them into the wilderness to suffer and die. To the people of Israel, there is no hope of a better tomorrow. To the people of Israel, it would be better to return to Egypt and to a life of slavery.
Those words hurt. Those words cut into the heart of God who has pursued Israel with reckless love and has rescued them by his mighty arm. God alone acted on their behalf; he sent Moses and Aaron to speak for the people. He sent plagues to warn the nation of Egypt and he delivered them from Egypt.
Now, Israel doesn’t feel so secure about the next step. Israel isn’t so sure about God leading them and they begin to cry out against Moses, Aaron and God. When we don’t get out way, watch out!
“Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.”
Sometimes I forget the beauty of the Gospel. Sometimes I forget that the Gospel is first and foremost victorious (66 Gospels | Genesis). The gospel further demonstrates its beauty in intercession. Just as Moses prayed for the people, today, Jesus PRAYS for us!
I, just like you needed someone to save us from sins. We needed love to come into our lives and break through the walls we built up. We needed intervention; we needed someone to intercede for us. Jesus accomplished that on the cross when he said, “Father, forgive them…” (Luke 23:24)
As Jesus continues to intercede for us, God is continually reminded of the blood his Son shed for us. We are forgiven of our sins, we are set free, we are made new.