CLICK LINK ABOVE FOR THE PESUKIM
וָאֶתְפַּלֵּ֣ל אֶל־יְהוָה֮ וָאֹמַר֒ אֲדֹנָ֣י יְהוִ֗ה אַל־תַּשְׁחֵ֤ת עַמְּךָ֙ וְנַחֲלָ֣תְךָ֔ אֲשֶׁ֥ר פָּדִ֖יתָ בְּגָדְלֶ֑ךָ אֲשֶׁר־הוֹצֵ֥אתָ מִמִּצְרַ֖יִם בְּיָ֥ד חֲזָקָֽה׃
I prayed to Adonai and said, ‘O Lord, Adonai, do not destroy Your people—Your inheritance that You have redeemed through Your greatness and brought out from Egypt with a mighty hand.
The 26th Pesuk tells us that Moshe prayed to Adonai on behalf of Israel, describing them as rebellious, and describing Adonai as ready to destroy them in His anger!
Can one man's prayer really turn away the wrath of the Almighty God of the Universe? Does God really listen to a man?
The first word of this Pesuk is וָאֶתְפַּלֵּ֣ל (V'etpalall); def. "And I prayed". The root word of this is: פָּלַל (Pallal); def. "Pray". Strong's definition is: "A primitive root; to judge (officially or mentally); by extension to intercede, pray: - intreat, judge (-ment), (make) pray (-er, -ing), make supplication."
To "Intercede" is likely the best description of what is happening here. Moshe goes up for 40 days and nights, and B'nei Yisrael think he's dead and begin to build a Golden Calf and worship it. Aaron is complicit in the affair, and God informs Moshe of this before he descends down himself to be an eye-witness to the idolatry of the nation. It was at this moment, before he took leave down Mt. Sinai, that God says:
13 Furthermore Adonai spoke to me saying, ‘I have seen this people, and it is indeed a stiff-necked people. 14 Leave Me alone, so that I may destroy them and blot out their name from under the heavens. Then I will make you into a nation mightier and greater than they.’
Remarkably, the God if Israel states that he is "willing" to obliterate the nation that He had just redeemed and had once made promises to their fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! It is possible that He was simply "testing" Moshe as the leader and a forerunner of a type of "Messiah". Like the Messiah Himself; Moshe shows his compassion for B'nei Yisrael when he explains how he responded to this:
18 “Then I fell down before Adonai like the first time, for 40 days and 40 nights. I did not eat bread or drink water—because of all your sin that you committed, doing evil in Adonai’s sight, provoking Him to anger. 19 For I was afraid of the fierce wrath and fury which Adonai bore toward you—to destroy you. But Adonai listened to me that time also. 20 Adonai was angry enough with Aaron to destroy him, so I prayed for Aaron also at the same time. 21 I took your sin—the calf you had made—and burned it in the fire.
Notice Moshe's actions as an intercessor. He fasts another 40 days/nights, because of our sin...then he says something AMAZING! "Adonai listened to me"!!!
YES GOD DOES LISTEN TO MEN!!! Especially when we fast and pray and seek His face! He actually responds to what we ask when we seek Him with all our hearts!
This is why Psalm 145 says: "18 Adonai is near to all who call on Him,
to all who call on Him in truth.
19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him.
He will hear their cry and save them.
Also, this is what God promised us even before the Babylonian Exile...
Jeremiah 29:12 “Then you will call on Me, and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek Me and find Me, when you will search for Me with all your heart.
Knowing this is how God responds to those who truly seek Him; then what is holding us back from doing this? Can we not fast and pray and seek His face? Is there anything in our lives that are worth our time and effort and sacrifice? Is there anyone we know and love with a real need for prayer? How about unsaved loved ones? Are they worth our time and effort to fast and pray?
Kvetching and belly-aching is not the same as INTERCESSION.
I would propose that God actually "WANTS US" to come to Him this way, the way Moshe did and intercede for those we love and even for those we don't know well and love dearly!
This kind of heart that compelled Moshe to stand in the gap for this people, this is the type of attitude we need to put on in this Messianic Jewish movement. We need to stir up the compassion in our hearts for our people that we would actually lay down our lives for them.... At least give up a few meals and pray for them!!!
Romans 9:3 For I would pray that I myself were cursed, banished from Messiah for the sake of my people—my own flesh and blood, 4 who are Israelites. To them belong the adoption and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Torah[d] and the Temple service and the promises. 5 To them belong the patriarchs—and from them, according to the flesh, the Messiah, who is over all, God, blessed forever. Amen.