Day 4

Our Need for a Mediator

from the Because He Lives reading plan


Exodus 32:1-14, Exodus 32:30-35, Acts 7:37-43, Jeremiah 31:31-34

BY Erin Davis

Let’s face it, when the Lord called the Israelites “stiff-necked,” He was being kind.

On their best days, they were whiney, rebellious, fearful, and contentious. And this particular day we’re reading about was definitely not one of their best.

With metal they’d pillaged from their enemies (Exodus 12:35), they fashioned a statue of a calf and convinced themselves that the idol was the Lord Himself, the one who had delivered them from slavery in Egypt.

It’s okay to shake your head. Their error was preposterous. In hindsight, I suppose it’s obvious that rebellion against a loving and sovereign God always is. No wonder God declared, “Now leave me alone, so that my anger can burn against them and I can destroy them” (32:10).

This was the nation that had seen God send plagues to torment their oppressors. These were the ones who had walked across the Red Sea on dry ground. These were God’s chosen people, those who had tasted the manna He’d rained from heaven. And still, as soon as their leader was out of earshot, they turned their adoration toward a weaker god—one who could never save them. God’s wrath was surely justified.

God is holy.
His people were unholy.

He is generous.
They were greedy.

He is faithful.
They were faithless.

He showcased His power.
They bowed before a powerless statue instead.

We’ve all bowed before the wrong altars. Who will plead our cause? We cannot shake our sin nature. Who will defend our case? We are the rebellious children of a holy, holy, holy God. Who will stay His hand?

This moment in Israel’s history allows us to peek at the glory of the gospel. In pleading with the Lord to spare the Israelites, Moses was pointing forward to Christ, who right now—right this very minute—is our advocate, standing between our sin and the punishment we rightly deserve (Romans 8:34). We remain God’s beloved, yet rebellious, children—our hearts ever turning toward all that glitters. Even so, God’s wrath is stayed because there is One who pleads for us even now.

Post Comments (48)

48 thoughts on "Our Need for a Mediator"

  1. Monica Davis says:

    On good days I too can be whiny Contentious and doubtful. Thank god for the mediator Jesus Christ!

  2. Holly says:

    I can’t tell what is better. The study or the comments. I feel like God brought me here just to show me that I am not the only one who struggles. I am so blessed, truly beyond belief, but there are moments when I question whether the blessings really came from God or am I just lucky. I question when I am waiting for something. Even though I have clearly seen His power in my life I still wonder about His presence when things don’t happen fast enough. Then I feel guilty, like my lack of faith during those brief moments will make God angry with me and even less likely to fulfill his promise.

  3. Anastasia R says:

    I see myself clearly reflected in the Israelites much of the time and I cling to the brief moments when I see a little of Moses

  4. Steph C says:

    Oh, so thankful for our Mediator! I am so thankful for the redemption God has provided in Christ. Like the Israelites, I have seen undeniable evidence of God’s care in my life. And, like the Israelites, I too have walked away from God. I have been distracted and pursued the wrong “god”. But my Mediator says I am forgiven. And my Father welcomes me home. ❤️

  5. Jaime Cochrane says:

    This was exactly what I needed today. At best I have wanted to control my current situation and at worst i have been “stiff necked.” I am struggling with delay…. waiting…. even though I am continuously reminded to BE STILL. The man i thought i would enjoy the rest of my life has decided we were not working. And while there were problems, it’s nothing i don’t believe we could work through. We have not seen one another in more than a month and have not spoken in two weeks… and i am struggling emotionally. Again, i continue to be reminded to BE STILL… wait… be patient.
    God is good. He is always good and always has a plan that is better than any we have. And he will fight for us. He can change minds and people and remove the spirit of depression from this situation (not me, but him). I am trying so hard to claim Gods work from the victory knowing Gods ways are good.

  6. Shelby says:

    What a reminder that we sway to that of glitter because it looks nice but we forget that glitter is messy. Thanks be to Jesus for being our glitter magnet and collects our debris. Praying around my fixation with anything but the Cross today.

    Lord help me to forget about finances and worrying about paying bills off, worrying about buying a house when I don’t even have money for a downpayment. Lord I give it all to you.

  7. Hannah says:

    This lesson shows that where we place our faith is a deliberate choice. Many people today feel they need a sign, some kind of physical evidence, to believe that God is real and deserving of our life’s devotion, but as we see from these passages, it doesn’t matter if God’s voice, power, and handiwork are literally right in front of our eyeballs, there will always be people whose hearts are hardened, who decide that God is not enough for them. People will still boldly and selfishly reject God in an effort to satisfy themselves, and that is easier to do than we care to admit. Ultimately, we choose whether to accept or reject God. And if we reject Him, the only places we can turn to will eventually lead to nothing but emptiness and destruction.

    On a more personal note, this lesson reminded me of a person who recently and temporarily came into my life. While he knew there could be a God, he rejected that God could be good. Although I no longer have contact with this person, I think about and pray for him often because I deeply wish he will see past his personal struggles enough to soften his heart, to one day accept God as The Lord of all, to know Him personally, and to finally believe in His goodness. I related more with Moses in these passages today than I think I ever have in my life. These scriptures have given me a hopeful reminder that God is listening to His children and cares about our concerns for the people who have abandoned Him. That is especially comforting to me as I pray for God to work in this person’s heart and give him opportunity and motivation to seek and find Him.

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