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 (52)

52 thoughts on "Our Need for a Mediator"

  1. Angie says:

    Moses sought the favor of the Lord, his God (emphasis for me on “his”). Moses’ relationship with God was strong, intimate, and vibrant, he sought Him.

    I see Moses care about God’s reputation as a form of worship.

    Jesus and the Father are One, and He is our mediator. May my relationship with Him be strong, intimate, and vibrant.

    May my first thoughts ALWAYS, always, please Lord, always be about how to honor You and may that honor be worship.

    Evelyn, thank you for your post yesterday, I heard… “Obedience is not an, I will-if-you do or even I will-then-you do…it is simply, Yes Lord.” Thank you for that constantly needed reminder.

    Also, I shared a very raw part of my heart yesterday. That is frightening. Thank you ladies for Christ’s love that you share…almost like someone “mediating.” We are so blessed to have Jesus mediating for us, and the opportunity to mediate to God for others, and to others of God’s love. We are blessed to be a blessing.

  2. Dawn says:

    …….. “but Jesus is there to plead for me”. Yes, that says it all. Thank you Jesus!!!

  3. Churchmouse says:

    When Moses delayed, the people took matters into their own hands. They forsook I AM and created their own WE CAN. They traded reliance on the Almighty God of their ancestors for a metal calf made by their own weak hands. When answers to our prayers are long in coming, do we not contemplate how we can make things happen, how we can move things along? Do we not trade reliance on our all knowing God for our own finite minds? Do we trade long term gain for short term relief? Oh how hard it is sometimes to remain faithful, to stand firm, to hold on when we don’t understand, when the storm is raging and it appears our Master is asleep and uncaring. I know. The storm hit our family last April and reached hurricane proportions in July. From then until just yesterday the winds howled and the rains never stopped. We were white knuckled holding on to our small boat of faith, tossed around in the rough sea of unexpected and unfair circumstances. We knew our anchor was firm. We turned to the Captain’s manual. We kept our eyes, though it was not easy, on the truth we read yet could not see. Land lubbers on the ocean for a year do not typically fare well. The temptation to take the oars in our own hands rather than rely on the One who controls the storm was high. We prayed as a family like we have never prayed before. Praise God! Yesterday the waters were still. The once distant shore came into sight. We walked on dry land, high land. We fell to our knees, humbled and rejoicing. We were frightened sailors, true. BUT.. the Anchor held. The Master was always with us. The storm was really no match. There is no god like our God. (Thank you all for your prayers of support and posts of encouragement this past year – please continue them as we know the enemy is not pleased. We care not about his pleasure – for he is defeated. Now and forevermore! There is no God like our God. He is always good. He is always faithful. Romans 8:28. Philip. 1:6. Gen. 50:20. Joel 2:25. Gen.18:14a. 2 Cor.1:20. Amen!)

    1. Willonda McCloud says:


    2. Sarah Smith says:


    3. Elaine . says:

      Oh, Churchmouse, I rejoice alongside your faith and constant desire for God. I pray for your steadfastness as you fight the enemy. Hold onto His right hand and do not fear – God will help you. Isaiah 41:13

    4. Andrea Parkins says:

      Love that first sentence where you say they forsook I Am. I’ve been going through Lysa Terkeurst’s book Finding I Am with the women at church and its making so many connections for me. How often do we try to take matters into our own hands because we think we can make something happen rather than waiting for the answer?

    5. Kathy Stansell says:

      Praising God along with you. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of this hurricane in your life. I confess I am sitting in my classroom in a flood of tears from your testimony. God is a great and good Father.

    6. Hope S says:

      This is beautiful and so encouraging!!

    7. Lori Wat says:


    8. Jaime Cochrane says:


    9. Melissa S says:


    10. Shea Lasiter says:

      Thank you for your post! Very moving and such a great reminder to hold fast in the waiting! He is faithful!!

    11. Callie Herring says:

      What a beautiful testimony! Praise God!

    12. Leslie Warnick says:

      Praise God! Thank you for sharing your life and heart with us. ❤️

    13. Rhonni_l S says:

      Thank you Churchmouse for this real story of perserverence & faithfulness. Blessings to you all & gratitude for your sharing this journey through SRT

  4. Kathy says:

    Lord, thank you for being my Advocate – for never giving up on me even though there are so many times I turn to other things; I make my own Golden Calf and decide it’s going to help me. You are ever ready to plead my cause and bring me back. Sometimes, Father, I am the younger son seeking after the world to bring me joy. And sometimes, most times, I am the older brother depending on myself, demanding what I think is fair because I’ve done everything I’m supposed to do. Yet, You are always my loving Father ready to kill the calf and celebrate because I’ve come home. Don’t let me take that for granted. Don’t let me be flippant about the cross.
    I am so blessed. I am a woman well loved by her Heavenly Father.

    1. Shelley Johnson says:

      So well put Kathy! Truly we turn to all that glitters but TRULY we have such a WONDERFUL SAVIOR! Thank you for your words. It was truly encouraging

  5. Tina says:

    Oh My, Erin you write as though you know my story!

    I have not walked across the red sea on dry land, I have not seen God send a plague to torment my oppressors, I have not tasted manna rained from heaven…and for sure, I have not seen or been present when God carved with His finger the commandments… but I’ll tell you something…

    But God…

    Holy. Holy. Holy God..

    He has shown up when I needed, though didn’t deserve it…
    He has saved me when absolutely ‘death’ was my deserve..
    He has covered me, loved me, fed me, clothed me, protected me, provided for me, led me.. when all I’ve ever done is wander, rebel, look elsewhere, make idols of others…sin, sin, sin..


    Love. Love. LOVE..

    And this love, written/ spelt also as Jesus in my language, whose gift to us was to take ALL our sin and rubbish,( past, present and future) upon himself, so we would have an advocate, one who would intercede on our behalf.. one who would stand between us and the true and right punishment deserved for our sin..

    I have never been so grateful and thankful as I am now.. knowing my Mediator, my Savior, my Jesus.. because of my Jesus.. I get another day with new mercies, in the hope of getting things right with God..

    Thank you Holy and awesome God… thank you for everything… thank you.

    Amen. X

    Love and blessings dear sisters this fine Thursday.. xx

    1. Lorraine Dipré says:

      Thank you Tina, this is so beautifully put. Our God is so good to us. Praise you Lord. Xxxx

    2. Rhonni_l S says:

      Thank you Tina for reminding us to turn to our loving friend Jesus who stands for us with patience & strength. It is through Jesus that we may live in freedom & peace. Blessings to you xx

  6. Shawn Parks says:

    I am always baffled at the Israelites turn from God at the base of his own mountain after all he had done for them and the lengths that He had gone to to save them, but in my disbelief at their crass and blatant disregard for the God who had done so much for them, I am stopped in my tracks as I see myself in their crowd. He has done so much for me. To save me He sent his son to die on a cross, yet I flippantly turn to seek acceptance from this world and defiantly retreat to the world’s standards instead of God’s. I get so frustrated as I see myself in my own rebellion and cry out “I can’t!” It is then that God reminds me that I don’t have to. He knows that I can’t. But Jesus did and then took the wrath of God’s anger over my sin and bore it for me. What I deserved, he suffered. Again, I am humbled at the foot of the cross. Thank you, Lord, for helping me to know you more each day, and for leading me in this life to understand your love and your grace.

  7. April says:

    When I read about the golden calf I often get frustrated. How could anyone go through what this group of people had gone through, the Red Sea, manna from heaven, etc, and still lose their faith so quickly. But just as quickly as I think the above, a grounding thought comes into my mind, I too place others on my altar on a daily basis – and I have witnessed my own miracles as well. Being broken allows that to happen, which makes me even more grateful for this daily bible study! How truly blessed I am by the vision of these studies and God’s ability to draw me into his word through them. I’m never going to be perfect – I’m still going to have moments where I put too much value on my job or social media or my wardrobe but Jesus is there to plead for me. Praise God!

  8. Kristen Marino says:

    Thank You, Jesus. Without You we have no hope. I’m reminded of part of a teaching I heard from Dr.Charles Stanley. He said so many people talk about what they will say or do when in the Presence of God in Heaven. He said, “ You know wants you will do? Nothing! When you see Holy God, you won’t be able to do anything but fall on your face.” I’m paraphrasing, but that image stuck in my head. He is love, but let’s not forget to be in reverence and awe of His Holiness and Power and Might! Remember, He is the Creator of all! Let’s give Him praise and honor that He is due!

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