I wasn’t intending to write a series about Moses, but Scripture just contains so many great things to learn! As we’ve discussed recently, the children of God refused to enter the Promised Land once they heard about the giants living there. As a result, God was furious with them – so mad He wanted to disown them and start over with Moses.
Instead of considering God’s offer for self-advancement, Moses intervened on behalf of Israel with these words:
So now, may my Lord’s power be magnified just as You have spoken: The Lord is slow to anger and rich in faithful love, forgiving wrongdoing and rebellion. But He will not leave the guilty unpunished, bringing the consequences of the fathers’ wrongdoing on the children to the third and fourth generation. Please pardon the wrongdoing of this people, in keeping with the greatness of Your faithful love, just as You have forgiven them from Egypt until now.” (Numbers 14:17-19, HCSB)
While much could be said about Moses’ prayer, what I want to highlight was the connection Moses made between God’s great power and the extension of love and forgiveness. God had just told Moses He wanted to use His power to eradicate Israel. And certainly He had all the ability He needed to pull that off. In fact, v. 15 of this chapter says God could have wiped out all of them as if they were a single person.
Yet Moses called upon God to demonstrate His greatness to the people in a different – to pardon and love them instead. There’s a wonderful truth for us in this passage – genuine power and greatness are not demonstrated through brawn, battling, or domineering. No, real power and strength are demonstrated by extending love and forgiveness.
At the end of the day it takes more strength to forgive than to do battle with someone who has wronged us. Forgiving is not a sign of weakness, but of God’s strength working within you! So why not show the world His power by forgiving the “unforgiveable” today?
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