PART 4 - WORSHIPPING GOD FOR HIS SOVEREIGN WAYS
In Exodus 32 to 34 we read of a difficult situation Moses encountered. Alone on Mount Sinai with God, the ten commandments written on two tablets were committed to Him. Meanwhile, trouble had broken out on the plain. The people had made a golden calf and worshipped it. This provoked God to great displeasure and He said to Moses: "Go down, because your people, which you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupted. They have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. They have bowed down to it and sacrificed to it and have said, 'These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.' I have seen these people," the Lord said to Moses, "and they are a stiff-necked people. Now leave Me alone so that My anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them." (Exodus 32:7-10 KJV)
When Moses saw that God's wrath was stirred against His people he entreated God for them, then went down to deal with the situation on the plain. Thereafter he ascended the mount again and in obedience to God's command hewed two stone tablets like the first which he had broken, and with these in his hand he went to the top of Mount Sinai where God made a solemn proclamation, "The Lord, the compassionate God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness and our sin." (Exodus 34:6-7 KJV) At this point, it would have been most appropriate for Moses to bow down and worshipped God: but it was after the second part of the proclamation that he did so, and the second part was totally different from the first. The earlier part spoke of God's compassion, and grace, and mercy and forgiveness; but the latter was this: "Yet He does not leave the guilty unpunished; He punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation." (Exodus 34:7 KJV) It was when God had proclaimed His awesome majesty and holiness that "Moses bowed to the ground at once and worshipped." (verse 8). It is not merely grace that stirs worship; if we are to be worshippers of God we need to know His holiness.
Comparing verse 8 and 9 of Exodus chapter 34, Moses first worship, then prayed. He first acknowledged the sovereignty of God's ways, then he seeks God's grace. He does not beseech God on the ground of His compassion, and grace, and plenteous mercies, and readiness to forgive to reverse His decision. Our prayer would be like that. We are always trying to persuade God not to do what He has said He would do. Moses was different. He took his right place before God and bowed to His ways.
Beloved, have we been guilty of asking God to do what we knew was contary to His ways of working? Have we sought Him to forgive a certain brother and cease to chasten him even when we knew that His dealings with that brother were right? That is not worshipping God. How often our prayers amount to requesting God to change His ways! Without considering His ways we just open our lips and ask Him to remove the pressure here, the sickness there and the domestic problems elsewhere. To pray after this fashion is seeking grace and ignoring the ways of God. Prayer is the expression of our will but worship is the acceptance of God's will.
How we need to learn from Moses! God made His ways known to him and seeing His majesty and holiness, he fell down before God and worshipped. He did not reason with God about the consequences of God visiting their iniquity to the third and fourth generation. Let us not only learn to accept God's will and do His work, we must also learn to acknowledge His sovereign ways and accept all that He does are for His own good pleasure.
Twelve Basket Full Vol 2 - WWatchman Nee
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