Seventeenth Sunday of Pentecost
God Forgives A Faithless People
Exodus 32: 7 - 14
Deuteronomy 9: 6 - 29
When Moses went up on the mountaintop to receive the Ten Commandments, the Israelites lost both faith and patience with him and the One God, asking Aaron to make them a golden calf or young bull so that they might worship it.
The bull they chose to worship was probably one of Egypt's pagan gods, Apis, rather than the false god Baal (whose symbol was also a bull) of the Canaanites.
Here again, we see a patient and forgiving God. Though Aaron acted as priest for the false god, God forgave him and made him and his descendants the priests of the Israelites.
And we see Moses' continuing his dialogue with God as he pleads for the people of Israel. We call this sort of praying for someone else intercessory prayer.
This is a good day to sing Thank the Lord and Sing His Praise, the post-communion canticle in the Lutheran Book of Worship, to a God who recalls his promises and leads his people forth in joy.
1. Who did the Lord speak to about the behavior of the Israelites?
[The Lord spoke to Moses.]
2. How angry was the Lord?
[The Lord was angry enough to destroy all the Israelites.]
3. Which promise did Moses remind God that he had made?
[Moses reminded God that he had promised Abraham that he would have as many descendants as there are stars in the sky, and that he would give them a land to live in.]
4. Did God keep his promise to Abraham?
[Yes, God changed his mind and did not destroy the Israelites.]
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