Then he said, “If now I have found grace in Your sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray, go among us, even though we are a stiff-necked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us as Your inheritance.” Exodus 34:9
Many people who do not read the Bible think that the God of the Old Testament is wrathful and angry, and yet He shows His true character from the very beginning. When Israel had sinned greatly by making a golden calf to worship, then Moses interceded for them, pleading with God to forgive them their sins. And we read in His Word that He did forgive them! Why did He do this? Because He is, as He told Moses (Exodus 34:6-7), “merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin…”
And so Moses pleaded that this merciful and gracious God would “go among us” to pardon the sins of the people. It is one thing to ask that the Lord forgives our sin, but it is the height of audacity to ask Him to do so in person! And yet…
And yet, that is exactly what God did through His Son Jesus. God sent His Son to forgive our sin, to heal us stiff-necked people, and to be our rest. He sent Him among us in humility, no longer as a pillar of fire or cloud, but as a Man subject to our same hungers and temptations. But even in His humble estate, Jesus was nonetheless sinless and righteous, and He continued to show this same character of God.
We who call for revival in our land need to be bold like Moses, calling for the Lord God to go among us, to pardon our sin and take us as His inheritance. We need to stand with our Lord face-to-face “as a man speaks to his friend” (Exodus 33:11), knowing that the character of God has never changed (Hebrews 13:8, James 1:17). He truly is merciful and gracious, and He will forgive, He will heal, and He will revive!