RESTORATION & CONSECRATION
Exodus 32:7-10 (KJV)
7 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves:
8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
9 And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiff necked people:
10 Now therefore let Me alone, that My wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.
The prophet, Moses, was warned of God that the people were in terrible sin. God told him to go down and help this people. God showed in this that He still loved this rebellious people. He was longsuffering.
II Peter 3:9
"God... not willing that any should perish."
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son."
I John 2:1
"If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father."
It took the intercession of the prophet of God that they had rejected to save them from an angry God. They had to choose to admit sin, repent of it, and choose to serve God. There would be no salvation without consecration. So, Moses asks, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
Many today have rejected the true prophets sent by the Lord, because their messages were not palatable, and were not prosperity oriented. They wanted to hear how to get rich, how to be the boss, not how to admit sin, how to weep and cry for lost souls, and how to be the servant to all. They rejected, imprisoned, and killed prophets in times prior, and now, there are many who are still rejecting, slaying verbally or emotionally, and killing the reputations of the true men of God.
If the people of God had listened to God's leaders (as Moses, Joshua, and Caleb) they would not have had to fight battles to take the Promised land. Rather, an angel of the Lord would have driven the land's inhabitants out of the land.
Exodus 33:2 (KJV)
2 And I will send an angel before thee; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite:
However, since they rebelled against God's ways, doubted the message of the prophets, and rejected the true prophets, they had to wait long for the fulfillment of God's promises. They had to fight, battle, and struggle to take what God had intended to give them easily. Many today struggle, and fret to get what God wants them to have, because they will not listen to God's ways.
God restored the covenant, renewed the relationship, but made them battle evil in the taking of what God already intended. Today, there are many troubles upon congregations, and battles for God's people, that they would not have had to face, had they obeyed the simple instructions of God earlier!
The number of Israel's soldiers in the beginning was 600,000, and this indicates a total of, at least, two and half million people, perhaps as many as 6 million.
Exodus 12:37 (KJV)
37 And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children.
This is many people to wander the desert for 40 years. Their wandering came as a result of unbelief, fear, and refusal to obey God. Their sins were so great that God wanted to completely destroy them, and raise up from Moses a people to take the promised land. Intercession from Moses saved this rebellious people.
There are two principal Greek words translated "prayer".
1. eperatao = to ask, to inquire
2. aiteo = to ask, to crave, to call for
Why would God tell us to "ask" if He did not want to answer??? Many people today do not think that prayer changes things. It changed things here dramatically.
God is called "Thou that hearest prayer."
Psalm 65:2 (KJV)
2 O Thou that hearest prayer, unto Thee shall all flesh come.
To many, prayer is like the hobby horse in front of the store, into which a quarter is put, and it goes through the motions, but never goes anywhere. Prayer is not like that, if we pray as God wants. Moses is listed with Samuel as the two greatest intercessors in Israel's history.
"Then said the Lord unto me, Though Moses and Samuel stood before Me, yet."
Israel did not learn to serve the Lord properly, they had failed the conditions of God. God let them die in the wilderness, and gave the Promised land to their children.
"Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness; when your fathers tempted Me, and say My work. Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known My ways; unto whom I sware in My wrath that they should not enter into My rest."
The people had grown impatient waiting 40 days for Moses to return. They demonstrated how difficult it is for mankind to walk alone by faith. People want someone to lean upon and fail to rest in the Lord.
"Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him."
The people became impure. They gorged themselves, and lessened their restraint. The Bible says that they "rose up to play". The word "play" is from the word "tsachaq", which means "to laugh in merriment, to scorn, to sport, to mock, to play the whore." It is used of fornication. Paul refers to fornication in connection with worship in I Corinthians 10:6-8. There is much spiritual fornication in church congregations today. Israel sunk very low into sin, and needed an intercessor, or God would of necessity destroy them.
When true worship is corrupted by sin, men turn to tangible objects to counter their insecurity. Mankind are basically insecure. Mankind, when sinful, is afraid, due to his lack of God's presence. When mankind knows they are sinful, they tend to want to be in large groups, with strong leadership to reinforce their egos, and to encourage them from the insecurity. If a large group is doing the evil, they can avoid the feeling of personal responsibility. They can blame another, the leader, or blame the group.
This spiritual suicide made God so angry that He announced to Moses that He would destroy the "stiff necked".
Exodus 32:9 (KJV)
9 And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiff necked people:
Moses was tested thereby to see if he would intercede. They needed intercession, but deserved death. They needed grace and new hearts, but idolatry and sin demanded judgment.
When Moses personally viewed the sin in the camp, he became angry. He rebuked Aaron, and did not tolerate their sin, and did not take a vote to see how the people wanted to deal with the situation, but instead called for a choice, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
His anger was justifiable. This was truly "righteous indignation." Moses had learned of their sin from God, thus he was not judging, but passing on God's judgment. And Moses did more than get angry, he interceded.
Why was the intercession of Moses successful?
1. He was living in close communion with God. Panic prayers rise from people who only pray in catastrophe. Seldom are those prayers powerful.
2. Moses was more concerned with those for whom he prayed, than he was for himself. Moses laid his life on the line for this people.
Exodus 32:32 (KJV)
32 Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin--; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.
3. Moses was willing to be part of the answer to his own prayer.
Certainly, Israel had been impatient for the return of Moses, this impatience led to sin. They had been indifferent to sin, and had collected gold to make an idol. They attempted to feast to Jehovah, while preparing to make an idol, mixing sin with worship of God. They had become impure, drank and sinfully caroused while awaiting the golden calf.
The intercession of Moses pleaded for such people. He stood between God and his people. He asked God to be patient and to preserve the testimony they had before their sin. He reminded God of His promise to Abraham. He prayed that if someone was to be destroyed, to let it be him.
Paul prayed similarly:
"For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren."
Would God have destroyed Israel if Moses had not prayed? Yes, for God had only promised to bless and save them on condition.
Exodus 20:20-24 (KJV)
And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not. ... An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee.
Moses was a great intercessor, but when Israel did not learn from this experience, they did eventually need to die in the wilderness.
At the time, they did need to repent, rededicate, consecrate, and become sanctified again to God. These people so prayed for, would need to re-dedicate. They would need to consecrate, and finally be sanctified. Consecration must come before sanctification.
Consecration is coming through the door, but sanctification is the surveying of the rest of the edifice. So before these sinners can be brought to a sanctification, there must be a consecration. To be restored to the righteousness, one must decide to consecrate themselves.
Consecration means to "fill your hands". One must decide to fill his hands with the works of God. To fill the hands with the works of God, first there must be an emptying of all else.
"Seek ye first the kingdom of God."
First Moses, asked the rebels:
"Who is on the Lord's side?"
Then, he tells those who responded to his call:
"Consecrate yourselves today to the Lord."
Therefore, in order to have restoration, one must seek forgiveness, then consecrate themselves. This leads to a sanctification.
God is patient, merciful, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in a steadfast love, faithful, forgiving, and especially just! There is a balance of love and justice, a balance of mercy and righteousness. God's love endures for many, many generations. But His wrath and justice will finally come if there is not repentance, consecration, and sanctification.
Moses interceded and was heard by God, and Moses prayed for God to:
"go in the midst of us."
When God came to a people who were consecrated and sanctified, He dwelt in their midst. God restored a relationship with Israel due to the intercession of Moses. God restored the covenant, and promised wonders and miracles. He promised to drive Israel's enemies out of the land.
When Moses was upon the mountain with God, he emerged with his face shining with the glory of God.
Exodus 34:29-35 (KJV)
29 And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him.
30 And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him.
31 And Moses called unto them; and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned unto him: and Moses talked with them.
32 And afterward all the children of Israel came nigh: and he gave them in commandment all that the LORD had spoken with him in mount Sinai.
33 And till Moses had done speaking with them, he put a vail on his face.
34 But when Moses went in before the LORD to speak with him, he took the vail off, until he came out. And he came out, and spake unto the children of Israel that which he was commanded.
35 And the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses' face shone: and Moses put the vail upon his face again, until he went in to speak with him.
Moses had to put on a veil to cover the shining forth of the glory of God. The people were too sinful to behold the glory of God.
The same thing happened with Jesus, when the people could not accept Him, a veil was placed before their eyes. They could not see His glory.
II Corinthians 3:7-16
"But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away; How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious. Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech; And not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not steadfastly look to the end of that which is abolished; But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which veil is done away in Christ. But even unto this day when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart. Nevertheless, when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away."
When people choose to repent, consecrate, and become sanctified, they will find that God's glory will come and He will dwell in their midst, just as the tabernacle with the shekinah glory, the cloud by day and the fire by night was placed in the midst of the consecrated tribes of Israel.
For the cloud of the Lord was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys."