Tuesday, July 25, 2017

That seems backwards to me!

In gratitude and worship for the affirmative recharacterization of the divine name, Moses prostrates himself and launches his climactic prayer. In this petition, Moses resumes most of the major themes of his previous prayers and boldly advances them in the light of YHWH’s new revelation. Holding together personal divine favor and the good of the people, Moses prays: “If I have found favor in your eyes then walk in our midst for they are a stiff-necked people and pardon our guilt and sins and take us for your inheritance” (Exod 34:9; cf. 33:13). In total solidarity and in tune with his previous unswerving loyalty to Israel (Exod 32:32), Moses identifies himself with the people’s guilt and sin and makes their pardon depend on his intimate relationship with YHWH. Moreover, there is good reason to argue that Moses actually promotes Israel’s recalcitrant nature as the very reason for the resumption of YHWH’s presence and pardon. “Please let the Lord go in the midst of us, for it is a stiff-necked people (Exod 34:9, ESV).”—Standing in the Breach, page 94 (emphasis his)

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