Tuesday, August 08, 2017


Calvin sees in the divine demand to be left alone Moses’ sharpest and sorest trial of faith. The reformer compares it with God’s command to Abraham to sacrifice Isaac (Gen 22). First, the patriarch is told that in and through Isaac God will raise a people for Himself and then Abraham is to slay him. As Calvin observes:
The same thing is here recorded of Moses, before whom God sets a kind of contradiction in His Word, when He declares that He has intention of destroying that people, to which He had promised the land of Canaan.
Of particular interest is Calvin’s interpretation of YHWH’s demand to be left alone. He senses in this request a divine testing of Moses’ faith, while at the same time a means to provoke Moses to pray more earnestly. Calvin’s interpretation is not only congruent with the rabbinic interpretation above but also realizes the critical interrelation between Moses’ prayer and YHWH’s outworking of salvation history. Calvin denies the possibility that God was not serious, or even deceitful when He announced His intention to destroy sinful Israel. According to Calvin there is a delicate line between YHWH’s providence and Moses’ prayer.—Standing in the Breach, page 135

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One of the few times I agree with Calvin! : )
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