And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, 7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.” 8 Moses bowed to the ground at once and worshiped. Exodus 34:6-8 NIV
Pam and I were out of the state visiting our daughter this past weekend. When I came home Monday, I turned on the local news to catch up on the weather, sports etc. One of the leading stories was another shooting in Birmingham. They gave some back story, 7 people were shot and killed in Birmingham over the Labor day weekend. I heard later that 14 were shot and killed in Philadelphia over the same weekend. My wife and I had been praying for the mother who was abducted in Memphis during this same time, she was later found dead. How do you respond?
The amount of evil and wickedness happening around us, on our watch, is so overwhelming it can cause you to become desensitized. We compartmentalize it for many different reasons. Perhaps you have thoughts similarly to these. “ It’s not our city. It doesn’t happen around here. I don’t personally know any of those people. I can’t do anything substantive about it anyway. It’s already happened. If I think about it too much, I will become fearful.”
When Moses was in God’s presence and God said He lets sin follow the parents and children to the third and fourth generation, Moses fell to the ground. In verse 8, NIV uses the phrase “at once”; other versions use “immediately”, “made haste”, or “quickly”. Moses knew this information was a game changer. He needed to respond quickly. Immediately he reacted.
“Bowed” and “worship” are similar expressions. Bowing is the physical action of bending the body while worship implies bowing in a sense of worship. It’s possible that worship also implies that he became prostrate on the ground.. In other words, Moses became flat on his face in the presence of God and prayed to Him.
How can you remain sensitive to God in the place of bad news? Just turning off the news is not the answer.
- Learn and begin to incorporate identificational repentance. “We have sinned”.
- Watch out for pride, thinking you are better than others
- Don’t let your lips move to judgment of others…thank God I am not like that man
- Spend some time before God repenting for your own sins and the sins of your country
- Practice blessing and not cursing. “May God bless you and keep you”. Say this for the areas struggling with high crime.
- Worship and pray in the actual physical locations which are struggling.
- Try laying prostrate face down in worship and repentance
- Listen for other ways in which God may have you engage to bring healing.
David says this life is a vapor. It ends quicker for some, but we will all pass away and enter into eternity. Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. We have the privilege to be about our Father’s business also. May your activities be fueled by your worship in response to our desperate need for God’s salvation.
Blessings, Love y’all
I, too, struggle with all the bad news that surrounds us daily. Praise the Lord that He is not taken by surprise at the sins of man, and praise Him that we can take these burdens to Him. As you said, we can start by praying for our own sins and the sins of our nation. God bless America…even in our sin!