Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

A Heart for our Nation
Pastor Bryan Johnson
Deuteronomy 9:12-29; Exodus 32, 33
There are countless moments when we’re disappointed by the choices of people. There’s no doubt about the effect of sin in our world. At times, we can become discouraged, even embittered about the “way things are.” In these troubled times in the United States, it would be easy for the Church to become “religious” in how we respond to our situation—whether it be our national morality, our economy, our government’s decision makers or the guy across the street. I’d like to contend for a greater approach to these times. Today, we’ll take a look at how Moses dealt with one of the many times that Israel struggled with abandoning God and hopefully gain a fresh perspective about the impact we could have on our nation. God wants us to have a heart for our nation, because He paid for everyone in it (John 3:16).

Before this moment, the people of Israel have grown impatient with Moses being on the mountain. Israel then asked Aaron (Moses’ brother) to lead them in constructing an idol (Ex 32:1). This golden calf represented one of Egypt’s gods, creating a broken covenant between God and Israel. Moses is sent by God off the mountain to deal with Israel’s sin (Ex 32:7, Dt 9:12).

A. Fighting for People, Not “With” or “Against”
Deuteronomy 9:12-18; Exodus 32:30-32
• He was angry about their sin, not tolerant (Dt 9:17, 21).
• Moses doesn’t spend time complaining about their sin, he runs to God (Dt 9:18-19).
• His passion against their sin wasn’t for self-preservation, in fact quite the opposite (Ex 32:32).
- Worth: the value of something measured by its qualities or by the esteem in which it is held (Webster’s).
• In contrast, Aaron says, “You know these people, that they are set on evil” (Ex 32:22 NKJV).
• Our most effective fighting is not with “flesh and blood,” but in the Spirit (Eph 6:32).

B. Restoring God’s Praise: God exalted in, by and beyond our nation
Deuteronomy 9:28-29
• Moses draws on God’s identification with Israel before the rest of the world—He wants Egypt to know their gods are nothing compared to his! (Dt 9:28)
• Moses is concerned that God’s character would be grossly distorted if He carries out justice (v 28).
- Note: God had every right to carry out justice with Israel because they broke their covenant with Him (Ex 19:3-8; 20:3-4; 24:7).
• Moses “reminds” God that these are His people, not Moses’ alone (v 29).
• Moses in effect says, “You didn’t deliver us with Your strength to destroy us, but to free us” (v 29).

C. Standing for God’s Presence Nationally
Exodus 33:14-16
• He also makes known his desire for God to go with “them,” not Moses alone.
• Even if they don’t realize they need His presence, Moses knew they needed Him.
• Even if America doesn’t realize we need His presence, Christians know we need Him.

D. Pursuing God Personally
Exodus 33:18-23
• Notice that this was his last request, after pleading for his people, after stating that God should be exalted above every nation and every god—his labor was “others first”
• Remember where this all started? (Dt 9:12) “…Go down from here… your people… have acted corruptly.”
• Moses pursues God for a restoration of his personal intimacy that was lost due to his own people. (Ex 32:7; Dt 9:12).
• God’s presence wasn’t only what gave Israel guidance, He was their safety and security (Ex 15).
• God said “yes!” – He wants us to know Him deeply

Application: The “What we can do now”
• We choose to be merciful intercessors for our nation, beginning with those closest around us.
• We choose to praise God with all that’s within us, crying out for Him to be praised by mouths that have never uttered His praise. Every mouth is made for His praise!
• We seek after His face, not His hand.

Discussion Questions:
• Who is someone near you that you want to have a “heart change” towards? Why?
• What are some ways you can setup “praise God” reminders throughout your day?
• Where and how are you going to pursue Him personally this week?

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