READ: Exodus 32-33
THINK: Who is your best friend and why? Whatever the reasons, you obviously enjoy being with this person, and you probably relate to him or her better than anyone else in your life. That's the kind of unique and intimate relationship Moses had with God. He had a burning desire to be near God and to know Him better. Moses is a prime example of humility and hunger for the presence of God. Like Moses, we must never stop learning about God or growing in our relationship with Him. No matter how close you are to God, there is always room to be closer still. The fact is that you can be as close to God as you desire, but you must obey Him if you expect to experience His presence.
RESPOND: Why do you think the people reacted as they did while Moses was away? Why do people tend to lose restraint when there is an absence of spiritual leadership? In what way do people create their own Gods? In what kinds of ungodly behaviors were the people engaging? (See 32:6 note.) What was God inclined to do in response to this behavior? (See 32:10 note.) What did Moses' plea for the people reveal about his character, including his attitude toward God and toward the people? (See 32:11 note.) What excuse did Aaron make for giving in to the people's demand for a god (32:23-24)? How did God bless the Levites for taking a stand and identifying with Him? (See 32:29 note.) Why was Moses so concerned for the people that he was willing to give up his own place in God's plan if God would not forgive them? (See 32:32 note.) What does this passage reveal about how our prayers can affect others and influence God's work? (See 33:3 note.) What do you think it means that God spoke to Moses "face to face, as a man speaks with his friend"? (See 33:11 first note.) Why do you think Moses so desperately wanted to learn "Gods ways"? (See 33:13 note.) What did Moses seem to recognize about God's presence (vv. 14-16)? Why was the LORD pleased with Moses and what would He do as a result? (See 33:17 note.)
PRAY: Pray for specific people you know who do not know God or have drifted in their relationships with Him. Ask God to use you to encourage, challenge and reach them. Thank Jesus for His constant and faithful friendship.
ACT: Spend time throughout the day-whenever you are alone or have free time-talking to Jesus as a friend. Do this daily. Do something to take a bold stand for God and for what's right. When you have time, read the articles on Intercession, p. 1134, and Campus Missions Commitment to Pray, p. 1744 in the FBSE.
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