Day 60: Intercessory Prayer
Numbers 10:1-10 The silver trumpets had a twofold purpose: to call the people of Israel to worship and to mobilize them for war.
Deuteronomy 9:1-6 Moses reminded the people of Israel that their victories in battle and their entrance into the Promised Land were free gifts from God. If the Israelites were to rely on THEIR OWN STRENGTH, they would suffer the oppression of other nations and be deprived of the Promised Land. These gratuitous blessings of God were manifestations of his fulfillment of the promises to Abraham. (CCC 60)
Ch 9:7-29 Whenever the people were unfaithful or doubted God, it was Moses, who by fervent prayer and his special relationship with God, petitioned for God’s patience to hold back his chastisement. (CCC 2574-2577)
Psalm 10 This psalm is a continuation of Psalm 9 but takes on an anxious tone. Here again the frequent concern and perplexity about the apparent prosperity of the wicked comes to the fore. At times, it can seem as though God is indifferent or entirely absent to the plight and hardships of his people. The most wicked of evildoers do not believe in God, much less fear him, and certainly do not keep his Commandments. For a time their scorn for God and his Laws seems to have little effect on their material prosperity. The psalmist beseeches God with confidence, knowing that the God of Israel is a God of justice who sides with the poor, the orphan, and the weak despite the FLEETING pleasures and successes of the sinful. (CCC 272, 324, 2419)
(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)
The glory of the Lord leads Israel in the form of a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.
After only three days, trouble arises when the people complain of their misfortunes (Nm 10:33-11:1).
The Lord’s anger is enkindled, and the fire of the Lord consumes the outlying parts of the camp.
Moses quickly intercedes, and the fire abates.
The place is then named Taberah, which means “burning” in Hebrew.
Such a sudden eruption of complaining and anger does not bode well for the journey ahead.
Indeed, things will soon go from bad to worse.
(*Walking With God: A Journey Through the Bible by Tim Gray and Jeff Cavins)
Numbers: they are going into the wilderness
This is where they first start moving on their journey
The people are consecrated, divided into their tribes, divided into their families
When the Column of Cloud and Fire lifts up, follow it
The Tribe of Judah set out first
Judah leads the way
We always lead with Praising of the Lord
Remember how the camping of the wilderness was described
What was at the center?
The Tent of Meeting, where the Levites were
Surrounding that were the remaining Tribes to the north, south, east, and west
As they are being led, half the tribes lead, and THEN comes the Tabernacle with the Gershonites, Ko’hathites, and Merarites carrying the Tabernacle
And then the remaining Tribes follow
At the center of all of them as they are travelling is the PRESENCE OF THE LORD and the Sacred Objects, the Tent of Meeting, the Tabernacle
The journey would take 3 days to the Wilderness of Paran
There are 3 locations to remember in Numbers
First is the Wilderness of Sinai
Now they are headed to the Wilderness of Paran
Then they will go to the Wilderness of Moab, which is right across the Jordan River
From Moab, you can see the Promised Land
(*Remember: Numbers is the BEGINNING of the journey and Deuteronomy is the END of the journey right before they get into the Promised Land.)
Moses is giving his speech in the Wilderness of Moab
Deuteronomy: Through Moses, God is saying “I know that you are going to fail.”
God is saying, “This is your story. Part of your story is that immediately after I set you free from slavery in Egypt an brought you to this place, IMMEDIATELY you turned away. I know that’s what your hearts are like.”
Moses recounts ALL OF THESE TIMES
The Golden Calf
Taberah where the Israelites IMMEDIATELY complained about God’s providing for them
Massah (Ex 17) where they were tempted
Kibroth Hattaavah (Num 11) where they craved for all those Egyptian treats they used to eat (I mean, did Egyptians eat baklava? Because I could understand wanting some of that)
Here are all these places of FAILURE
God had brought the Israelites to these places to PROVIDE FOR THEM
THEY FAILED TO TRUST IN HIM
Moses communicates that he INTERCEDED on their behalf
It took a MEDIATOR between GOD AND MAN to give them God’s mercy
(you all see where this is going, don’t you? ;) )
JESUS IS THE FULFILLMENT OF MOSES
JESUS IS THE NEW MOSES
Not only because Jesus gives us the NEW LAW in the Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount
Also because Jesus is like Moses in the sense that he STANDS IN THE GAP
Just like Abraham stood in the breech before the Lord
Here is Moses who STANDS BETWEEN THE LORD AND THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL
He INTERCEDES ON THEIR BEHALF
He CALLS UPON THE LORD’S MERCY
God HEARS THE PRAYERS OF MOSES
Just like Jesus Christ on the Cross who said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
We realize that not only does Moses, Abraham, and THE ENTIRE BIBLE, and ULTIMATELY JESUS reveal that the depth of the heart of God is THE HEART OF MERCY
Even when are unfaithful, GOD GIVES US HIS MERCY
Even when we fall away, GOD REMAINS STEADFAST
God gave Moses the opportunity to stand in the gap between God and the Israelites
Jesus was sent as THE ONE MEDIATOR BETWEEN GOD AND MAN
We are also called
We are called TO PRAY FOR EACH OTHER
We are called to stand in that gap and BE LIKE MOSES
We are called to stand in that gap and BE LIKE JESUS
So that we can say, “I’m lifting up my brothers and sisters right now.”
Here we are
It’s Day 60
Those of us who are walking this journey, WE NEED EACH OTHER
Father Mike needs your prayers SO MUCH
So many of us are going through SO MUCH RIGHT NOW
This weight of life
This burden of feeling crushed
Know that you have brothers and sisters ALL OVER THE WORLD (155 countries and counting so far 😉 ) who are PRAYING THESE WORDS WITH YOU
THEY ARE LISTENING TO THESE WORDS WITH YOU
THEY ARE GOING THROUGH THIS BIBLE IN A YEAR WITH YOU
THEY ARE MEDIATING AND INTERCEDING ON YOUR BEHALF THROUGH PRAYER
We need each other
We have our Lord Jesus
He lives to intercede at the right hand of the Father
We have each other
So keep praying for each other
We give God praise and LET JUDAH GO UP FIRST
KEEP SHOWING UP
Prayer by Fr Mike: “Father in Heaven we thank you and we give you praise, just like the psalmist praying this Psalm 10. Lord God, it seems like so often those who do not listen to you and those who do whatever they want, those who hurt other people among us seem to be the most blessed sometimes. The ones who say, “Who cares about God? Where’s God?” seem to have even happiness. They seem to even have joy. They seem to have maybe even sometimes more love than those who are listening to your Word and those who look for you in everything, Lord. Those who follow you sometimes seem to have more problems than those who forget about you, those who ignore you, even those who outright reject you. Lord God, this is such a mystery to us. This is just like the psalmist. We recognize the truth. The truth is that there are some people that want nothing to do with you, God. That seem to have everything going right for them. And some people who love you with their whole heart and seem to be forgotten. We know the truth, Lord God, that you are just. You do not forget the cry of the poor. You do not neglect those that you love. And so we continue to cry out to you. We continue to listen to your word. We continue to place our trust, our hope, and our entire lives in you alone. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”
The Silver Trumpets to gather the assembly to the tent of meeting recalls two things to me:
1) When Church bells ring to call for us to gather for Mass.
2) Jesus' prophecy, primarily of the then pending doom of Jerusalem, as well as his Second Coming on the Last Day, when he will gather his people at the last trumpet ( 1 Thess 4:16-17) to his heavenly Temple
(*it's important to distinguish we are not speaking of a "rapture" event separate from the second coming, but a detail that is part of the bigger event at the end of time, Christ's Second Coming)
Just to clarify, Hobab is Moses's Father-in Law, who also was referred to as Reuel and Jethro.
Just to clarify, Horeb is Mount Sinai.
Another sign showing Jesus is "the New Moses": forty days fasting in the wilderness.
Moses prefigures Christ as the Mediator for Israel the way Christ is our mediator of the New Covenant. Being Baptized into Christ's One Body and participating in his divine "sonship" (Rom 8:14-17), Paul encourages that we also intercede for each other.