Today my daily reading (as only God could arrange it!) was Moses’ second trip up the mountain – for yet another forty days alone in the cloud with the Almighty.
What struck me was the contrast between the two quadragesimal journeyings. Both yielded stone tablets, yes, but it’s what happened on the descent.
After the first trip, Moses returned to rioting in the camp, a golden calf, and lewdness, and fire and brimstone (and shattered tablets) juggernauted from the prophet!
That was all in Exodus thirty-two.
Two chapters later, we see a whole ‘nother outcome…following Moses’ second lent. This time the people are sober, if not a bit fearful, and recalcitrant. And their main man is positively GLOWING!
Which outcome of lent would you prefer?
Here’s a good start. May this prayer offered at the outset present you with a Spirit-shrouded, mountain-top, face-aglow forty days of humbling yourself before the Lord. May you be transfigured and resurrected in spirit, soul, and body. Selah
*O HOLY SPIRIT,
As the sun is full of light,
the ocean full of water,
Heaven full of glory,
so may my heart be full of thee.
Vain are all divine purposes of love
and the redemption wrought by Jesus
except thou work within,
regenerating by thy power,
giving me eyes to see Jesus,
showing me the realities of the unseen world.
Give me thyself without measure,
as an unimpaired fountain,
as inexhaustible riches.
I bewail my coldness, poverty, emptiness,
Suffer me not to grieve or resist thee.
Come as power,
to expel every rebel lust,
to reign supreme and keep me thine;
Come as teacher,
leading me into all truth,
filling me with all understanding;
Come as love,
that I may adore the Father,
and love him as my all;
Come as joy,
to dwell in me,
move in me,
Come as light,
illuminating the Scripture,
moulding me in its laws;
Come as sanctifier,
body, soul and spirit wholly thine;
Come as helper,
with strength to bless and keep,
directing my every step;
Come as beautifier,
bringing order out of confusion,
loveliness out of chaos.
Magnify to me thy glory by being magnified in me,
and make me redolent of thy fragrance.
Oh, and one last (pretty vital) thing. Moses, as we know, did back-to-back lents. The first lent (at least for me) appears to have been a gift of Moses’ obedience to God. While the people grumbled, defected, and caroused, Moses stood famously apart.
As such, the second lent turned out to be for Moses. He got wrecked after the first forty, but the interlude in chapter 33 and the first part of chapter 34 shows that he got rebooted with all the goodness and lavish mercies of God!
That’s my prayer for every God-seeker out there who reads this: may the fullness and goodness of God be an interlude that flows and overwhelms us in the coming days.
Pray to be wrecked. That’s quite all right, because He’ll remake you into something beyond your wildest imaginings!
*From The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, Banner of Truth Trust