In Exodus chapter 32, Moses returned from mount Sinai with the two tablets of stones on which God had written the Ten Commandments. While Moses was away, the people rebelled against Aaron and asked him to make a golden image for them to worship. God was angry at the people’s response. “Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them, in order that I may make a great nation of you” (Exodus 32:10).
Moses stood in the gap for the people and begged the Lord not to destroy them. Moses reminded God about his promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to make them a great heritage and his covenant of blessing. Moses also told God that the Egyptians might say that he had brought them out of Egypt to kill them in the mountains (Exodus 32:11-13). God listened to Moses and decided not to destroy the people.
Moses himself was furious with the people when he arrived at the camp and saw what they were doing. Insomuch that he threw down the tablets which he carried and broke them. There were other instances when the people tempted Moses with such rebellion, that he reacted out of anger and rage. Nevertheless, Moses used his relationship with God to make petitions for the people. Each time God became so angry as to destroy the people, he stood in the gap and spoke on behalf of them.
There is a role for the church to intercede to God for our families, communities, cities and countries. We do not sit by with passive resignation, but acknowledge that we have power on earth to allow or disallow certain activities. Our prayers are powerful and effective and can evade destruction.
Therefore he said he would destroy them— had not Moses, his chosen one, stood in the breach before him, to turn away his wrath from destroying them” (Psalm 106:23).