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First Reading for the Thursday of the 4th Week of Lent

Exodus 32:7-14

Summary: Moses intervenes as God threatens to destroy the Israelites for idolatry. Reminding God of His promises and the implications for His reputation, Moses' plea spares the people from divine wrath, showcasing the power of intercessory prayer and God's responsiveness to sincere appeals.

Moses Intercedes for Israel

The LORD said to Moses, “Go down at once to your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt, for they have become depraved. They have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out to them, making for themselves a molten calf and worshiping it, sacrificing to it and crying out, ‘This is your God, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt!’

The LORD said to Moses, “I see how stiff-necked this people is. Let me alone, then, that my wrath may blaze up against them to consume them. Then I will make of you a great nation.”

But Moses implored the LORD, his God, saying, “Why, O LORD, should your wrath blaze up against your own people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with such great power and with so strong a hand?

Why should the Egyptians say, ‘With evil intent he brought them out, that he might kill them in the mountains and exterminate them from the face of the earth’?

Let your blazing wrath die down; relent in punishing your people. Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, and how you swore to them by your own self, saying, ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky; and all this land that I promised, I will give your descendants as their perpetual heritage.’”

So the LORD relented in the punishment he had threatened to inflict on his people.

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