Prayer in the Pentateuch Part 3 -- By: L. Paul Moore, Jr.

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 099:393 (Jan 1942)
Article: Prayer in the Pentateuch Part 3
Author: L. Paul Moore, Jr.

Prayer in the Pentateuch
Part 3

L. Paul Moore, Jr.

(Concluded from the October-December Number, 1941)

Discipline for Prayer

Although there were certain prayers which we find the individual offering, during this time of the Pentateuch, yet we would notice that the position of a mediator was very prominent. This we feel should be noticed, before we proceed to examine the course of discipline to which the Israelite had to submit if his prayers were to be answered.

Moses told the second generation of those that had come out of Egypt, “I stood between Jehovah and you at that time [i.e., the day when the Mosaic covenant was made at Horeb], to show you the word of Jehovah: for ye were afraid because of the fire, and went not up into the mount” (Deut 5:5). And it had been thus during the entire period of wandering in the wilderness, for we find that when the Israelites had to compass the land of Edom because of the animosity of the descendants of Esau, they spake against God, and God sent fiery serpents into their midst, and much people died. Then we read: “And the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, because we have spoken against Jehovah, and against thee; pray unto Jehovah, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people” (Num 21:7).

We do not remark here especially that God did not answer Moses’ prayer in the way the people expected Him to. He rather instructed Moses to make a brazen serpent, that they who would look might live. But we do remark here that the people came to Moses as their mediator, fully

persuaded that he had direct access to God, and that God would give him an answer of peace.

We have already noticed how God instructed Abimelech to request Abraham to pray for him, if he would be healed of his sin (see Gen 20:7, 17). Likewise, on more than one occasion, Pharoah pleaded with Moses and Aaron, and said to them “Entreat Jehovah....entreat for me” (Exod 8:8, 28). And Moses, with fine humility replied, “Have thou this glory over me” (Exod 8:9). But before he would act as mediator for Pharoah he wanted a promise from Pharoah’s lips as to a definite time upon which he would release Israel from their bondage. And Pharoah, with all the mock-sincerity of a Gentile ruler, said, “Against to-morrow.” Nevertheless, to prove his word, Moses cried unto Jeho...

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