Gad Spares the Israelites


Can anyone explain the Catholic teaching behind the verses in Exodus 32 v.9-14:

I see how stiff-necked this people is," continued the LORD to Moses. "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.

How and why does God allow Moses to speak to him in this manner, and change God’s mind? What does this mean?


God responds to the intercessory prayer of His faithful when it is in alignment with His will.



I thought this too, and it IS true without question. Where my confusion enters is here: God says he will “consume them”, I take that meaning to erase them off the earth. God does not say one thing and mean something else (that’s for us humans :slight_smile:
If Hs will is to keep the Isrealites alive (per Moses’ request) then why did God say otherwise?

Does this mean God can change is own mind?


I don’t think He so much “changed His mind” as He had it in Mind for Moses to intercede on behalf of the people and “allowed” him that opportunity.

By all rights the Israelites “should” have been destroyed.

Kind of like the good ole question: Why does God allow evil? I think ultimately the answer is that without evil man could never do a good.

In a similar way, if God can’t “change his mind” and everything is pre-ordained then how can you have free will and what’s the point of prayer?



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