A New Nation Through Moses? Deuteronomy 9

I’ve been reading through the books of Moses again, and mot recently, Deuteronomy. I was reading through chapter 9 this morning and noticed something that has never really clicked in my mind before. In Deuteronomy 9:13-14, after the Israelites make the golden calf while Moses has been on the mountain talking to God, God is so angry that he wants to destroy the Israelites, but still keep his promise to Abraham by making Moses into a nation stronger and more numerous than Israel:

13 And the LORD said to me, “I have seen this people, and they are a stiff-necked people indeed! 14 Let me alone, so that I may destroy them and blot out their name from under heaven. And I will make you into a nation stronger and more numerous than they.” (NIV)

For the whole context, read Deuteronomy 9:7-29.

I just find it amazing how every time I read the Bible for a little while, I come across something that I’ve read before but that I’ve never really comprehended before. I mean, this seems like a pretty vital tipping point to both Biblical history and history in general. What if the Israelites were destroyed and God made Moses into a new nation?

Would the new nation still be headed to Canaan? Would they have suffered the same destruction later on at the hands of Assyria and Babylon? I think it says a lot about Moses character though that despite how much the Israelites drove him crazy, he loved them and he begged God not to destroy them, even though it would have made his life a whole lot easier and potentially made him a patriarch comparable to Abraham.