What did God do then? Before Moses left the presence of God he had been warned what was going on at base camp. God had threatened to destroy the nation and start a new one through Moses. Moses in a characteristic act of humility and bravery reminded God of the shame and criticism that God would bring on His name if he destroyed his own people and in an amazing turnaround God agreed not to judge them. Now I don't really know how all this works but it seems to me on a simple reading of scripture that there have been a few men who had real power of persuasion in the presence of God (Moses, Abraham and Jacob to name a few) and God responded to their prayers - that should give us all hope.
As I close I want to summarise by pointing you to a couple of verses in Deuteronomy:
Deut.4.24 - "The Lord thy God is a consuming fire even a jealous God". This is so true and reflects the power and holiness of God. He is jealous (this is not an evil sense of the word jealous) of His holy character and will not allow it to be violated. So where does that leave flawed and sinful people like you and I - look at the next verse and also bear in mind Moses prayer.
Deut.4.31 - "For the Lord thy God is a merciful God". Is this a contradiction in terms? I personally don't think so. God preserves His character and will not allow it to be defiled but in grace he makes provision for sinful people to be forgiven. In the Old Testament it was sacrifices that had the temporary effect of covering sin. These sacrifices pictured the death of the Lord Jesus on the cross. His ultimate sacrifice makes it possible for us to be forgiven and experience the mercy of God. Scripture says "if we confess our sins, he faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1.John.1.9).
May the Lord bless you in this manner today.
PS please watch my latest video on Moses and the Passover