03/25/W – The Golden Calf

Exodus 32:1-30; Matthew 26:69-75; Psalms 33:6-11; Proverbs 11:28

OT: “When the people saw that Moses delayed in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said to him, “Come, make gods for us who will go before us because this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt — we don’t know what has happened to him!” Aaron replied to them, “Take off the gold rings that are on the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters and bring them to me.” So all the people took off the gold rings that were on their ears and brought them to Aaron. He took the gold from them, fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made it into an image of a calf. Then they said, “Israel, these are your gods, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!” When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of it and made an announcement: “There will be a festival to the Lord tomorrow.” Early the next morning they arose, offered burnt offerings, and presented fellowship offerings. The people sat down to eat and drink, and got up to party.” (‭‭Exodus‬ ‭32:1-6‬ ‭CSB‬‬)

How quickly men turn from faith to the familiar… to things they can control – especially when they are surrounded by uncertainty. It’s one thing to trust in a God that you don’t see. The Israelites had plenty to see. They were led across the wilderness by a pillar of smoke and a pillar of fire. They saw the Red Sea part right before their eyes. They saw the thundering and shaking manifest presence of the Lord descend on Mt Sinai and heard His words – yet they still turned away from faith to familiar and controllable patterns when things became uncertain. The very gold that was to be used to create the articles of holy worship were being used to fashion a god that they could see and control. We look at that event from our perspective and think, “How utterly idiotic that was – why in the world would they do that?” Yet, we do the same thing all the time. We find things to trust… we find programs to give our lives to… we sacrifice our resources to lifeless patterns that can lead us nowhere in the face of a good and loving God Who is willing and able to lead us through all of life’s uncertainties.

Psalms: “Let the whole earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spoke, and it came into being; he commanded, and it came into existence. The Lord frustrates the counsel of the nations; he thwarts the plans of the peoples. The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of his heart from generation to generation.” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭33:8-11‬ ‭CSB‬‬)

In light of Who God is, every inhabitant of the earth should tremble in His presence. We get fearful and very cautious before a mere men who has authority over us. How much more so the Lord of the universe. If people truly saw and understood and inkling of the greatness of God, they would stand in awe of Him. Everything that has and has ever existed came to be and continues to be by just the power and authority of His will and word. Considering that, how foolhardy it is to stand against the Lord’s purposes… how completely futile it is to manufacture things to worship and trust instead of the Lord God. The Lord crushes the advice and purposes of the unbelieving nations, and He hinders and frustrates the carnal uninspired projects of His own people. However, the Lord’s purposes stand and endure forever and the projects and plans from His heart continue through the ages, from generation to generation to generation. So what is the truly reasonable thing to do? Go our own way and rely on our own understanding… listen to the wisdom and advice that comes from the world? Or do we trust and submit to the ever-good Lord of the Universe?

Proverbs: “Anyone trusting in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like foliage.” (‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭11:28‬ ‭CSB‬‬)

This proverb is pretty self-explanatory. Who or what do you trust in?

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