What was he thinking? (Sweet repeat from May 4, 2018)

“When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, ‘Come, make us gods who will go before us.’ ”  Exodus 32:1 NIV

You know the inspiring story about God setting the Jews free from slavery in Egypt hundreds of years before Jesus, and how used Moses for executing His perfect plan.  Recall how God inflicted ten plagues on the Egyptians while sparing the Israelites; how God hardened Pharaoh’s heart until he finally folded; how the Israelites escaped; etc.  It’s a marvelous story described in Exodus.  

To advance to a later date, God called Moses alone to the top of Mount Sinai and spoke directly with him, giving him very specific instructions on how the Jews should live and relate to Him.  While Moses had interacted with God several times, this occasion was a big-time event that occurred over several weeks.  A key part of what came out of it were the two stone tablets containing the Ten Commandments.  

Before ascending Mt. Sinai on this occasion, Moses had been instructed by God on how they should live, and in turn Moses told the Israelites.  Do you recall how they responded during his absence?  They did exactly what they had been informed not to do!  

This is the part that really kills me.  Aaron, Moses’ right-hand man, spokesman, and brother, witnessed and participated in everything that had happened from slavery in Egypt to this event.   He knew the deal like no one else.  He became the number one guy in command during Moses’ absence. The Israelites had decided that Moses wasn’t coming back from Mt. Sinai, so they decided to build another god, a calf made out of gold.  After everything they had been through in escaping Egypt and moving toward the Promised Land, and being witnesses of God’s miraculous works, they turned to a false god!  Aaron concurred and led the effort to make the golden calf god!  This blows me away.  How could he be so stupid?  What was he thinking?  

Turn the clock forward about 2,900 years to today where we live.  How the Israelites responded to God resembles how we respond to Him.  We really aren’t any different.  Think about situations that we see or read about on a daily basis.  The Ten Commandments?  We cast them aside and wonder why our society is going down the toilet.  Sanctity of human life?  We murder unborn babies by the millions.  False gods?  Just look around at what we substitute for the One True God.  Righteous living?  Don’t get me started.  You know where I’m coming from.  

I’m critical of Aaron and the Israelites, but we’re no different, even though we’ve had the opportunity to learn from their (and others’) mistakes.  By our endorsement or silence we support sin of all kinds.  What are we thinking?

Prayer:  Dear God, open our eyes to do what is right in Your sight.  Amen.

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