Jessica Albritton, Family Connections Minister, LHBC
When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him, “Up, make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” 2 So Aaron said to them, “Take off the rings of gold that are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” 3 So all the people took off the rings of gold that were in their ears and brought them to Aaron.4 And he received the gold from their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool and made a golden calf. And they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” 5 When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow shall be a feast to the Lord.” 6 And they rose up early the next day and offered burnt offerings and brought peace offerings. And the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.
Growing up my dad had to be at work super early in the mornings. He was always a few hours into the work day by the time mom woke all us kids up to get ready for school. Now getting ready for school was always an ordeal in our house. No one ever wanted to be awake, someone always was in a grumpy mood, and one of the kids would inevitably end up in tears before we all loaded into the suburban. On mornings when things got close to out of hand my mom would threaten, “Should I call your father?” That was always enough to straighten us out because we knew if dad got a phone call we would all be in trouble… There was one morning in particular that was unusually rough and everyone woke up on the wrong side of the bed. There was more yelling and defiance that morning than any other morning and we could have all collectively rocked the world off its axis with the amount of eye rolls going on under our roof. I remember looking at my brother and snapping, “Do you want her to call dad?! Knock it off!” About that time my parents bedroom door flew open and out popped dad. He was off work that day and we had no idea. He was silently listening in on all the chaos going on and right at the climax of it all he made his presence known. All us kids froze in our tracks bracing for the punishment. You see, if we had known dad was there the whole time we would have behaved differently from the moment we woke up but we didn’t know before it was too late.
In Exodus 32 we see the Israelites finding themselves in a similar situation. Moses is called up by the Lord to Mount Sinai to receive the law. When Moses was delayed in coming down the Israelites got antsy and went to Aaron asking him to make gods for the camp. Aaron fashions together jewelry making a golden calf and the next morning the Israelites arise to offer burnt offerings and peace offerings to the Lord, as well as worship the golden calf. The Lord sees what the Israelites are doing and commands Moses to come down from the mountain to deal with the sinful people. Moses makes his way down the mountain, throws the tablets containing the 10 commandments down, tears down the idol and burns it down with fire, grounds it up into powder and sprinkles it in the water, and makes the entire nation drink from it. In a matter of 40 days the Israelites had forgotten about the omnipresent nature of the creator. God was on the mountain but He was also in the camp. He never left. He was there the whole time.
Friend, sometimes life gets crazy and it feels like God went up on the mountain and left us in the camp, but we can rest in the promises of God’s Word that He is with us! John 1:14 states, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” Jesus came on the earth to live a perfect life and died a perfect sacrificial death to take away all the sins of the world. Galatians 2:20 reminds believers we have been crucified with Christ and no longer live but Christ lives in us! He doesn’t leave us, He lives IN us! Let’s not get so antsy in the circumstances of life that we forget His presence!
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Heavenly Father, open my eyes to see You in all circumstances of life! When it feels like You are far up on the mountain help me to remember Your presence is in the camp too! In Jesus name, amen!
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.