We humans are a fickled lot. We live on a earth that is not of our making. Each of us has a life which requires everything not under our control to be controlled. Even our next breath is not guaranteed. Yet, it is our nature to long for… no, to demand the right to dictate the direction of everything. We expect to have things our way. We insist on life proceeding as we envision. We crave possessions and assume we will get them. We expect our wants, our desire, to be delivered at a scheduled time of our making.
Those who profess faith in the God of the Bible may think that this outlook is what should be expected by those without faith. And this thought would be correct. The sad reality is that within the community of believers this attitude is prevalent. Those who claim to have experience the grace of God too often behave in the same manner as who make no such claim.
During the Exodus, Israel had a similar mindset. After a great movement of God, the people look to themselves rather than looking to God. In the thirty-second chapter of Exodus the people of Israel were awaiting the return of Moses from Mount Sinai. He did not return quickly enough for their liking, so they took matter into their own hand. They said to Aaron, “Come, make us gods who will go before us.” Soon after, an idol was cast in the shape of a calf and the people declared, “These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.” The people continue to worship this God as if it was the God who had moved in their midst. The Lord knew this and said to Moses, “Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt. They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf.” What Moses saw brought forth righteous anger. He called to those who were dedicated to the Lord to rally and to demonstrate that devotion by putting death those who were part of this rebellion. That day many died and those who killed did so to brother and friend.
We, my friends and brothers/sisters, must be aware of our golden calf. We must recognize that which diverts us from God and put it to death. It may be our career goals or our desire of a particular vintage car. It may be the church as we think it should be. It may be our time. Whatever it be, pray that you will be able to rid yourself of that idol and tenaciously follow the God who free offers grace and salvation through Jesus Christ.