I just read the account of the golden calf in the book of Exodus and it was reminiscent of looking in a mirror.
If you’ve ever sat in a sermon about Exodus, you’ve probably heard that we modern day Christians are a lot like the Israelites were. I always had a hard time swallowing that.
I mean, look at the miracles they witnessed! The great deliverance the Lord worked for them! And then they turned around and rejected God in favor of a statue of a gold cow?
Nope, I never do anything like that.
What we sometimes fail to take into account are the cultural differences. Back then, the people were more honest. They wanted to rule their own lives and make their own laws. So they made gods for themselves and called them gods.
These days we make our own rules, but we call our gods things like Career, Academics, Social Status, anything that gives us the illusion of self-reliance.
Even Christians. How often do we pray for God to deliver us to the ‘I’ll take it from here’ point?
This ‘do-it-yourself-who-needs-God’ attitude stems from insecurity.
Look at what the Israelites said to Aaron in Exodus 32:1;
‘Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, “Come, make us gods that shall go before us; for 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.”’
How often do we decide to take matters into our own hands when we think God is ‘delaying’?
We stress and plan and break our backs at work to earn every penny we can all so we’ll have a cushion for the day when God eventually lets us down.
We worship the idols of Job and School and Status because we are anticipating the day when God removes our training wheels and leaves us to rise or fall without Him.
The Israelites didn’t believe in the goodness of God. So when Moses hadn’t come back in over a month, they decided to govern themselves. They would rather eke by, struggling against God the whole way, than trust that He is as good as He says He is.
I am so guilty of this. When I look ahead to the future, I’m careful to plan a contingency in which God’s plan for me isn’t all that great and I have to make stuff happen on my own.
It’s tax season; how many of us are tempted to fudge the numbers because they believe the future God has for them isn’t as good as the future they could get by moving that one little decimal? (*raises hand*)
I’ve written about this before, but I still find myself tripping up almost every day. I have to remind myself over and over again that God is good all the time. He’s not going to stay on the mountain and leave me. I don’t have to rely on idols. I don’t have to eke by.
God gave me a question a couple of weeks ago that has had me in a near constant state of challenge. The question has been popping up everywhere, ever since He first asked it. I’d like to take this opportunity to pass this challenge along:
Do your actions and your attitude prove that you believe in the goodness of God?
Or are you, like the Israelites, preparing for the day when His goodness runs out?