Tuesday, June 12, 2012

"Dumb and Dumber Build a Cow"

My little one and I finished the book of Exodus this morning (on our "journey through the Bible")!  We were very excited!  With 40 chapters - reading approximately one chapter per day - it took us more than a month!  But what a blessing!  We both learned SOOOO many things!!! 

One passage that really stuck out to me was Exodus 32: 1-10.  You may remember it as the story of the golden calf.  If you aren't familiar, let me "nut-shell" it for you. - Moses was up on the mountain receiving the law from God Himself.  He'd been up there for more than a month and while he was gone, his brother Aaron was in charge of the people.  But the people began to worry - as they were prone to do - that Moses had been gone too long.  They began to wonder if something had happened to him.  And they began to doubt God.  So they came to Aaron and told him to make them "gods who will go before us."  (Here's your "Dumb.")

Now remember that the Israelites had been living in Egypt for quite some time, so the idea of "just one God" was a little new to them.  The Egyptians worshipped many gods.  So Aaron came up with a "brilliant" plan (note the sarcasm).  He would combine their worship of the One True God with the pagan images that they were used to. He told the people to bring him all their gold and he fashioned it into a golden calf and said, "These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt."  Then he made an altar to the calf and said, "Tomorrow is a feast to the Lord." 

What an interesting couple of statements!  First he gives the credit for getting the Israelites out of Egypt to this idol that he fashioned.  Are you kidding me???!!!???  Aaron knew VERY WELL Who was responsible for their escape from Egypt!  And then, in an attempt to "marry" their knowledge of the true God with the pagan worship they were familiar with, he built an altar to the calf and proclaimed, "Tomorrow is a feast to the Lord."  (Lord in this verse is the Hebrew word Yahweh - the proper name for the One True God.)  I guess Aaron figured he was being smart by making a false idol but saying he was worshipping the Real God.  (Here's your "Dumber!")

So what does all of this teach us about Aaron?  Well, first of all, its CRYSTAL CLEAR that God didn't make a mistake when He chose Moses to lead the children of Israel and not Aaron!  Aaron may have been a "born public speaker," but he was NOT a born leader!  A leader stands firm in the face of adversity and pressure to "give in."  Aaron was a wimp.  What really saddens me about Aaron is, there isn't any sign that he even tried to talk the people out of their idol worship before giving in.  It wasn't as if they hammered him and hammered him and he finally just gave up.  No.  They simply came to him and said, "Make us gods," and he said, "OK."  How sad!

He also knew that what he was doing was wrong.  How can we tell?  Well, by the flimsy excuse that he gave Moses when he was confronted.   (By the way, as excuses go, I'd say this one takes the cake!) When Moses asked him why he would lead the people in such a great sin he said, "And I said to them, 'Whoever has any gold, let them tear it off.'  So they gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf."  Seriously?  That's your excuse?  I didn't mean to make an idol.  I just threw a bunch of gold into the fire and it came out that way? You came up with the idea to make this calf, but you can't come up with a creative excuse?

So what's the moral of this story?  Well, DON'T BE DUMB -OR DUMBER!  Trust God!  Even if you don't feel like He's there, He is!  Don't give in to that desire to do things your way.  It NEVER turns out well!  And lastly, don't be a "people pleaser."  Pleasing people will get you into all sorts of trouble!  Be a "God pleaser" instead!  Its MUCH safer that way!

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