His Plan or…?

idolsWhen 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.'”

Because we know the end of the story, most of us know what will happen in just a few short verses.  This might be a challenge, but think with me for a second.  What if all we knew was Exodus 32:1-2?  What if the only thing we knew was what the narrator recorded for us regarding the Israelites dilemma in the first two verses of the chapter?

Here’s what we know they understood:

1)  We know the Israelites had knowledge of Moses going to Mount Sinai to speak with YHWH.  Check out Ex. 24:14-18

2)  We know they were concerned about worshipping a God/gods.

3)  We know they were an impatient lot.

4)  We know it sounds as if they put more faith in Moses than in the God he was meeting with.

Often times, we read Old Testament texts and are quick to condemn.  How foolish!  How dumb could they be?!?  Why didn’t they just wait for Moses – one they considered their deliverer?  If they don’t know what has become of him, is anyone willing to go look?

Consider these:

1)  Any parallel between Moses going up on the mountain and Jesus praying to His Father in the garden?  In the Old Testament text, the elders were told, “Wait here for us (Moses and Joshua) until we return to you” (24:14).  In Luke’s Gospel, the physician records Jesus withdrawing to pray and returning only to find His disciples sleeping (Lk 22:41-46).  Prior to withdrawing, Jesus warned them of temptation.

2)  The Israelites had spent four hundred years in bondage.  However,  once provided their freedom, they weren’t concerned so much with God’s direction and timing as much as their own.  They might be considered religious by tradition.  But what does that have to do with a relationship with YHWH?

3)  Be still and know…!  Psalm 46:10 is a verse we like to quote from time to time.  Life experience tells me it’s a bit harder to live consistently.  We’re quick to chastise our ancestors for their lack of patience while believing our timeline to be flawless.  Not many have the gift of patience.

4)  “As for this Moses, the man…”  I don’t want to read too much into the text, but I’m led to believe because of their lack of relationship with YHWH, they focused too much on Moses rather than the God they should serve.  In fact, they were quick to write him off, consider him missing, and replace him with someone/something else.  In the Church today, how much faith do we place in a preacher, elders, a committee, or a program – rather than the one true God?  If something goes wrong, let’s replace the preacher, obtain new leadership, and/or start a new program.

Bottom line, is we’re much like the Israelites who left Egypt.  We’re quick to forget God’s faithfulness and revert back to our plan.  Thoughts?

 

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