While doing a short kettlebell workout, I meditated on the day’s reading. I came upon Exodus 32 in my Bible reading plan. You know, the story about the Israelites worshiping the golden calf while Moses and God have their confab on Mt. Sinai. I’ve written about this before.
On the surface, their actions seem justified. “We don’t know what happened to Moses,” they say to Aaron. “Make us something we can worship” (Exodus 32:1). It seems okay, like the calf is just a stand-in. I mean, God helps those who helps themselves, right? Wrong. The worship becomes full-on debauchery (v. 6).
Once Moses leaves the mountain, things get rough. The Israelites’ idolatry infuriated God. Moses asks the people to choose sides. The Levites stand with Moses. Moses commands the Levites to kill anyone opposing God, namely, everyone else. The priestly order manages to snuff out 3,000. What a bloodbath! God killed even more with a plague later that day.
There are several morals here. But despite the gap of several thousand years, we aren’t so different. Don’t we find ourselves doing the same things? “God isn’t coming through. I’ll take out a loan to cover this month.” Relationship on the skids? “I’ll manipulate them into getting my way.” In other words, we force circumstances to become what we want. We do this with our health and careers, too.
But this is not God’s way of dealing with “life”. The Lord has the best in mind for us, every day. We are not forgotten. We need to wait and pray, trusting in the meantime. He has the answers, if we’re willing to listen. They don’t include doing it our way.