March 18, 2014 by Chris French
Today we’re reading about one of Israel’s lowest moments after leaving Egypt. Moses has been on Mount Sinai so long getting God’s Law that the Israelites are beginning to think maybe he died so they confront Aaron and push him into leading them in idol worship! That all happens in the first two verses of Exodus 32!
After Aaron melts down all the people’s gold jewelry and shapes an image some of Israel’s leaders tell the people that this thing is what brought them out of Egypt and that they should worship it. When Aaron saw how things were going he built an alter to this thing they had built. What Aaron says next is the interesting part though. He makes a proclamation that the next day they would have a feast to YAHWEH!
How was he holding these two opposing ideas? Do they not mutually exclude each other? Either their exodus from Egypt should be attributed to God or to this idol they had just made. God claimed it was His power that brought them out of Egypt. Either He’s lying or He was the One they should worship. Aaron knew it was God’s power in the plagues, but still makes the idol. I think that can probably be attributed to his fear of the people, but it’s astounding that with the same breath of building the alter he announces a feast in honor of God.
Do we ever do that? Have you ever held two ideas that are mutually exclusive? If you’re reading this blog you most likely have an exclusive relationship with Jesus, so it would make sense that you wouldn’t do things that sabotage that relationship…right? We say that we love Jesus, but we don’t like His church. Those are mutually exclusive ideas. If you love Jesus you love His people, faulty though we may be. We say we love Jesus, but we don’t make any sacrifices so that we can be like Him. Aaron’s not the only one who is guilty of holding two mutually exclusive ideas. We do it all the time. The problem is, it’s about as good for us as it was for him.
When Moses comes back down the mountain he grinds the gold down into dust and makes Israel drink it. Then he confronts Aaron and he explains what happened then Moses commands the Levites to kill 3,000 people of the Israelites and even after Moses intercedes for the people God sends a plague to punish them. We can’t hold two mutually exclusive ideas. God commands us to be either totally His or we’re not His at all