In a way, I have always been perplexed by the Israelites’ actions in Exodus 32. While God had just brought His chosen people out of bondage in Egypt, they could not even wait for Moses to come down from Mount Sinai where he was receiving instructions from Holy God. Instead, the people insisted that Aaron make them an idol: “Now the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people assembled about Aaron and said to him, ‘Come, make us a god who will go before us; as for this man Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him’” (Exodus 32:1).
How many times do we get tired of waiting on God and lose our focus on Him. We get the mindset that if I just had more money things would be ok, or if I could just get more time I could accomplish so much. Why not just depend on and worship the Sovereign Creator of the universe? In our lives “golden calves” are all around us. Sports, music, money, houses, cars, fame, food, popularity, relationships, careers, success, time, and ultimately self are the idols people worship. It has always been interesting to me that people can be either in the stands or in their living room jumping up and down and shouting for joy at a Duke or Carolina game; yet, in church as they are surrounded by their brothers and sisters in Christ they hardly make a sound as they sing with no enthusiasm and their arms crossed. Instead of coming to church to worship God corporately as his body, people come with a “bless me if you can” attitude. If we receive a promotion at work, we would likely tell most of our acquaintances with excitement about it, but do we share the Gospel with them with the same enthusiasm?
From time to time, all of us have to be careful to melt the golden calves that distract us from living lives of worship to God. Just as God delivered the Israelites from their physical bondage, believers have, through Christ been set free from sin and spiritual death. Having this freedom allows us to live lives of worship! I am reminded of a song by David Baroni called “You took me out of Egypt”:
“Lord You took me out of Egypt, now take Egypt out of me. You delivered me from Pharaoh, now set me free from me. And let my heart become a promised land where the desert used to be. Lord You took me out of Egypt, now take Egypt out of me.”
May we continue to strive to worship in spirit and in truth, melting the “golden calves” in our lives and living a life that exalts the Lord Jesus.