The Israelites, really, how could they have purposed in their hearts to form a golden calf? How could Aaron so easily allow his heart to turn, to fall to the pressure of those around him, forming a golden calf for them? Who could so quickly forget the miracles God had performed on their behalf to win their freedom? Who forgets the God who parts the sea just when it seems all is lost and captivity would have been a better option?
Me...I could, I have time and time again. I don't want to admit it. I would rather hide my shame than confess it...but reading the story of Aaron making the golden calf to my son from his children's bible...I could not deny who I have been. I am the one who has doubted the God who saved me. I am the one who has thought that surely all was lost. I am the one who has been rescued time and time again, only to see the next trial as beyond His ability to save. And most of all, I am the one who has doubted that my freedom won by the blood of the Lamb was better than captivity.
Reading the story again, God gave such clarity. The questions, constantly burning in my heart were answered. It is me - I am an Israelite. The freedom that God poured out on me...freedom to choose to live in light of who He is, freedom from the sin that entraps and destroys...so quickly thrown away because what the world had to offer gave the illusion of being sweeter than what God freely pours out. Bondage...taking one step back to my Egypt, to my task master. I have been held hopeless and helpless by the cravings for what the world offers (power, wealth, children, tasty delights to satisfy every craving). I have given God my words, but have given my heart to idols. Writing it on paper, it seems even more ridiculous than a group of people in the wilderness crying to return to the false gods of Egypt. Why did they want a golden calf? The same reason I want a shake from the golden arches....God did not answer as quickly as they expected and they were afraid...so they tried to form their own god, cover their own fears. What kind of god is made from human hands? What kind of power does such a god have? How much hope can such a god offer?
A god made from human hands is just as helpless, hopeless and powerless as the hands that formed him. The only place to seek what I (and you) desperately need is at the foot of the cross, looking into the face of Love and waiting in confidence for Him to answer...because, really, doesn't He always answer? Didn't God always answer the Israelites in their distress? When they had a need, did He not always make a way for them? Victory comes in His time, in His way and according to His power. No matter what your battle, may you continue clinging to the God who has set you free...may He give you the courage and strength to hold fast until He answers! May you find that His grace is enough!