“When the people saw how long it was taking Moses to come back down the mountain, they gathered around Aaron. “Come on,” they said, “make us some gods who can lead us. We don’t know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt.” 2 So Aaron said, “Take the gold rings from the ears of your wives and sons and daughters, and bring them to me.” 3 All the people took the gold rings from their ears and brought them to Aaron.4 Then Aaron took the gold, melted it down, and molded it into the shape of a calf. When the people saw it, they exclaimed, “O Israel, these are the gods who brought you out of the land of Egypt!” 5 Aaron saw how excited the people were, so he built an altar in front of the calf. Then he announced, “Tomorrow will be a festival to the Lord!” 6 The people got up early the next morning to sacrifice burnt offerings and peace offerings. After this, they celebrated with feasting and drinking, and they indulged in pagan revelry.”
As we continue in our series looking at the Ten Commandments based on relationship not rules,we come to the breaking of the 10 Commandments. Isn’t that amazing that on the heels of the making of the 10 Commandmentswe see the breaking of the 10 Commandments. Once again, we see our need for the Lord because we can’t keep the Law. It’s here that we see not only the people rebel and reject a relationship with the Father in favor of religion, but also the ramifications of choosing the rituals of religion over a relationship with the Redeemer. My personalprayer is thateach of uswould not only recognize any idols we have in our life but would repent and return to God. As we look at the breaking of the Ten Commandments we see that it starts first with our:
Verse one reveals that the people turned away from God because they chose to focus on a timetable instead of on God’s truth, “When the people saw how long it was taking Moses to come back down the mountain, they gathered around Aaron. “Come on,” they said, “make us some gods who can lead us. We don’t know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt.”They rebelledand reject a relationship with the Father in favor of religion, because they were not willing to wait on God. As a result, they became restless and impatient. Instead of waiting on God they chose to worship a false god. Today we also struggle and whine when we have to wait on God and ofteninstead of relying on the Savior, we also look for a substitute. But we don’t just look to the substitute we end up giving our love and loyalty to it. When we base our decisions on our wants instead of God’s Word it’s not long before we start worshiping our wants. So, let me ask you, are you making it about your wants or God’s Word? They were walking based on their sight instead of what God had said. Walkingby sight instead of scripture leads to impatience with God and instead of resting in our relationship with Him we become restlessness. We move from waiting on the Father to worry over our fears. What you feed your heart will be what fills your head. Feeding your heart worry instead of the Word leads to fillingyour head with your wants instead of His Will. Are you trying to take matters into our own hands instead of leaving things in God’s hands?Their solution to the situation led to sin not salvation. Are you trusting in a timetable or in God’s truth? Are you waiting on the Lord or worrying about the way things look? When things didn’t go the way,they wanted they rejected God’s offer of relationship and replace it with religion.It’s here that secondly we see the:
They ended up tradingthe blessing of relationship for the bondage of religion. When we walk according to our wants it will change who we worship. How could they walk away from worshipping God in order to worship a piece of metal? Or closer to home…Why are there days when I find time to do other things – but no time to spend with God?Because we made it about our wants instead of the One we worship. Rebellion led to:
- A Loss of leadership – Vs 1-2
Verses 1-2 reveal not justlazy leadership but a complete lack of leadership. Before Moses went up the Mountain,he told them if anyone had a dispute to consult with Aaron. But what did Aaron do, he made it about the peoples wishes instead of God’s Will. He didn’t just caveto the crowd, he catered to their wants at the expense of God’s Will. When I was in the mountains of Colorado, I noticed lots of dead and dying trees and something significant struck me. Have you ever noticed that the trees that die start dying at the top first?We see this same process in families and churches when there is a lack of leadership, we die from the top down. When leaders stop looking to the Lord and depart from the truth death descends from the top down. Here is this man Aaron who should have been the one that stood in the gap, while Moses was on the mountain. Instead he gives in to the demands of the people and death descends from the top down. Pastorsandparents, you are not called to be people pleasers but Jesus pleasers. Remember you are a shepherd and shepherds meet the needs not the wants of the sheep. Why do we see so many disrespectful and disobedient kids today? Because we have parent problem resulting from a lack of leadership. Instead of leading we have made it about being liked. We have made it about our kids liking us instead of us loving them enough to lead. Parents and pastors, leaders are not always liked by the people they lead. But Godly leadership is focused on the Lord not the likes. Oftenleadership is lonely, but do you want to trade the Lord for a few likes? Are you listening to the crowd or to Christ, because who you listen to determines who you will live for. Are you living for the applause of men or the approval of the Master? Not only did rebellion led toa loss of leadershipbut second:
- We waste our time, talents and treasure on our wants instead of investing them in worship – Vs 2-4
They used their gold to create their god. At first this might seem strange until we remember that they had just come out of Egypt, where they had been saturated with idolatry. So, with Moses gone they reverted back to their pagan past. But are we any different? Today we are spending vast sums of money worshiping our wants instead of investing in God’s kingdom. Back in Exodus 25:1-3 God told Moses to tell the people to bring their sacred offerings to Him. But instead of giving to God they invested in idols. What about us, are we building our worship around the Christ or the culture? Is your wealth tied to your worship or tethered to your wants? Do you make money about self or about stewardship? God called them to use their wealth for worship not for worldliness. As we approach the Christmas season, we are reminded of the wise men who journeyed to Jesus to worship him. Part of their worship involved giving their gold to God. What about you, where are you investing your time talents and treasures?