Oh man. This is not good. Moses is gone for 40 days. In that time the Israelites get tired of waiting for him and have Aaron cast an idol. It seems they meant this calf to represent the Real God, because when Aaron sees how excited they are he says they need to have a festival to the LORD! The party was so rowdy it sound to Joshua like a war! Also, when something is described as pagan revelry it is describing immoral sexual acts. Wrong, on so many levels. How many of the 10 Commandments just got broken?
We now move into a theme that is really hard for us to reconcile. God’s discipline and wrath. I think it is so shocking because we have all become numb to sin. God will never ever ever be numb to sin. He hates it. When sin entered the world death was the result. Death is multifaceted for sure, but when dealing with todays passage we are looking at the death of our earthly body. Death was never meant to be a part of creation, that is why it feels so wrong to us. Sin=Death, you have to square with that. Everyone dies at some point. There is no one who lives on this earth forever. We are only kind of ok with a death that happens after 90 or so years on earth. Premature death is shocking to us. But sometimes God uses premature death as a penalty for disobedience. In the OT sin is sometimes so rampant that God has to prematurely end a life so that the sin will not spread. God in His infinite wisdom knows who needs to go ahead and go to eternity. Your body was only created for life on earth, and your body will die no matter what you do. (Your soul however, is another story. You soul lives forever.) But, for now lets just call it like we see it. These people who died prematurely in this story died because they said they would obey God and then they did not. If you are shocked that God would end someones life on earth because of sin, then you have become numb to how bad sin is.
Matthew 26: 69—27:14
This is how bad sin is. Sin will make you declare your righteousness one minute and then deny your Savior the next. Sin will take the Savior of the world, the Son of God, the Healer, the Teacher, the Provider and put Him on trial because He is upsetting your religious structure. Sin did all of that. Sin makes you forget the rules and do what it takes to get what you want. The leading priests did exactly what the Israelites did, they decided that what they wanted was more important than what God said. This is sin. Sin is a man who turns in his best friend for 30 pieces of silver, knowing full well HE IS INNOCENT. Lest we get self righteous, we are guilty of sin as well. It is who we are. Sin takes our very life. Sometimes we get so lost in sin a premature death would be a mercy. We all have a sin penalty on us. Someone will have to pay that penalty.
Psalm 33: 1-11
Now before you go crawl back into bed crying over your sin……”Sing a new song of praise to him; play skillfully on the harp, and sing with joy. For the word of the Lord holds true, and we can trust everything he does.” If you are feeling like a hopeless sinner like me right now, hold on!! God is about to tell us how he has over come sin!!!!! His word is true!!!
Proverbs 8: 33-36
I feel bad that Israelites didn’t have the Proverbs….wait what am I saying!?! They had the Lord in a pillar of cloud!!!! But, I’m just saying if you do what the Lord commands you are standing with Him, if you don’t do what He says you are on the side of death!
Gosh, sorry to be Debbie Downer today! We have to keep going because God is teaching us here! If you feel offended by His Word that is good! It means He is starting to reveal your wrong thinking!!! God’s word is True, we can trust it!! Keep going! You will never be disappointed!