The kids and I are getting deeper into Exodus…I’ve felt a real need to study the Exodus and Joshua in particular. A deep need to understand what made Joshua and Caleb so different from the others.
This week, we hit the part of Exodus where Moses heads up Mount Sinai so God can give him the Ten Commandments and chapters of other laws and ordinances. He’s gone for days. And the Israelites begin to worry. The people approach Aaron and beg for him to make them a god they can worship it. Why? Because they don’t know what happened to Moses. (Ex. 32:1).
Think about it.
Aaron was the voice for Moses. Remember all the times Moses told God he couldn’t speak? Exodus
4:10, 4:13, Exodus 6:13, Exodus 6:30. So God told him, that He (God) would speak to Moses who would tell Aaron what to say. Aaron was eloquent enough that when he retold everything that Moses had told him, the Israelites believed. Exodus 4:30-31. Aaron was the one who threw down his staff and it became a serpent before Pharaoh. Exodus 7:9-10. There are so many times he was intimately involved in the confrontations with Pharaoh.
He had a front row seat to the parting of the Red Sea. We’re talking water splitting and pushed back on either side as you walk through…
Then Moses is gone a few days…the people ask for a god to worship…and Aaron agrees.
The man asks for their jewelry and crafts a golden calf. Exodus 32:4. Then when he sees the Israelites worshiping this calf, he builds an alter to it. Exodus 32:5. But when Moses confronts him, he paints the story differently. “I threw it (the gold) into the fire, out came a calf.”
This is the man who rallied the people to believe God and Moses when they were in slavery. Now they are free and he helps them become enslaved to a false god. One that could never split a sea for them or destroy an army on their behalf.
I take this as a huge challenge. Have I been persuaded to set up a false god? Have I come to undervalue the miraculous in my life? Have I developed a short memory or a long fear?
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be an Aaron who takes the gifts God has given me and uses them to bend to the will of people rather than standing for God. Imagine what could have happened if he’d used his gifts to remind the people of the dramatic ways God was with them rather than asking for their gold.
Next week I’ll look at Joshua.