“You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether it is in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.”…Aaron took the gold from them, formed it in a mold, and cast an image of a calf; and they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” Exodus 20:4; 32:4
The Israelites must have gotten off on a technicality. Moses was up on Mount Sinai conversing with God while the Israelites were lamenting being left alone. God was giving Moses laws to live by, while Aaron was left to manage people who feared they would die in the desert. God said, “I am the jealous type. So, don’t make idols,” while Aaron was fashioning a golden calf for the people to worship. Only through Moses’ intercession were the Israelites saved from God’s wrath.
It is a painful story: as God was giving the law, the people were already breaking it. Their only defense was that they didn’t know any better—a technicality. Once they read the stone tablets they understood their offense. Which is not to say they behaved much better . . . nor do we. We still make and worship idols, and God still does not appreciate it. We worship wealth, success, beauty, and so much more! When will we learn?
What idol do you need to grind into dust and be rid of?
Lord, when it comes to the many things we worship, we cannot claim that we don’t “know” any better. The plain truth is that we just don’t “do” any better. We know Your laws, we know Your requests of us, we even know when we break Your heart . . . but that doesn’t change our behavior all that much. Forgive us, remain with us, and keep pointing us in a better direction. In Jesus’ name, I pray. AMEN.