Friday, March 7, 2014

Reaching the Top of the Mountain Called Faith

O. T. #242 
 "Reaching the Top of the Mountain Called Faith"
March 7, 2014
Exodus 32-Part 1
And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.  Exodus 32:1


When our children were small and we were traveling around the mountains to Grandma's, we would sing the old song She'll Be Comin' 'Round the Mountain When she Comes. It tells about the preparations being made for "her."
Friends, I feel like I have been goin' 'round and 'round that mountain called Faith. I struggled to reach the top, where Jesus holds out His hands to help me take the last step up. Read on to find out how it turned out.

Moses spent 40 days on Mt. Sinai with God. What had God previously done for his people?
  • He had chosen the Jews to be His special people and set apart from all others to form the nation of Israel.
  • He had delivered them from the bondage of slavery in Egypt and Pharaoh's army.
  • He had led them safely through the Red Sea and into the wilderness.
  • God fed them and provided water for them in the wilderness.
  • He protected them from their enemies.
  • God made them a part of His covenant.
  • He gave them His laws and they agreed to obey (19:8; 24:3-7).
  • God had shown His people an awesome display of God's glory and they trembled at His power.
Yet, despite all of these wonderful and marvelous experiences, the Israelites disobeyed God and turned to idolatry and immorality. And we wonder how this could happen.
Before we point out finger and shake it at them in judgment, let's consider our own sins.

When God delivers us from a bad situation, provides for us through trials, protects us from our enemies, what do we do? Do we praise Him for it or do we say that we did it on our own? Do we surrender in obedience on Sunday and turn around and repeat the same sins on Monday?
Oh, so guilty.


Coming down the mountain.
Moses had spent 40 days on Mt. Sinai, receiving the law from God. I wonder if that is when he wrote it all down. A lot happened during that time. Pull the curtain back and look outside.
What happened?
  • Aaron came down from the mountain sometime during those days. We aren't told about it nor why it happened. I wonder if God released him or Aaron returned on his own while waiting on Moses.
  • The people became impatient waiting for their leader Moses to return to them.
  • Their basic sin was that of unbelief. Without true faith, they desired a god to see and worship.
  • Their impatience and unbelief led to idolatry, which led to immorality (Rom. 1:18-32).
Continuing on with the story, the people gathered around Aaron and demanded him to come, make us gods who will go before us. (verse 1)

How did Aaron respond? What did the people do?
  • Aaron told them to give him their gold earrings, which they did.
  • He fashioned the gold into a molten calf. Fashioned (yatsar/yaw-tsar') means to mold into form, as a potter.
  • Then the people said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. What an outright lie!
  • Aaron saw this, and he built an altar in front of the golden calf and announced, Tomorrow there will be a festival to the LORD.
  • I had been taught that it was to the golden calf that the Israelites brought their offerings to instead of the LORD. LORD refers to Jehovah, the Jewish national name of God. 
  • The people rose up early and offered their burnt offerings and peace offerings to God.  
  • Then they sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play. Play, in Hebrew, means to laugh outright (in merriment or scorn); to sport; laugh, mock.
Oh, my. Do you know what we read happened? Here the Israelites have a golden calf, an idol, and an altar in front of it, and they had the gall to present offerings unto the LORD God Jehovah, then scorn and make fun of the LORD GOD!

Stay tuned...come back Monday for the rest of the story. Of course, you can read the rest of the chapter before then.

Our sin of unbelief must be a mockery to God.
Yes, I have spent time worrying about a situation. I can lay down this need at my Savior's feet and then pick it on my way out of the Throne Room. This burden on my back becomes heavy. Why can't I hand it over to Jesus for Him to carry? After all, He holds the world in His hands.

Do you mind if I share a personal situation? My sister had breast cancer surgery last month. I spent two weeks worrying about my mammogram, being called in for a second one for further investigation. Of the two spots, one was nothing and the other was calcification. I will go every six months for the next two years to see if it has changed. So will I spend the next six months or even two years worrying about it turning into cancer? No. The Lord took me to the mountain of faith. I took His hand for the last step. I handed worry to Him while I was there. He exchanged it for love, grace, and mercy. Now as I am walking down it on this country road called faith, I am praising Him. How can I do anything less than thank, praise, and share what God has done for me! When this distraction comes into my mind in the form of worry, I tell say that Jesus took it while I was on that Mountain called Faith. I left that there. So He is walking and talking with me along this road of life.
Will you join me? God is so merciful and gracious.


...of any idols and sins I have.

...of any worries, handing them to Jesus.

...and let God...


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