Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt. – Exo. 32:7 NIV
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The Almighty God had invited Moses and Aaron up to Mount Sinai for a meeting (Exo. 19:24), where He was to hand over the instructions that will guide, not only His relationship with His people, whom Moses was to lead to a land He had promised their fore-fathers, to give to them and their children, but also the relationship amongst themselves – Exo. 20:1-31:18. Aaron was probably released by the Lord to join the people at some point during that meeting, because he, it was that was approached by the Israelites to make gods for them that would go before them, apparently to replace the god that Moses relied upon. Moses had hardly spent forty days in his meeting with the Lord when the Israelites expressed their unwillingness to continue to wait for his return, since according to them, they do not know what may have happened to him.
Aaron himself, who is a brother to Moses and one who was aware of all that the Lord had demanded of the Israelites, did not hesitate in granting their request that he should make for them a god that will take over from Jehovah, as the thought of becoming the new leader probably reigned supreme in him. Therefore, not minding leading the people in their act of unfaithfulness to God, he quickly arranged for a god that was going to replace the Almighty God in the lives of the people. Making demands of them, of their gold earrings, he quickly formed an idol in the shape of a calf and introduced it to the people using the words, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you out of Egypt.”
Wow! What will human beings not do to anger the Lord. This is the same Aaron who was there from the beginning, as he was the one that met with Moses on his return to Egypt from Midian – Exo. 4:27-31. This was the same Aaron that was part of all the miracles that were performed to convince Pharaoh to release the Israelites – Exo. 7:1-13:16. The dividing of the Red Sea, the crossing on dry land by the Israelites and the destruction of Pharaoh and his army in the same Red Sea (Exo. 13:17-14:31), the miracle at the Waters of Marah and Elim (Exo. 15:22-27), the Provision of Manna and Quail (Exo. 16:1-36) and the provision of Water from the Rock at Rephidim, all happened, with him sufficiently positioned to see the central role played by the Almighty God in all those events. This was the Aaron that was informed of the requirements of the Lord, with regards to His relationship with the Israelites and who was also aware of the meeting that Moses was attending with the Almighty God – Exo. 19:1-24. However, none of these meant anything to him as he quickly assumed leadership position, only to lead the people away from the Lord. In a statement that showed that he was not leading but was being led, he was to later admit that he acted based on the request of the people – Exo. 32:21-24. A true leader will be expected to act based on his/her conviction and not on the directives of anyone, worse still, those that are supposed to be led.
The Almighty God, in the scripture that is the foundation of today’s Devotional, drew the attention of Moses to the abomination of the people, who at this time had lost their status as the people of Jehovah, with the Almighty God Himself referring to them as “your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt” – Exo. 32:7. He completely denied them and dissociated Himself from them.
In that single act by the people as led by Aaron, Jehovah listed five offenses committed by the people, that has corrupted them and made them lose their status as his people, which Christians today are also involved in, and these are as follows:
- They quickly turned aside from the way which the Lord commanded them. It seems the average human being owes allegiance only to what is currently enjoyed, as loyalty and appreciation is lost as soon as what is being enjoyed ceases. This is what ingratitude represents and Jehovah will always frown at it, whether it is directed at fellow human beings or worse still towards Him.
- They made for themselves an image which they referred to as a god. That most Christians today have several images that has taken the position of a god in their lives is not to be argued. Ranging from money, to work, to family members and similar earthly creations, attention to such, hold priority over Jehovah related issues and they are never ashamed to profess it. They simply love Jehovah only at the moment that they are with Him. The people had a single God that led them out of Egypt, but felt they needed more than one god to meet their needs so they asked and were provided with gods – Exo. 32:1; 4.
- They did not stop at just making an image but went ahead to worship it. To worship something is to defer to its instructions and make its satisfaction a priority. That most Christians would do all in their ability to satisfy that god that they have created for themselves is not in debatable as most of them will openly admit and confess to.
- They even went ahead to offer sacrifices to this idol. The act of sacrifice must not always be seen from the shedding of blood, but includes losing something supposedly more precious to satisfy another. One can only wonder the number of Christians today who will be willing to lose something they consider precious in the name of worshipping Jehovah. There is no doubt that the number will pale into insignificance as the average Christian for example would always choose to attend to financial matters over making out time to worship Jehovah.
- With all these acts, they gave the glory of God to an idol when they made the statement that referred to this their idol as “the gods, which have brought them up out of the land of Egypt”. It is simply the height of it, when even the achievements of Jehovah are not attributed to Him. That happens when the glory that rightfully belongs to Jehovah is given to that human being or that oracle. There is no questioning the fact that this is very rampant amongst Christians today, with so called Christian leaders wanting to be seen as spiritually powerful individuals worthy to be worshipped.
It may be argued that the details of the laws were not made available, until Moses came down with the tablets, but that does not stop such acts from being considered abomination by the Lord even if he will not count it as sin against them. It will always make Him dissociate from people who are involved with them, which possibly explains the absence of the manifestation of Jehovah-related activities amongst people who claim to belong to Him today. He separated from them, the minute they got involved in all those acts that corrupted their spirituality.
Jehovah existed before those laws and all the laws aimed to do was to bring to the consciousness of man, His divine nature and expectations so that man can have a better understanding of who Jehovah is – Rom. 5:13. Avoid actions that will present you before Him as one who is spiritually corrupt, as He will not associate with such a person, whether such acted knowingly or ignorantly. May God guide our footsteps so that we can continue to relate with Him without spiritual corruption in Jesus name. Amen.