Have you ever convinced yourself that God wasn’t going to help you, and so you had to go and do things yourself? Have you ever been in a spot where you’ve tried to trust Him, seen Him do some cool things, but then it seemed like He just disappeared?
Yeah, me too. It’s tough in those times for sure. In Exodus 30-32 the story takes a turn like that. God calls Moses up on the mountain to receive the rules for how Israel will live. He’s up there a long time. And the story has this real funny double scene flow to it.
Here’s what I mean. In Exodus 30 you’ve got Moses and God hanging out. That alone is crazy enough, but it’s there. God is telling Moses, in great detail, how to set everything up. What hits me out of this story is that God’s plans include A LOT of gold and silver. These folks are walking through the desert, and have been slaves for 400 years. Where in the world will they get that much gold and silver? It’s crazy. Until you remember that when they left Egypt, God worked it out so that the Egyptians gave them a fortune in gold in silver. Do you catch that? God had a plan for how the Hebrews could be close to Him and worship Him. It involved all of this amazing artwork and symbolism. The Hebrews would go from a slave tribe to an organized nation with a powerful and beautiful religion, proving to other nations that they were legit. With God laying out such an elaborate system for them full of wealth and beauty, He was providing for them religiously, politically, and in their own national sense of self worth. He had it all worked out.
BUT, they didn’t yet know it. Chapter 32 tells us while Moses was gone, they got impatient. This is the other scene in the story. Scene One: Moses and God meeting, with God laying out this elaborate, beautiful plan that will forever change Israel and make them a powerhouse nation. Scent Two: All the people getting tired of waiting, and lamely attempting to create their own religion. How does theirs flow? Moses brother Aaron makes an idol out of earrings. It’s gonna be small. And God tells Moses that the people “made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf.” Notice the wording in there? In the “shape” of a calf. It’s not even a good idol. It’s junk. So they begin partying and celebrating, which soon turns into a mess.
The whole story ends with over 3000 people dying, and the rest of the people drinking water with the ground up gold in it from the calf as punishment.
What a mess. All because they decided they didn’t want to wait. They couldn’t wait. So they wouldn’t wait. They ran ahead without God, settled for a shadow of what was promised to them, and ended up sick at their stomachs because of it.
Yep, I’ve been there too.
So today, what do you need to wait on? What is God working on that you’ve convinced yourself He’s forgotten? He hasn’t. He has plans, beautiful and unreal plans, and He is carrying them out. He isn’t the question in the process. You and I are.
Will we wait? Or will we settle for something that lamely looks like a baby cow?