No Other Gods
You, Lord, and You alone are worthy of honor and praise. I wait eagerly now for Your word to me.
Read Exodus 32:1-24
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
Christ is “running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments, … And not just for the time being, but forever” (Eph. 1:21, The Message).
We might have given Aaron and the people some latitude at this early stage. They were slaves only recently; their leader and conduit to the Lord has disappeared up Mount Sinai. How could they continue across this strange desert to an unknown land without him? “Make us a god to lead us,” they plead. So they get their bull calf, an enduring regional symbol of power, and it brings down on them the wrath of God and the despair of Moses. He hasn’t even had time to tell them of the very reasonable terms of the covenant their God is offering them as a new nation.
What is an idol? Anything can be, even good things such as family or career or ministry. How easily we give our love and obedience to some counterfeit god to supply meaning to our existence and keep us safe. Our idols of money, sex or power make us feel that if we have them everything will be alright.
Moses, too, had his own temptation: accruing power in the wrong way. From his spiritual encounter on the mountain he came down to earthly reality confronting his people’s fickleness. God’s offer to him to start the nation over again through his own dynasty must have been an attractive option. It was his test of loyalty to the Lord and he passed it with flying colors. Despair or cynicism resulting from the demands of leadership can make us vulnerable to the lure of idols and power in seeking an easy way out. Fortunately we have also the example of the Son of God who countered the offer of evil power with the words: “Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only” (Matt. 4:10).
What gives significance to your life? Is it a counterfeit god? A seemingly good thing? Search your heart for the answer.
Gracious God, I acknowledge that my priorities can subtly shift and my focus on You can diminish. I seek to worship only You.