I’m on the Biblegateway.com reading plan which gives you one year to blaze through the Bible with chapters from the Old and New Testament each day. I enjoy it because I can see and hear (they have audio) the Bible each morning. Max McLean is the narrator and he’s perfect at pronouncing all those weird names and places!
Anyway….I’ve been a Christian most of my life, but I still cannot get over some of the things God included in his Word. I mean honestly, I’m glad I didn’t live back then, because my failures and foolishness would have been right there in black and white with those stinking Israelites!
Take Exodus chapter 32…I mean wow, wow…seriously wow! Moses was up on the mountain having some one on one with God. It was quite a lengthy meeting, okay it was really, really long 40 days in fact. God is very detailed oriented, in case you haven’t noticed. If you don’t believe me, check out the intricate detail in any of his creation of plants, animals, insects, you name it. God is so great and nothing he does is too insignificant to warrant his finest attention or perhaps God is so great it is impossible for him to create mediocre.
So, God was giving Moses instructions on offerings, the tabernacle, the ark, the table, the colors, who was going to do what, and what they would be wearing, etc. It took him five long chapters in my Bible to explain this. Side note, you can see why Jesus’ statement to the Israelites, (1396 years approximately later) “Take no thought about what you will eat, or drink or wear.” was such a radical statement. In the meantime, as the saying goes, “The natives were getting restless.” What is it about us humans that time can really challenge our faith. These guys had just told Moses (in chapter 24), “Everything that the Lord has said we will do.” By chapter 32 they apparently have severe amnesia. Why else would they say, ” When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.” They must have forgotten God’s mighty miracles in Egypt that led Pharoah to release them and the Egyptians to give them all their gold and valuables. They obviously forgot the parting of the Red Sea, the water from the rock, the manna and the quail, the smoke, fire and trumpet around the mountain, the Ten Commandments and everything in between!
And that’s not all, General Moses’ second in command, Aaron who has been with him from the beginning and seen first hand all that God has done, caves to peer pressure! Really? He even gives them instructions on making a replacement “god”. Another side note, he totally must have been a sanguine, he caved to peer pressure, joined the party, and then lied about it later! I am ashamed to say, I can so relate!
But I haven’t even got to the “crazy” part yet! God in the midst of his meeting with Moses sees the revelry taking place down from the mountain and tells Moses, “Your people, (I’ve done that to Charles when the kids were misbehaving, “Your kids…”) whom you brought out of Egypt are acting corrupt. …Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation.” I don’t know about you, but I would have told God, “Have at it! I’m sick of them too!” But for some mysterious reason, really mysterious in light of his reaction when he actually goes down the mountain, Moses pleads with God to have mercy on them for God’s reputation sake.
Awesome, shining moment, kudos for Moses! Especially in light of the traveling, accommodations, the food and service, the long days and nights and all those whiney people. Then he goes down, down, down…the mountain. Reality hits, tempers rise, the tablets fly, and all he_ _ double hockey sticks breaks loose. The rest is just ugly!
You know, I would cast stones, as they say, at the Israelites for being such faithless morons, but I can’t. I’ve been one myself. What I will say is God is mighty, majestic, and mysterious in all of His ways. Beyond my comprehension. I’m just glad, I’m living on this side of Jesus…and my life is NOT in the Bible!