Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
, Exodus 32:1 (NIV)
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.”
Exodus 32:1 (MSG)
When the people realized that Moses was taking forever in coming down off the mountain, they rallied around Aaron and said, “Do something. Make gods for us who will lead us. That Moses, the man who got us out of Egypt—who knows what’s happened to him?”
“Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, they gathered together before Aaron and said to him, “Come, make us a god who will go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” -AMPLIFIED
We find the narration within Exodus switching once again. It goes from God giving directives to Moses, concerning the laws and requirements for the priests and the people, on top of the mountain; back to the people down at the foot of the mountain. And boy are they getting themselves into some hot water.
Remember, Moses went up to the top of the mountain to meet with God, but the people were to stay below and not touch the mountain. Scripture tells us that Moses stayed on that mountain for 40 days and 40 nights. This was some very intense time with God for Moses, but the people were not a part of it. They were becoming restless and discouraged in the waiting.
When the people realized that Moses was not coming back in a timely manner they began once again to murmur and complain. “Where is Moses? Did something happen to him? What’s going to happen with us? Did Jehovah bring us out here to abandon us?” I am sure there were a million thoughts going through their heads and not one of them was positive or encouraging. We could basically say they lost their heads, because they suddenly did something that was completely against what God wanted them to do.
They asked Aaron to make them a god or gods to lead them. WHAT?!? How could this be? Jehovah had set them free and lead them out of Egypt to freedom. The people had lost their confidence in Moses, but more importantly they had lost their confidence in God. They began to think that Moses was never coming back down the mountain and decided they needed to “fix” things and so they did it “their way”.
We often do that same thing. What do we do when we have to wait on God? We jump right in and try to do things our way instead of waiting patiently on the Lord? Discouragement and restlessness cause us to do some unwise things. God does not want us to “fix” things. He wants us to wait obediently and patiently on Him.
We see Aaron, the man who was to be priest, the man who was to lead these people; allowing himself to be swayed by the people. He tells them to give him their earrings and he would make them a “god” from these. Scripture tells us, “And he took the gold from their hands, and fashioned it with an engraving tool and made it into a molten calf; and they said, “This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.” Now when Aaron saw the molten calf, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made a proclamation, and said, “Tomorrow shall be a feast to the Lord!” So they got up early the next day and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; then the people sat down to eat and drink, and got up to play [shamefully—without moral restraint].” -Exodus 32:4-6 (AMP)
The people went from waiting on the Lord and Moses, to sinning and shamefully reveling in that sin. Oh, that we would learn to patiently wait on the Lord. Remember, God is for us, not against us. Tomorrow we will look at God’s response to the sin of the people.
Lord, help me to not become discouraged in the waiting. Help me to patiently wait on you and what you are doing in my life. Keep me from sinning, please. For too often I know that I too become discouraged and restless in the waiting and jump right in to places that even angels fear to tread. Forgive me God. Forgive me for doing things “my way” when I do not wait for your will to be done. Give me the grace I need to allow you to do things your way and in your time; for your way is always the best way. I will wait patiently on you, dear Lord.