There had to be a day of reckoning. After only 6 weeks from when they heard God speak and saw him make a covenant, the Israelites totally abandoned God. They violated each command related to worship and became so unruly that their enemies considered them a joke. As Moses approached them, the consequence of their sin became real. First Moses destroyed the tablets that God prepared that listed the terms of the covenant. What heart break to see God’s handiwork destroyed. Next, their “God” was melted down and the people drank it in their water—What a waste of gold, what a waste of time. Moses showed how ridiculous it was to worship an idol–mere feet from the true and living God. Third, Moses separated and killed the people that truly abandoned God—3000 lives were ended. Finally, Moses had to return and bargain for the people’s lives, rather than lead them to their new home in triumph.
God simply wants our trust and willingness to follow. Circumstances in life sometimes cause us to question where God is in our lives. We are tempted to worship what we can see and follow what we can touch. Sadly, there are consequences for those choices. Those consequences often destroy what we have attained and give God’s enemies cause to laugh. More importantly, it wastes time, money and effort that could be spent furthering the kingdom of God–rather than making God a laughing stock. If we will simply trust him and follow him, we will see his glory and experience his blessing throughout this amazing Journey. Failure to follow him will only drag us down, ruin us and could ultimately lead to our demise. As the Hymn says, “Trust and Obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus, but, to trust and obey.”
God Bless You
When Moses approached the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, his anger burned and he threw the tablets out of his hands, breaking them to pieces at the foot of the mountain. 20 And he took the calf the people had made and burned it in the fire; then he ground it to powder, scattered it on the water and made the Israelites drink it.
25 Moses that the people were running wild and that Aaron had let them get out of control and so become a laughingstock to their enemies. 26 So he stood at the entrance to the camp and said, “Whoever is for the Lord, come to me.” And all the Levites rallied to him.
27 Then he said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor.’” 28 The Levites did as Moses commanded, and that day about three thousand of the people died. 29 Then Moses said, “You have been set apart to the Lord today, for you were against your own sons and brothers, and he has blessed you this day.”
30 The next day Moses said to the people, “You have committed a great sin. But now I will go up to the Lord; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.”