Date: Friday, October 12, 2012 Subject: Out Came This Calf
Chapter: Exodus 32
To understand this chapter we must clearly understand the concept of delay. It is a simple word and we use it fairly often in our normal conversation. But it also is a Kingdom Principle used effectively by God to make us more like Christ. Check out this key word.
Key word[s] Delay
definitions: To cause to be later or lower than expected or desired; to act or move slowly.
synonyms: postponement, wait, on hold, interruption, detain, linger
antonyms: hurry, rush, urge, hasten, expedite, accelerate
We have all heard the old axiom “Seeing is believing.” This is a myth. No. Actually for the man or woman redeemed by God, it is more than that; it is a bold-faced lie. It is a deception promoted by Satan. He wants us to buy into the false thinking that if we just see God do something, some miracle or sign, we will have all of our doubts removed. Then we will be able to trust God better and we will improve our serving Him. But the evidence demands a verdict! Will we really trust God better after seeing Him do something up close and personal. The whole story of a people hand-picked by God to escape the clutches of Egypt reveals the truth.
How could a people, rescued by God’s personal intervention, utilizing awesome, previously unseen and unheard of signs and wonders, still not believe? Ask yourself: Have I fallen into the trap of consciously or subconsciously thinking that if I just see some evidence that God is near then I will trust God more?
One of the Israelites’ biggest mistakes was their lack of spiritual vision. We have just read about this exodus but let me recap for you. God heard the cries of the Israelites and sent Moses to lead them out of bondage. Not wanting to lose all of this free labor, Pharaoh resisted and God convinced him otherwise with the 10 Plagues. A cloud by daylight and a pillar of fire by night guided and guarded them on this journey out of Egypt and into the desert. God leads them to the Red Sea and they find themselves trapped. Fear accompanied by grumbling and suddenly an escape route of dry land appears across the Red Sea opens up. Now the “believers” are safely on the other side and over the horizon comes the army of Egyptians madder than hornets. Again fear and complaining by the people who have seen God at work. They watch as the Egyptians try to use God crossing but they perish as the sea closes over them.
For three months they travel through the desert. There is much complaining. God patiently supplies them with manna, quail for meat, water from a rock, victory over an aggressive army of Amelekites and finally they arrive at Mt. Sinai. All of the miracles that God provided for them they could either see, hear, taste, smell or feel. You would think that the story would take a turn for good. Here the people of God have seen and experienced first-hand God’s care and protection. Then we read: “Moses entered the midst of the cloud as he went up to the mountain; and Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.” [Ex 24:18] What follows is an amazing teaching about our hearts. God has lots to tell Moses and this delays Moses return. The people of God get restless this throws a monkey wrench into their sight-based faith [actually this is an oxy-moron].
Advantage / Benefit:
It was electrifying news circulating amongst the disheartened disciples. Jesus Christ has come out of the tomb. He is risen from the dead! He told us that He would and He has done it. Just as he had said he would. They were excited. “We have seen the Lord!” [John 20:25] all of the disciples excitedly confirmed … all that is but one. Thomas hear them but could not bring himself to believe it. “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side,” he exclaimed, “I will not believe it” (John 20:25). “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side” he explained to the others, “I will not believe.” A few day later, saw by sight what he refused to believe by faith, when Jesus provided the opportunity for him to see in person and examine His wounds. Then “Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”
We are all on a journey of faith. Want to learn how not to make the journey? Learn from the people of God on that long ago journey. They lacked faith. Because they lacked faith, doubt caused disobedience which kept an entire generation of God’s people from their inheritance — “So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.” [Hebrews 3:19] Pastor Ralph has been carefully laying the frame work in these last few Sunday sermons so we can avoid the outcome that the people of the Exodus experienced. They perished in the wilderness. God wants us to be warned today. Living by faith is essential to living as pleasing to God. [Hebrews 4:1-3] “So we fix our eyes,” Paul wrote, “not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal…. We live by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 4:18; 5:7).
A1: “Now when Moses saw that the people were out of control…” [v.25]Don’t let yourself get out of control in the dark by rejecting what God has shown you in the light.
A2: Rebellion makes us do crazy things. Rejecting God, no matter how small the matter, causes us to believe our own lies even when we know someone will not believe what we are saying. “… and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf.” [v.24] Really? Surely Aaron did not think Moses would believe such a story?
A3: “For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” [Heb 12:3]