In Exodus 29-32, Moses is still up on Mount Sinai, alone with God. Following the Ten Commandments, Moses is taking in all of God's instructions for the next steps in His journey with God and the Israelites. God doesn't leave out any details. God covers specific directions for appointing priests, making sacrifices and offerings, and building the tabernacle for worship. Moses is gone for a long time; and when he comes back down the mountain, Aaron and the Israelites have made a big mistake with a golden calf.
God is right there with them. They have seen Him. They have heard Him. He has just saved them and provided for them again and again. The Israelites know it. Yet, Aaron, one of God's most faithful, the future priest of His people, and the Israelites get caught up dancing with a golden calf idol.
The whole thing seems so silly. A golden calf, really?
My first thought after today's reading was "How could they?" Then I thought, probably, the honest and real question is, "How could we?" After all, we are all God's children. We are not so unlike the Israelites.
We all have our own "things" in our lives that have the potential to take our time and attention away from God. And if we aren't careful, before we know it, we will get caught up dancing around and losing His direction and will for us. "Things" small and big can interfere with this life saving, most important relationship we have at our fingertips.
So, did you notice the great lengths God goes to in these chapters to teach Moses how His people are make atonement for their sins? There are lots of rules and procedures. That's because God knows us. He knows our imperfections. And in the days of Moses, Jesus was not here yet to free us from our inevitable sin.
I am so thankful that God knows me. And even more, I am thankful that He loves me in spite of myself, just like He does the Israelites from today's reading. He loves you too. He loves us so much that He sent His own Son, Jesus, as our eternal Savior, with us always. Because of Jesus, we are free from our sin. We just have to keep our focus on Him.
24 To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.
A prayer for today-
I thank You for knowing me in all my strengths and weaknesses and loving me completely. Thank You for Your Son, Jesus, who sets me free from my sins. Forgive me for being distracted by "things" of this world that interfere in my relationship with You. Open my heart and help me let go of those "things." I know nothing can separate me from the love of Christ. I pray for Your love to consume me. You are the only God, my Savior. To You, be glory, majesty, and all power and authority now and forever.
In the name of Jesus I pray,
In Christ's love,