In my last post I talked about the building of the golden calf being the thing that masked the Israelites need for relationship – the relationship with GOD that they had rejected. The people blatantly sinned against GOD.
The painful yet merciful truth is that GOD doesn’t let sin go unnoticed. His desire for us is to be holy and so He will expose sin in our lives. This isn’t about Him being mean, but about Him being an excellent Father. How we respond to this sin being exposed reveals if we still think of ourselves as slaves or as His children.
The Israelites had created a false god in the face of the true GOD. They had produced it because they had wanted a presence to be with them but they had failed to acknowledge that GOD had never left them in the first place. GOD was there, in the camp when they demanded and created this other god. When we sin we do it in the face of GOD. It is us spitting at Jesus hanging on the cross all over again.
When GOD tells Moses what was happening at the foot of the mountain, Moses knows that he needs to challenge Aaron. Exodus 32.
21 He said to Aaron, ‘What did these people do to you, that you led them into such great sin?’
22 ‘Do not be angry, my lord,’ Aaron answered. ‘You know how prone these people are to evil. 23 They said to me, “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.” 24 So I told them, “Whoever has any gold jewellery, take it off.” Then they gave me the gold, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!’ Exodus 32:21-24
These few verses show us what we are all prone to do when we are put face to face with our sin.
- Aaron does exactly what Adam and Eve did in the garden of Eden – he passes the blame. He blames others, circumstances and people (both the Israelites and Moses). We can do this. We can even go as far as saying it was out of our control. I will make a comment about that, I work with teens quite a bit and they will often say that the computer/phone showed me that thing. Computers only show you what they have recorded you have an appetite for. Change your appetite and your computer will register the change of algorithms.
- Aaron said the calf was an accident and ‘it came out like this’. He lied about the whole thing. The Bible says that he fashioned the calf with a tool (32:4). Sin is never an accident. It is always intentional. It is always a choice.
- Aaron covers up his mistake of creating a god like the ones they were familiar with in Egypt. He tried to make the sin comfortable. He states that “Tomorrow will be a festival to the Lord” – he covers it up with RELIGION. He tries to make it ok. He dresses it in such a way that it could be seen as something quite good. This reminds me of the whole gossiping thing … do we gossip and then cover it by saying it is for a prayer need? Sin is ugly, whatever you dress it in.
- Aaron hears the people declare that the calf bought them up out of Egpyt and rescued them, yet doesn’t correct them. He chooses to ignore. Sin cannot be ignored. It has a habit of growing, and even if it is hidden, it will become consuming. It can grow so big that life revolves around sustaining and protecting it.
The exposure of sin to the light is a merciful and loving act of GOD. If we respond with blame, lies, cover-up and ignoring we do not act as His children living in His house, but more like slaves. Yet, if we are born again followers of Jesus, we are GOD’s children. Be brave! The next time GOD points out an area in your life that is sin, listen to what He says and let those barriers of self-preservation come down. It’s time to quit trying to save ourselves because the only place to find true salvation is in Him.
There is only one response to exposed sin: repentance. It is acknowledging our involvement and being truly and deeply sorry for it. This is turning from our wants and running into GOD’s will.