I used to think that my mum had superpowers. When I was little she always seemed to know when I was up to no good. Of course, having my own kids now, I know that she was just aware of the silence that had fallen.
Before Moses went down the mountain, he was told of the golden calf incident. GOD knew of the Israelites sin. GOD didn’t just have a hunch, but was present when they sinned. He spoke with Moses about the ‘stiff-necked’ people and suggested that Moses leave Him so that His anger could burn against Moses’ people and He could destroy them. Again, we can think of GOD as some bad tempered, power crazy, needy god if we don’t read between the lines. GOD came to Moses with news of the broken relationship between the people and Himself. He is the one making the move towards the Israelites long before they realise there is anything wrong.
GOD states that Moses brought them up out of Egypt, echoing the words of the Israelites to Aaron. GOD knows that Moses was not able to free just one of the Israelites but He was testing Moses’ heart. A test that Moses passes with flying colours.
GOD was setting Moses up to be a type of Jesus. Moses becomes the advocate for the people. He is the one that stands in between them and GOD. He pleads for them, ‘reminding’ GOD that are not just a people but they are His people. Moses’ conviction of the people belonging to GOD saves them from destruction.
However, this does not mean that the sin of the people could just be brushed aside. I wrote about Aaron’s response to the exposure of sin in The Golden Calf – Our Response to Sin. In this section we see how to deal with sin completely.
17 When Joshua heard the noise of the people shouting, he said to Moses, ‘There is the sound of war in the camp.’
18 Moses replied:
‘It is not the sound of victory,
it is not the sound of defeat;
it is the sound of singing that I hear.’
19 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. Exodus 32:17-18
Moses says that falling into sin was a place of defeat and not of victory. When he arrived at the camp he crushed the golden calf, mixed it with water and made the people drink it. Moses wanted the people to deal with their sin completely.
Tasted – They had to taste the bitterness of their own sin. This is conviction. We need to let Holy Spirit to show us and allow Him to convict us of our sin. We need to see it as GOD sees it. The sin is ours, and the blame for it is ours. It affects us and others.
Digested – They took the crushed golden calf into their bodies and digested it. Sin needs to be digested. It isn’t just a surface recognition but an inward knowing of what it is. We need to agree with GOD and name it as He names it. It is no good trying to cover it up to make it look better. We need to be honest as to who and what it affects.
Excreted – They had to get it out of themselves. This talks about repentance, the turning around, turning away from sin and turning to GOD. Sin creates a separation so there is an act of bringing reconciliation. It isn’t just turning around to face Him, it is running towards Him.
All of this is done with GOD. The Holy Spirit is like fire and wind. He will burn the rubbish and then blow it away. The enemy may want to try to reassemble the ashes into something to hold you back, but GOD has dealt with it completely.
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus submitted to the will of the Father completely. He drank the cup of my sin. He tastes it, deals with it and destroys it.
Jesus is the perfect advocate who stands between me and a Holy GOD. He pleads my cause and shows his scars as a testament to the punishment that has been paid in full.