“He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool” Exodus 32:4.
Most people know the story of the Israelites and the golden calf. Moses was up on the mountaintop talking with God while the Israelites were down in the valley impatient and indignant. They grumbled and complained, allowing their discontent to master over them. They handed over the power to another and became a participant in building an idol against God. Aaron could not have crafted an idol without his audience providing him with the offering. This morning as I consider this old story in a new way, I noticed that the very thing that became an idol was something that God had given them as blessings … gold earrings from their plunder. ‘And I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed … so that when you leave you will not go empty-handed. Every woman is to ask her neighbor … for articles of silver and gold … And so you will plunder the Egyptians’ Exodus 3: 21. Not only had the children of Israel become mastered by their desires but allowed God’s blessings to master over them.
Every one of us has been given an amazing plunder of blessings to enrich our lives. But then the clouds move in and the times get tough and we hand over our gold earrings to Satan. We throw love into the fire and bitterness is formed. We hand over our compassion to Satan and he hardens our heart so we are disconnected from the pain of others. Within our discontentment we elevate our gold earrings to idols by allowing them to master over us. We hand him our weaknesses when we fail to guard our minds and hearts in Christ. Just as Aaron was careless with their offerings, Satan is intentional with our offerings. He knows that when we allow something out of balance in our lives to continue we hand him our gold earrings. He has the tools and the time to watch our golden calves emerge from the fire. Satan cannot build images without our cooperation. He lights the fire and we supply the gold, forming calves of sin that master over us.
May our prayers include that the Lord will take our greatest weakness and supply His greatest weapon against the tools of the devil. May we be reminded this morning that whatever our biggest temptation is Satan cannot use it against us unless we hand him the control. By living out of balance through our emotions and/or desires we run the risk of casting an idol and breaking the first commandment.
"I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me" Exodus 20:2.
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wow, Brenda, what a great post. The human heart is above all else an idol factory, and idols are not just little stone statues on a shelf. Even the gold earrings, the things that God intended to be blessings on our lives, can easily become idols. I know, because the American Dream became an idol for me. Things like a secure retirement, a home of our own, well fed and happy grandchildren...replaced God in my heart. And He will not let that stand. I have had to learn that even when we have lost everything, and God is all we have left, He is enough.
Thanks for your article, Becky Dietrich