Bible Reading – Exodus 32
Exodus 32:1 KJV
And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.
Every time I read this passage, I am reminded that it only takes a short time to stray a long way from God. Moses has been on the mountain with God for only 39 days at this point, and they were only one day away from his return. Only one day more of patience, and this entire incident may have been avoided. I notice initially that the people of Israel strayed because their timing was not the same as God’s timing. They saw an unacceptably lengthy delay, so they had to take matters into their own hands. How often in both Scripture and in our own lives do we, especially me, so quickly grow impatient with God’s timing. We feel as though God has forgotten about us, or that His answer to our prayer is “no.” We too quickly forget that God’s timing is perfect. Romans 5:3 and James 1:3 teach us that tribulation worketh patience and the trying of our faith worketh patience. When our timing and God’s timing do not align, perhaps it is God trying to perfect us in His process of providing for us. When we grow impatient with God’s timing, we must remind ourselves that God has not forgotten us. He is trying to do a work in us!
We also notice that they wandered from God because their faith was tied predominately to the man of God. There is no doubt that Moses was God’s chosen man to lead the people. But when Moses seemed to disappear, so did Israel’s relationship with God. It is a dangerous faith that is tied to the man of God above God Himself. Even though they knew God was real and even in their presence on the mountain, they turned to false gods. Out of the millions of people, some perhaps were tempted to return to false gods out of familiarity with the way they lived in Egypt. Perhaps others felt that God had a relationship with Moses alone. Since Moses and God were alone on the mountain, maybe they felt forgotten and as if God didn’t tenderly care individually for them. No matter what depleted their patience, the children of Israel wandered from God at the foot of the mountain where His very presence dwelt. Perhaps, today, a temptation may come to return to an old way of life, to slide back spiritually to a time before we knew God and had a relationship with Him. But don’t forget what brought you to Him in the first place! Grow closer, not more distant, in those times of temptation. Maybe we feel that God reserves intimate fellowship for those with the title of pastor or leader, as if somehow and some way God has forgotten about us. May I say that while every person may feel this way at some point in life, nothing can be further from the truth. God desires close fellowship with you! He loves you so much that just as He sent Moses to free the people of Israel, He sent Christ to free your soul! You are the reason, the passion of Christ! Draw closer to Him, be patient, and realize that His timing and His ways are best! He loves you, and His answer may be just a day away! Don’t give up now or ever!
— Eli Faulds