Exodus 32:19-24 – “It came about, as soon as Moses came near the camp, that he saw the calf and the dancing; and Moses’ anger burned, and he threw the tablets from his hands and shattered them at the foot of the mountain. 20 He took the calf which they had made and burned it with fire, and ground it to powder, and scattered it over the surface of the water and made the sons of Israel drink it.
21 Then Moses said to Aaron, “What did this people do to you, that you have brought such great sin upon them?” 22 Aaron said, “Do not let the anger of my lord burn; you know the people yourself, that they are prone to evil. 23 “For they said to me, ‘Make a god for us who will go before us; for this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’ 24 “I said to them, ‘Whoever has any gold, let them tear it off.’ So, they gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf.” NASB
Picture the situation, Moses was on the Mount getting detailed instructions from God in a Face-to-Face meeting. He took a little longer in God’s Presence than Aaron and the people were comfortable with. They decided that Moses might be dead and quickly reverted to the ways many had followed in Egypt, ‘like a dog returning to its vomit and a pig to wallowing in the mire.’
They wanted a security blanket of some kind. Aaron instructed them to bring their golden earrings, etc., and he made an image for them to worship. They had seen the miracle-working power of God. Aaron has been the spokesman before Pharaoh for Moses, and He Knew Better! But the flesh took over.
Aaron’s justification and excuse are a crock! He partially admitted his guilt in his excuse, but then he began to spin the spin. He explained the people’s nervousness and concern for Moses’ delay. He then said, “I said to them, ‘Whoever has any gold, let them tear it off.’ So, they gave it to me, and I threw it in the fire, and out came this calf.” Yeah, Aaron and I have some Ocean Front Property in the middle of Arizona that I will sell cheap too.
Some of the excuses we make to each other and God for why we fail to obey would be laughable if there were not so tragic. In this case, it cost the lives of about 3,000 men. Sin is never without a price tag. Sin never harms just the one committing the sin. We are not islands, and what we do in life impacts others and ourselves.
I have had people tell me, “Well, I’m not hurting anyone in an effort to justify their actions.” Yes, You Are! There are eyes watching you, and what you do and say impacts them either positively or negatively. The old saying, I have used for years applies, “You are the only Bible some people will ever read; therefore, what is the gospel according to you?” We are epistles, known and read among men, Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 3:2.
Moses was receiving the very tablets that contained the command to Have No Other Gods, but Aaron led the people in creating a false god or an idol. They were no different from those of Paul’s day or ours. Remember the indictment of Paul to the Galatians that they had begun in the spirit and had quickly become seduced into departing from that to trusting the flesh again?
By Walking in the Spirit, we keep the flesh under control and can resist the temptations it brings. By maintaining our focus on God, we can live as overcomers. We must keep our eyes on Him, shunning the very appearance of evil. We keep Him and His Promises in the forefront of our minds. The renewing of our minds transforms us, and we bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. We cannot walk this walk if we allow the flesh and its fears to rule over us.
Aaron participated in the delusion and attempted to mitigate his involvement with his story. I am sure he was singing, “That’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it.” But Moses nor God was buying what he was selling.
Never justify sin but repent of it quickly and determinedly. God’s Grace is greater than all our sin, and His Mercy is from everlasting to everlasting, but His wrath will wax hot if we attempt to deceive Him or ourselves.
God, bless you richly as you enjoy this day in Jesus!