When the people saw that Moses delayed in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said to him, “Come, make us a god who will go before us because this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt — we don’t know what has happened to him!” – Exodus 32:1
When Moses didn’t return to the Israelites as soon as they had expected, they grew impatient and decided to create a god for themselves. In place of the one, true God who had given them direction, they chose a god they could, in fact, direct. The golden calf was an idol of their own understanding.
Yeah, it sounds really stupid given the circumstances, but I must admit that I have made the same mistake … and have also learned that it is easily made. When my wife and I returned to the US after serving overseas, we began looking for the next assignment from God and struggled with discouragement as God’s direction did not become immediately evident. We were tempted during that time to build idols of our own understanding … gods we could manipulate to replace the one true God (who is our Lord) and the One whom we needed to obey. We also struggled to remain hopeful and obedient when God seemed so silent and distant. By God’s grace, we made it through.
At times like these, we must all resist the urge to take things into our own hands. Idols of our own understanding are dangerous things to behold and God WILL act in His own good time. He may be silent, but He is never distant.
Idolatry is really not good for anyone. Not even the idols. – John Bach
Dr. David Pope is President and Founder of POPE Initiatives, a non-profit organization committed to providing executive-level management and support services for major global mission efforts.
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