Reading: Exodus 32: 1-6
Verse One: When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming…
Over and over and over again, God has provided for and protected the Israelites. Whether it was opposing armies or food or water or which way to go, God has been there. Moses has been their leader through it all. He has led by example and has always been faithful to the Lord God.
As we grow and mature in our faith, we come to trust in God and His presence and protection. Our experiences when God had been there over and over builds our trust in Him and we come to believe that God will be there again and again. But this can be such a fragile balance. Something happens and doubt or fear or anxiety creeps in. We turn to something other than God to curb our doubt… we ignore what is going on… we cope in some unhealthy way.
We can relate to the Israelites’ choice in our passage today. Moses has been gone a long time. A LONG time. They fear going into the presence of God. They look up and see the “thick darkness” that Moses disappeared into. We too can feel that our lives have slipped into such a place. We can feel as if God were absent during these times. But God is always present. Like the Israelites, it is we who turn away.
In Moses’ absence, the people turn to Aaron. He is #2 in command. Aaron is a little less steady, a little less assured, a little less connected to God. He wants to be a pleaser. He fashions a golden calf to soothe the people’s fears and doubts. The people willingly worship this idol – they are glad to be rid of their feelings of discomfort. Our inner self can relate well. Like Aaron, our inner self is willing to take over, to just do something to solve or at least alleviate our situation. Like the people, our inner self is willing to do whatever to not feel those bad feelings. We turn to other or self instead of turning to God and trusting in Him.
In our lives, when the storm clouds rise or when worry or doubt or… well up, may we turn to the only One who can save and protect – our One true God. May we trust in God alone.