After 400 years of captivity in a foreign land, the Israelites had finally been freed from their oppressors. In the desert, God had rescued His people, leading them to the Promised Land with an assurance of a new life.

God invited Moses, the nation’s leader, to the mountaintop to talk with him. It’s likely that he stayed for a long period of time, no doubt, in worship and communion with God.

While Moses is away, something begins to rumble beneath the surface. The people began to whisper in each other’s ear. We can only imagine their conversations. At some point in their journey, they lost faith that God was with them.

Moses’ brother, Aaron, soon commands the people to hand over their jewelry. He melts the gold and creates an image of a calf out of it. Impressed with the work of his hands, he proudly proclaims that this idol is the one who freed Israel from slavery in Egypt.

It is tempting for us to sneer at the Israelites for their actions. “How stupid could they be? After all that God had done for them, how could they so easily turn? They had once approached the shore, and saw Him break the sea in two, allowing them to go through!” Even though they had seen God’s power clearly demonstrated to them, they swiftly turned and forgot all that He had ever done for them.

“There is no other like Him.” Isaiah 45:5

Likewise, we are frequently guilty of doing the same thing. What do I mean by this? Let’s say God answers your prayers and provides you with a spouse, the person you’ve prayed for to share your life with. Or he answers your prayers of becoming a new parent and you can now hold a lovely baby in your arms. Or that home of your dreams has finally become a reality thanks to God’s intervention in your financial situation. Even more, he may have opened the way for you to get the job you’ve been waiting for and praying for for so long.

“God is the restorer of ruins.” Isaiah 44:26

After you have received these gifts, how quickly do you forget what God has done for you? Do you turn these lovely gifts into idols? It is important to keep in mind the source, or “The Giver,” of these blessings. If we’re not careful, the things we’ve hoped for so long can be turned into our own personal gods and sources of happiness and delight. When we do this, we essentially do the same thing that Israel did: we exchange the Almighty for an idol.

But, just as Moses stood in the gap for the people, so does Jesus stand in the gap for us. Despite our flaws, he asks God to be merciful to us in our shortcomings and weaknesses.

“I am rebellious, but God is a forgiving and merciful God.” Daniel 9:9

Remember who brought you where you are at today. And don’t forget how He he came to your rescue. And He will continue to do so for as long as needed in your life.

God, thank You for all the wonderful things You've done for me in Your perfect time. Please help me to remember that You are the source of all my joy and contentment. You are the source of my happiness and serenity.

2 thoughts on “Idols In The Desert (#99)

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