“And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.” – Exodus 32:3-4
We often read these accounts and think, “I would never do that”? I mean really, after all God had done to bring them out of bondage in Egypt. After all His mighty works and miracles to preform that which no man could preform and to do that which no man could do. After all these obvious acts of God, how could they insult God by building a god of their own hands and say, “this is the god that brought us up out of Egypt”? How dare they? We would never do such a thing…
Are would we? Actually, the better question might be, “how many times have we?” Ask yourselves, how many times has God healed us and we give medicine or doctors the credit? How many times has God provided for us and we give our backs the credit? How many times does God work all things together for our good and we give “coincidence” or “luck” the credit? How many times does God send people into our lives, our families, our work, or even our church and we give credit to the circumstances that caused them to come, rather than giving credit to the God who created the circumstances. How many times does God move mountains in our life, circumstance, or situation but instead of boasting in the Lord as scripture instructs, we tell of how “we” overcame, what “we” did to turn this thing around?
Self help books, conferences on how to do this, how to overcome that, how to win victory in this arena or that, how to summon God, His gifts, or His power, as if it is a craft to be taught by man. A craft like gold-smithing, like graving, like idol building? In the end is it really any different? It all comes back to giving the credit to and worshiping the works of your own hands rather then the God who led you out of Egypt by the hand. No these greater things of God are not crafts to be taught by men in weekend conferences, they are gifts to be sought by men in lives of sackcloth and ashes, prayer and fasting, humbling and hearing, saying and obeying His words.
No simple man, you can not conjure up God, His presence, His gifts, His power, or His blessings by your own skill. You can not summon Him at your will to do your bidding, to bring you glory. Only demons react so. God follows no man, men follow God. Those that truly follow God, signs, wonders, and miracles will follow them. However, those that follow the proclamations of signs, wonders, and miracles wrapped up in a flesh pleasing service (like the one Arron called to honor the calf) that is nothing more then a dressed up party, will follow idols, the works of their own hands, and the works of men and demons that rush in to give those idols life seeking worship stolen from God and taking credit for the true life changing miracles preformed by the mighty hand of God while being of little to no effect themselves other then to send it’s sinful unrepentant participants dancing and reveling right into the pit…
It’s such a slippery slope that many have fallen so far down, but it started with that one wrong step of giving the work of your own hands or the hands of an other, the credit for what only God has done, or can do. Remember that Arron was a priest called of God Himself, and even he fell into this sin. His efforts to please the sinful congregation led him into sin and idolatry himself, while Moses was on the Montanan seeking God and being told all that was transpiring. Moses never tried to please the people are get a favorable or glorifying response from them. He simply sought God, prayed, fasted, interceded, obeyed, and preached repentance and holiness. Moses, like Christ, only spoke what God said to speak and trusted God to back up His own words with His own power, which will always overpower any golden calf, graven image, man, demon, or the creations of any created being.
Yet it is important to also note that though Arron had fallen into this great sin, there was hope for him yet and those that were willing to humble themselves, admit their wrong and repent, but for those who refused there was only death. So choose today to cast down the golden calves in your life before they lead you (and others with you) to death and the very pit of hell as it did the Israelites in the wilderness. Preacher, it’s not your preaching, singer, it’s not your singing, musician, it’s not your playing, teacher, it’s not your teaching, it’s not your advertising, it’s not your flattering, it’s not your programs, it’s not your control, it’s not your work, your money, your knowledge, your degrees, your talents, or your ideas that get anything accomplished in the kingdom of God. It’s your obedience to Him (Which is faith perfected and proven in action). It’s through your humility in recognizing that only God can do it, that causes you to seek God and let Him do it, which causes God to release the power (or grace) to get it done that He alone might be glorified (James 4:6). You need simply only to position yourself in faith (which is obedience) to walk out of Egypt once He it’s done and remember to give Him praise, glory, honor, and credit for that which only He has done.
“Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18