Today is the 11th day of February. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian, of course, like I am every day and you are you like you are every day and here we are together like we are every day surrounding the global campfire as we come together to take the next step and get ourselves into this work week. So, we’re reading from the Contemporary English Version this week and we’ll pick up where we left off yesterday, of course, and there is some drama brewing in the wilderness. Exodus chapter 32 and 33 today.
Alright. So, in the book of Exodus we witnessed…I mean…events that should make us speechless, at least in relation to the story, like, jaw-dropping stuff. Here the children of Israel have been brought out of Egypt in miraculous fashion, have walked across the Red Sea, are in the wilderness around Mount Sinai where God has come down to meet with His people and Moses has been gone 40 days and their antsy that he’s not coming back. And, so they decide to create an idol and bow in worship to the idol that they watched being made and worship this golden calf as if it was the deity that brought them out of Egypt. That’s pretty staggering stuff. Unfortunately, it won’t will be the last time in the Bible that we see a golden calf. And for that matter, cows are still worshiped among certain cultures today by millions of people. But I mean in the story that we have been tracking since the beginning of the year we come to this point where God has by his strong arm set a people apart and brought them miraculously out where he could reshape them and give them a new identity and this is what we find, idol worship? How could this happen, right? After all that God had brought them through, how could this happen? And that’s what God thought, right? Go down the mountain right now, He’s telling Moses, your people that you brought from Egypt have corrupted themselves, right? They’re worshiping a golden calf and claiming that the golden calf brought them out of Egypt. So, I mean on one hand, this would almost be funny if it weren’t so heartbreaking. God had moved heaven and earth to put in motion a promise that took generations, centuries to develop and He hadn’t just shown His existence, but also His power in Egypt and He’d been feeding the people in the wilderness while leading them by a pillar of fire in the night and a cloud in the day. So, God was obviously in their midst and He had obviously chosen them. They had not only been told of their ancient story but of the story that they were currently living. In fact, they were at that mountain to meet with God and they made a false God at that mountain to worship. So, this might even be funny in our own lives too if we saw ourselves behaving this way until we actually do see ourselves behaving this way. And then it’s equally heartbreaking. And when God seems distant to us or the path is fogged in and we don’t know which way to go, we often find ourselves ignoring the obvious, that God has not departed, He would not abandon us, that He is present, that He has been sustaining us in ways that we’ve chosen to ignore and then we get obsessed and we get compulsive and we start looking for anything that’s gonna promise life, even if it’s only going to bring death, even if it’s only idolatry. So, let’s remember that the things that we give our hearts in search of life that is not God, that is idol and we find ourselves bowing before these idols perhaps more than we might realize and this is a big, big deal. Our tendency toward idolatry explains so much about our lives and the condition of our lives. And we have to pay attention because God is a jealous God, which doesn’t mean God is an insecure God, right, or a manipulative God. God is faithful and loyal and good and it breaks His heart when we betray Him. And let’s pause. If we are being faithful and loyal and good in a relationship only to find out that the person we have given our hearts to have been disloyal and unfaithful our hearts would be broken too and we would probably start acting very erratically very quickly. So, this isn’t something that we do not understand it. It’s actually a pretty sobering reality which we press into, that we can affect the heart of God like that, through our disloyalty and unfaithfulness. That should be pretty stark because it is pretty stark.
Holy Spirit, we invite You to come into this. What are the ways that we’ve been searching for life that isn’t You and that we’ve been giving our hearts in worship to that person, that thing, that goal, that expectation, what are the ways, what are the things that we’ve been turning to for life that aren’t You? Things that may not be bad in and of themselves, but that we are turning to in access in hope for comfort that only You can provide. This exposes idolatry and that is a stark thing because we would never think that we are practicing idolatry in any way. We would never bow down to some kind of golden calf, that’s part of our culture. That’s not something we can even really relate very well to. Oh, but we can bow to bank accounts. We can bow to food. We can bow to people. We can look outside of our relationship with You and try to find a little life on the side. The thing is, if we tried that kind of behavior in our daily lives it would wreak havoc. And yet we don’t realize the havoc that we wreak on our lives spiritually that then back fills into our daily lives by behaving this way. So, we take some time to press into this today. Yes, we would rather end today with some great word of encouragement that would help us navigate forcefully and confidently through this day, but You are leading us today to consider what we are giving our hearts to that aren’t You. And, so, we’ll follow the path where You lead. What are those things Holy Spirit? We give ourselves to contemplating that today and opening ourselves to repentance. Come Holy Spirit we pray. In Jesus’ name we ask. Amen.
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