Now when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people assembled about Aaron and said to him, "Come, make us a god who will go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him." Aaron said to them, "Tear off the gold rings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me." Then all the people tore off the gold rings which were in their ears and brought them to Aaron.
He took this from their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool and made it into a molten calf; and they said, "This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt." Now when Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made a proclamation and said, "Tomorrow shall be a feast to the LORD."
So the next day they rose early and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.
430 YEARS OF SLAVERY
After living in Egypt for 430 years, God decided it was time to deliver the people of Israel. They had been slaves for generation after generation but this lucky generation was given the chance to leave Egypt. After so much time living in Egypt they had become assimilated into the culture and started to think as Egyptians.
• Acculturation • Different mentality
• Language manipulation
• Area knowledge
God didn't want them to live or think anymore as Egyptians, He wanted them to leave that behind in Egypt. Imagine trying to leave your culture behind. Imagine as a New Zealander, trying to become an African.
FREEDOM – spiritual & physical detachment
• Process of leaving Egypt (step by step)
The first step was to paint the doorway with blood. Those that didn’t, lost their first born and they realized how serious God is.
• Example of Nicodemus
The second step was to take the articles of clothing and jewelry etc from their Egyptian neighbours and they had to carry these by themselves (whatever God has given to us, we have to carry it ourselves; gifts, talents, troubles, temptations etc)
John 8:36 If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed
•Geographically & physically they’re free by mentally they weren't:
• Change is a process
Physical, mental, spiritual (e.g. known by your fruits, having a new nature, etc)
MOSES IS ABSENT BUT GOD IS NOT – WE NEED SOMEONE TO WALK IN FRONT OF US
- Pressure on Aaron (God was in front of and behind them day and night – FIRE/SMOKE)
-Aaron’s poor decision and plan
-Who / what influences you in your life?
- How often do you decide to please to men (including yourself) than God?
-Try to avoid problems with them – better accept their way
Aaron made a serious mistake because of the pressure on all sides to have a god and sometimes we have pressure from our friends, family, politicians and they can make us do mistakes. When pressure comes on you, you start to wish the person would go away, you might even wish they have an accident, get sick or even die. You have a battlefield in your head, you might wish for a better job or start to compare yourself to others. Some might even go to magicians.
FREEDOM CAN BE DANGEROUS
• Wealth given as promised to Abraham (Gen 15:13-14) & fulfilled (Exodus 12:36)
• What do we do with FREEDOM? - - I AM FREE - -
• How do we function with it? As parent, friend, child of God, etc
• Freed by an unfamiliar God – they cannot cop (mountain covered with smoke, quake, etc)
• Mind becomes a battlefield
• Egyptian cuisine preferred than ‘manna’
BREAKING THE RULES – WE ARE FREE
• First commandment is violated (Exodus 20:1-4)
• Wealth used for making a golden calf (god of Egypt) based on memories of Egypt (picturing God?) They made an idol – Fulfillment of their desire. What is your desire?
• Having God’s wealth with slave mentality (e.g. woman/wife have different mentality) – COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS (life, family, eyes, gospel, peace, etc…) vs YOUR MENTALITY
• Golden calf is ‘distraction’. Everything that separate you from your God.
• What have you made as your golden calves? You give them your time, money, effort, wisdom,
• SLAVE - You’ve invested in perishable things, beging for what you live
• They danced naked in front of it (exodus 32:35) – do you realize that you are completely naked dancing in front of your golden idols?
Our actions are very important for the Kingdom of god. Spiritually we belong to God, our bodies are His temple and our mind and strength must adore Him. Faith without works is dead. How good are your actions? Your actions can change God’s mind. Only two people from this people of Israel (more than 1Million men) made it into the promised land. How often do my actions make us to push God to the limit and become angry? God paid the price for our sin but we push Him to go back to the cross.
When you first fall in love you can think about the person after every two minutes but after five years, you won’t think so much anymore. Israel said, “I love you Lord” for years and years but when God came close, they got tired. They wanted a god that allowed them to dance naked. They took the wealth from God (the gold earrings) and sacrificed it to the golden calf. You take what God gives you (time, effort, money etc) and you give it to your idols.
This is the time now to burn your gods and your sin in the same way Aaron burnt a sacrifice on the alter. God helps us every day, God does everything for us and all He wants us to do is to leave Egypt (spiritually and mentally).
CONCLUSION 1 CORINTHIANS 8:9-10 and GALATIANS 5:1
Aaron was a servant of God but he was pressured to serve the people and make a big mistake. He started by asking for their earrings to make a golden god. The truth is, the people didn’t need a god. They had God infront of them and behind them day and night but what they wanted was the gods of Egypt, the gods they were familiar with.
Physically you can be someone already delivered but you spiritually and mentally you might be still slaves. You complain, you are not satisfied with what you have, thinking you need more.
The calf was shining and beautiful; how much are you attracted to shining things (a new car, a new house) and how much to you want to appear shining in front of others (clothes, jewelry etc). Be grateful for what God has given you and think about the number of people who are poor compared to you. What God gives you is greater than what He Has given to others and we should be grateful for that.