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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
October 8, 2005

     When the people realized that Moses was taking forever in coming down off the mountain, they rallied around Aaron and said, "Do something. Make gods for us who will lead us. That Moses, the man who got us out of Egypt - who knows what's happened to him?"
     So Aaron told them, "Take off the gold rings from the ears of your wives and sons and daughters and bring them to me." They all did it; they removed the gold rings from their ears and brought them to Aaron. He took the gold from their hands and cast it in the form of a calf, shaping it with an engraving tool.
     The people responded with enthusiasm: "These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up from Egypt!"

Exodus 32:1-4 (Message*)

We may not melt down our jewelry and make a calf which we then worship. But we are just as subject to the temptation to make false gods, instead of trusting in the true God.

Our gods and idols may be a number of things. We may make a god of material wealth. We may make a god of pleasure. We may make a god of the outward trappings of religion. No matter what it is, if we are serving it instead of truly following the real God, what we have done is the equivalent of what the Israelites did at the foot of the mountain.

Aaron was right besides Moses in God's plan to free the Hebrews. He was a priest. Just like Aaron, the religious leaders of our day are often tempted to make ungodly efforts to please the people rather than be solely directed by God.

We each need to prayerfully consider the lessons of this story. Do I truly trust the Lord God and not rely on manmade gods? What am I tempted to put in the place of God? What changes do I need to make in my life to be a true disciple of the Living God? Those in leadership positions in faith communities should consider their temptations to try to please the people with false gods, and renew their determination to point people to the true God no matter what.

Bill Samuel

* The Message version ©2002 by Eugene H. Peterson.

©2005 Friends in Christ, Inc.

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Document last modified on Saturday, 15-Oct-2005 20:22:00 EDT