Message: We instinctively know that we were created to submit to God. The desire is built into us by design. The problem is when there is no relationship established that built-in instinct has the capacity to turn to anything in an attempt to fulfill itself. When Moses went to the mountain to meet with God it was right after God had revealed just a part of himself to the people in the form of thunder. The people didn’t like it and they told Moses “YOU talk to God Moses, and we’ll stay here and do as you say.” This is LITERALLY what Moses was doing, but when he was gone longer than expected the people grew restless and anxious. They had the instinct to acknowledge God and celebrate and make sacrifices, but they had no personal connected relationship with God. So they told Aaron to “make” them a god and they didn’t seem to care what it was. Aaron made no arguments with them and promptly told them to give him their gold earrings. He melted it down and fashioned it into a calf with an engraving tool. Then the people said “This is your God who brought you up from the land of Egypt!”. Aaron took it a step further and built them an altar and announced that there would be a festival in the morning. It blows my mind when Moses comes back and Aaron tries to act like the people coerced him!
Command: I need relationship and connection with God.
Promise: When I am connected to God my obedience comes out of the relationship.
Warning: If I am not connected to God I will seek to fulfill religious obligations without a heart connection or any kind of change or growth.
Application: The example of the Israelites seems so extreme that is seems hard to relate to. I certainly wouldn’t create a golden calf and worship it, but I am definitely capable of the type of disconnect from God that would allow me to practice religious rituals in place of my genuine worship to God. I have definitely experienced this kind of disconnect before and caught myself going through motions and if kept unchecked it can drift to a dangerous place where God is no longer the object of my worship. Morality or religion takes his place. This reminds me that even when hearing God speak is intimidating or overwhelming, I need to run toward him and not away from him so that I am connected closely.