In the Wilderness: Exodus 32

More lessons in the wilderness: Exodus 32
Read the heartbreaking story yourself, click the link or open up your Bible.

“…As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt,
we do not know what has become of him.”
Exodus 32:1 ESV

The Israelites did not know God. They knew of the God their fathers worshiped, but they did not know God.

The Israelites credited the man Moses with bringing them out of Egypt… not God. They went to Aaron, Moses’s mouthpiece, the one they heard speak and saw wield the staff to usher in the wonders of God, and they asked him to make a god for them. As if a god could be made!

The sons of Israel spent 400 years in Egypt and had no concept of God. He was not personal to them. They knew of Him, but they did not know Him. They knew enough to cry out to Him, but in Moses they saw only a man, not God working through him.

They had no fear of the Lord. After centuries serving a culture filled with gods of gold, they asked Aaron to do the same. Aaron, being one of them, did just as they asked.

Oh my… my heart breaks at this story…

This is what happens when people live by the faith of those who have gone before them, never taking ownership of their own faith, never wrestling with God themselves like Jacob.

In a lot of ways, the church today is like the Jews of Egypt. Many have heard of God and continue to follow the faith of their fathers and mothers, but they’ve never made it their faith. This is where idolatry and little-g gods creep into the church in the form of worship style, traditions, and following people rather than the One True God.

When unbelievers fill the church and its places of leadership things begin to go terribly wrong and breeds a generation of stiff-necked people who are not teachable. They are far from God but they don’t know it. Aaron even declared a feast to the Lord, hijacking God’s name and giving it to a lifeless idol of gold.

God’s anger burned against the Israelites, but Moses interceded on their behalf.

God’s anger burned against all mankind, but Jesus interceded on our behalf. Willingly taking our place to make atonement for our sins. Willingly having the Father’s wrath poured out on Himself, rather than seeing us destroyed.

Jesus tells a parable depicting the state of the church.

“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. …”
Matthew 13:24-26 ESV
Weeds among the wheat. While the faithful slept the sleep of complacency, failing to teach the next generations how to know God, the enemy came and planted weeds. lies. unbelief. faux faith.
Jesus went on to explain how the weeds must be allowed to grow with the wheat or some of the wheat might be lost. There will come the day of harvest, He said, when all will be separated.
So for now, He allows unbelievers in the church, either deceiving themselves or being deceived that they are Believers, so as not to lose a single soul. 
The longer I walk with God, the more I long for His church to be right. The more I look forward to the Day of harvest. Because right now, even though it’s a picture of His grace. My heart breaks for His church.
But, there is always a remnant. Just like the Levites who stood for the Lord and fought against the enemy, there is wheat among the weeds. A remnant. We are called to remember our battle is not against flesh and blood but a spiritual one. We are called to serve like Jesus. Laying down our lives in love, so others might see and believe.
Lord, fill me with Your love for Your people.
Fill me with Your passion for Your church.
Use me to raise up wheat and be a witness to the weeds.
I long for the Day when all will be set right.
Let it be so.

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