“When the people saw Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him ‘Up, make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’ So Aaron said to them, ‘Take off the rings of gold that are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.’ So all the people took off the rings of gold that were in their ears and brought them to Aaron. And he received the gold from their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool and made a golden calf. And they said ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’ When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it.” (Exodus 32:1-5 ESV)
What in the world just happened? The Israelites were slaves in Egypt. God brought on plagues to wake their captures up and parted the Red Sea to set them free. All of this just happened and now because Moses is taking a bit longer than they hoped to return from talking with God, they get impatient. They get so impatient that they seem to completely forget what just happened. They get so impatient and in need of “worshipping” something that they build an alter to a golden cow. This sounds crazy!
Looking back on their story now I want to shout “what in the world are you thinking? How forgetful can you be, not to mention ungrateful?” But then I wonder if I’m like the Israelites. I praise God when times are good and I do reflect on all the good He has blessed me with. But do I get impatient and take matters into my own hands when I don’t have an answer right now like I would prefer? Is my tendency to worry about things a flaw of mine that means I don’t trust Him as much as I should?
“And Peter said to them ‘Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and all who are far and off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to Himself. And with many other words He bore witness and continued saying ‘Save yourselves from this crooked generation.’ So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.” (Acts 2:38-41 ESV)
On the day of Pentecost, it was publicly announced that salvation was open not just to the Israelites, but to Gentiles and all who call upon the name of the Lord. People from all over, heard the Good News in their language so they would have the opportunity to believe. Three thousand believed that day.
I would have loved to have been a witness to the events of Pentecost, with Peter’s sermon and thousands coming to salvation. What marvelous sights and sounds!
“I bless the Lord who gives counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me; because He is my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fulness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:7-11 ESV)
Amen and amen.