July 1, 2014

Just a Thought

When Aaron built the golden calf, he wasn't setting himself up above the people. He wasn't even creating something new. The people who wanted an idol already had an issue with following YHWH. They wanted what they knew in Egypt. They gave him the metals to use for this object. They worshipped and danced to the sacrifices of this false god. They were voluntarily wrong.

When Aaron tells the people, "Here is your mighty one," he's not really introducing anything new. He just attaches YHWH's name to it. I think that may be what YHWH had the biggest problem with. The whole point of this excursion is to set His people apart for Himself, as an example to the rest of the world, to lead them to Him.

Instead of leading the nations to YHWH, in this instance, their first reaction to uncertainty in waiting for YHWH's word is to turn back to what they knew before. They were "let loose" to do whatever they wanted, to leave the sheepfold; to their own shame before the nations and each other.

More importantly, those among the people who participated in this event chose to leave the boundaries set before them. Aaron may have opened the gate, but the people were charging through it regardless of what anyone else did. Aaron wasn't right for catering to their sin, but I don't know that things wouldn't have still happened like they did if he had not given in.

If people are going to turn away and do their own thing, they're going to do that no matter who stands in their way. Just as, like the Levites demonstrated in this scenario, those who choose to have faith and do what is right, will do that no matter what it costs them.

In the end, I don't think this account is about how cowardly or sinful Aaron may or may not have been. Or which "sub-group" of the people were so terrible as to do this deed. It's not supposed to be an "us" and "them" deal. The point is that spiritual adultery has the same consequences as if it were physical. When someone stands in the breach, the whole nation will not be entirely destroyed for the sins of a few. And those who do not back down will be blessed- but it takes action to succeed.

Any thoughts?


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