Exodus 32:1-33:23 ~ Matthew 26:69-27:14 ~ Psalm 33:1-11 ~ Proverbs 8:33-36
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Old Testament - Today Exodus chapter 32 verse 1 made me think about spiritual "boredom" - "When Moses failed to come back down the mountain right away, the people went to Aaron. "Look," they said, "make us some gods who can lead us. This man Moses, who brought us here from Egypt, has disappeared. We don't know what has happened to him." I guess what made me think in this verse was this - Moses was gone only 40 days and 40 nights, up Mt. Sinai. Granted, the Israelites were in the middle of nowhere, so this actually might be quite a long time for him to be gone in these circumstances. But, my thought is this - Do you think maybe the Israelites had somehow gotten "bored" with God? And I ask this because I wonder if maybe we today get "bored" with God or "bored" with our faith? And if so... why? Why did the Israelites get bored? Why do we get bored? What makes me nervous about getting bored with our faith is that what we see take place later in this chapter to the Israelites I think can happen to us - we can pursue false Gods and indulge in dangerous sins. Typically, I find faith in God and a relationship with God to be the most adventurous thing on earth! However, I will admit that there have been seasons in my walk where I somehow got bored with my faith. And I think if I honestly look back at those seasons, I think the boredom came because I stopped moving forward in my relationship with God. I let my faith kind of stagnate as a status quo. I started to get distracted by worldly things. And I got spiritually bored. And this was not good. So - I wonder - what's our cure for boredom in our faith? What keeps our faith fresh? Part of me thinks that daily spiritual disciplines are part of the answer. Reading the Bible every day. Really praying every day. Giving thanks to God every day. How about for you? What do you do to keep your faith fresh? If you have any spiritual disciplines or habits you are willing to share with others please post up in the Comments section below! Thanks.
Today in verses 7 & 8 about the golden calf – “Then the LORD told Moses, "Quick! Go down the mountain! The people you brought from Egypt have defiled themselves. They have already turned from the way I commanded them to live. They have made an idol shaped like a calf, and they have worshiped and sacrificed to it. They are saying, `These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you out of Egypt.'” What about us in our lives today? Are we so different from the Israelites? Do we make our own versions of “golden calves” today? Do we have idols that we worship? Money? Career? Popularity? Relationships? Addictions? Our Intelligence? Technology? Do these idols stand in the way of our worship of God? Do they stand in the way of our relationship with God? Do these idols defile us? Do we think sometimes that these idols have actually “brought us out of Egypt” – instead of God? Will we give up these false idols and return to worshipping only God the Father, Son & Holy Spirit with all of our hearts, minds, soul and strength? Will you give up your “golden calf” at the feet of Jesus today? Below is the painting “The Adoration of The Golden Calf” by Nicolas Poussin from 1633 -
Verse 30 stood out for me in this chapter as Moses interceded to God for the people of Israel after their sin - "The next day Moses said to the people, "You have committed a terrible sin, but I will return to the LORD on the mountain. Perhaps I will be able to obtain forgiveness for you."" And today, we have one more powerful than Moses who intercedes for us to God - and that is Jesus. Our High Priest. The Suffering Servant. The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Commentary on Exodus chapter 32 at bible.org is at this link. Commentary on Exodus chapter 33 at bible.org is at this link. Below is a portrait by artist Guy Rowe of Moses speaking to God, what looks to be the "stiff-necked" people, and the broken tablets from today's readings. It seems like 32:31-32 might be the fitting verses for this image below - "So Moses went back to the LORD and said, "Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made themselves gods of gold. But now, please forgive their sin—but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written."
New Testament - Well, as I read today's readings, Passion plays came to mind for me. Anyone make a habit of seeing Passion plays? I like seeing them if I can prior to Easter. It's a powerful reminder of what Jesus did for us on the road to Calvary. Below is an image of Jesus before Pilate from today's readings by the Italian artist Tintoretto from 1567:
Psalms - Psalm 33 verse 11 is strong today - "But the LORD's plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken." I think the thing that grabs me about this verse is that it is God's plans - not our plans - that stand firm forever. Therefore, it's only logical in my mind that we should align our lives such that they are part of God's plan - God's kingdom. I think reading the Bible each day is one excellent way to discern what God's plans are. And then - once we know what God's plans are, will we then align our lives with his plans? Knowing that his intentions can never be shaken? Or will we keep trying to forge out on our own...
Proverbs - Proverbs chapter 8 verse 36 today tells us - ""But those who miss me have injured themselves. All who hate me love death."" This is a powerful reminder of why we should seek and love God's wisdom all of our lives. Let us not injure ourselves! Let us not hate wisdom. Let us not love death.
Worship God: Our readings in Matthew today about Jesus' Passion reminded me of the amazing song "Jesus Paid It All" by Kristian Stanfill. Here's a great live version:
Do you believe Jesus paid it all for you? Click here to praise the one who paid your debt!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture this week: "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10 NIV
Comments from You and Questions of the Day: The Golden Calf readings... Are we so different from the Israelites? Do we make our own versions of “golden calves” today? Do we have idols that we worship? Money? Career? Popularity? Relationships? Addictions? Our Intelligence? Technology? Do these idols stand in the way of our worship of God? Do they stand in the way of our relationship with God? Do these idols defile us? Also, what verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!