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The Golden Calf, Exodus 32-34
It's amazing how short our attention spans can be. I have definitely
experienced this in my own walk with the Lord, so have no right to
judge, but this rush to "make for themselves an idol" so soon after the
giving of the Ten Commandments which forbade them to do so, is
stunning. And that Aaron would go along with it, is even more stunning.
When I read this last year, I was amazed that God had not killed Aaron
for his disobedience, especially since so many others died as a result.
Later on we will read that God only spared Aaron's life because Moses
interceded for him in prayer. In today's passage, we also read that
Moses' intercession saved the entire nation from suffering God's wrath.
In fact, the text says that "the Lord changed his mind about the
terrible disaster he had threatened to bring on His people". This
brings up an interesting theological discussion. Does God change his
mind? The Bible clearly says that "I, the Lord, do not change" (malachi
3:6), but is that the same thing as changing His mind? Certainly his
character and nature do not change. And neither does He change His
mind, though it is often described as such for the purpose of human
understanding. Since God has foreknowledge of how we will react in our
circumstances, it can appear that we have changed His mind when really
he simply knew how we would react and set up the situation accordingly.
For example, it was not God's desire to destroy His people but it was
his plan to prompt Moses' prayer on their behalf. He foreknew that
Moses would intercede and therefore knew that He would not wipe out the
entire nation. It was not God who changed but the circumstances.
Initially, God was reacting to the disobedience of the people. But
after Moses' intercession, God was reacting to the heart of Moses. His
prayer did make a difference, but only because God knew that it would.
Confusing. One of my books gave a good analogy of a chess match between
an expert and a novice. The expert modifies his strategy in response to
the moves of the novice, but he anticipates them, such that the game is
never out of his control.
About Melissa Gibbs:
Melissa is the mother of four boys and the wife of her junior high sweetheart, JD. He is the President of Joe Gibbs Racing and the son of NFL Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs. JD and Melissa have been married 16 years and are actively involved with Young Life, Motor Racing Outreach, their church, and other ministries. Their youngest son Taylor is nearing completion of a 3 year treatment protocol for leukemia, which has been a powerful faith walk for their family. Since his diagnosis, Melissa has been called upon to share their family's testimony with many local churches.
Visit Melissa at http://chronologicalbiblein2010.blogspot.com/
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