Monday, January 17, 2011

American Idol Part Two: Baby's Got Her Blue Jeans On

So while Moses is up on the mountain receiving all manner of revelation, instruction, and teaching from God Himself, the Israelites (according to Exodus 32) are in hand-wringing mode thinking "this Moses" has left them in the dust. Out of their anger emerges a mob and before you know it they are worshipping at the hooves of a golden calf "that has brought you out of the land of Egypt."

Not so fast with the finger pointing here. Just think about it:

1. We are quick to make inaccurate judgments and false assumptions. The Israelites quickly and falsely assume that Moses' tarrying means bad news when actually, God is at that very moment dispensing what will only be a blessing to them if they'll just hang on. How often do we go into panic mode and then launch our own false assessment of life's situations when, difficult as they are, are actually going to prove to be a Romans 8:28 moment?

2. We are quickly and easily influenced by the crowd mentality: "The people gathered around Aaron." This wasn't "gather together time" but rather the willing formation of a mob with less than stellar intentions. The sin of unbelief quickly poisons the nation.

3. We are quickly and easily influenced by culture: While the fashioning of a golden calf sounds ridiculous to us, we must remember that the Israelites had been brought out of a country rich in bovine cults that believed animal shaped idols had the power to rescue or at least provide for their needs. Our culture tells us that youth, beauty, status, sex appeal and tight jeans will give you status and worth. (No? Then why does everyone wear them?) Our culture says, among other things, tight jeans are the answer to your problems! They'll make you look like everyone else, you'll be cool, the right brand will show that you know where it's happening, and that you are willing to fork out the cash. (And what did he sing?......Naw, the girl cain't help it.) Right.

4. We think we can manufacture a god to meet our needs: "Quick! Give me your earrings!" replied Aaron and out of them he engraved a golden calf. Earrings? Really? Could a god made of melted earrings fashioned by the hands of mortal man really do anything? We fashion our own gods in the form of wealth and possessions taking the very blessings God has given us and turning them into masters that enslave us with upkeep and keeping up, repair and replacement.

5. We underestimate the danger of playing with fire. Or at least with molten hot gold: After the Israelites made the golden calf they worshipped it, brought offerings to it, then ate, drank and let's just say things spiraled out of control from there. My former pastor Chuck Frost taught me this: Sin will take you further than you ever planned to go, keep you longer than you ever planned to stay, and cost you more than you ever planned to spend.

And we thought the Israelites had it all wrong.


  1. So glad to read this post! I missed last week because of sick kids! God truly uses you for His good, Shirley! Thank you for your willingness to teach us!

  2. Thank you, sweet Beth. I left a little message on your facebook.

  3. Great post, Shirley. It is so easy to say, "I'd never do that!" But I do!

  4. Thank you, Rhonda. What's the next writing project for you?