Tuesday, April 19: Exodus 32- Standing with the Lord.

Reading the account of the golden calf, my heart sank. Oh, how sin destroys our connections with God. And how sin breeds sin… the calf, the lying, the revelry. How the Lord’s heart must have broken.

What I saw in the account this morning was more than Israel’s sin. I saw in this account a double event. It seems as if it was also a test for Moses. How would Moses react? Was he a God-honoring leader? I saw the heart of Moses emerge in this account.

Right out of the gate, as the corruption of Israel first comes to light, Moses’ heart for the Lord, the people, and his firm understanding of God’s Word shines brightly. And Moses speaks his piece respectfully and strongly to the Lord:

LORD, why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intent that he brought them out, to kill them in the mountains and to wipe them off the face of the earth’? Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on your people. Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self: ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever’ ” (11-13).

Listening to these words, Moses exposes his heart which is tuned to the Lord. God’s honor throughout the world was paramount. Moses’ reaction was not driven by self, but by love for God, God’s Word and God’s people.

The Lord relents.

When Moses goes down the mountain and sees the corruption first hand we see his heart again. We read: When Moses approached the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, his anger burned and he threw the tablets out of his hands, breaking them to pieces at the foot of the mountain. And he took the calf the people had made and burned it in the fire; then he ground it to powder, scattered it on the water and made the Israelites drink it (19-20).

Righteous anger flares up in Moses. Discipline pours forth from Moses. Again Moses aptly stood in for the Lord and preserved God’s righteousness and God’s honor.

Moses, I would say, passed God’s integrity test.

What I just wrote launched my personalization of the text as I sat with the Lord.

Do I pass God’s integrity tests as they come up in my life? Do I honor the Lord as I live my day and APPROPRIATELY speak up when I have a voice? I emphasized the word ‘appropriately’ because I do not have the authority or the position to speak up every time a situation of sin or anti-God activity occurs. Sometimes the God-honoring thing to do is to hold my tongue and pray silently. But there are times when I should speak up and speak out in a manner that honors the Lord.

As I think about this I realize that both the words and the manner I use are important when I speak on God’s behalf. Moses had a straightforward reverence when he spoke with the Lord and a fierce confrontation with the people who were running amok. By the way, Moses is never disciplined for breaking the stone tablets. His fiery outburst apparently came from a God-honoring heart!

Turning back to myself, God is asking me, will I stand with Him as I live my life? Will I represent Him in content, manner and character as I live my life?

Will you?

Lord, I have not been tested and proved like Moses. Nor have I the importance of call that Moses had, but in my circle of influence, I pray, Lord, that I will have the courage and strength to stand for You in any and every situation appropriate to me and my position. Oh, Lord, that my life honors You 24/7/365.

Praise be to Yo,u Father, Jesus and Spirit. It is to You that I pray. Amen and amen


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