How the Israelites act in this story is not just a picture of their lack of faith in God, but ours too. If we are honest, when things get tough and fear sets in, we are drawn to the easiest way to make ourselves feel better fast. This is human nature. Trusting God means NOT relying on our own insight and wisdom and that, by definition, is uncomfortable and counter intuitive. As we read the story of Aaron crafting a golden calf, we can easily critique the short-sightedness of this nation that has seen God work miraculously on their behalf to win their freedom from Egyptian slavery. But let’s be honest, don’t we get tempted to do the same thing? Some of us have crystal clear evidence of God’s love and power in our lives and have tasted the freedom and new life He has given by forgiving our sin and shame. Our baptism reminds us of this amazing new life that we now have with God as our Father and friend. Yet, when we are faced with decisions like: Where should I live? Work?, Should I marry? How do I remain faithful in my difficult marriage? What should I give of my income? Time? Talent? These and other questions often lead us to make choices that rely on our own instincts rather than humble surrender to God’s instructions and desires. Like the Israelites, we opt for control and comfort by resorting to our old familiar ways rather than bowing in submission to God with a willingness to trust and obey.
Today, lets recommit ourselves to follow God in all areas of our life – big and small – and pray like the David, “Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.” Psalm 5:3 (NLT)