All That Glitters Is Not Gold

We seem to be caught in a snare from which we cannot free ourselves. Part of the reason is we too often work to strengthen the very snare that holds us. We do that through our own arrogance. We feel our wisdom will lead us into truth as we trample on the very foundations of all that truth is built upon. We boast in all our self-made ideologies not realizing we have strayed off course by a degree, which then turns out to be so much further from our original heading. We seek things that glitter and offer false promises. We listen to words and promises that touch the visceral part of our nature, when we should know that it’s but a part of our fallen nature, still quite alive in the midst of us. Something is wrong.

One of my favorite and yet sadly funny stories in the Bible is in Chapters 32-34 of Exodus. The Lord had been giving detailed instructions in all things having to do with standing before Him. From consecration of Priests, to the Anointing oil, to instructions for building the Tabernacle. Moses is called by the Lord to go up Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments. I often think back to the movie “History of the World Pt 1” with Mel Brooks playing Moses. In the movie, he drops one of the tablets and therefore there are now 10 commandments and not 15. Wonder what those other 5 commandments might have said? I’m sure they would have been applicable to today. Doesn’t matter, we have enough trouble giving heed to the 10 we have and doing quite well ignoring the teachings of Jesus. The funny part though is, that while Moses was gone for an extended time, the people grew restless. All the miracles they had seen were no longer relevant. They were forgotten. They needed to see and hold what they chose to worship and have something they could give voice and appearance to. Moses had been up Mount Sinai many times. This time was too long. Yet, God had never failed the Israelites. He was always on time. So, the people’s anger led Aaron the High Priest, brother of Moses, to tell the Israelites to give him the gold earrings from their ears and the gold from their hands, and he fashioned a golden calf. And Aaron said “This is your God O Israel.” The next day they proclaimed a feast day to this idol and rose up early and offered burnt offerings to their new god. This golden calf. Symbolic that the gold which came from their ears where they were to hear God and the hands which were to be used to build a new land and offer praise up to God, now crafted an idol. “And the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play” to an idol. (Exodus 32:6)

The Lord told Moses to go down to the people, as they had corrupted themselves. Moses was so angry he cast down the 2 tablets God had given him and they shattered at the foot of the mountain. Moses then confronted Aaron and accused him of bringing sin upon the people. And herein lies the funny part: Aaron said the people were set on evil. They caused him to mold the golden calf. He said “the people gave me the gold and I cast it into the fire, and this calf came out!” Something a little kid might say when reprimanded by a parent. The calf just magically appeared! Moses burned the calf and ground it to powder, scattered it on the water and made the people drink it. Sort of like when someone says I hope you choke on it! Moses told the people to consecrate themselves, as this day every man has opposed his brother. Our sin of following after that which is not God harms more than just ourselves.

The Israelites did just as people have continued to do all these years. They know what the Word says, but they become futile in their thoughts and their foolish hearts are darkened. We take His glory and mold it into an image acceptable to our reprobate minds. It is one we follow as often as it is an object we covet. And we are often led down a primrose path with visions of grandeur and promises that are not worth the breath it takes to utter them. Yet, they continue to be spoken and people continue to listen and blindly follow. Half of our country now follows one way and the other half another. I do know that even 20 years ago much of what is being said today would have been dismissed outright. But now the most absurd and even ungodly things have become words to follow. Personal traits once seen as reprehensible and totally divorced from the teachings of Christ are now accepted, especially if it gets you what you want. The end justifies the means. No matter what. And prophets and ministers have doubled down on their bets. They are akin to those who cut themselves and cried out to Baal, knowing full well that the God of Elijah would prevail. The prince of the power of the air only has to whisper now. His work is being done for him. When we take all the attributes listed that a Christian should walk in and decide they are no longer necessary, how would you answer if the Lord asked you why? Would you be like the Israelites and just say I wanted certain things and suddenly one appeared to me offering a solution? Just magically appeared? As I’ve written before, people need to be quiet. Confusion reigns. These so-called leaders change their minds based on what others say or whatever source they receive their news from. They run to and fro seeking the word of the Lord and do not find it. When things are in turmoil as they are now, one must sit and be quiet before Him. And if He gives a word regarding the current situation, then you stand on it. You do not vacillate. The Passion Translation of Proverbs 29:18 says, “When there is no prophetic vision people quickly wander astray. But when you follow the revelation of the Word, heaven’s bliss fills your soul.” What are you feeling right now? Is it Him?

Turn away from anything offering a path that doesn’t line up with the teachings of Christ. No matter how much it glitters. No matter what the promises offered. His word is true. Yes and amen. We must be aware that there is so much faulty information from those trying to get our attention off of Him and onto another path with false offerings. But the Lord is faithful and will establish and strengthen you and guard you from the evil one. Trust in Him and no other. “I pray the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ.” (2 Thessalonians 3:5) Blessings.

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