boundaries, delays, Exodus 19, Exodus 32:1, God is quiet, idolatry, keeping spiritual composure, lack of faith, peer presire, transitional times, which way is up
Part of our spiritual process requires we maintain our spiritual composure in the transitional times of our walk with the Lord. These moments usually occur after significant spiritual battles. It is then that the Lord pulls us aside for rest and refocusing. The Children of Israel had seen God in action via the Ten Plagues and at the Red Sea. Who really could ask for more of God’s activity?
It is here at Mt. Sinai that God calls Moses to the mountain top for a transitional meeting on how He wants Israel to follow Him. (Exodus 19-31)
There will always be “transitioning times” in our lives where God speaks and God’s will becomes more clear. We can call them Mountain Top Experiences. We walk into the meeting believing God one way and exit believing God on a new level. It is God’s revelation of Himself that changes what we believe.
Moses Goes to the Mountain – Exodus 19
From Exodus 19 we find that Moses goes up into the mountain for a meeting with God. Thunder and lightning, thick clouds, and a voice that was as loud as a great trumpet. The ground trembled and shook. It was at this time God gave Moses the intricate details of the Law.
But Moses Doesn’t Come Down
“And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount,… we don’t know what is become of him.” (Exodus 32:1)
Idolatry is not spiritual ignorance but a willful turning away from spiritual knowledge and worship of God. The people began to question all sorts of things about Moses, their spiritual leader.
- Moses is dead.
- Moses has left us all alone out here.
- Moses has conspired with the Egyptians.
- Moses has left us here to die.
- Moses’ God has left us and is not speaking!
These types of questions led to the people clamoring and that clamoring led to active idolatry. Men are often so impatient with the movement or lack of movement of God in their lives. This cry quickly rose to Aaron’s ears. The people demanded…Give us a god, now!
Aaron, that fearless man, who had…
- walked in the courts of Pharaoh;
- warned Pharaoh of the plagues to come;
- had been the voice for Moses;
- been called a saint of God; and
- once obeyed the will of God without argument, now listened to the people.
The troubling issue here was that he led them in the way of destruction. Aaron could not stand up to this type of peer pressure and began to buckle under the demands of the people.
None of us can be just half-way committed to our purpose. We must be wholly committed to God. When we step out of our boundaries and ask our spiritual leaders to step out of their boundaries, we create nothing but golden calves. The golden calves produced will not only damage our generation but the subsequent one as well.
“A speedboat driver recently survived a racing accident. According to the driver, he had been at near top speeds when his boat veered slightly and hit a wave at a dangerous angle. The combined force of his speed and the size and angle of the wave sent the boat spinning rapidly into the air.
He was thrown from his seat and propelled deeply into the water—so deep, he had no idea which direction led to the surface. In order to survive he had to remain calm and wait for his life vest to begin pulling him up. Once he discovered which way was up, he could swim for the surface.”
Sometimes we find ourselves not knowing “which way is up.” When this happens, we are to remain calm, wait for God’s gentle tug to pull us in the proper direction.
Unfortunately, when the Israelites became confused about Moses they took actions into their own hands. They were unwilling to wait and allow God to gently nudge them in the right direction.
Yes, God was quiet longer than usual because He was giving Moses a big WORD. The word took over 12-13 chapters in the Bible. WOW! Waiting over 40 days is actually a short time.
Instead of turning to God for a life vest, they turned to Aaron, Moses’ brother and said, “Look, make us some gods who can lead us. This man Moses, who brought us here from Egypt, has disappeared. We don’t know what has happened to him” (Exodus 32:1b – New Living Translation).
- How do you respond in a crisis?
- Do you demand for God to show Himself immediately?
- Remember this crisis was self-created. No enemy was threatening the people.
- What happens in your life when God delays?
- Have you learned to wait for God’s gentle tug to reveal to you which direction to swim?
If you have a tendency to fall apart when God delays…. You are going to be spiritually falling apart on most occasions. There may be known occasions when God seemingly delays and there may be unknown reasons for God’s absence. The point is many times God is quiet. He still is Lord!
Someone once said, “It is better to die believing God than to go on living in unbelief!” When we fall apart at the silence of God, it reveals our unbelief or lack of faith and belief in His plans. Our reactions always reveal our real beliefs about the Lord!