Friday, August 15, 2008

A new post

As requested I decided to post a little thing before bed....

A few weeks ago a friend of mine was talking about when Moses was up on the mountain and Aaron and Israelites were at the bottom of the mountain. The scripture reference is Exodus 31 and 32. The Israelites thought that Moses died up on the mountain and so turned to Aaron to make them a god they could worship. So Aaron asked for their gold and be made a calf and then Aaron saw that the people were pretty happy about this so he built an alter in front of the calf and told them all that the next day they would feast before the LORD! THE LORD?! Actually the calf was an in imitation of the Egyptian god Typho, who they Egyptians actually didn’t like because Typho was the enemy of Osiris. Anyway, they build this alter and then work up early the next day to worship before it. They brought burnt offerings and peace offerings and then it says that the Israelites rose up to play. Some think that this means they were lewd and committed fornication.
Isn’t this the same people who in the same place heard the voice of God in the fire, got so scared that they sent Moses up to deal with Him? And was Aaron take part in bringing the plagues on the Egyptians? I guess in his defense maybe Aaron was thinking that the people wouldn’t give up their gold and thereby wouldn’t have to make a god for them.
Actually, upon further thought… maybe that just shows an even greater weakness.

Anyway, they start worshipping and God takes notice. This is greatly comforting to me. He does cares. Really. But God gets very mad here and even though He tells Moses that he wants to wipe the whole lot of them out because of it he holds back. Moses makes a good argument and God’s wrath subsides but he sends Moses to deal with it. Moses grabs the two tables that the finger of God writes and goes down and gets mad. I’d like to think that part of Moses’ anger was actually the wrath of God flowing through Moses. In any case God’s wrath burned in Moses.

On the way down, Joshua said it sound like there is war in the camp. Unfortunately he seems more like a side note here. Well, there was but the people caved and the battle was already over. Moses says no, it is singing and I don’t think it is a good sign. As soon as they see the people dancing and carrying on be gets mad and throws the tables that God had written on down at the foot of the mountain. I think this got their attention because the very next verse says Moses grabbed the golden calf, burned it, ground it into powder, put it in the water and made the people drink it. That is mad. This wasn’t a slow process. He had to build a fire, melt it down, let it cool, grind it to powder (!!!) and then put it in the water and make them drink it. Man, that is mad. And what were the people thinking when he was doing this? And what was Moses saying? Was he muttering under his breath? Was he completely silent?

Now don’t forget this is the same guy who just a few months earlier, argued with God because he felt like he couldn’t even speak right or well. And here he is grinding a golden image into powder to make the people drink. What was the difference? I think he remembered what God had done, sure. But he had also just sent more than a month communing with God on the mountain top.

Moses looks to his right hand man and asks what did these people do to you that you have brought such a great sin upon them? Immediately, Aaron starts making excuses… you know these people are set on evil … and my favorite…. I threw the gold in the fire and out popped this calf. Really. I don’t buy it and I don’t think Moses did either, nor would any rational man. Was it a miracle? He makes it sound like he threw the gold in and a real live golden calf jumps out of the fire. He makes no mention of his engraving it, or making it. I think that this was not an appropriate apology neither to Moses nor God. In fact God said in Duet. 9:20 that his anger burned against Aaron, but Moses prayed for him.

So now we get to the point…. Moses feeds the people the gold then stand at the edge of the camp and says whoever is on the Lord’s side come to my side. All the sons of Levi came to his side. What a father this Levi must have been. All of his sons. I want that. Even though I realize Levi wasn’t around… his descendents still choose well. How much more he is to be envied that only his descendents stood up and choose right.

Moses says put on your sword and go throughout the camp, from gate to gate and kill your brothers, your neighbors and your companions. That is serious business. but then he adds, today you have been ordained for the service of the Lord…

To be continued…..


Kerri said...

I want to be like Levi's sons.

Jamison said...

Hmmm. Thought provoking.