Exodus 32:1 When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us a god who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.
I read in disbelief Exodus 32 about the fall of Aaron into sin and wonder how this could happen? God commissioned Aaron to be the spokesperson for his tongue-tied brother, Moses. Aaron provided the one skill Moses lacked – confident public speaking. Together they were an effective team: Moses the
leader of the Israelite’s, Aaron the follower, speaking whatever God commanded.
But left alone, Aaron was a weak leader. Without a guide, Aaron succumbed to people pressure. When the multitude of Israelite’s raised their voices together and demanded a golden calf to worship, Aaron was not strong enough to resist.
And I wonder too if Aaron was not strong enough in his devotion to God. That seems quite incredulous considering the miracles he had witnessed at the hand of God up until this point in time. Obedience to God is not enough if there is no deep faith and trust in our heart to under gird it.
When I think of the fall of Aaron from God’s favor (and sadly the demise of many Christians we all know), I think about the process of osmosis. In biology, osmosis is the movement of water molecules from a solution with a high concentration of water molecules to a solution with a lower concentration of water molecules, through a cell’s partially permeable membrane.
If we, like Aaron, are immersed long enough in a dominant way of living, we can take on the values, beliefs and behaviors of the dominant culture that surrounds us. Like Aaron, we become assimilated into the world’s patterns of behavior, often without even recognizing that we’ve done so. I am sure that Aaron was ignorant of how far he had fallen, because he offered Moses a lame excuse, rather than an apology of repentance, when challenged by his leader about the debauchery around them (verse 21-25).
Those of us who operate as God’s spokesperson and leaders, need to be extra certain that our faith and devotion are grounded in God alone, otherwise like Aaron, we will be easily misled. We need to pay attention to how we are behaving and speaking and addressing each issue that arises in our everyday life. Are our patterns of behavior looking too much like those we live amongst? Are we being assimilated into the dominant culture we are immersed in? God says we must live in the world, but not be imitators of it.
2 Corinthians 7:17 Therefore come out from them and be separate. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” says the Lord.
Where do we each stand upon reflection of this command? Are we easily beguiled by the people we live amongst? Remember Lot’s wife who looked back, upon leaving Sodom, perhaps longing for the lifestyle and behaviors that she and Lot were leaving behind. God is merciful, but He also demands a people who are holy and will be devoted to Him with their whole heart. There can be no compromise. Together let’s reexamine our choices, behaviors and lifestyle and ensure that they we have given ourselves fully to Jesus and have a pure, undivided heart.
Even if we feel the pressure to conform and take on the values and beliefs of the dominant culture, we can recall with hope and confidence the words of 1 John 4:4, “Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” God is stronger than all the evil pressure that surrounds us and through the Spirit and the power of the Word, we can overcome!
“Father, as David prayed, I ask that You would create in me a pure heart and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from Your presence or take Your Holy Spirit from me. Forgive me for any wayward behaviors and give me a heart fully devoted to You. Amen.”