This morning I read Exodus 32 to my children during our morning Bible time. If you don’t have all of Exodus’s chapters memorized, this is when the Israelites grew impatient with waiting on Moses to come down from Mount Sinai so they demanded that Aaron create a god for them. Their demands are ironic considering that only a few weeks prior to this they had pledged to always honor and obey God because they recognized all He had done for them. It’s also interesting to note that Moses was on Mount Sinai in order to receive God’s laws, the laws that would guide the people in their desire to honor and obey the LORD. We are familiar with these laws: The Ten Commandments.
I know this story quite well but a few verses particularly jolted my attention this morning. “Then Moses turned and went down from the mountain with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand, tablets which were written on both sides; they were written on one side and the other. And the tablets were God’s work, and the writing was God’s writing engraved on the tablets.” (verses 15-16) Imagine that! Seeing God’s words written in His very own hand! There could be no arguing about the significance of those words; I would give anything to see the law written on those stone tablets. “And it came about, as soon as Moses came near the camp, that he saw the calf and the dancing; and Moses’ anger burned, and he threw the tablets from his hands and shattered them at the foot of the mountain.” (verse 19) Just like that something so powerful and so priceless was gone. Why? Because of man’s sinful disregard of what is truly important.
My train of thought continued to seek application from these verses. How does this relate to me at this time in human history, more specifically, in this particular season? Christmas is a time of remembering God’s generous gift to mankind; once again, He reached out in a rare and tangible form to provide a way for us to have a relationship with Him. This time it wasn’t law written on stone tablets; instead, it was His only Son come as a helpless human infant who would later climb to His death on Golgotha. Why? So that the Law of Love could be written on our hearts (Romans 2:15). And once again, this is a story with which I am quite familiar. My head nods in agreement when I am challenged to live a committed life to Christ, but my heart easily strays away to pledge allegiance to things with little eternal value.
Perhaps my actions are not as deliberately blasphemous as the Israelites’, but my commitment to Christ is no less significant than their pledge. Just as t flagrant sin caused the tablets to be shattered at the foot of the mountain so can my witness to the world around me crumble when I allow sin to take hold of my life. This is a necessary reminder for me as I enter the holy season with my children following wide-eyed behind me. I am a witness to them around the clock on a daily basis; when I sin, they are the first to see it and mimic what I do. In the flurry of decorating, baking, and gift-wrapping, I pray that a golden calf of temporal admiration will not steal my heart from the Baby in the Manger and the King on the Cross.