Today’s Reading: Exodus 32:1 – 34:35
Have we become a laughingstock? For my English as a Second Language readers I could put the question a few different ways:
- Are we amusing others?
- Are we a derision to others?
- Are we an object of ridicule to others?
- Are we a shame to others?
Why would people be laughing and pointing at us? Have we somehow amused them or become an object of ridicule? Is there something we have done to shame ourselves?
I hope not? But we could.
As we read in today’s story we come across the sad tale of the time when Moses was on the mountain receiving the law from God and down below the people began to act like a bunch of idiots, out of control.
Exodus 32:1 – 5 NLT
1 When the people saw how long it was taking Moses to come back down the mountain, they gathered around Aaron. “Come on,” they said, “make us some gods who can lead us. We don’t know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt.”
2 So Aaron said, “Take the gold rings from the ears of your wives and sons and daughters, and bring them to me.”
3 All the people took the gold rings from their ears and brought them to Aaron. 4 Then Aaron took the gold, melted it down, and molded it into the shape of a calf. When the people saw it, they exclaimed, “O Israel, these are the gods who brought you out of the land of Egypt!”
5 Aaron saw how excited the people were, so he built an altar in front of the calf. Then he announced, “Tomorrow will be a festival to the Lord!”
The people could not have faith and wait for Moses, their leader, to come back down from his time with the Lord. They lost the vision of who God and was and who they were in God’s eyes. The forgot about the love and care of God and the call to be holy. They thought of themselves and forgot about what they had seen God doing in their lives.
When Moses found out, he came down to see the disgraceful sight. The people of God chasing false idols. The people of God wallowing the culture of the world and worshiping false pagan gods. The people of God had lost control, decorum and self respect. They had given up on what was important to them.
What happened as a result of this disastrous event?
Exodus 32:25 NIV
Moses saw that the people were running wild and that Aaron had let them get out of control and so become a laughingstock to their enemies.
They had become a laughingstock to their enemies. They were once a feared people, that their enemies knew had a fearsome God, now they were the object of ridicule, a shame, a point of derision. Derision means that people were whispering about them.
When you and I, claiming to be Christians, get so caught up in the world and the things of the world the potential is for those around us to start whispering, ridiculing us and laughing at us. “Oh, some Christian – thinking they are better than us, and look at them, they are doing this ____________ (fill in your own verb), just like we do. They aren’t so different. Isn’t that funny? What a bunch of hypocrites.”
When you and I set ourselves up as holier than thou Christians, when we act pious and holy and then seek out the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes or the boastful pride of life we are giving the world a chance to laugh at us, to ridicule us and to shame us. We would deserve whatever we get from them. Why? Because we should have known better. We have a holy God who loves us and wants to talk care of us. He calls us to be holy as he is holy. He calls us to be in the world, but not of the world.
Let’s try not to be a laughingstock to those around us. Let’s try to live a life worthy of praise and reflection. A life the world can see and desire. A life worth living.
John 17:16 NASB
16“They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world