DECEMBER 21: AN EMPTY ALTAR

AN EMPTY ALTAR

By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

"And he received them at their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf; and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation and said, Tomorrow is a feast to the Lord."
Exodus 32:4-5

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Today's Read: Exodus 32
But see how quickly we get turned about when our time is idle, our imagination runs wild, and our "Moses" is removed?
Hmmm ...
Aaron's heart got lost in the heat of the moment and, in a confused, dazed, and disoriented state he conceived and constructed an unthinkable golden calf and called for everyone to worship it.
His desire to remain in control and in a place of leadership caused him to make foolhardy hasty decisions and, I cannot help but wonder at what might have transpired, had he commanded the people to fall on their knees and cry out to God for an impartation of wisdom and a "safe return" of their leader Moses.
But he didn't ...
While the leader of a nation (Moses) is up on the Mount in sacred solitary "confinement," with the Holy of Holies, receiving commands and words from the Lord, his brother Aaron is down below constructing an idol.
And God sees it all ... and He always will.
"And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiffnecked people. Now therefore, let Me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them, and I will make of thee a great nation.
And Moses besought the Lord ..."
Exodus 32:9-11
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Hmmm ...
What a humbling, provoking, astounding passage to reflect on.
Had it not been for Moses' plea on behalf of the people at this juncture, God would have forged a new people out of Moses, and wiped this "calf constructing congregation" from His presence.
But Moses applied Himself, in the same manner Christ applies Himself for us, and we are rescued from all that we deserve:
Separation and severing from God.
See the love of God in this passage ... and the love and mediation of a true Leader.
See what "one" man has the power to do in the "hands of God."
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We must remember, also, that the man who constructed a gold calf and led an entire congregation astray was anointed and appointed by God to be Israel's first High Priest.
Wonder and marvel at the "whole" of it ... because it almost doesn't make any godly sense.
Man's story paves the way to God's glory and it all reads different because of who He is and not because of who we are.
And this will always be the story of God and man.
Be filled with hope ...
And build an altar to your Redeemer.
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Three Study Suggestions:
1) Reflect on today's reading and record insights about both God and Moses.
2) Reflect on a season of "golden-calf" constructing in your life and record revelations about God's power and redemptive purposes fulfilled in Christ for you ... even then.
Repent of any sins that God brings to mind where you may be currently "under construction" with a golden calf.
3) Never give up ... where once you have found yourself a "golden calf" constructor.
God has the power to construct something beautiful out of mortals made of clay.
Give Him praise and watch His glory unfold.
Build your altar on your knees and begin where you are at.