The Day Moses Broke All 10 Commandments
When I preach I speak the Word of God…I speak for the Lord. As the pastor I speak for the church, officially, most of the time. Not right now. Let me tell you what I believe:
I wonder if Moses knew the feeling?
And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses' anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount.
Leading the people in great and miraculous days…he turns his back for a moment and the shenanigans begin! Moses broke all 10 commandments!
22 And Aaron said, Let not the anger of my lord wax hot: thou knowest the people, that they are set on mischief. 23 For they said unto me, Make us gods, which shall go before us: for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. 24 And I said unto them, Whosoever hath any gold, let them break it off. So they gave it me: then I cast it into the fire, and there came out this calf.
‘...there came out this calf.’ That’s got to be the all time lamest excuse from an assistant Pastor!
While Moses is up on the mountain receiving the commandments, the people are below breaking them.
The Children of Israel Corrupted
1. Aaron’s Apostasy.
v. 1-6 The people are restless in the absence of their leader. But their faithfulness needs to be to God, not to the man Moses. Don’t put man on a pedestal...which is for flowers and vases. Up on a pedestal there’s only one way for me to fall, and that’s down.
It’s no excuse that they forgot Moses, because they also forgot God.
They forgat God their saviour, which had done great things in Egypt;
This wasn’t just a national rebellion against Moses, but against God. Isn’t that a good picture of America today? They turn from a strong leader to a weak one.
Aaron caves in to the whims of the people. He’s the leadership left in charge, but he’s no longer leading, he’s following. It seems to me that a lot of church leaders today are caving in to the desires of carnal people. One of the marks of the last days is people flocking to teachers and leaders who will tickle their ears, not step on their toes. Sometimes I get a kick in the pants that I need at church.
Ill.—I heard of a church sign that read, ‘come on in, we promise not to throw the book at you!’ [We don’t make that promise.]
I need a mirror to tell me the truth about myself! I need to know if I should make adjustments. The Bible is a mirror that tells us the truth so we can make any necessary adjustments.
The 10 commandments do something uncommon: they name sin. It’s not just an affair, it’s adultery, it’s sin! Kids disobeying isn’t just a ‘stage’ they are in, it’s sin! Maladjusted? Let me show you where their adjuster is located!
Aaron fashioned this golden calf. Why a calf? They had just come from Egypt, where they worshipped the sacred bull. Then he does something even more foolish, and builds an altar to the Lord in front of it.
v. 5-6 He’s making the same mistake many make today, trying to combine exact opposites...trying to reconcile the Lord and the world, worship and play, and be a more hip and popular leader. With one foot in Egypt and another in the Promised Land, he is trying to serve 2 masters, which cannot be done.
Don’t ride the fence, trying to have it both ways. “How long halt ye between 2 opinions?” Jesus said, I wish you were either cold or hot, but you’re lukewarm, and you make me sick. Either get on or get off, get in or get out, get up or get down. [the people were getting down!] There’s no middle ground, you’re either for Him or against Him!
You’ve heard the saying that you can take the boy out of the country but not the country out of the boy? The children of Israel had been taken out of Egypt, but Egypt had not yet been taken out of them. The same is true for some of us.
Israel is now living in open idolatry, and idolatry always leads to immorality. When v. 6 says they rose up to play, it wasn’t Parcheesi or checkers. The word ‘play’ is a sexual term...speaking of an orgy. V. 19 tells of dancing, which was erotic and immoral in nature. By v. 25 they are all naked. What a slippery slope they were on, just following their leader, backslidden Aaron.
2. God’s Anger.
v. 7-10 It’s a death sentence. God intends to kill them all and start over with Moses.
It’s kind of humorous, because in v. 7 God refers to Israel as ‘thy’ people. Now look at v. 11, where Moses says, ‘no they’re your people!’ Ever done that w/ your kids? My wife says, look what your son has done!
God’s offer to Moses had to be tempting. A lot of men would have taken that chance. Many quit and start over today, but not Moses. He was the meekest of men...and he loved these people. A true pastor’s heart. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep.
3. Moses’ Appeal.
v. 11-14 ‘God repented’ doesn’t mean He turned from sin, but simply changed His mind. Prayer changes things. Prayer moves the hand that moves the world.
Ill.—Hezekiah was going to die, but in response to prayer God changed His mind and gave him 15 more years. Hannah was barren, but in response to prayer God changed His mind and gave her a child.
Moses gave God 2 reasons in his prayer, but I don’t think God changed because of the case Moses laid out, which wasn’t really strong. It didn’t matter what the Egyptians think. What mattered was not what Moses prayed, but how he prayed it. And the same is true for us today. Pray from the heart and you’ll touch the heart of God. Pray from the mouth and you may impress man...but only man. Water your prayers with some tears and something big will grow out of it!
Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin--; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.
The dash in that verse is likely a pause, a speechless moment, perhaps a moment of tears. And tears are a language God understands. Maybe the pen made a blot as it sat in that spot.
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
A touching example is found in Mark 9, please turn and see this little boy, plagued by a disturbing problem...
20 And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming. 21 And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child. 22 And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us. 23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. 24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. 25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.
I see in that father sincerity, tears, and a simple prayer. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just heart felt. Later we see that fasting also has a profound effect on our prayers. All of this tells me we need to put some passion into our prayers!
Man’s apostasy led to God’s anger, which was appeased by Moses’ appeal. Now what do we need to pray about?
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