The messes people get themselves into. Moses had gone off to the top of the mountain to be with God. Out of that mountain God called out to Moses and laid out a wonderful plan for his people. God told Moses that He had done wonderful things for His people, Israel, and that His people had seen with their own eyes what He had done to those miserable Egyptians. Through those terrible trials with the Egyptians, God had been like an eagle and had bore His people, Israel, on His wings and had brought His people to Himself. They were safe. They were free. They had a wonderful future ahead of them. He described those blessings to them. Israel would be His very own treasured possession, they would be a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. Oh, the life, safe in the arms of the God of the universe! It was theirs. All they had to do was…. if only…why couldn’t they have done what He asked? Oh, the messes we get ourselves into (Exodus 19:3-6)!
It would have been simple. Very simple. If only. Instead they decided to build that stupid calf. Not only did they build a calf, but they used their own treasured possessions to build it. They gave up their own treasured possessions of gold to build a calf which would cause them to lose their position as the most treasured possession of God Himself.
All they had to do was simply obey God’s voice. Instead they decided to obey the voice of sin. Aaron described them well. He told Moses, “you know these people. All they think about is evil.” (Exodus 32:22). All they had to do was simple…simply listen to the voice of God Who had delivered them out of the worse mess they had ever been in while they were in Egypt. All they had to do was listen to the voice of Him who loved them the most and keep His commandments.
God’s anger burned hot against His people! Moses’ anger burned hot against the people! Then things really turned crazy! Moses came down that mountain with his hands full carrying the commandments of God, written by God Himself, on two stone tablets front and back (Ex. 32:15-19). It doesn’t say, but I think Moses’ might have thought he could straighten out the people by showing them those stone tablets containing the commandments of God. Instead, they became part of the carnage. When Moses saw what the people were doing, dancing and singing and worshiping a stupid calf, he threw those tablets made of stone and they broke in a million pieces. He then took that golden calf, burned it and ground it to powder, then scattered it on the water and made the people drink it! Their precious golden calf made by their precious golden jewelry was gone forever!
But God was not through with them yet. God sent a plague on the people because they (correction – Aaron) made the calf. We reap what we sow. (Exodus 32:35).
End of story, right? Nope. God was not through with them yet.
Let’s fast forward to Hebrews 8. Amazingly God was not through with the house of Israel and the house of Judah yet. Here, Paul tells us that God is establishing a new covenant with them and with us. The first one, written on tablets of stone long ago, will be replaced with one written in our minds and on our hearts. Until the commandments and promises of God are written on our hearts and become flesh, we cannot become new people. We are simply stone people. This new covenant, of which Jesus is the high priest, will not be displayed on tablets of stone which can be broken into a million pieces, but will be in our hearts and minds. Our old heart of stone will be removed, and a new heart of flesh will be given to us (Ezekiel 11:19). This new covenant will change our minds and hearts because Jesus, the new high priest, is able to save us to the uttermost (completely and at all times).
What kind of heart do you have? One of stone which serves sin and will break in a million pieces when sin is exposed? Or one of flesh which loves and serves God who considers us His most treasured possession?