The Golden Calf In Traffic
I am really bad at waiting. I was reminded of that fact this morning as I sat in traffic due to road construction. I could feel my frustration level rising with every passing minute. I don’t think I’m alone in my impatience; our world has become very accustomed to “instant results” - from coffee, to microwaves, to travel, and even instant credit. The result is that too many of us have lost the art of waiting patiently.
Although patience can be difficult for us, as followers of God it’s something we need to work on because our walk with God often requires us to wait on Him. And when we don’t, the results can be disastrous. Exodus Chapter 32 gives us the perfect example, as we read the story of the Israelites waiting for Moses to come down from the mountain. He had gone up to meet with God, and had been away for forty days and forty nights. During that time the people grew impatient, and seemed to forget the amazing miracles God had done for them only a short time before.
In their impatience to wait for the leader God had given them, the Israelites demanded that their temporary leader, Aaron, make them a ‘god’ to lead them. So Aaron made them a golden calf to be their “god”. As they began to worship the golden calf, all the things God had told them to do went out the window, and sin took over. The consequence was death for many of them, and it was all because they couldn’t wait.
What I find ironic in this story is that during the time they were waiting for Moses, God was actually giving him clear instructions for how the Israelites were supposed to live and worship Him. So it was the exact thing they wanted - instructions for how to meet with their God, and know His blessing and protection. But by not waiting for those instructions, and by replacing God’s plan with their own, they suffered devastating consequences.
What was true for the Israelites is true for each of us as well. God has a plan for our lives - but if we fail to wait on Him to unfold those plans, and if we substitute our own way of doing things, the consequences will be disastrous. So today, let’s commit ourselves to waiting patiently for God. If there are areas where we’re waiting for Him to fulfill a promise, or to show us what the next steps for us are, let’s not look for the quick fix. Instead, let’s patiently wait for His timing. Let’s spend time in His presence, listening to Him, worshipping Him, knowing him more fully and waiting to receive clear His instructions - because as we do so, we will find that patiently waiting for God is truly is the safest place for us to be.