These are your gods
When I recently went from a PC to a Mac, I picked up some speed. I personally didn’t actually move faster [you know the Tortoise and the Hare tale? I’m definitely the slow and steady type…which, by the way, does win the race, if you’ll recall] but my computer activity did speed up. Such that when I get on my PC, which I still retain use of for some applications, I am now impatient with wait times that I previously took in stride.
It’s funny how you develop expectations based on one thing or experience and without thinking transfer them over to something else. Then when that other thing doesn’t meet your unfair or misapplied expectations you become annoyed and impatient and perhaps take action resulting in a broken screen…a broken marriage…or a broken world.
When God led the Israelites out of Egypt he performed great miracles by the hand of his servant Moses that could only be attributed to God. Through their wandering in the wilderness he went before them as a towering pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night. He made his presence known in fire and smoke, in a great trumpet blast and thunder and lightning on Mount Sinai from where the people heard his thunderous voice. The Israelites could deny Yahweh’s existence only by sheer force of obstinate will or strange delusion.
Then Moses disappeared into the cloud for a few weeks to talk with God, and with him gone and no new or miraculous appearance of the Almighty, the Israelites got impatient and began to doubt.
“When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him, “Up, make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” – Exodus 32:1
An unreasonable expectation of a more constant and visible presence led to the Israelites quickly turning to idolatry, demanding that Moses’ brother Aaron fashion for them something they could see and touch. After just promising that they would obey whatever God had commanded, including not making for themselves idols of silver or gold, they gave Aaron their gold earrings and “out came this calf,” as he later deceitfully explained when confronted by Moses. And they declared, “These are your gods, O Israel.”
The further we get from God’s last visible presence on earth, in the person of Jesus Christ, the more apt we are to deny or question his existence. “As for this God, the one who supposedly created us, we do not know what has become of him. In fact, we are not even sure he exists.” So we make for ourselves gods of silver and gold who “go before us” and we follow them. Or gods of other people, or we make ourselves to be our own god.
When the Israelites rejected God for what their own hands had made, they suffered greatly because of it. And we are suffering today in a broken world because so many have rejected the true God and turned to idols. They want a god they can see and touch. An unseen, immaterial creator of the universe? That’s so Old Testament. Give me concrete physical proof…let me see “I am God” appearing in the sky. Surely he could part the Pacific if he wants us to believe in him, and walk through it himself in all his glory and majesty.
Or give me a god that allows me to conquer and subjugate infidels, or tells me that I can become a god myself. Better yet, give me no god, so that I am not accountable to anyone and can do whatever I please.
Someday God will appear in all his glory and majesty and every eye will see him. Those who reject him now because of unmet expectations of visible proof will be sorely disappointed then. Nay…they will be much more than that. They will be distraught and eternally despairing. But those who are now expecting to see him thus then, will be gratified at his appearing. Nay…we will be much more than that. We will be ecstatic and eternally rejoicing.