Summary: Everyone has a bent to do their own way which lead to trouble!
To begin with, please open your Bibles to Exodus 24:12….
And so, we note, God chose a people, the Israelites; they were freed from slavery in Egypt and called to Canaan, the Promised Land of milk and honey. On their way to Canaan, God called Moses to lead and instruct the people how to live a loving relationship with God. Moses had a special training on the Mountain of God for 40 days and nights.
Turn with me now to Exodus 32…..Read along with me v1-10……….
Before we talk about what the Israelites did, again, what did the Israelites knew about God and Moses based on what they experienced so far, starting with the events in Egypt??
From the events in Egypt to the miracles in the desert, the Israelites personally experienced the power, holiness, and love of God and they knew Moses was God’s representative!
And so, looking again at Exodus 32 v1: How long was Moses gone?? God told us.. 40 days and 40 nights! Was that length of time a good enough of an excuse to forget about Moses? Why not??
The Israelites could not have forgotten about God and Moses that quickly right? (they actually acknowledged that Moses led them out of Egypt!) So, what made them do what they did in v1??
The Israelites basically lost faith in God in 40 days!! And yes, we can note what God said about the Israelites in v9…. stiff necked, obstinate (stubborn) people! The Israelites forgot about God and asked Aaron, Moses’ brother, to make idols!
Now, what would you say is interesting about v2??
v2: Aaron, Moses’ best helper, succumbed to the unfaithful people!
Aaron gave in to the crowd but also personally lost faith in God and Moses! Aaron was a spiritual leader who lost faith!
v3-4: The Israelites replaced the living God with a metal statue to worship!
v5-6: Aaron, Moses’ 2nd hand man, organized an ungodly hedonistic party which people excitedly participated in!
v7-9: God knew exactly what was going on and He knew they turned away from God’s way and stubbornly went their way! Nothing surprises God! Nothing can be hidden from God!
Now look again at v10…… What would you say is interesting about God’s statement??
v10: God was ready to judge His Chosen People but also maintained His Promise to that everlasting relationship with Israel, starting with Abraham and would continue through Moses! If we study the Book of Revelation, we can see the future that God will judge the entire world but will still keep His Promise to Israel!
God can judge and do whatever He desires but will always keep His promises!
Let me summarize what happened then note biblical principles for us today….
And now, the end is near, and so they face the final curtain; friends, they'll say it clear, they'll state their case, of which they were certain
they lived a life that's full; they traveled each and every dessert highway
And more, much more than that, they did it their way!!
The Israelites of old forgot about God and went their own way!
What happens when people go their own way??
Turn with me briefly to Proverbs 21….1-16….
Verse 16 is such a powerful truth! The NKJV and NASB translation is this….
Proverbs 21:16 - A man who wanders from the way of understanding will rest in the assembly of the dead. (NKJV, NASB)
God reminds everyone in Proverbs 21 of understanding the right way to live! The devil went against God and insisted his way and so God kicked him out of holy eternal heaven and destined satan for eternal judgment in hell. There is eternal death for those who refuse God’s way!
What does this all mean to us and people today? We are no longer living under the Law but under the Grace of God through Jesus Christ; and Jesus states in John 14:6.. “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Today, except through the way of Jesus Christ, no one can come back to God or have truth and life!
All other ways except the way of Jesus Christ will lead to death along with the devil and all demons! All people are bent to do their own way but trusting and believing in Jesus Christ brings us back to God’s way (1 Peter 2:25)!
2 practical questions for all people today:
1. Have I trusted and believed in Jesus Christ as my Only Savior and Lord?
2. Am I yielding everyday to the way of Jesus Christ?
We should say yes to these 2 questions everyday!
And just like God told Moses about His Promise, let us always remember what Jesus Christ promised in Matthew 16:18b…. I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.