Summary: This sermon shows the sin of building idols in our person lives.
Introduction- As an introduction I show the congregation a picture (on power point) of me holding a box of ready mix biscuit mix in my hand. State: Ready mix biscuit mix can be a wonderful thing. It accommodates people who have busy schedules. It accommodates people (like me) who do not know how to cook.
I find a tendency in the human heart to do the same thing with our faith. We sometimes try to formulate a god who will accommodate us. I want to examine an occasion when a group of people created a ready mix god. They wanted a god who would accommodate them. “Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, ‘Come, make us gods that shall go before us; for 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 NKJV) Verses 9 & 10 contain God’s assessment of the situation. “And the Lord said to Moses, "I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people! Now therefore, let Me alone, that My wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them.“ God’s assessment of this episode was not a good one. Why was God unhappy with the ready mix god? I want to show three reasons why God is upset when we formulate a ready mix god.
I. The first reason God is upset with ready mix gods is because a ready mix god is built on the wrong inspiration (look at verse 1). Moses had left the Israelite people and traveled to the top of Mt. Sinai to receive a word from God. Moses was slow in coming down from his mountain retreat. His absence caused these people to struggle. Their struggle motivated them to do a foolish thing, build and worship an idol. What motivated them to do this? You will see that they made two common mistakes. Notice two phrases in verse 1: “When the people saw” and “we don’t know”. These are two negative motivators. You and I have the same tendencies in our hearts.
First, we read the phrase “when the people saw.“ Think of the motivating power of what you see.
Ill- When Eve was tempted to commit the first sin we find God’s description of the event. “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate.” (Gen. 3:6 NKJV)
Ill- One of the popular advertisements on television is the bowflex conditioning machine. They always appeal to you through your eyes. I am thinking of two of their commercials. In one they show a muscular man who has bulging muscles. In another they show this great looking “fifty year old grand-mother” who looks like a swim-suit model. Who, in their right mind, would not want to look like those two people.
We need to be reminded that our eyes will lead us astray. Our eyes will rob us.
Ill- A.W. Tozer in “I Talk Back to the Devil” said “you can take two small ten-cent pieces, just two dimes, and shut out the view of a panoramic landscape. Go to the mountains and just hold two coins closely in front of your eyes--the mountains are still there, but you cannot see them at all because there is a dime shutting off the vision in each eye." (Contributed to Sermon Central by: Troy Borst)
Next, we read the phrase “we don’t know”. That phrase reflects an insecurity in the voices of the people. William Shakespeare once said “ Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we often might win by fearing to attempt.”
Ill- A read about a three year old girl who was frightened by a burst of thunder. She called out to her mother “mommy, I’m scared”. Her sleepy mother responded by saying, “Go back to your bed. God will be there with you.” The little girl stopped at the doorway, turned and said, “mommy, why don’t I sleep here with Daddy, and you go in there with God.” (Adapted from illustration #1258 in Something to Think About)
Insecurity often drives people to make foolish decisions. The athlete that is unsure about his strength or ability may turn to steroids. An insecure teenager may turn to permissive sex or drugs to pacify their friends. An unbelieving adult may withhold his tithe because he does not think he can afford to give it. A lady who is insecure may dress in improper clothing to get men’s attention.
II. We will build a ready mix god if we are following the wrong inspiration. There is a second reason God is upset with ready mix gods. They are built around the wrong focus (look at the text). Notice a couple of phrases that reveal the focus of these people.