God’s Thoughts to Me
Then Aaron took the gold, melted it down, and molded it into the shape of a calf. When the people saw it, they exclaimed, “O Israel, these are the gods who brought you out of the land of Egypt!” (Exodus 32:4, NLT).
The saying goes that it took the Israelites only a few days to leave Egypt, but they had to wander the desert for 40 years before God finished uprooting all the stubborn roots of Egypt from their hearts.
The ancient Egyptians had 8700 gods and after living in Egypt for 430 years, we can just imagine how much they have been influenced by the Egyptians and their useless religious ways.
It is therefore no big surprise when they wanted to revert back to the familiarity of a god they could see when they felt lost in the desert. They longed for the security of the familiar streets of hell they knew so well!
We are all well acquainted with the story of how the Israelites became impatient with Moses for staying too long on Mount Sinai. They pestered Aaron until he built them a golden calf from the golden earrings they brought from Egypt.
I used to shake my head in exasperation and disgust at the stupidly of these people, while silently patting myself on the shoulder, believing I would never be so shortsighted and foolish!
How could they think for a moment that their golden-earrings-turned-golden-calf was able to lead them out of Egypt? Preposterous, to say the least!!
But our Pappa knows me best and showed me how I used to wander in my own desert for a long, long time. He showed me all the mountains I loved trekking around numerous times before He could lead me further.
He opened my eyes to see how often I cried for the fleshpots of Egypt when the going got tough and the tough seemed to have no plans to get going!
He showed me the many times I saw the wonderful, luscious grapes of Canaan in my mind’s eye, but turned back. It took Him quite a while to usher me across my Jordan into Canaan … into the life of our Lord Jesus.
Even though I have been a member of a church all my life, I still didn’t know Jesus. My heart was empty, starving and yearning to know this strange God. I needed to experience His love which was not much more than a mystery to me at that stage.
One day, out of sheer frustration, I took my Bible and read that wonderful verse, “All that the Father gives me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out” (John 6:37).
As I used to battle rejection issues most of my life, my heart rejoiced when I saw the words about not being cast out!! Glorious light and joy flooded the darkness and despair of my heart.
I realized that although I have been a diligent church member for many years, I have never gone to Jesus personally.
I could only fall to my knees and cry out to Him that I was coming to Him and Him alone. I was in awe of this Jesus who didn’t speak the only language I knew so well: rejection!
I thanked Him for the assurance that I would never be sent away like a dog with its tail between its legs, when being rejected was about the only language I knew!
That was my Red Sea moment! But little did I realize that this was only the beginning of my journey to Canaan. I had my own treasure chest filled with lots of Egyptian gold and silver and a heart overgrown with the weeds of this world.
I didn’t take long for me to realize that the love, joy and peace I heard of so often, were still very absent from my heart and my eyes started lusting after the familiarity of Egypt!
Very soon I forgot my days of slavery and all the tears I cried when I sat down at the rivers of Babylon!
Very soon I complained about my monotonous diet of manna and I longed for the fleshpots of Egypt! How I missed the false security of belonging to a religious church, of finding my worth in a set of theological doctrines, of not thinking for myself and just gobbling up everything that was dished up onto my religious plate!
How I missed that wonderful gooey feeling of singing the beautiful gospel songs on the great rhythmic beat of drums. I soon forgot how I cried out to Pappa when I was a slave in Egypt.
But, I knew there had to be more to life than the empty futile striving, forever trying to be good enough to be loved. I was tired of empty rote practices of piety.
I was tired of being told to cry when the religious elite played funeral songs and to dance when they dished up wedding songs! (Matthew 11:17).
Like Abraham who trekked into the unfamiliar, I also set my face like flint and travelled into the unknown, never alone, for the Rock of All Ages was and always will be my constant companion!
Much love and sweet blessings.