December 4, 2013
READ: Exodus 32:1-20
When [Moses delayed coming] back down the mountain, [the people] said “make us some gods” (v.1).
Pepperoni, fresh garlic, black olives. When I agreed to try my friend’s favourite pizza toppings, I had no idea they would smell so divine. The aroma prompted me to take two pieces. “It’s gonna be hot,” my friend said. Stupidly I bypassed her warning and sunk my teeth into a steaming slice. You know what happened next. Lavalike cheese burned the top of my mouth and the rest of the meal was spoiled because of my impatience.
Impatience ruined the Israelites’ harmony with God at a critical point in their history. Moses was conferring with God on Mount Sinai and was just about to present the people with the Ten Commandments. While he was gone, the Israelites grew restless. “When [they] saw how long it was taking Moses to come back down the mountain, they gathered around Aaron. ‘Come on,’ they said, ‘make us some gods who can lead us’ ” (v.1).
Stupidly Aaron gave in to their mutiny. He gathered all of their gold jewellery, melted it and sculpted a cow out of the precious metal. The people worshipped it; sacrificed animals in its honour; and celebrated with feasting, drinking and pagan revelry (v.6). Their impatience sparked God’s anger; He noted their corruption and said, “How quickly they have turned away from the way I commanded them to live!” (vv.7-8).
After experiencing God’s provision, power and promises, the Israelites refused to respect His timing. We too can fall into this trap. We expect immediate answers and fast access to the things we crave. These expectations can bleed into our relationship with God. Instead of acting on our impatience, it’s better to honour His schedule.
Humbling ourselves, waiting and remembering that God’s ways are far better than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9), means we won’t get burned trying to satisfy our desires. —Jennifer Benson Schuldt
Look up Romans 15:4 to learn how the Bible aids those who wait for God’s promises to be fulfilled. Read James 5:7-8 to understand more about waiting for Christ’s return.
What’s the connection between faith and patience? Why would God refuse to answer all of our prayer requests right away? Why might He ask us to wait?