Friday, April 19, 2013

Nehemiah 9:4-38 (part 1)

For months, the people had followed the crackling, thundering pillar of smoke by day and the glowing fire by night; and just a week earlier, the cloud of guidance poured over a mountain, smothering like a thick blanket. The cloud and fire seemed to engulf and consume the mountain, and all the people were mesmerized by the occurrence.
Suddenly, the air cracked with an ear-shattering thunder as the smoke-layered mountain seemed to roar with a million trumpets. All of the wanderers scattered around the base of the mountain hushed and turned to watch the cloud swirl and slowly settle like a thick fog over the entire mountain.
Moses spake.
The trumpet stopped, and from the mountain came the clear, deep voice of God, “Moses, come up the mountain.”
All eyes turned to Moses as he made his way through the camp and walked into the smoke that consumed the mountain.
A few weeks later, Moses had not returned.
“Aaron, build us a new god.” “Moses isn’t coming back.” “He’s been gone too long.” “Let’s make an idol for the gods that brought us out of Egypt.”
The unsettled and restless people approached Moses’s brother, Aaron. They told him that they had been stuck at this mountain long enough, and that they needed to keep on moving through the desert.
While the testimony of their great God had rumbled in the mountain in front of them, they had missed it. While His goodness had refreshed them with daily provision, they had overlooked it and forgotten where it came from. The greatest One in all the universe was taken for granted by the self-consumed, self-absorbed people He had chosen to be kind to.
Aaron succumbed to the pressure of those around him and fashioned a cow out of donated gold. To make matters worse, he fashioned an altar from which the people could worship the golden cow.
Disobedience and rebellion had taken on a new height. The God of grace and mercy was being tested by wicked, ignorant men. What would He do?

Food For Thought: Why did the people who were receiving God’s provision forget about God? How do we do the same thing?