Monthly Archives: February 2015

Stupid like Aaron

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Have you noticed that when you watch a movie a second time, you see some things that you missed the first time you watched it? It is as if there was simply too much information for your brain to absorb the first time. Knowing the story line makes it easier to notice additional information the second time. You will even notice even more information the third time!

It is the same with books. The first time, your brain is focused on the story line. The second time, you focus on additional information.

This is exactly why reading the Bible is such an amazing adventure. You will learn something new from the same piece of scripture, every time you read it.

Every year I read through the Bible, and each time I read the story of the Exodus, I get angry with the Israelites. Their rebellion sickens me to my stomach. I simply cannot fathom that they doubted God after the ten plagues, the parting of the Red Sea, the cloud column by day, the fire column by night, and all the other signs and wonders God did.

Now believe it or not, there is something that I missed up to now! Did you know that Aaron saw God? not only Aaron; Aaron and 72 other people saw God along with Moses! Don’t believe me?

Exodus 24: 9-11
Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up
 and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of lapis lazuli, as bright blue as the sky. But God did not raise his hand against these leaders of the Israelites; they saw God, and they ate and drank.

Right after this encounter, Moses went up higher on the mountain to receive the stone tablets with the ten commandments. And what did Aaron and the 72 others do? They returned to the camp and built a golden calf under pressure from the rest of Israel. I cannot get my head around this one. It really baffles my brain. How can you build a golden calf right after you SAW the Creator of all? How???

I was stuck on this chapter for days. I read it again and again. I still don’t know how they could be so stupid. But somewhere in these few days, I realised that we are actually exactly the same. How many times has God come through for us in the past? I dare you to sit back for a moment and recall those times when you cried out to God in total anguish and He answered with a miracle. Think. Did He heal you? Did He provide the finances when you needed it? Did He answer your prayers? Think!

And now? Today? Do you battle to put your faith in God to sort out whatever giant you are facing? Are you wondering how you are going to make ends meet this month? Are you stressed over health issues? Are you worried about some problem for which you have no solution?

What is wrong with us? We “saw” God in His provision countless times before. So why are we building a golden calf called Worry today? We are so stupid. Just like Aaron and the 72 others.

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Take off your shoes

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Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.” When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God. (‭Exodus‬ ‭3‬:‭1-6‬ NIV)

I have read the passage above more times than I care to count. And every time I wondered why Moses had to take his shoes off. This morning was no exception. This piece was in my reading plan for today and when I read it, again I paused and wondered…. Why did God instruct Moses to take his shoes off. This morning was different though. This morning I actually waited for God to answer my question.

Why do we wear shoes? We wear shoes to protect our feet from the harsh environment. We wear shoes to meet social expectations – people will frown on us if we go to work with a suit and no shoes. We wear shoes to be fashionable and acceptable to other people. We wear shoes to be comfortable.

The shoes Moses had on his feet, represent our own plans and precautions. It represents the things we think up and do to protect ourselves. The things we do to impress other people. The things we do out of the fear of man, the things we do because of our comfort zones. And guess what – as long as we wear those shoes, we cannot fulfill the calling on our lives. We first have to get to a place where we are ready to take off our shoes and stand barefoot before God. Only then, can He take us on new path, to achieve what He has planned for us.

We cannot fulfill God’s plans while we cling to our comfort zones. We cannot fulfill God’s plans while social acceptance is more important to us than obedience to God. We cannot fulfill God’s plans while we are making our own plans. We will never achieve the greatness God has planned for us, as long as we hold on to our own dreams. Moses was willing to just look after the sheep of his father in law. God’s plan was much bigger. He had to look after the entire Israel. Our plans pale in comparison to God’s plans.

Take off your shoes today. Go to God barefoot, stripped of all your plans and expectations. Go with nothing. You will find yourself in a holy place with fresh revelation from God’s heart.