Cabin Fever and the Golden Calf
As well, my annual read through scriptures has me with Aaron, the associate pastor of a church that had just crossed the Red Sea! Those folk had seen God do some powerful things. Meanwhile their Senior Pastor was away for some prolonged time with God in the mountains.
I hope my more conservative readers are no more offended by my tongue in cheek approach today, than other brothers and sisters might be when I express my thoughts about Meryl Streep’s recent monologue. I think there are connections and a truth for the people of this polarized nation, who like those of Exodus, may have lost their way, if not their minds!
Meryl, a favorite actor of mine, said some pretty provocative things; truth in part, though my review of her acceptance speech was after the fact. I cherish the arts, but Hollywood has never been where I go for moral direction. I’ll have to admit, her comment about our President-elect and people of power giving permission, especially before children, for the hideous mockery of a disabled journalist and the lack of diplomacy witnessed from our soon to be “Tweeter in Chief” is so on the mark. I too am a product of the public schools and a 20 year veteran public educator, so I appreciated the implications there.
Again, Meryl is a favorite, but her physical audience was also likely represented by people of influence whose lifestyles and commitments to home, family and marriage may give equal permission for our poor behavior as a nation.
My objective is neither to criticize Meryl Streep nor Donald Trump, but rather “like a blow to the skull” awaken our citizens; my grandchildren’s lives are at stake.
My question is how in God’s name (In God We Trust) did we get here? Your question is what does this have to do with a Golden Calf?
Keep reading. First, where did Aaron learn this behavior and why would he (Ex. 32:1-5) choose gold to represent the God who had not many days past, provided a wind that literally walled up the water of the Red Sea. Then to boot, the Egyptians even attempted to follow in their horse drawn chariots through what was apparently dry land! Looking back over their shoulders, they witnessed the timely release of those pent up waves, swallowing up their enemy. BAM!
Whether you believe these stories to be literal or myth, let’s not lose focus of the principle, though my thinking out loud this morning seems less than laser-like! BTW, believing the Biblical stories of scripture, in this bizarre moment for our nation seems to have little implication about one’s discernment of the Divine. Given that 87% white evangelicals voted for Trump. Then however, many a believer on the other side will see Meryl Streep’s speech as long overdue and possibly from heaven above! The people if God are divided like no other period in my lifetime!
Back to the story, Moses has a definite personnel challenge on his hands, one that had its roots in him “convincing God” that stuttering was a problem before a Pharaoh. Now in his absence, Aaron seems to throw him under the bus by saying: “As for this fellow Moses who brought us out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.” Wow!
Something had definitely gone undetected by this “on the move” Senior Pastor. The fact that it culminates in a Golden Calf, causes me to think that materialism had slowly become a problem within their spiritual culture. Hello!
After all, in an attempt to stop the death of their firstborn children, this congregation of former slaves had been so favored by the Egyptians (Ex 12:35-36), that they were laden with an abundance of gold and silver; sufficient for them to be deluded into believing material assets could represent the highest blessing, if not their best likeness of their Red Sea God!
Not really sure about the calf image, unless their doctrine was out of focus as well? Well there we are? Can I get a witness?
They were so gullible as to gather early the next day, hold a church service, sacrifice their burnt offerings (I just lost my PETA readers), offer fellowship offerings and a pot luck dinner where they “sat down to eat and drink and got up in revelry.” (Ex. 32:6). Where were the Elders of this “city” of people, and why were they not troubled the night before?
Moses was apparently the true called out one, though the lineage of the Levites would soon give way to Judah, The Lion. Yet, his writings would forever stand in stark contrast to the higher expectations and teachings of Christ, though God would use the beauty of the arts (Meryl) to capture and communicate the subtle overtones of grace (Ex. 31:4-5).
God’s direction to Moses: “Go down (the mountain) because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt.” Could this be a word to the American Church, as well as Hollywood?