Thursday, 6 June 2013

Week 3 Getting from Here to There Moses' Mission - Trouble at Mill - a talk by Canon Andrew Evans

God has some important things to download to Moses so he calls him to a briefing on top of Mount Sinai.  God likes mountain tops shrouded in smoke and mist, a bit of the theatrical adds mystery and suspense.  Is God finally going to tell Moses the way to the Promised Land and an end to this ceaseless wandering?

Not quite.  In fact the info God wants to impart is rather more important than even a decent route planner.  So important, in fact, that he gives Moses two tablets (not Apple’s but stone).  On these God’s own finger has inscribed how the special relationship between him and the Israelites, called a covenant, was going to be kept.  Ten rules to order their relationship with him and each other.  Pretty radical stuff, about only loving God and your own wife.

All this takes time and the people left at the foot of the mountain grow restive and not a little frightened.  What if Moses has fallen in a ravine?  What if he is lost in that mist?  What if he has choked in the smoke?  What if he’s not coming back?  They collectively lose their nerve and turn away from God, back to the ways they learnt in Egypt.

Aaron, left in charge by Moses, decides to divert their attention by getting them busy making a false god.  A collection is organised (these still happen in church each week, though sadly there is little gold in evidence).   It was considered quite chic to have flashy earrings and both the guys and the girls wore them.  That was what Aaron wanted.  Every earring from each person.  He soon had quite a pile of gold and a large group of people who thought it was funny to try and peep through someone else’s earlobe.

The gold was duly smelted down and fashioned in to the shape of a golden calf.  This was one of the Canaanite gods and thought to be quite powerful. Wow, great, roared the people and organised a huge rave, right there in the middle of the desert, eating all manna of things on little sticks.

By now Moses had taken the tablets and was on his way back down the mountain, coughing gently and complaining about his chest.  Approaching the camp the noise was so great he thought a battle was going on.   He soon realises it’s not and that the people have made a HUGE mistake!  In a fearful rage he dashes the tablets to the ground, breaking them into many pieces, just like he feared this new covenant with God would be shattered, too.  There was going to be trouble ……….What happens next is pretty grim and if you really want to know you’ll have to read it for yourself in Exodus 32. v 25-34.

Is there a false god in your life?  Be really honest!


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