Read Exodus 32:1-33:23
They thought Moses had literally up and left them alone in the desert to fend for themselves. So the Israelites made themselves their own kind of god. Maybe this one would do things the way they wanted.
God the LORD had been the One to bring them out of Egypt’s bondage. He had been the One whose hand crushed all their enemies under the water walls He’d erected. But God was furious. So mad, in fact, about the fickle hearts of the people He had so powerfully rescued, that He was ready to wipe them out and just keep Moses.
It was disaster of a different kind. The kind that crushed spirits and left the Israelites in desperate need of the one and only God.
See, they were absolutely at God’s mercy, but they didn’t realize how desperately they needed His blessing until He took it from them. The people of Israel were not aware of their constant and literal need for His presence until He sent them away from the mountain on which they had seen Him descend.
“Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; but I will not go up among you, lest I consume you on the way, for you are a stiff-necked people” (33:3).
It was disastrous news. The kind that left them clinging to the hope that maybe, just maybe, God would grant mercy, forgive them and return.
This disaster brought the Israelites to their knees. Back to where they realized their absolute need for God. The God who had seen them and known and heard their cries and saved them and promised hope and freedom and real living.
Perhaps you read this account, and you recognize yourself.
You forget the God who provided a way for you to know real life, true freedom. You pretend you know better. Convince yourself you don’t really need Him, and then bam! He reminds you.
You are at His mercy.
We are always in dire need of His guiding hand to show us how to live. No matter if we like the turns that way may take. The truth is, His is the only way to true life. God’s Presence in our lives is the only way we can move at all towards real life and freedom.
We can trust Him and follow. Or we can forsake Him and try to find our own way. And fail.
But always we will need Him. Will you seek Him today?