It’s the babies’ nap time, which means Thad and I are free to clean up the messes they’ve made without interruption. I decided to turn on the Dwell app and listen to the Bible as I work.
Some passages in the Bible make me want to weep. The passage I’m on in my listening plan was one of those passages. My eyes filled with tears, and I had to take a break from my cleaning. I listened to this same passage less than a month ago, and I had the same response. It is Exodus 32.
In this chapter, Moses has been up on Mount Sinai for forty days and forty nights. God has given him laws, instructions for the tabernacle, instructions for consecrating the priests, and instructions for the sabbath. He has told Moses how the people needed to live as His covenant people, a people set apart. God ends His time with Moses by saying, “Go down at once, for your people, whom you brought up from the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. They have quickly turned aside from the way which I commanded them. They have made for themselves a molten calf, and have worshiped it and have sacrificed to it and said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!’ ” (Exodus 32:7-8)
God mentions destroying the people and making a great nation out of Moses; however, Moses pleads with God to remember His covenant with Abraham, and God relents. Moses descends the mountain and finds the people dancing and celebrating before their golden calf.
This passage is painful to read because of the people’s blatant rejection of the God who delivered them from Egypt, led them to walk through the Red Sea on dry ground, and who had made Himself and His power known to them through the plagues in Egypt, while sparing the people of Israel, His people. They created and worshipped a golden calf all because Moses took longer than they thought he was going to. They were impatient and uncomfortable.
And yet, I’m afraid I see a form of this in my own life. In times of uncertainty, discomfort, and boredom, (eg., a pandemic with stay-at-home orders), I often find myself looking for distraction and something to occupy my thoughts and time with. My screen time is up.
Instead of turning to God, drawing near to Him in confidence because I know He’s never abandoned me before, and resting in His peace, I’m quick to pick up my phone and look for the funny Coronavirus memes or the latest numbers or newest guidelines. I allow my phone to become a source of numbness for my discomfort and impatience, and in doing so, I create an idol.
What about you? Are you resting and pursuing God or are you numbing out and pursuing distraction—whether it be social media, news outlets, home projects, or Netflix?
Let’s seek God in this time of having our schedules cleared. Let’s wait and watch for His hand. Let’s encourage one another and keep each other accountable (from a distance!) to remain near to God and in His Word.