By: Pastor Jarren Rogers

“Every comeback is a human story intersecting with God’s story.” – Louie Giglio

The Israelites tend to get a bad rap. 

One of the most aggravating moments in Israel’s history is right after they are released from Egyptian bondage.

God had just performed one of the biggest miracles of all time when He split the Red Sea in two. The Israelites were saved right in the nick of time because God was watching over them. How can you see something like that and not end up with an amazing faith in God?

But look at the Israelites. Just a few chapters later, they begin to complain about bitter water that they were drinking, then, after that, they began to complain about the lack of food. It finally got to the point that they said they wished they had never even left Egypt!

If you’re like me, when you’re reading this story, you almost have to laugh. Here the Israelites have seen amazing, unbelievable things at the hands of God. But now their faith has reached rock bottom. 

But it gets worse. After God provides for the Israelites, time and time again, they begin to put their faith in Him once more. He leads them to Mount Sinai and Moses goes up on the mountain to get the ten commandments.

But the Israelites began to get antsy. They didn’t like waiting on Moses or God so they called out to Aaron, “Come on,” they said, “make us some gods who can lead us. We don’t know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt.”

And Aaron complied to their demands. He melted down gold and made a statue of a calf for them as their new god.

While Yahweh is imparting the law to His people on the mountain above, they are bowing down to a golden statue.

We read this and we tend to wag our fingers in the Israelites’ faces. You knew better. You should have learned your lesson. How could you turn away from God time and time again?

But the fact of the matter is that we can sometimes do the very same thing. We too turn our back on God. We too have worshipped idols even though God has sought us out. We too have forgotten how God has been faithful and how He has worked.

Israel gets a bad rap a lot of the time. But sometimes we aren’t much better.

May God show us as much mercy and forgiveness to us as He did to the Israelites. May He extend second, third, and fourth chances to us when we mess up time and time again, just as the Israelites did. May He continue to call us to be His reflections on earth despite our imperfections, our shortsightedness, and our selfishness. 

Let us cast down our bronze calves, cut short our complaining, remember His faithfulness, and pursue His calling with a renewed vigor. 

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