A Fickle Faith
He received the gold from their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool and made a golden calf. Exodus 32:4
When in medical school, I spent a month at a hospital in Haiti after which I felt my view of material possessions had changed forever. I returned home with the intention to live on little, giving something of what I had to those in need. It was easy back then, as I had nothing. Though I still give to charities, as time has passed, my passion for helping those in need has faded some. If I revisited Haiti, I’m sure it would be renewed, but I’m also sure that once I returned to this life, it would again fade. I am fickle with my money.
The Israelites too, were a fickle people. Having been freed from slavery, witnessing many miraculous events, they should have been permanently devoted to following God. When Moses left for a few days though, the Israelites wasted little time in fashioning and worshipping a golden calf idol.
Though we do not worship a golden calf idol, we are not much more consistent in our faith. We just cut out the cow part, worshipping the gold. We claim to obey God but when it comes to our money, we do as we please. We sing of following God on Sunday, only to live for ourselves the other six days of the week.
Though the Israelites repetitive disobedience and idol worship are maddening to read about, it is a story we know well. This is us. We are fickle, professing allegiance to God but then living for ourselves. We are terminally prone to wander, doing as we please with our lives and our money. This is why Jesus insisted that if we truly want to follow Him, we must daily surrender our own pursuits to do so. This is the only solution to our roaming tendencies, to make a daily effort to focus our lives in the direction it was meant to go.