“Don’t get so upset, my lord,” Aaron replied. “You yourself know how evil these people are. They said to me, ‘Make us gods who will lead us. We don’t know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt.’ So I told them, ‘Whoever has gold jewelry, take it off.’ When they brought it to me, I simply threw it into the fire—and out came this calf!”
-Exodus 32:22-24 (NLT)
Picture the scene: Moses is on Mount Sinai receiving the Ten Commandments directly from God. What a moment! But when he returned from the mountain, he finds his brother Aaron leading the Israelites in worship of a golden calf statue! Can you imagine the disappointment and anger that must have instantly swept over Moses? Talk about a buzzkill.
And to make matters worse, Aaron tries to defend himself by saying that it was the Israelites’ fault. They are the evil ones… They were complaining… They brought their gold jewelry to me.
Then, he blurts out one of the most unintentionally hilarious lines in the Bible: “I simply threw it into the fire—and out came this calf!” Are you serious, Aaron?! Is that really the best you can do? C’mon… That’s simply pathetic. I can see Moses rolling his eyes and hanging his head in shame right now.
It’s extremely easy for us to point the finger and laugh at Aaron’s expense as we read this story. But unfortunately, it really hits home… Well, I wouldn’t have done THAT if so-and-so hadn’t done THIS! Ever heard that one before? Or how ’bout, Oh, I didn’t think it was that big of a deal… One thing lead to another and it kinda just happened! Oopsie!
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve used the Aaron cop-out, I’d be a very rich man.
Our rebellion against God is serious business. Whether you’re a leader or not, when sin occurs you’ve got to step up, take responsibility, learn from the mistake, and immediately change.
There’s no such thing as accidental idols.