Nick Poindexter

My style's like a chemical spill

Tag: Aaron

Accidental Idols

“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.

God Bless You

God spoke to Moses: “Tell Aaron and his sons, This is how you are to bless the People of Israel. Say to them,
God bless you and keep you,
God smile on you and gift you,
God look you full in the face and make you prosper.
-Numbers 6:22-26 (MSG)

God bless you.

We really throw that phrase around a lot, don’t we?

We write an e-mail and end it with the salutation, “God bless”. Someone sneezes, and we immediately reply, “Bless you”. I mean, do we really even know why we’re saying what we do, or has it all just become everyday jargon?

In chapter 6 of Numbers, God tells Moses specifically what Aaron is to say when blessing the Israelites. To be clear, we’re not talking about our modern day “blessing” here, but rather the real “God, I desperately want your divine favor to come upon this person” type of blessing. This is the real deal, and God breaks it down into 5 points:

  1. To protect
  2. To be pleased with
  3. To be gracious to
  4. To show approval of
  5. To give success to

Wow. Maybe it’s just me, but reading that gives “God bless you” a whole lot more meaning. That little phrase that we spit out daily is literally packed with power.

I’m not saying that it’s wrong to say “Bless you” when someone sneezes, but it’s clear here that God takes the idea of a blessing seriously. So seriously, that he laid it out word for word, line for line, to guarantee that all the bases were covered, intentions were pure, and the speaker understood its significance.

God, help me to demonstrate encouragement and your love through genuine blessing of others.

And selfishly, may God bless me.

Flirting With Carcasses

God spoke to Moses and Aaron: “Speak to the People of Israel. Tell them, Of all the animals on Earth, these are the animals that you may eat:

“You may eat any animal that has a split hoof, divided in two, and that chews the cud, but not an animal that only chews the cud or only has a split hoof. For instance, the camel chews the cud but doesn’t have a split hoof, so it’s unclean. The rock badger chews the cud but doesn’t have a split hoof and so it’s unclean. The rabbit chews the cud but doesn’t have a split hoof so is unclean. The pig has a split hoof, divided in two, but doesn’t chew the cud and so is unclean. You may not eat their meat nor touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you.
-Leviticus 11:1-8 (MSG)

God begins his instructions to the Israelites with land animals that are OK to eat. He specifically goes through example by example naming some of the “unclean” animals… No camels, no rock badgers, no rabbits, no pigs. And to sum it up he simply says, “You may not eat their meat nor touch their carcasses.” And as he continues on in later verses referring to other types of animals he makes the same request.

As weird as they sound today, God did had reasons for the avoidance of eating certain animals: for the general health of the people; to separate them from other pagan religions; because of symbolic associations, etc. When you think about it, those do make sense. But why was he so concerned that they not even touch the body of a dead animal?

I think God was pointing out the severity of sin and the dangers that come with association. He was making it clear that not only do we need to not do the things he’s told us to, we need to go as far as to be totally separated from them. It’s as if he’s saying, “Don’t eat these meats… And to make sure that doesn’t happen, don’t even touch the carcasses.”

I wonder how often I have justified my flirtation with sinful things by thinking I was alright because I technically wasn’t committing the sin. The situation may be tempting but I haven’t done anything, so I’m OK, right? Not quite… The line of sin and temptation is very fine, and God recommends that we don’t even go near it.

When you think about it, God is comparing temptation to a stinky, rotten, bloated, maggot-filled, dead animal. To most the thought of even getting near a carcass sounds disgusting, let alone touching it. Flirting with sin and temptation should sound likewise.

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