Imagine, for a moment, that you are God.
You have a desire, an overwhelming desire, to be near Your people, to draw close to those created in Your image – You want to live among them.
You tell Moses, the leader of the people, about this desire.
You have a vision for this dwelling place – a very specific picture of what this Tabernacle will look like. Finally, Your dream of this home of Yours is coming to pass, and I imagine Your eyes lighting up as You pour out Your vision, Your passion, Your very heart. One can tell by the details this isn’t something You just threw together; it’s been stirring within You for some time.
The attributes of this place, the elements and pieces are so particular that what You share takes up 7 chapters of our current Bible. You tell Moses from the beginning of Your words to ask the people to bring various materials to help as an offering – just those who want to. Materials such as specific types of cloths, certain animal skins and hair, spices and stones, and gold. Lots of gold.
It takes 40 days spent with Moses to pour out Your heart to him, during which time You also shared 10 important directions with him:
“Then, as God finished speaking with Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two tablets of stone on which the Ten Commandments were written with the finger of God.” Exodus 31:18
Moses is then ready to descend down the mountain and share God’s vision with the people.
What should have transitioned into a time of worship and giving after Moses shared the instructions for Your dwelling place turned into something very, very different. After Moses was gone for so long, the people panicked.
“When Moses didn’t come back down the mountain right away, the people went to Aaron. ‘Look,’ they said, ‘make us a god to lead us, for this fellow Moses who brought us here from Egypt has disappeared; something must have happened to him.’” Exodus 32:1
Aaron did not seem to hesitate for even a moment before asking for their earrings to create a golden calf to “worship.”
Oh, God, how Your heart must have broken when the gold meant for Your House, the place that would allow You to always be near those You love, was instead used to break one of Your precious laws, the very commandments You wrote with Your own finger.
How my own heart broke as I read this today! Oh, how recklessly I have used my own “gold” to fashion false gods. My gifts, my time, my heart, my own running to other gods when God seemed distant. How quick I have been to use my gold meant for God however I see fit. Lord, help me to have a soft, teachable, obedient heart before You, that my “gold” would be for You and Your glory alone!