“And God spoke all these words, saying, ‘I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.” Exodus 20:1-4
And so begins one of the most well-known events in the entire Bible: the giving of the Ten Commandments from the Lord through Moses to the people of Israel. Moses had gone up on Mount Sinai, holy ground, to worship, and God gave him the law for 40 days and 40 nights. Right before Moses had left to go up, the Israelites had seen more of the Lord’s mighty signs and wonders and had pledged their faith and obedience. But while Moses was away, they became fearful that they had been forgotten . . .
“When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him, ‘Up, make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’” Exodus 32:1
So Aaron, who was to become the high priest, assisted the Israelites in making a golden calf to worship. Happy and excited, the Israelites brought offerings, feasted, drank, rose up to play, and soon were in a frenzy of singing and abandoned dancing.
How often, in an extended quiet waiting period in our own lives, are we tempted to go stir up something exciting for ourselves? We rationalize, “Surely, the Lord doesn’t want me sitting here idle, not using my spiritual gifts to His glory!” We become fearful that we have been forgotten, that the Lord must not really care about us personally. His silence is deafening. We are driven to do for the Lord when He wants us to be still and know that He is God. And we compromise His best for “good enough,” and it becomes the idol, preventing us from wholly obeying, trusting, and following He Who Knows Best.
Can you see that our vantage point does not give us the entire view? If only the Israelites could have seen the amazing glory of God at work up on that holy mountain! If only they had trusted that God was and is working in the wait. In fact, God acts on behalf of those who wait on Him (Isaiah 64:4). Don’t run ahead of God. Wait on His best. Be still and know that He is God. He loves you and never forgets you. Your name is written on the palm of His hand.