It has been a very busy couple of weeks, and that is why I haven’t posted since May 1. From preparations for revival to the week of revival capped off with our Mother’s Day celebration – pastors will understand what that is like. The physical, emotional, and spiritual exertion can leave you drained, but the powerful services we have experienced since last Sunday have been amazing. Bro. Ed Lacy, our evangelist, and Bro. Tommy Gray, our music leader, did a fantastic job, but it was the Holy Spirit that moved in our midst that took us to the mountaintop. While we had no professions of faith, I know that some of us truly had an encounter with God that has renewed our strength and our hope that He is about to do something amazing at Southside.
But have you ever noticed in the Scripture – or maybe you have seen it with your own eyes – how our tendency is to come crashing back down into the valley. It happened with Elijah after Mt. Carmel. It happened with the disciples after the Mount of Transfiguration. It happened to Ananias and Sapphira after Pentecost. And it happened to Israel at Mt. Sinai. After having heard the audible voice of God and seeing the display of His glory as He came down on the mountain, they rebelled against Him and broke the first two commandments by worshiping the golden calf. In forty days, they went from the mountaintop to the depths of depravity that is hard to even imagine. How? Why? And can we learn anything from their experience?
In my message yesterday (May 14, 2017), I shared what I see to be four fatal flaws that caused Aaron and the people of God to turn away from God. I will briefly share them with you and then encourage you to listen to the sermon for which I will leave a link below.
Turning from God results from a:
- Limited passion for the presence of God. They refused to enter into and stay in God’s presence. In Exodus 20:19, they told Moses to speak with God and tell them what He said rather than enjoy the presence of God themselves.
- Lack of patience in the purposes of God. God never gave them a timetable, but by the end of the forty days Moses spent on the mountaintop with God, they had worked themselves into a frenzy and decided to take matters into their own hands.
- Load of pressure from the people of God. Aaron could not take the peer pressure and stand firm in God’s plan even though He had heard the audible voice of God and came closer to God in this encounter than the majority of the people.
- Leader that is passive to the priorities of God. Aaron had heard the voice of God and knew what God expected, but it didn’t matter because God’s priorities were not his priorities. He knew the people had committed themselves to be the priestly presence and the purified people representing God to man and bringing man to God. But it didn’t matter to Aaron.
And we all know the outcome. The people found themselves living in perversion – the phrase in v. 7 that says they corrupted themselves literally means that they were running to destruction. And Aaron did nothing to restrain them. As a result, they lost their position as God’s people. Look at chapter 32. All of a sudden, God stopped calling them “My people.” Now they were Moses’ people. But God did what He always does – He provided for them a second chance. You can’t tell me that the God of the Old Testament isn’t a God of grace. He most certainly is. The good news is that His grace is still poured out on all those who choose to repent and come to Him. And it doesn’t matter what your sin is. As long as you come to God on His terms, He will forgive and welcome every prodigal back. But we must make the choice.
If you would like to listen to the audio of this message, go to http://media.drbenhayes.net/?name=2017-05-15_051417am.mp3.