I chose the first reading from the Old Testament about Moses coming down the mountain with the 10 commandments for today’s reflection, and it’s a long one, and a good one, although you won’t hear me bad-mouthing any Scripture, although I do have my favorites, and this is one of them.
There’s also passages in Scripture I struggle with – for example, the miracle where that prophet “tied his ass to a tree,” THEN walked a mile to Jerusalem – talk about your gluteus maximus!! I just find it hard to believe that God would support such a seemingly pointless miracle, but maybe I’m missing something. I can tell you that it’s an image that’s hard to get out of your head!
[My apologies, I recognize this as an entirely inappropriate way to begin a daily reflection on Scripture, and it’s only Monday, so please pray for me!….mea culpa].
O.k., Moses was gone for awhile, and the people felt they needed someone (or some “thing”) to follow. Someone, or something, that would take care of them, save them from peril, and take their mind of their misery and poverty…. and Moses was just taking too long getting back! (Remind you of anyone else with an expected “return” but no specified return date?).
In the absence of good shepherding, people usually devolve into “revelling,” to take the edge of all that insecurity, anxiety, boredom, “dryness of spirit,” and fear about what might happen tomorrow, given the lack of a god or shepherds to look after them.
Jesus, the Father, the Holy Spirit – anything truly “spiritual” – like Moses on the mountain way back when – sure do seem to be taking their good-old time showing themselves, and little wonder, since they have been completely driven out of our culture, our political systems, our health and educational institutions, and ar no longer mentioned as a consideration in any plans for the future.
An official and well-organized “insanitization campaign” has scrubbed God from our lives at every turn, against all that is good and true. Jesus has been erased from our collective consciousness, “banned and censored,” along with everything else “true” – memes from Buddha are still cool….Jesus? Not so much.
Those seeking to satisfy self, and who look to Godless plans for comfort and security, whether they realize it or not, are on the WRONG SIDE of the great spiritual battle between good and evil, between truth and lies.
They do not live by the Spirit of Jesus, who sacrificed Himself entirely for us out of love. They have “course hearts.” and are entirely blinded to the truth of what life is really all about – why we exist, and where we are destined to end up, depending on how we live our lives and what spirit we “attach to” – or allow to attach to us.
We can seek power and control through one of a thousand types of “magic”, or we can seek mercy, transformation and eternal life in God’s love. The choice is ours to make once we see the choice to make – no one else will make it for us. Those seeking power and not mercy have course hearts unable to accept the “seed” of eternal life which is the implanted Word (Jesus).
They are entirely selfish, evil and live by deceiving and manipulating other people….not surprising the sign of strength for those who worship money (mammon) rather than God is a bull – too bad the obvious wasn’t noticed and “anti-bullying” campaigns could be developed for our leaders as well as our school children.
LOOK AT THAT! “BABY” EVIL IS ALL GROWN UP!
I think it’s fair to say that most of us think that the people “fashion” a golden calf to take the place of Moses’ God, who apparently went AWOL with Moses.
But that really seems kinda shallow and improbable to me when you really think about it, even for desperate people – to think that it’s possible to “create” your own god.
So it’s not surprising to learn that isn’t what happened! They didn’t create their own god – they were deceived (obviously by the workings of the devil) – which is the “key” point to understanding the nature and dynamics of apostasy and how turning away from God happens. We’re fooled by the fantastic!
That’s why reading Scripture too “fast,” without pondering the words, is about as effective at snagging insights as you’d be rounding up the mosquitos in your backyard with a bass fishing net.
No, they didn’t “make” the golden calf. They turned to the occult, seeking power and control over their fearful state of feeling powerless and out of control. They sought through magic the kind of knowledge and power that is forbidden, practices that I’m sure they were very familiar with growing up in Egypt.
Similarly, in our “modern” culture there are no shortages of passageways away from God to those offering some comfort and guidance while God seems to linger, sleep, or maybe He just decided not to exist anymore.
Have you ever gone for a ‘reading’ just for ‘fun’ = who’s ‘reading’ what exactly when you do that? Who are you putting your trust in when you hear that amazing thing you excitedly tell everyone about for the next week with, “How did they know that??” Spoiler alert: DEMONS!
When you DON’T know God, and you DON’T understand that the nature of God is love and mercy, and you’re feeling like a ship on a stormy sea that could go down for good any minute filled with the frantic, frenetic fright from feeling fearful, and you finally start sending out feelers in other directions than God looking for someone or something to trust that is going to deliver NOW, rather than having to keep waiting for God to show up, having nothing but His PROMISES to hang on to.
Then out of the stormy sea rises some wow-like phenomena that completely enraptured us with love – SCRATCH THAT – with POWER – with some charismatic Jim Jones-type guy calmly telling us:
“Relax, I can rescue you and keep you safe, from a future that you should never again think you can of as anything but a minefield you can not navigate without me.”
When the storm rages, God seems to be sleeping in the boat like Jesus was that time the Apostles woke him up to save them, then one’s fear and sense of powerless can easily begin to see a “god” in illusions of magic and displays of spiritual power, which, unfortunately, the devil and his minions have great capacity to eagerness to make happen whenever bored teenages, for example, say, “Hey, let’s dig out that old oiji board!
In these last days, be on the lookout for the following: A great sign of healing, rescue or restoration of something everyone feared losing that will leave a mighty and transformative impression on the masses of people who are not following God’s Holy Spirit on the way of the cross, but are seeking relief from the suffering Jesus told His followers they would most definitely experience if they followed and imitated Him, teaching what He taught, doing the works of mercy that he did, living with meekness and humility for others and not self, trusting God at all times, giving no thought to anxious worry for what might befall us now or in the future.
Look for that in these dark times, look for love and mercy always, and be very, very weary (sounds like Elmer Fudd) with the powers displayed by those in control of earthly kingdoms – never forget that’s the kind of power that put Jesus on a cross with spikes going into his body!
Note: That same power is now putting spikes in as many of God’s children as possible, only instead of pounding them in with hammers, little evil has grown up and become more sophisticated – we’re driving these spikes into people using needles to enslave our own cells to produce the spikes that harm and kill – we’re throwing the precious gold of our unique person into the fire and worshipping what comes out it seems!
So keep your eyes peeled on the horizon for some pretty cool magician who will present as a “benevolent”saviour” (probably using BigTech, BigPharma – and a Ouija board).
We see more of that “warning” and “keep awake” message that seems especially relevant for our day, as we observe events unfolding that appear to be what Scripture and prophecy outline happens when the first of the seals mapped out in Revelations are opened.
Revelation 13:3 sounds an awful lot like a “golden calf coming out of the fire” to me, just saying:
“One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was filled with wonder and followed the beast.” [Revelation 13:3.]
What this means exactly will probably only become clear when it happens. That’s why many messages in Scripture, including messages from Jesus that are somewhat obscure, operate as “warnings” – not explanations, or the answers to curiosities – as Jesus told His disciples, we’ll be given what to say and do by the Holy Spirit at the time it is needed, and we’re not to be concerned for what we may encounter tomorrow, but focus the entirety of our attention and energy on service to our brothers and sisters in the here and now.
And the warning is this: NOT to do like the bored “let’s have a party and forget our trouble” Israelites, or that we “take charge” of things our fear generates as worry, and go looking, or long for, something that is not God.
Something is coming soon in the world that will grab the attention of everyone – something from God (the illumination of Conscience, a final great act of love and mercy) and something from the Devil, (the prophesied “great healing” that mesmerizing the world by solving something that everyone believed was “unsolvable” and tragic for the fate of humanity.
Just when fear seems to “win” convincing people of imminent catastrophe, “voila” , someone does something “magical” that every immediately knows about, and then almost everyone says – “Yep! He’s our guy,” and although we don’t know what that person looks like or stands on top of “representing” exactly (other than evil and the devil) the image that came to mind writing this is that powerful creature in New York – the golden “calf” all-grown up!
The “whole world” perhaps; but not those protected by the power and presence of God, physically still living in the world in appearance only, but “not of the world,” inhabiting the land of the Spirit and Truth that is true worship to God, living in that Kingdom that Jesus told Pontius Pilate was also “not of this world.”
Where is your spirit living these days? I hope you’re not tempted to go revelling, because it appears that particular temptation is the devil’s “flavour of the month.”
“Jesus, staying faithful to You when the noise of the world that has forgotten You is all around calls us to relax and do just a bit of revelling for the good of our Spirit, which You did as well, which the Pharisees didn’t let pass, calling you a “drunkard”.
In a world with so few people who know and love you, yet are suffering, lost and lonely, their search for peace and joy and relief from pain and sorrow can lead us away from the sacrifice you call us to at all time, to fulfil and honour the first commandment, which is to offer praise and glory to God by putting God first, and not ourselves.
So we ask during these days of summer when guards get “let down” that you protect us from the evil one, keep us out of our “dreamy” imagination that entices us with lies about how the things we imagine and seek to get for ourselves will make us happy when they only take us away from our happiness, here in this life, and for eternity, which is friendship and fellowship with You and all who will love and live in God for eternity.” Amen