Exodus 32:30-33:6 – In the Doghouse

Read Exodus 32:30-33:6

Can you remember a time when you were punished for something? I can vividly remember being grounded for breaking the hall mirror as a child. Now that act doesn’t sound all that horrible, but when it happened after mom told me and my brother to stop playing in the closet (the door had the mirror), and we obviously didn’t, that was the bad thing. We didn’t mind her and what happened? Well, we were definitely in the doghouse! Do you remember that phrase?

For the Israelites, their deed was so much worse. Disobeying a parent is one thing, but disobeying our Heavenly Father is an entirely different matter. God’s anger burned so much; he didn’t even want to see them. He even said he would surely “destroy them.” But God still loved them. He was going to look out for them despite his anger.

I can understand that. I can remember being so mad at my kids for doing something, but I still loved them. You may have encountered that same kind of thing with a friend or a loved one. You just despise some behavior of theirs, yet you still love them. That’s a little bit like what we see here (God’s love for us is just so much deeper).

Do you think the Israelites felt remorse for their actions? Do you think they actually understood why God was so furious? Moses did what he could to help the situation. He, too, was disappointed. But God didn’t abandon them, even in his anger. He sent an angel on ahead to protect and help them conquer the land. A promise is a promise, and God was going to follow through with that.

Stubborn and rebellious. Doesn’t that sound familiar? I think we could say we haven’t learned much over all these years. As a society, we are still acting out these types of behaviors. We have our good days, don’t get me wrong, but we are still hard-hearted at times, wanting what we want, and striking out in unnecessary and unhealthy ways. Wouldn’t you agree?

I can say I’ve never made a golden calf to replace my devotion to God. However, there are probably plenty of idols I have erected over my lifetime that have kept me separated from God in one way or another. What idols are you holding on to? Are you in the doghouse now or do you remember a time when your behavior would have been displeasing to God?

Take time today to reflect on how you can strengthen your relationship with God and be more of the child who pleases him.

Let’s pray. Lord, forgive me for my waywardness. I know I haven’t always been walking in your light. Looking back, those dark times were not pleasant. Help me to push away the distractions that keep me separated from you. I want to be able to focus on you and your path for me. Help me to discern your wisdom in decisions. Help me to speak your truth into those I love and those I meet. Draw me into your presence today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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