13 Furthermore the LORD said to me, “I have seen that this people is indeed a stubborn people. 14 Let me alone that I may destroy them and blot out their name from under heaven; and I will make of you a nation mightier and more numerous than they.”
15 So I turned and went down from the mountain, while the mountain was ablaze; the two tablets of the covenant were in my two hands. 16 Then I saw that you had indeed sinned against the LORD your God, by casting for yourselves an image of a calf; you had been quick to turn from the way that the LORD had commanded you. 17 So I took hold of the two tablets and flung them from my two hands, smashing them before your eyes. 18 Then I lay prostrate before the LORD as before, forty days and forty nights; I neither ate bread nor drank water, because of all the sin you had committed, provoking the LORD by doing what was evil in his sight. 19 For I was afraid that the anger that the LORD bore against you was so fierce that he would destroy you. But the LORD listened to me that time also. 20 The LORD was so angry with Aaron that he was ready to destroy him, but I interceded also on behalf of Aaron at that same time. 21 Then I took the sinful thing you had made, the calf, and burned it with fire and crushed it, grinding it thoroughly, until it was reduced to dust; and I threw the dust of it into the stream that runs down the mountain.
-The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Dt 9:13–21). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
Yesterday I wrote about the power of God in breaking down our idols and Temples we build in ourselves that we use to serve other gods. Today’s scripture shows us what happens to the idols we refuse to give over to Jesus.
Those idols break us.
There are so many instances of brokenness in this passage. First the people turn from God and break their relationship of gratitude with Him. Then, Moses, moving down the mountain to inspect the situation becomes broken-hearted over the unfaithfulness he sees. He responds by breaking the two stone tablets – the physical representations of God’s promise to the people and the people’s promise to God. Then Moses breaks the idol of the gold calf down before the people. By the end of the story, everyone has experienced brokenness.
That is what sin does when we let it sit and stay with us. It festers and rots away at us, eating into the good parts of our life until nothing is left.
Moses intervened on behalf of the people. God was ready to wipe them out that day, but Moses acted on their behalf and pleaded for mercy. Then Moses went and disciplined the people, destroying all of the wealth they had used to create that golden calf. That was wealth that could have been traded to make things easier in the Promised Land, but because of their unfaithfulness, it was destroyed.
Jesus is the one who mediates between us and God. It is He who pleads for mercy on our behalf and then disciplining us.
Where are you feeling the grindstone in your life?
What can you turn over today to God so that your life does not get broken along with your idols?