Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Responsibility of Freedom

And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.  -Exodus 32:1 (KJV) 

Many years ago while serving a church in another state I was approached by the parents of a teenage girl in the church who was going through a time of rebellion.  The situation had reached a critical stage when the parents had gone out of town for a weekend and left the girl, age 17, at home alone.  They gave her strict warnings about not having friends over while they were gone, and though they had concerns about her ability to manage on her own, they decided to give her a chance to prove herself trustworthy.  While the parents were away the girl decided to have a party and invite a group of friends to the house.  The party grew into a large crowd of teenagers and a great deal of damage was done.  The worst damage, however, was when a few of the girls “friends” thought it would be funny to go through the house and pour beer on all the furniture.  When the parents arrived home, it was immediately apparent what had happened.  

So often when people get a taste of freedom they are unable to control themselves and the results are not pretty.  The same situation occurred when God’s people, newly paroled from 400 years of slavery in Egypt, found themselves alone and on their own at Mount Sinai.  While Moses was on the mountain receiving the commandments from God, the people decided to throw themselves a party.  Their behavior was the opposite of all that God was leading them to do.  Instead of worshiping God they bowed down to an idol.  Rather than conducting themselves with honor and integrity, they behaved like pagans.  Having cast off all restraint, they engaged in the worst kind of immorality.  When Moses came down from the mountain a civil war took place resulting in thousands dying.   

Let us not be tempted to read this passage in the Bible and believe we would never do something like this.  Giving into ungodliness and immorality is like opening a floodgate; any pent-up passion, anger, lust, and bitterness can come crashing out like a flood.  Getting it all back under control presents a challenge.  The best place to be is walking in obedience to Christ each and every day.  The Lord will help and empower us to remain in His will when we trust Him daily. 

The high call of God in Jesus Christ is to stand firm and not be given over to ungodliness and immorality.  The results will be a solid and steady witness for Jesus and the blessings of God being poured out upon us.  Walk with Jesus, remain in His will, and serve Him with integrity.  

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