Exodus 32:26 ~ "...then Moses stood in the gate of the camp and said, 'Who is on the Lord's side? Come to me.' And all the sons of Levi gathered around him."
How much of what is called worship today is merely the dancing around a golden calf?
Moses had departed up Mount Sinai, having left the people in the care of Aaron and the elders of Israel. They had been instructed in the law of the Lord, and were given by God His Ten Commandments. Yet, when he was gone for many days, the people in restlessness forsook the commands of God and demanded that Aaron fashion for them a symbol of God, an image that they could see and touch, one that was agreeable to them.
And so, he did.
Let me begin by saying this: pastors and worship leaders beware of pandering to the demands of a crowd who want to express their revelry of worship based upon their imagination of God. God has established His word, and His people must worship not only in spirit but also in truth (see John 4:24).
Moses and Joshua returned from the mountain in time for them to see the debacle of idolatry in the camp of the Lord. The camp had "broken loose" and everyone was gyrating around the fire and the idolatrous calf with unbridled enthusiasm. They had departed from God's clear directives and their worship was nothing more than the unrestrained havoc of self-expression.
Moses, enraged by what he saw, shouted to the multitude: "Who is on the Lord's side? Come to me."
And that is a great question: who is on the Lord's side? Surely not those who were gyrating around the fire, claiming to worship God, yet all the while doing exactly what He commanded them not to do.
But Moses' cry is also a call to repentance: come to me. There is this glorious moment when anyone who recognized their wickedness before the Lord in violating the second commandment had opportunity to flee from their sin and return to God by returning to the one He had commissioned to be their shepherd. And all the Levites came to Moses--including Aaron who had actually carved the image for the people. Even Aaron's great sin (for he was the leader of the people while Moses was gone) may be forgiven.
Let me ask you, pastors and leaders, have you fashioned an idol for the people to worship? Have you made for them an image of God, though not carved from stone or metal, but drawn out of your own imagination or fitted to the imaginations of the crowd? Then hear the question of Moses--who is on the Lord's side?
Let me ask you, Christian, is the word of God too constraining and you want to break loose in your worship, doing that which satisfies your desires? You must also hear Moses' question--who is on the Lord's side?
If you want to be on the Lord's side, you must flee from such idolatry and run back to the place where God has established His ways--in the Word of God. For Moses represented the word of God and the violation of the Law of Moses was to violate the Law of God.
The Lord Jesus is the living and abiding Word of God and through the Scriptures we can know and respond to God correctly. For our Lord said, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments" (John 14:15). No one who maintains their own, independent ideas of God and how He is to be worshiped and loved actually worships and loves Him.
And if you need to come back to Him, as the Levites came back to Moses, then you must abandon your notions and return to the Word of God.
In His Grace,
From the Mountains to the Sea
Every step we take on this journey called life ought to be used for greater understanding. I've lived from the mountains to the sea, and this blog is my personal thoughts and observations with a desire for Biblical understanding. Welcome.