Bringing the Text to Life

Are You Making a Living or Making a Dying? Exodus 32:1-14

The disease of materialism is a socially approved addiction, America''s #1 high and favorite form of substance abuse. Too many Christians have sold their birthrights for this mess of pottage - - or this pot of message, as one wag puts it.

The Hebrews in Exodus 32 are so unbelievably ... American. They have experienced miracle after miracle. They have been given deliverance and freedom. They have received so much. Yet they want more. Nothing, it seems, will ever be enough for them.

Golden calves are as much in fashion today as they were back in that Sinai desert. We are only too willing to pour all our God- given gifts (the gold rings the former slaves handed over to Aaron were part of the booty gathered from Egypt as they fled) into creating some "thing" that will supposedly keep us safe, give us comfort and control in the midst of a civilized wilderness. Of course, we disguise our idols sometimes. Like Aaron we pretend that they are perfectly legitimate means of achieving fulfillment in life. We make idols out of our careers, our homes, our status in the community. We convince ourselves that power emanates from these idols and throw ourselves into them -- as the saying goes -- "body and soul."

And that is the whole ...

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