• W. Austin Gardner

Choose Today and Dedicate Yourself to the Lord



Exodus 32:1 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. 2 And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me. 3 And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. 4 And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. 5 And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the Lord. 6 And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.

7 And the Lord said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves: 8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. 9 And the Lord said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people: 10 Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation. 11 And Moses besought the Lord his God, and said, Lord, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand? 12 Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people. 13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever. 14 And the Lord repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.

15 And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written. 16 And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables. 17 And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses, There is a noise of war in the camp. 18 And he said, It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear. 19 And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount. 20 And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strawed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it. 21 And Moses said unto Aaron, What did this people unto thee, that thou hast brought so great a sin upon them? 22 And Aaron said, Let not the anger of my lord wax hot: thou knowest the people, that they are set on mischief. 23 For they said unto me, 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. 24 And I said unto them, Whosoever hath any gold, let them break it off. So they gave it me: then I cast it into the fire, and there came out this calf. 25 And when Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies:) 26 Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the Lord’s side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him. 27 And he said unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour. 28 And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men. 29 For Moses had said, Consecrate yourselves to day to the Lord, even every man upon his son, and upon his brother; that he may bestow upon you a blessing this day.

30 And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses said unto the people, Ye have sinned a great sin: and now I will go up unto the Lord; peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin. 31 And Moses returned unto the Lord, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. 32 Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin—; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written. 33 And the Lord said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book. 34 Therefore now go, lead the people unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee: behold, mine Angel shall go before thee: nevertheless in the day when I visit I will visit their sin upon them. 35 And the Lord plagued the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron made.

  1. A great leadership failure

  2. Moses, the regular leader, has not come down 1 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.

  3. Moses is still up in the mount with God

  4. Aaron knows God in a very special way

  5. He has seen God do great things

  6. What could have caused Aaron to fail this way

  7. Maybe an understanding of what happened in Aaron’s life

  8. Maybe it was his indirect relationship with the Lord Exodus 4:14 And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart. 15 And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do. 16 And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God.

  9. This is what it looked like Exodus 4:29 And Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel: 30 And Aaron spake all the words which the Lord had spoken unto Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people. 7:2 Thou shalt speak all that I command thee: and Aaron thy brother shall speak unto Pharaoh, that he send the children of Israel out of his land. 7:19 And the Lord spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water, that they may become blood; and that there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood, and in vessels of stone.

  10. Could it be that Aaron got his leadership from Moses

  11. Now Moses was gone

  12. Aaron had not been thinking for himself

  13. Aaron wasn't receiving directly from the Lord

  14. Aaron depended on the strength of another man when he should have depended on the Lord

  15. Where are you in your walk with the Lord?

  16. Do you look to certain men too much?

  17. Your parents, friends, pastor

  18. Do you follow the lead of others instead of developing your own walk with the Lord?

  19. Do you think for yourself?

  20. Do not let commentaries do your thinking

  21. Do not let preachers no matter how famous do your thinking

  22. Do not allow your culture or your family to tell you what to think

  23. Get into the Bible

  24. Do you have a daily walk with the Lord?

  25. Can you stand alone for the things of God?

  26. When they lost Moses they lost all direction 1 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.

  27. Our church needs strong men that know how to walk with God

  28. Men that will keep our church in the Bible and following Jesus

  29. Pastors come and go but this is your church

  30. If your pastor steps out of line then you should not run from your responsibility

  31. Do not go get the wrong man to lead you when the pastor steps away

  32. Aaron foolishly tries to please the people

  33. He wants to establish his own leadership

  34. He wants the people to respect him

  35. He probably has no idea what to do

  36. He scrambles to make up a ministry philosophy in the absence of a man that really knows God and His will 2 And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me. 3 And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. 4 And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

  37. Aaron simply puts the true name of the real God on this idiotic idol 5 And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the Lord.

  38. Big lessons for us to learn

  39. Our leaders can fail us.

  40. They can step off the scene

  41. They can fail to lead when their voice is needed

  42. They can die

  43. They can fall into sin

  44. We must make sure that our leadership works at keeping a walk with God

  45. They must constantly develop their personal life

  46. It would be good to get your pastoral leadership to places that they can be refreshed spiritually

  47. Pastors, too, need their batteries charged occasionally

  48. We need to develop strong lay leadership in our church

  49. The missionaries and those we send out are great

  50. But the strength of this church will never be those that we send out

  51. Nor will it be our pastor

  52. The strength of this church will be strong men and women

  53. Men and women that love God and can live and act like the spiritual family for all we send out

  54. We need leadership that tries to please God and never the people

  55. We don't need a new or constantly changing ministry philosophy but to stick to the Word of God

  56. Great prayer truths illustrated

  57. God states the facts of what is happening with the nation of Israel 7 And the Lord said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves: 8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. 9 And the Lord said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people:

  58. The people had turned out of the way

  59. They were a hard-headed group that didn't want to humble themselves and do things God’s way

  60. They have made a golden calf and worshipped it even though they have seen the great hand of God over and over

  61. They have insulted God calling their false gods by His name and giving their praise to their idol for doing what God had done

  62. Moses was their leader and it was now time to step up to his responsibility

  63. God is ready to destroy the Jews and make a special people out of Moses and his lineage 10 Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.

  64. Moses prays 11 And Moses besought the Lord his God, and said, Lord, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand?

  65. He reminds God that it was really Him that brought the nation of Israel out of Egypt

  66. He tells God that he remembers His great power

  67. He reminds God that they are His people

  68. He is carefully giving God all the glory for what He has done

  69. He wants God to look good to the world 12 Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people.

  70. If God kills the people then the Egyptians will have cause to speak against God and say God did mischief with His people

  71. The idea of mischief would be that God had evil purposes in bringing His people out of Egypt

  72. The word has even been translated to wickedness and perverseness

  73. God wouldn't do such a thing in Moses opinion

  74. Moses begs God to not do what He had a right to do

  75. He begs God to repent of this evil-have a change of heart, feel compassion towards His people

  76. Moses calls on God to remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel and His promises to them 13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever.

  77. God had given great promises

  78. God keeps His Word and Moses knows that

  79. Moses actually quotes God to God

  80. God answers that He will not do to them what He had thought to do 14 And the Lord repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.

  81. This is God explaining in human terms how He felt about sin

  82. He hurt

  83. He was angry

  84. He should have and could have destroyed them but instead again made a way to forgive them

  85. They will however suffer from the consequences of their sins

  86. God often calls for a clear stand to be taken 26 Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the Lord’s side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him.

  87. Moses is coming down from the mountain where he has been with God 15 And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written.

  88. The 10 commandments were the very work of God. He wrote them 16 And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables.

  89. Moses had met with God.

  90. He had God’s very Word written by the very finger of God

  91. Every preacher should be so clear that he steps up and speaks the very Word of God

  92. The people are partying and worshipping false gods 17 And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses, There is a noise of war in the camp. 18 And he said, It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear.

  93. They are dancing before the calf 19 And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount.

  94. They are singing and shouting

  95. They are worshipping

  96. They are naked 25 And when Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies)

  97. Moses is super angry

  98. He has thrown and broken the tablets

  99. He now grinds up the calf and burns it

  100. He makes them drink it 20 And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strawed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it.

  101. He wants Aaron to explain himself 21 And Moses said unto Aaron, What did this people unto thee, that thou hast brought so great a sin upon them?

  102. Aaron blames it on the congregation 22 And Aaron said, Let not the anger of my lord wax hot: thou knowest the people, that they are set on mischief. 23 For they said unto me, 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. 24 And I said unto them, Whosoever hath any gold, let them break it off. So they gave it me: then I cast it into the fire, and there came out this calf

  103. The people are set on wickedness

  104. They wanted him to make them new gods

  105. He gave them what they wanted

  106. He acted as though the calf just came out

  107. Aaron should have been the leader. He should have stood his ground

  108. He should have called on the people to do right but wanted to be popular more than right

  109. He refused to accept responsibility for his actions

  110. It is time for everyone to make a clear decision about where they stand 27 And he said unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour.

  111. The call was very personal

  112. Everyone was to respond

  113. They were to stand for the Lord against their brother, friend, and neighbor

  114. Sounds very much like what Jesus said to the disciples Luke 14:25 And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, 26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. Matthew 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. 37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

  115. The children of Levi obeyed and 3,000 men died 28 And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.

  116. They were taking a stand to show their love for God above all others 29 For Moses had said, Consecrate yourselves to day to the Lord, even every man upon his son, and upon his brother; that he may bestow upon you a blessing this day.

  117. It is often hard to stand for right when it affects your friends and family

  118. One thing not to agree on, another to pick up the sword

  119. God is big on us knowing and showing that we are on His side

  120. Where do you stand? Have you made a decision that clearly states that you love Jesus above all else?

  121. A willing substitute for sin 30 And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses said unto the people, Ye have sinned a great sin: and now I will go up unto the Lord; peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin.

  122. They had sinned and Moses knew it

  123. He lovingly tells them that he will try to make amends, atonement, for their sins

  124. This is much like what Paul said about the Jews Romans 9:1 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, 2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. 3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: 4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; 5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

  125. Moses prayed to God for them 31 And Moses returned unto the Lord, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold.

  126. He wanted to be die and even eternally possibly if they could be saved 32 Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin—; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.

  127. The Lord said that the sinner would die 33 And the Lord said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.

  128. God forgave them. He allowed them to go on to the promised land but said that they would still deal with the consequences of their sins 34 Therefore now go, lead the people unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee: behold, mine Angel shall go before thee: nevertheless in the day when I visit I will visit their sin upon them. 35 And the Lord plagued the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron made.

  129. The beautiful lesson that is hinted at in this verse is the idea of a substitute

  130. Moses and Paul both offered themselves for others

  131. Jesus did offer Himself for others

  132. We are saved because Jesus did take our sin on Himself

  133. I am glad that God Himself wanted to reconcile us through Jesus Christ and His death on the cross

  134. We could never atone for our own sin

  135. We deserve to die for going our own way and doing our own thing-just like they did for making an idol

  136. But thank God for His love and mercy and taking our sin on Himself so we could be free

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