Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Faith is Hard

Dang it, Aaron!  Do you get it?  Like because….Aaron had one job….and he didn’t do it…You know, that story in the Bible…

If I had to guess, you probably are not too familiar with this story.  To be honest, neither was I. 

For some background information, this reading comes to us from the book of Exodus.  Before we get to this point we have Moses gather all the Israelites and leave Egypt.  They have witnessed a pillar of fire and a pillow of clouds lead them and protect them, they have seen the waters of the Red Sea part and allow them to cross on dry land, they have been fed by the manna from heaven, Moses turned a rock into a faucet by tapping it with a stick!  Through all stuff, they believed.  Through all of these things they saw, they had faith.

But what happens when we can no longer see it?

That is what this story is about.  Throughout the whole time God is leading the people, they get to see these miracles.  God tells Moses, I am going to do this.  Moses tells the people that God is going to do this through him.  It happens.  The people see it and they believe.

It is a very common thing.  We tend to believe in what we can see but struggle to have faith in what we can’t.  That is why faith is so hard. 

So here is what happens…God makes a promise to the Israelites, they follow Moses, they doubt Moses, Moses goes to God, God gives them a sign.  Repeat.  That just about sums up Exodus and parts Deuteronomy and if you sub Joshua with Moses, parts of Joshua.

So what is going on at this time is God is laying out the plans for the Israelites to enter into the Promised Land and they all have questions.  God calls Moses up on top of the mountain and directs the elders and Aaron and Hurr to all do different things.  While Moses is on the Mount Sinai receiving the laws directly from God, the people begin to doubt.  They do not know what is taking too long.  They think Moses is gone.  They all go to Aaron and ask him who they should worship now.

Moses, the guy who lead us out of Egypt has gone…we need another god to worship.

Naturally, Aaron melted down all the gold rings that the people had and sculpted a little calf.  He gave it to the people as their new god that lead them out of Egypt and they built an altar to it and worshipped it. 

Of course God sees all of this happening and tells Moses, dude, they messed up again!

Dang it Aaron!  You had one job!

You may be like me after reading this story….wow, the Old Testament is weird.  But then I thought about it some more.  And I saw this exact thing happen all over the place.

Have you ever gone to the store to buy one thing and left with about 30 and still forgot to get that one thing you went for?

Have you ever had a really good friend that you kind of stopped talking to after they changed schools or moved?

This kind of thing has become so common it is cliché.

Out of sight, out of mind.

In this story, the Israelites are lost and confused.  They have put all their faith into one person and they don’t know where he went to.  They need direction and guidance and their leader is MIA.

What do we do?

More often then not, we find something us to keep us busy.

It is really easy to believe and to keep faith when you see the signs.  When it is obvious and right in front of you, it is easy.  There is no challenge, it does not require much faith.

It is when we feel alone and lost.

When we feel our guidance has gone off and we don’t know where to go.

When everything is going bad and you are completely lost.

That is when it is difficult.  That is when our faith is tested. 

It is hard to have faith in what you cannot see.

But who ever said having faith was easy.

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