Christian Devotionals

"Don’t Bend Me Shape Me Any Way You Want Me"

It’s sad how humans over the centuries have fashioned their gods in the image of what best suits them. Pagan cultures conjure up this god to fulfill a certain need or that god to meet a particular expectation. Even the ancient Israelites at the time of Moses fell into this trap. What’s even sadder is that unlike the pagan peoples around them, they knew the One true God, the LORD Almighty is His name. Yet we read in Exodus 32 how they panicked when Moses was on the mountaintop for awhile and were afraid that God and Moses had abandoned them. God had been with them every step of the way as He led them out of captivity from Egypt. Yet He’s out of sight for just a short time and what do they do? They proceed to manufacture a new god to take His place. What’s even worse is that Aaron - the very first High Priest, consecrated to God – has this reply to the people’s idolatrous request: “Give me your gold earrings.” Aaron then takes their gold and molds it into a golden calf for them to worship. It’s ironic that in the preceding chapters of Exodus, God was giving Moses detailed laws concerning proper worship.

Starting with the Ten Commandments (including #1 and # 2 forbidding the worship of other gods and idols) and followed up by specific details about the alter, the utensils, the sacrifices, the regulations and the consecrated garments that Aaron and his sons must wear. How it must have broken God’s heart – and angered Him to no end – to have His chosen people defile themselves as He was about to present His Laws to the people.

The Bible that I’m reading through this year is the Life Application Study Bible. I like this translation, especially the notes and comments at the bottom of each page. These notes are very interesting and help me to better understand the scriptures. For this section pertaining to the golden calf in Exodus 32, my Bible has this to say about our cousins the Israelites:

“Idols again! Even though Israel had seen the invisible God in action, they still wanted familiar gods they could see and shape into whatever image they desired. How much like them we are! Our great temptation is still to shape God to our liking, to make Him convenient to obey or ignore.”

That is a sad, but true commentary about how we try to conform God into the image that best suits our personal needs and desires. We obey Him in some areas of our life, but turn a blind eye to other portions of the Bible that we wish to disobey. We say things like, “I know the Bible says not to do this, but God has given me peace with this decision.” So we throw our earrings and gold into the mold and fashion up the god of our own choosing. We start worshipping a sweet old god who wants us to be happy or help us find ourselves. Well this is not the One true God we’re choosing to follow. It’s an idol made in our image and it will lead to major problems as long as we choose to go down that path. God will not share our affections with idols and this sinful behavior will keep us from enjoying the rich fellowship, tender mercies and true blessings that only the Living God can provide. There is only One true God and He is the God of the Bible. Spend some time getting to know the real Lord by reading and obeying His Word. He’s the only genuine God who can truly satisfy.

Those who worship false gods turn their backs on all God's mercies.
Jonah 2:8 (New Living Translation)