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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sin Makes You Stupid

I don't care much for the word "stupid," and I'm very selective about when and where I use it. When it comes to the way sin makes us act, however, I can think of no better word. Want proof? Read this account:

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. And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strewed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it. And Moses said unto Aaron, What did this people unto thee, that thou hast brought so great a sin upon them? And Aaron said, Let not the anger of my lord wax hot: thou knowest the people, that they are set on mischief. 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. 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. - Exodus 32:19-24

This scene takes place right after God gives Moses the Ten Commandments. During Moses' time on the mountain, the people of Israel had come to Aaron and asked him to build them a golden calf to act as a mediator between them and God. Yeah, right! Even though they had not yet received the Ten Commandments, God had made it clear to them on MANY occasions how He felt about false gods and idols. Still, the people asked, and Aaron obeyed.

When Moses comes down off the mountain, he can't believe his eyes. He throws down the tablets he's carrying and smashes them to pieces. He approaches Aaron and demands an explanation. Aaron's answer is nothing short of ridiculous.

"Well," he says, "the people wanted me to make them a god, so I took their jewelry and threw it into the fire, and suddenly this calf appeared." Talk about your tall tales! Did he actually think that Moses would believe such a thing? Of course not. It's absurd. The calf didn't just appear. He fashioned it himself. The Bible tells us so in the fourth verse of the same chapter. I think Aaron was trying to absolve himself from the situation. He knew he had done wrong, but he was seeking to shift the blame.

Do you see what I mean? Sin makes us stupid. It causes us to do things we wouldn't ordinarily do. It forces us to try to cover our tracks or shift the blame. In the end, it just makes us appear idiotic. Who wants that?

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