Making Living Arrangements
Christopher B. Harbin
Exodus 32:1-14; Isaiah 25:1-9; Matt 22:1-14; Phil 4:1-9
We often hear of people making various living arrangements. The tabloids are ever concerned with which latest actor or actress is modifying their domestic relationships. Children move out of home, back in with their parents, or parents move in with their children. Families fall apart or merge together in new ways. We are familiar with all these relational struggles. Perhaps not as obvious are the changes to the living arrangements we make with God. What role does God really play in our lives? Reports estimate that over 40% of the US population reports no role at all for God in their lives. Aside from showing up at church, what living arrangements do we have with God and God's presence in our lives?
The Hebrews felt disconnected from God and anxious while Moses was removed from their presence. They wanted a visible representation of God in their midst. They were accustomed to idols, as their use had been prevalent in Egypt and in their own worship there. We tend to think of this Exodus crowd as monotheistic and serving Yahweh as a matter of course, tradition, and historical allegiance. That does not do the reality of their religious lives justice. They were just getting used to the idea of serving a God with no image or idol. They were still getting used to the concept that they should serve one deity alone.
The Egyptians had many gods. They worshipped the sun, the moon, the sky, the earth, and the various others gods of Egypt. While there was a primary god to be served, the others were served as well, considering their participation and importance in Egyptian life. When Yahweh offered a covenant relationship through Moses and attached a list of instructions on how that would play out, they heard the words. Maybe they did not go in one ear and out the others, but neither had the people taken the time to process the meaning of the cove ...
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