Heard at Café: 10/31/2017

Café had a spooky, "Stranger Things" theme this week, and we began the evening by talking about the things that scare us - rollercoasters, spiders, snakes, failure, the dark, etc.

We also talked about how we handle situations when we're scared. Do we wait patiently, hoping for a better outcome? Do we take matters into our own hands? Do we try to distract ourselves with other things?

People have a tendency to get worried/scared/frustrated when they aren't sure how something is going to turn out, but this is not a new phenomenon. In fact, it's been happening since the beginning of time, and the scripture we read at Cafe proved just that...
Exodus 32:1-8, 19-24
32 When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.”
Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.” So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”
When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, “Tomorrow there will be a festival to the Lord.” So the next day the people rose early and sacrificed burnt offerings and presented fellowship offerings. Afterward they sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt. They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. They have bowed down to it and sacrificed to it and have said, ‘These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.’...

19 When Moses approached the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, his anger burned and he threw the tablets out of his hands, breaking them to pieces at the foot of the mountain. 20 And he took the calf the people had made and burned it in the fire; then he ground it to powder, scattered it on the water and made the Israelites drink it.
21 He said to Aaron, “What did these people do to you, that you led them into such great sin?” 22 “Do not be angry, my lord,” Aaron answered. “You know how prone these people are to evil. 23 They said to me, ‘Make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.’ 24 So I told them, ‘Whoever has any gold jewelry, take it off.’ Then they gave me the gold, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!”
At this point, the Israelites had seen God work in powerful ways - they had been set free from the Egyptians, they had walked through a parted Red Sea, and now they were on their way to the promised land.
And yet - they still had doubts, still got anxious, and were still acting on their own accord when they worried about the way things were going.

The question posed to all of us was, in essence, what is our default setting when things don't go according to plan? When we're anxious/scared/angry/stressed/sad/hungry/bored/lonely? Do we look to God, or do we try to distract ourselves with other things?

The Israelites chose to make a golden calf to worship, which may seem dumb, but really - how would we react in that same scenario? We might not configure a cow out of gold, but it may not be our first instinct to look God. It might be that we look to relationships, or Netflix, or food, or sports, or whatever we may find on the internet to fill us up - but when we do that, we end up falling short of God's desire for our lives.


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