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Aug 22, 2021

A Distaste For Sin

A Distaste For Sin

Passage: Exodus 32:1-32

Speaker: Matt Petty

Series: Ignite

Category: Sunday Sermons

Keywords: sermon, moses, ignite, idols, ten commandments, bible study, what is sin, what is worship, 10 commandments, reading scripture, pray for forgiveness, exodus chapter 32, how to be satisfied in life, how to be saved from sin, run away from sin

We often try to shape God into our image of what we think He should be instead of understanding that we are created in His image. This gives us a distorted comprehension of how sin effects our lives every day, and we rebel against the only thing that can truly satisfy our soul – God Himself. This week during our Ignite Sermon Series, Pastor Matt brings us to Exodus chapter 32, where we see the Israelites who have been brought out of Egypt, start to grow restless and start to look for things to worship other than God because they didn’t feel satisfied. We do this in modern times, we build idols that take the place of God – when we place importance of things, people, and circumstances above God in importance. A lot of times, our idols are revealed to us when we are stressed and in turmoil, but we have to remember that God is the only thing that will satisfy. What we see in scripture today is that we should never treat sin as if it will not have consequences, and we need to be running away from sin rather than drifting towards it. Are you creeping towards sin? Have you built idols that are trying to satisfy the need of worship in your life? Would you like someone to talk with or pray with you today? Then reach out to us – burnthickory.com/next, we’d love to answer any questions and pray with you.

Well, good morning church. Hopefully you have had an incredible morning this morning. I know I have, and I am excited about our texts today. Listen, if you got your Bibles with you, or your apps, I want you to go ahead, fire them up and go with me to Exodus chapter 32. Exodus chapter 32, it's the second book of the Bible. And we have a mountain of a text to look at today, you'll realize that's funny in just a minute. All right? We got a lot to cover and a long way to go, Hey, I'm hoarse today. But we're just going to go with it. It's going to be what it is. Don't worry, I'm going to make it, alright? This is number three. I got it in me, I promise I do. But listen, we're in this series called Ignite. And what we're doing is we're looking at how God uses these events in Scripture in these epic stories of fire. Sometimes it directs people, sometimes it shows people who God is sometimes it just illuminates a path, or it just proves the point. We looked the first week at Moses in the wilderness and the burning bush in Exodus 2 where God shows up in that moment and calls Moses with this incredible desire to follow after God. On week two, we went all the way to the book of Daniel, chapter 3, we went over to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Or if you're a Veggie Tales person, Rad, Shack, and Benny, right? And we looked at how God not only walks with us in the great, joyous times in our life, but He also walks with us in the trials. He's with us when we don't even realize it sometimes. And we absolutely realize that we've got to have this dependent faith on God no matter what the circumstance is, because we know what eternity is going to bring. Last week was Isaiah sorry, got them backwards. And we looked at Isaiah 6, and we watched the holiness of God, transform Isaiah. And we made the point last week that our holiness is resting on the holiness of God, nothing that I can do nothing that I can bring on but who God is. Well, this week's fiery account is awesome, in fact, is probably one of my favorite stories in the whole Old Testament because in today's message, or in this story, we're going to see really the whole story of mankind. We're going to see your story and my story from the beginning of time, we're going to watch how God set mankind apart, how He created us how He's walked with us, and He's given us so much of His love and His provision in His plan, and we're going to watch how it has trickled down into our lives. And then it's going to bring some clarity in how we should flee from sin, how we should walk away from sin. Let me catch you up to what's going on. Before we get into it. Exodus 32 is a good way into the Book of Exodus.

But the reality is what we've seen so far in the Israelites, is God has delivered them out of Egypt. God's people, the Israelites were in bondage, they were in slavery, Moses was called to deliver these people physically, as well as spiritually. And now God has been providing for their needs. He's been showing him who He is, and His power. And God has shown us all the way through the book of Exodus to this point, that God has a plan for his people. But not only does God have a plan for His people, God has put inside of us, this desire to connect with Him. You can't argue the fact no matter where you are in your faith journey, that we all long for something bigger than us, that there is a God sized hole in all of our souls that realizes that there is something else that is out there, there's something bigger than us, there's something greater than us and what we've seen in Exodus is that is God. And He's given us His power and His prestige. But what we've also seen is that God's plan is not always our plan. And how God does things is not always how we think God should do things. But here's the good part about that. We should celebrate that. And here's why. Because God is infinite. And He's all powerful, and He's in all control and here's what I know about God. He makes a way better God than you do. And He makes a way better God than I do. I was studying this text this week. And just to kind of give you a little glimpse into how my life looks sometimes, it was early one morning, I'm studying this text, I'm at my desk, I'm just reading it and all of a sudden, I started laughing out loud. You ever laugh at yourself out loud every now and then? Okay, it's just me. But that's fine. I still love you. I started laughing at it. And I literally said these words out loud after reading this whole story of God's deliverance. I said I would make a horrible God. I really would. And here's why. I don't have the patience to be God. I mean, some of you probably wouldn't exist right now if I was God. Not only that, sometimes I just don't like people. I mean, I'm confessing and don't judge me because you don't either. All right? You pretend like you do. But I mean, sometimes I just want to get away from people. Sometimes I just want to be by myself, and I'm a people person. Sometimes my patients give up. Sometimes, I just need to sleep. God doesn't sleep, I need to sleep, I would make a horrible God from not sleeping. Sometimes I don't even know where my truck keys are. And there's no way I could take care of the universe, if I don't even know where my own keys are. Not to mention, if you came up against my family, uh, they ain't know more forgiveness happening. I'm just saying right there. Right? I would make a horrible God. But here's the problem. Why we don't say it often, sometimes we wish we were God. We really do. And sometimes we wish we were the ones calling the shots. And sometimes we, listen, we might not wish we were God, but I want you to write this principle down. We often try to shape God into the image that we think He should be.

You see, we most of us don't have the audacity to say, well, God, get out of the way I should be God. I mean, that would be like, whoa, don't do that. The lightning may fall, right, you'd step away from that person. But the reality is, there's a lot of times in our lives, where we don't say we want to be God. But we try to shape Him into our image. We try to put God in this box that we think that God should act, how we think He should act. And we think God should say what we think He should say. And He should think what we think He should think that He should, catch this one, allow what we think He should allow. And you see a lot of times those things are against His character. Therefore, the images that we try to shape God into, it's sin. It's sin, quite frankly, sin. And I just want to say it as we start this morning. That when we try to shape God into our image, instead of us being shaped into His image, that's rebellion against God. It's rebellion. But hallelujah, God offers forgiveness. I want you to write this one down. Number two principle is that we rebel against the only thing that can truly satisfy our eternal souls. And that's God, that's Him. So, I want you to do something just for a minute. I want you to put the story of mankind, the creation, the fall in sin, and the redemption of man inside those two statements. The statements of Hey, we try to look at God and shape them into our image. But secondly, we rebel against the only thing that can truly bring us life and that is God. That's the story of us. And it's the story of the people that we're about to look at in Exodus 32. Now look, we're going to take up the text and chat in verse 1 of Exodus 32. I'm going to warn you for you type A notes people, there's not going to be any for a while. So just settle into the story. All right? Here we go. Verse 1, let me read it and just make some remarks. It says, "When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered," in other words, they pressed in around Aaron, now Aaron is the priest of the people. "And they said, 'Come, make us God's 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.' And Aaron answered them," now if you're anything like me, you're like, go get them priest. Go!

But it's not going to happen. All right? "Then Aaron answered them, 'Take off the gold earrings that your wives and your sons and your daughters are wearing and bring them to me.' So, all the people took off their earrings and they brought them to Aaron. He took what they handed him and made it into an idol, cast in the shape of a calf, and he fashioned it with a tool. And then they said, 'These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.'" Now, when you read this text, in the context of the whole greater book of Ephesians is almost unbelievable. And let me tell you why. You've got God's people at the base of a mountain. And now they have been out of captivity for three months, God has delivered them from being in slavery for 400 plus years, God has brought them out of Egypt, he has split the sea, drowned the whole army of Egypt, He is provided for them, He has given them water, He's given them the fire by night, the cloud by day, He's given them the Golden Grahams on the earth all day in manna, He's given them quail, which all of a sudden flying over them would die, underrated miracle in the Bible and feed them every single day. He's given them all of these mountain events, He's given them the mountain of God in the presence of God on the mountain, they saw the presence of God given them, Moses, to speak over them to speak to them to be the direct mouthpiece of God. And now, three months later, it's almost like they forgotten that God has even done anything for them. Now pause though, because before you judge these people too hard, you've been there. You've been in a situation. Now look, you may not have been at the base of some mountain somewhere watching the consuming fire of God. But you've been in a situation where you feel like God is absent, God is silent, God has gone away, God is not speaking. Maybe even the people that lead you in your life are being quiet. And quite frankly, even though God has done so much in your life, at that moment, you began to struggle, or you begin to doubt there may have been seasons in your life. Your whole college years may have been this, for goodness sakes. These people are struggling. That's what's happening in their lives, one of the worst times in their life. So, what did they do? They begin to take off their jewelry. This is a little bit weird. But let me explain it to you. All the little boy's had earrings, all little girls that had earrings, that’s a whole other deal, right? All of them, took them off. They started giving them to the priest, they melted them down. And they made this golden calf out of them. Now, let me ask you this. Do you remember where they got this gold? This gold came as a gift from God, as God was delivering them from Egypt. Let me take you back just for a minute and give you some context. God told all of the Egyptians as God's people, as my people walk out of here, give them your goal. Can you imagine this in your mind, the Israelites are walking out of Egypt? And all these poor Egyptians are like, hey, I hate you, but here's my wristwatch. I mean, that's basically what happened. God put some kind of message in their souls, some kind of something over them. They're walking out the Egyptians are handing their gold to God's people. And here's why. Because God wanted the Israelites to see that they were now sealed in Him. It was almost like God was giving them a wedding gift, a wedding ring. And He was reuniting with His people to seal His covenant with Him that He was delivering Him. And now, three months later, this gift that God gave them, they're in the wilderness, things are a little bit hot, they're a little bit tired. And now they're melting them down and offering them to this calf god, you know what this is like, this is not a true story by the way. This is like me giving Melissa a wedding ring, that's my wife's name on our wedding day, and us going on our honeymoon and her melting it down giving it to the hotel clerk because she met some other dude and wanted to pay for their hotel room. That's what you're seeing happening right here. That's exactly what's going on. And so, look, how's it happening? Keep going in verse 5, says, "When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, 'Tomorrow there will be a festival to the Lord.'" Now make sure you see that it's to the Lord.

"So, the next day the people rose early and sacrificed burnt offerings, and presented fellowship offerings," which by the way, in chapter 29 is the exact prescribed way they should be worshiping the real God. Now look, I'm not making any excuse for what Israel did right here, but I feel like I need to explain it a little bit. Because if I don't, it seems so far-fetched that I'm like, Matt, I'm not making a calf get off my back. Alright? That's not the point. You see, the last time the Israelites had seen their leader Moses was 40 days earlier. It was 40 days earlier. In fact, Exodus 24. I want you to catch this. This kind of shows our theme in the series here. Exodus 24:15, is the last time they saw Moses. It says, "When Moses went up onto the mountain, the cloud covered it. And the glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai for six days, the cloud covered the mountain and on the seventh day, the Lord called Moses from within the cloud." Catch this verse 17. "To the Israelites, the glory of the Lord looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain." There's our ignite, right? Verse 18, "Then Moses entered the cloud. And as he went up on to the mountain." Now, I want you to put yourself in their shoes, day one, their leader goes up onto the mountain, he walks into the fire of the Lord, right? He walks there, day two, they're like, hey, anybody seen Mo. Nope, nobody's seen him, oh, that's cool. He'll be down later. Day four, anybody seen Mo. Nobody say no. All right, day 18. Hey, anybody seen Moses. Nobody's seen Moses. Where is he? The last time I saw him, he was walking into a fire. Last time I saw him he was walking into the presence of the Lord. Day 39 let's fast forward. They're looking up on the mountain and they're like, hey, two things. Number one, either Mo is nothing but a pile of ashes right now, because he walked in the consuming fire of God, or B, he got a better offer. Maybe we should look somewhere else. That's what they're thinking. They're thinking right here, hey, listen, we're at the base of this mountain. And we don't know what's going on. Our family is here. We don't have any jobs. We don't have a house. What happens if God quits providing the metaphors for goodness’s sake, the fire of God is not illuminating our path anymore. It just seems like right now that God has left us, we need to come up with a way to reconnect with God. And I just want you to feel this because I don't want you to fall into the trap. They are not outright denying who God is. But what are they doing? They're not proclaiming that they're an atheist. They're going out on their own limb, and they're fashioning God in their image. What are they doing? They're going God, we feel like you're not here. So, here's what we're going to do. We're going to take things into our own hands. And we're going to get to you how we want to get to you. Listen, I didn't put this in your notes, I just want you to remember this. The calf is not a replacement of God. It's a supplement of God. They're supplementing God, and that is dangerous. And here's why. There's not many of you here today that would just stand up and be like, straight up, hey, dude, I don't believe there's even a god out there. But there's a whole bunch of us out here who place other things right up there with Him. That's what they're doing. That's the message they're showing. Listen, they wanted God, but they wanted to see God on their terms, how they wanted to do it, not how God had directed them, which was an exclusive relationship.

Man, we fall into this trap, don't we? We fall into this trap all the time where we try to supplement God with things like popularity, or things like political correctness are things like, hey, my family is my God, or my art is my God, or my sports is my God. And I am going to bring those things onto the same level as God. You know, it's hard for us to follow a God that we don't see, and we always fall back on what we know when we feel like God is leaving us. But here's the thing, this calf, this little g god that they just created is not going to get them to God. It's not going to get them anywhere near God. But let me explain it to you just for a minute just for your education. This little g god would have been one of the mythological gods that the people of Egypt followed. And here's how the story goes. The little g god this, calf God was the god named apis, you can look it up in Egyptian history. Actually, at the Met. There are some images of the Scott it's kind of cool in New York. If you're ever there you can see it at the Egyptian exhibit. This little g God, this little fiery God. One day in mythological history was this this cow was in a field one day, and it was struck by lightning, and it created the vitality, and the strength God called a palace in Egypt. I'm not kidding. This is what it is. And now catch it. What's happening right here. They're looking up on this mountain from their 400 years of captivity in Egypt and they're going wait, there's lightning on the mountain. There's fire on the mountain. Maybe we need to call on this god apis that we had heard about in Egypt. You see, they're thinking? What are they doing? They're doing the same thing that we do in times of fear and anxiety. They're returning back to the old things that used to be in their lives. You see now look; we don't fashion little g gods like that. But we returned to a lot of other things. We're going to get to that in a minute, keep going the story. Verse 6, "Afterward they sat down to eat and to drink, and they got up and indulged in revelry." Now this is not an eighth-grade dance. This is a drunken sexual fest, that's what’s happening? "Then the Lord said to Moses," pay attention right here, "Go down because your people who you brought up out of Egypt have become corrupt." Now, there's a little subtlety there. If you've been reading Exodus, that you'll realize this is the first time ever that God calls the Israelites, Moses’ people instead of His people. Why? Has your kid ever done something crazy, and you look to your spouse and said, Go gets your kid, right? That's what he did. Verse 8, "They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded to them, and they have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. They bowed down to it, they sacrificed to it, and that they have said, 'These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.' 'I have seen these people,' the Lord said to Moses, 'and they are a stiff-necked people. Now we don't use this term, stiff-neck people.'" But let me explain it to you for a minute. This is an agrarian tournament or farming term. In other words, if you've got an ox that just doesn't like to plow, that's what it is. You put that yoke on it, you tell it to go forward. And that ox is like nope ain't going. Not doing this. It's like a kid when you're trying to correct them. Have you ever kind of put your hand on the side of their heads, like, hey, look at me, and then they're like, get away from me, that’s stiff-necked. Do you know what this means? This means God is looking at Moses, going, hey, those people down there, God knows they're His people. They want to follow their own rules. They want to follow their own traditions, and they want to follow their own way. And you and I, we got to do something about it before we judge them. Isn't that where we live? Isn't that where we live?

But I also want you to see what God's doing during this whole time. You see, the Israelites assume that God was just taking a break. But what did the text say God was doing? God, what did it say has been watching them and has been with them? You see, the problem in our lives is never that God is not present. That is never the issue. The problem in our life is the question, are we recognizing God's presence? Are we recognizing God's presence? And are we resistant? You say well Matt, this should have been easy for them. The fire is on the mountain to which they would flip that script and go, hey, listen, it should be easy for you, because you now have access to the Holy Spirit. Keep reading, I want you to see what God says. Verse 10, God says to Moses, "Now leave me alone, so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation." Now it seems like just by reading that at a glance that got a glimpse that God has done with them. He's hot, and He is. But I want you to see something though, because God knows these are not Moses’ people. He knows they are His people. And God knows that it wasn't Moses that did all these miracles to deliver the people. So, what's going on in this text? Let me tell you what God is doing in this text. And this is important for you. God is testing Moses, in this part right here. And God is not only testing Moses, but also pushing Moses to pray, to lift up Israel into the hands of God. He is drawing out a faith response from Moses. And what He's wanting out of Moses is for Moses to intercede on behalf or to go before God on behalf of these millions of people that are out there. And what is God doing for us in this story? He's showing us a glimpse of a greater Moses, Jesus in the New Testament. Why? Because what does Jesus do for us? He intercedes to the Father on our behalf and Moses is up for the plan. Watch how Moses prays for these people in verse 11. "But Moses sought the favor of the Lord his God. 'Lord,' he said, 'why should your anger burn against your people whom you brought up out of Egypt, with great power, and with a mighty hand?'" Now notice, who does Moses say to God, he's like these aren't my people, these are your people. These are your people. You brought them up? Verse 12. "Why should the Egyptians say, 'It was with an evil intent that God brought them out to kill them in the mountains to wipe them off the face of the earth? Moses says, God, these are your people. You're all powerful. Save them so you receive the glory.'" Watch this. Watch what he says, "Turn from your fierce anger God and relent. Do not bring disaster on your people. Remember your servants, Abraham, Isaac, Israel, who swore by your own self that you would make their descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky. And that will give those descendants all this land that I promised them, and this would be their inheritance forever." What is Moses doing?

Moses is not arguing with God. Moses is speaking the promises of God back into the heart of God. Moses is not telling God anything He doesn't already know. Neither will you. But what does God love to hear? God loves to hear His promises spoken back to Him and claimed back to Him. Moses says, God, these are your people, you started this and it's for Your glory, that you're going to deliver them like verse 14, it keeps going. "Then the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster that he had threatened." Now, for some of you, this verse is a tough one to swallow. This is a tough one. Alright? And let me say this, this verse bothers a lot of people. We could do a whole day on it, but we're not going to do it in like a minute, here's what’s happening. I need you to know this, God will never change one of His promises. He won't do it. He is consistent in His promises. God will never change one of His purposes. He's consistent in His purpose, consistent in His love, consistent in His promises and His purposes always remain true, from an earthly perspective, God's plan is always unfolding in front of us, okay? It's always unfolding in front of us and catch this. It's the prayers of mankind that unlock God's plan, that unlock it, they don't change it, they unlock it in front of us, because we're seeing this from what a 90 year at best deal here. And God has gotten to know. I'm God, look at verse 15. "Moses turned and went down the mountain with the two tablets of the covenant of the law in his hands. They were inscribed on both sides, front and back. These tablets were the work of God, the writing of God engraved on these tablets, the penmanship of God, the promises of God, the covenant of God, that they're entering into. Verse 17, "When Joshua," that's the intern, by the way, "heard the noise of the people, he said to Moses, 'There's a sound of war in the camp.' Moses replied, 'No, it's not.' he replied. 'It's not the sound of victory, that's the sound of the defeat. It's the sound of singing that I hear.'" Moses is like, no, it's not that it's sin that you're hearing. Now catch this. My favorite part. "When Moses approached the camp, he saw the calf, he saw the dancing, and his anger burned. He threw the tablets out of his hand, breaking them into pieces at the foot of the mountain." This is symbolic of the covenant of God, we broke the covenant of God, this is what happened right here. Now what happens next makes Moses my hero. Watch verse 20. "And he took the calf that the people had made. He burned it in the fire, he ground it into powder, he scattered it into the water and made the Israelites drink it." You can laugh at that. That's awesome! That's awesome! This could be my favorite Moses moment ever.

Why? Because Moses right here shows us how serious God is about sin. How serious he is. What did he do? Not only to Moses be like, give me that calf. Not only did he throw it in the fire, but he also ground the thing up, he sprinkled it into their drinking water and he's like, now you're going to drink it. Now you're going to drink it. I'm a wash your mouth out with that golden calf. I am going for it. Do you realize what's happening here? God hates sin so much that he wanted the Israelites to distaste it so much that even when they thought about the golden calf, they almost wanted to throw up. Do you know what? Here's the crazy thing about this. God hates sin. And He hates it to the point to where the next time they saw this golden calf, what goes in must come out. He wanted to show them that's how much He hates it. God hates sin. dial in just for a minute. You got to hear this. God doesn't like to deal with sin. God doesn't excuse sin. God is not indifferent to sin. He's not. He wants you to be putrefied when you see it. You ever been in a Mexican restaurant, and something didn't go well? How long did it take you to go back? That's the point here. Let me finish the story, verse 21. "He said to Aaron as the priests, what are these people do to you? That you lead them into such a great sin? Do not be angry with me, my Lord. Aaron answered, 'You know how prone to evil the people are?'" Don't we always do this? Don't we always blame it on the other people? Listen, your response is never ruled by other people. Can I just say that this morning, you are in control of your response, no matter what's going on around you? Verse 23 gets even better. "They said to me, make us gods who would go before us and ask for the spell of Moses who brought us out of Egypt. We don't know what happened to him." Verse 24. Don't miss this. "So, I told them. Whoever has any gold jewelry, take it off. And they gave me all their gold, and I threw it into the fire and poof, out came out this golden calf." You want to talk about the worst lie in the Bible. I mean, this is worse than a kid getting caught stealing candy. I don't know how it got stuck in my pocket. I was walking to the grocery store, and it popped into my pocket. That's just such a bad lie. You got one of those kids that's a bad liar. Aaron was a bad liar. Alright? Keep going. Verse 25. "Moses saw that the people were running wild." In other words, they had just given up all moral restraint. That's what sin does to us. "And then Aaron had let them get out of control. They'd become a laughingstock to their enemies. So, he stood Moses stood at the entrance of the camp and said, 'Whoever is for the Lord come to me.' And all the Levites rallied to him. Then he said to them, 'This is what the Lord God of Israel says. Each man is to strap a sword to his side, go back and forth throughout the camp from one end to another killing his brother, friend and neighbor, the Levites did as Moses had commanded and about 3000 people died.'" Now this was brutal. This was brutal. The priests, the people who were supposed to be taken care of people are now God's instrument to show how much He distastes sin. Now, there's about 3 million people in the camp. 3000 of them died. That's 1/1000. And here's the message right here. God knows that the cancer has to be cut out of the body before it's spread. That's what He's doing. He's showing these people right here, what sin does to them and what it will do to us. But it gets better though. Okay, don't lose hope. Like a verse 30. "The next day, Moses said to the people, 'You have committed a great sin. But now I will go up to the Lord, and perhaps I can make an atonement for your sin.' Moses went back to the Lord and said, 'Oh, what great sin these people have committed. They have made themselves gods of gold, but God now please forgive their sin.'" Can I ask you something? What is Jesus doing at this very moment? He came from God to us, the people. He spoke, He did, He sacrificed, He set sin straight, He sacrificed and purified sin and now Jesus is before the Father interceding for you and for me. We are seeing that Moses was an incredible, incredible deliverer. But God through Jesus is now delivering us. It's the story of mankind. It's the story that God created us. We sin, God hates sin, but He gives your life through him. Speaking of application, let me give you five quick one liners for all of you type a people who need a list. Number one, never doubt in the dark what God has shown you in the light. What does that mean? That means this, in times of trouble and times where it feels like God is silent and times that you feel lonely, or question, go back to those times that you know that the deliverance of God was incredibly felt in your life. For a lot of you that was the moment you gave your heart to Jesus, never in a time of darkness, wash away those times of light. Man, this would have saved the Israelites wouldn't it, if they would have just remembered all the things that God was doing for them and didn't fall into this. Number two told you they're quick. Expose the idols that you return to in times of stress and turmoil and offer them to Jesus now and offer him now. You know what this means? This means before the time of question comes up, why don't we spend some time evaluating those things in our life that we go back to when stress is in our lives? Now, let me just speak to a couple of us. For some of us.

When stress hits, when it seems like God is not there, we revert back to who we were pre-Christ. Maybe for you, it's that you revert back to numbing yourself with some kind of alcohol, with some kind of pill. Maybe for you, you go back to numbing yourself with a friend group that you know that has nothing good about you. Maybe for you, you go back to those times where you get your joy out of some popularity or some platform. Maybe for you, it's that you overeat or you over shop or that you over just binge watch a whole series of something. But pre give that to God now, because I can promise you something in those times of darkness if you have not already offered it up to God, you will always go back to what you feel comfortable with. That was the God apis, for these people. Now for you, you probably don't have a golden calf on your dinner table. But you got something you return to. Give it to God now. Run to it now. Hey, God, I know that this is where I go. But I want you to have it. Man, that would have saved them, wouldn't it? That would have saved them a rough night around the camp. Number three, never treat sin as if it will have no consequence. Never treat sin as if it will have no consequence. Listen, some of you think you can get away with it. And you might for a season. You might. But know this, it will be found out. It will. Where was God in this time where they thought nobody's looking? God was watching. In fact, Numbers 32 says this, " But if you fail to do this, you will be sinning against the Lord; and you may be sure that your sin will be found out." You know what that means. There will be a day whether it's on this planet, or whether it's in eternity that your sin will be brought to light. It will be. It will have consequences. Number four, set your sights on running away from sin, rather than creeping toward it and justifying it. Set your sights on running away from sin. Listen, can I just debunk a theory for you? Did you know there really are stupid questions? There really are. The only people that say there are no bad questions are the people that have bad questions? Alright? Can I tell you one of the most horrible questions on this planet is: How far is too far? Rather than am I walking in holiness? That's the difference. That's the difference between people. Look, they knew that God was an exclusive God, two chapters earlier. But what did they do? They crept up to sin. And I have a feeling a lot of us spend our lives right at that line rather than drawing back and saying, hey, Lord, which way is holiness? That's where I'm running. Here's the last one, number five, some encouragement, remember that God always moves toward us in times of trouble and confession. Always. There's some of you that for a large season of your life, have felt that because of something that you have done, or something that you have said that God has totally abandoned you, you feel that way. But can I tell you that cannot be farther from the truth. But what He's waiting on, is you to say, hey, God, I blew it.

And I'm walking back to you. You say, Hey Matt, where do you get this in the store? Well, you got to read the rest of the story of the Israelites to know how many times they did evil in the sight of the Lord. But what happened? As soon as they turn back to the Father, God said, Yeah, your mine, your mine. Let's go. The whole next chapter is Moses going, hey, God show your glory. You're not going, I'm not going. Show us who you are. Listen, God is waiting on us to get sick from our sin and turn back to Him, not shaped in our image, but turn back to Him the only one that can satisfy our souls. It's the first two things we looked at. The question is, will we? God hates sin. He doesn't hate you. He hates sin. Why? Because He knows it's not good for us. And He wants us to walk with Him. So let me ask you a couple questions this morning. Number one, do you know Jesus? That's first and foremost. Has there been a moment of your life where you've turned from your sin? And you've given it to Jesus and trusted Him as your Savior? If not, right now can be your time to say, Hey Lord, I'm Yours. Number two, is there something that you have fashioned in your life that you're holding right up there beside God? God says, just run from it. He will forgive you. He'll forgive you. Number three, has it been a long time since you experienced the presence of the Lord in your life? Lord Jesus, this morning as we walk into just this time of decision. God, the temptation is going to be, to bolt, to run, to beat traffic, I get that. But God, I just pray that there's a still small voice in our soul today. That just says, hey, we got business to take care of. God, I pray that there's a person that needs to surrender their heart and life to you today that as soon as I say, amen, God, they would have the boldness to stand where they are, make their way down to the front of this room and look at myself or one of these other counselors and just say, hey, I need Jesus. I need to make this thing for real. I've been faking it. I didn't know it. Never felt compelled like this. But today's my day.

God, I pray for others that possibly the golden calf in their life has taken the place of God for a long time. Today, they would walk away from that, knowing that you are faithful. God, I pray for others today that need to make this place their home, need to make this church their home, that they would jump on the app today and just follow the next steps for them and make it official to join this place to walk with us be part of the family today. God, work in our hearts in these next couple of minutes. And it's in your name, Jesus that we pray. Amen.

Let's stand and sing.

Follow Along with the Message


A Distaste for Sin

August 22, 2021

PRINCIPLE: We often try to God into the we think he should be.

PRINCIPLE: We against the thing that can truly satisfy our eternal souls: God.

Exodus 32:1–4
1 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.” 2 Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.” 3 So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. 4 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.”
Exodus 32:5–6
5 When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, “Tomorrow there will be a festival to the Lord.” 6 So the next day the people rose early and sacrificed burnt offerings and presented fellowship offerings.
Exodus 24:15–18
15 When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it, 16 and the glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered the mountain, and on the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from within the cloud. 17 To the Israelites the glory of the Lord looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain. 18 Then Moses entered the cloud as he went on up the mountain.
Exodus 32:6–9
…Afterward they sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry. 7 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt. 8 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.’ 9 “I have seen these people,” the Lord said to Moses, “and they are a stiff-necked people.”
Exodus 32:10
“Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation.”
Exodus 32:6–9
11 But Moses sought the favor of the Lord his God. “Lord,” he said, “why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand? 12 Why should the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intent that he brought them out, to kill them in the mountains and to wipe them off the face of the earth’ Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on your people. 13 Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self: ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.’”
Exodus 32:14–18
14 Then the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened. 15 Moses turned and went down the mountain with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands. They were inscribed on both sides, front and back. 16 The tablets were the work of God; the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets. 17 When Joshua heard the noise of the people shouting, he said to Moses, “There is the sound of war in the camp.” 18 Moses replied: “It is not the sound of victory, it is not the sound of defeat; it is the sound of singing that I hear.”
Exodus 32:19–20
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.
Exodus 32:21–23
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.’”
Exodus 32:24–28
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!’” 25 Moses saw that the people were running wild and that Aaron had let them get out of control and so become a laughingstock to their enemies 26 So he stood at the entrance to the camp and said, “Whoever is for the Lord, come to me.” And all the Levites rallied to him. 27 Then he said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor.’” 28 The Levites did as Moses commanded, and that day about three thousand of the people died.
Exodus 32:30–32
30 The next day Moses said to the people, “You have committed a great sin. But now I will go up to the Lord; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.” 31 So Moses went back to the Lord and said, “Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made themselves gods of gold. 32 But now, please forgive their sin…”

5 Lessons from the Pulverized Calf

1. Don’t in the dark what God has shown you in the light.

2. Expose the idols that you to in times of stress and turmoil and them to Jesus now.

3. Never treat as if it will have no consequence.

Numbers 32:23
“But if you fail to do this, you will be sinning against the LORD; and you may be sure that your sin will find you out.”

4. Set your sights on away from sin rather than creeping toward it and justifying it.

5. Remember that God always toward us in times of trouble and confession.


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