Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Out Came A Consequence!

"Then they gave me the gold, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!" (Exodus 32:24).

How preposterous! "You know the people, that they are prone to evil" (v.22). Aaron said nothing about the mold he made or the graving tool he used. Aaron blamed society and we're still doing it. Give the crowd what they want and then blame them when the gold and what we in our finite wisdom thought was good for them finally destroys them. Actually, our progenitor Adam started the blame game: "The man said, `The woman you put here with me -- she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it'" (Genesis 3:12). Eve took it from there.

We have all sinned -- and we have all blamed nature and them. "They" made us do it. Society makes us murderers and adulterers because it makes such stringent laws, so we reason. Moses literally broke the commandments in indignation at the sin he witnessed; we break God's commandments in indignation that our so-called freedom is curtailed and then we blame others when that so-called freedom grows a bumper crop of unexpected problems.

"But they all alike began to make excuses" (Luke 14:18). Everyone does it, so it can't be too wrong for us to do it; we are victims of a corrupt society; God put us in the furnace of affliction and we came out burned. At one time, children's shirts were sold that had emblazoned on them, "The devil made me do it." That's as good an excuse as all the others combined.

Someone described an alibi as an excuse that's cooked up, but is always half-baked. Benjamin Franklin made a couple of observations that have stood the test of time and human nature: "The absent are never without fault, nor the present without excuse" and "He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else."

God is not going to ask us who made us do what was wrong in His sight! He is going to ask us why we didn't have the courage to say no at the crucial moment of temptation. He has heard every excuse:
"I couldn't help it"
"The necessity of my situation"
"Compelled by circumstances"
"Customs of the trade"
"If I hadn't done it, I would have lost my friends"
"If I don't do it, someone else will"
"I would have lost my job"
Etc., etc., etc.

These may be all true: but the point is, was the thing wrong? If it was, the case of Aaron teaches us that we cannot save ourselves by transferring the blame of what we have done to circumstances or to others. It is not a plea which will be held valid on the Day of Judgment.

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